Thursday, December 31, 2009


Long ago I gave up fantasies of keeping any New Year resolutions.

I just...

Keep loving

my life... my boys, Alexander and Hadrian

my husband Luke

my mom and dad

Luke's Mom

Keep dreaming...

Photo by Chris Noble © 2007 High Ground Productions, LLC

Always looking for the powdery steeps.

Dream of making it to the top...

Live every day

fully... look around... smile at life... treasure the gifts of nature

one day at a time

Northern Lights in Iceland

Bonne Annee
welcome 2010

Friday, December 25, 2009


Having just returned from Midnight Mass, I wanted to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.

Ever since my early childhood, Silent Night has epitomized the essence of Christmas for me. I can remember sitting beside my grandmother at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve as she played this very old and beautiful hymn on the church organ. The lyrics of Silent Night are some of the simplest, yet most evocative of the true meaning of this wonderful holiday.

The silence following a snowfall always brings to mind Christmas.

My two sentry dogs welcome you to my home

Gifts awaiting Christmas morning

19 for Christmas Dinner

From me to you, Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Sunday, December 6, 2009


During my October trip home to visit my mother during her surgery, I took a few hours break every few days from my hospital vigil. Camera in hand I wandered through my native village of Clermont-Dessous and later, Bordeaux to show you this beautiful region that I call home.

Clermont-Dessous, my village in Lot et Garonne, where my family has lived for generations:

The view from my bedroom window

The 12th Century church where all my family going back many
generations were baptized, married and ultimately laid to rest.

Surrounding landscape of the rolling hills of Lot et Garonne

Welcome to Bordeaux

Bordeaux, one of the largest cities in France, is ideally located on the Garonne River Delta and the home of the most beautiful and famous vineyards in the world. Bordeaux is also very close to some of the most stunning beaches in Europe.

Bordeaux Riverfront

Miles of magnificent walkways along the banks of the Garonne

My father and my dear cousin Anne-Marie on the permanent artistic
and architectural installation Le Miroir D'Eau.

The Bordeaux "Water Mirror" is the largest water sculpture in the world.

A man needs a dog to be whole.

Medieval times meet contemporary architecture.

The "Palais de Justice" (Bordeaux Courthouse)

Le Grand Theatre

What would France be without its outdoor Cafes?

One of many Plazas spread around the city

Could the brilliant Catalan Architect Antonio Gaudi have
found some of his inspiration in Bordeaux?

Another Bordeaux Plaza Square

Bordeaux, A City for Children

A visit to "ENTREPOTS LAINE" is an absolute must

Bordeaux by night is a very romantic city

And, at last, that for which Bordeaux is best known throughout the world, its sacred Vineyards:

Chateau Haut-Brion
(Photo: Haut-Brion Catalog)

The Vat Room at Chateau Haut-Brion where the vineyard's
2009 Vintage now ferments.

Your Bordeaux Guide (Me, of course) sampling Chateau Haut-Brion's 2005 vintage

Chateau Petrus. Vintage 2004 now available at $1800/bottle. Ouch!!!

My Favorite Store in Bordeaux, L'Intendants...
The Ultimate Hotel for Wines

My favorite Spa, Les Sources de Caudalie, was just rated by Conde Nast as the best spa in the world. I stayed at the spa with my parents a few years ago on a short trip home.

Les Sources de Caudalie
Chateau Smith haut Lafite
Cote Ouest/No. 84 Oct-Nov 2009
Story: Caroline Mesnil/Photos: Francois Goudier

All photos by Francine Gardner unless otherwise credited

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