Framed! (c) Kristin Espinasse.
Calm restored. A pensive reveller after the all-nighter! 

hurler (eur-lay)

    : to shout, to shriek, to scream or yell out

Audio File: Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the following sentence: Download Souler or listen to the Wav file

Ils n'arrêtent pas de claquer les portes et de hurler. Ça me soûle! They don't stop slamming the doors and shouting. It's driving me crazy!


A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Freedom! Almost...

(Today's story is continued from Part I)

I left Jean-Marc to sulk at the picnic table—no use three of us moping around!—and stole away with our daughter to Motel IBIS. Freedom! The inn by the motorway is only a ten-minute drive from home, and when I mentioned this fact—along with the reason for our overnight séjour there—the hotel manager offered an unexpected 5% discount! Perhaps he had teenagers of his own and was familiar with The All Night Party from which Jackie and I were fleeing?

I hadn't meant to marchander with the hôtelier, though I was happy to accept the remise—even if I felt a slight pang of obligation (Would Jackie and I, as recipients of the room discount, now have to be on our best behavior as model guests? Was this duty worth the 3 euro 50 cent remise? Did the monetary favor mean that we could not complain should we be surprised by bedbugs or lumpy pillows?). The freedom I had felt moments ago, on leaving my husband with the burdensome chore of All Night Party Chaperone, began to diminish as Jackie and I gained new responsibilities here at the discounted hotel.

We used the card key to enter room 229 (careful not to slam the door...) and were relieved to find a light and spacious place to rest. There was a flat-screen TV and air conditioning—something we didn't have at home! I had to turn up the temperature it was so cold, not that I would complain to the manager. Jackie went to toss out her gum, but when she could not find a poubelle, I handed her a piece of paper in which to dispose it. There was no way I was going to ring the front desk to inquire about a trash can the minute we claimed our discounted room. 

Ah well, never mind. I tossed my own pillow on the bed, pleased to have some extra comfort for when we were to relax into the "reading and TV watching" part of our mother-daughter getaway weekend. 

Also in our plans was a leisurely stroll over to the mall, en face. Time now to venture out! Only, when we returned outside, the sun was beating down, just as it had been at the boys' barbecue. And just like the boys, we weren't wearing sun hats! When Jackie complained about my decision to drive the short distance to the shops, I had to remind her that I could no longer tolerate the sun's burning rays. So much for our arm-in-arm amble.

At the mall I did not give in to my 14-year-old's pleas for the Will Smith T-shirt or the classic Tropéziennes sandals (though I wouldn't have minded a pair for myself. Look at the orange ones! No, the black or nude passe-partouts would be more reasonable...).

                (photo taken in St. Tropez, in 2005)

I didn't buy the Tropéziennes, but did fork out some cash for two Teddy Smith bandannas (in red and in black). At 4 euros per foulard, such a folie wouldn't threaten our getaway budget too much. Jackie was thrilled and immediately tied the black one around her wrist. "Ça fait très rock-n-roll!" I assured her. I have always admired her fashion sense and her ability to mix the classic with the "can't-be-tamed".

Next, it was time to shop for those healthy snacks I had imagined we'd dine on, in bed, while reading and watching TV. When Jackie chose strawberries, I told her she could have them, but warned her not to stain the hotel sheets!  What good was a room discount when you racked up a bill for damages?
At the grocery store I was reaching for some baking soda (speaking of keeping things clean—here was a natural remedy!) when Jackie's telephone rang. Zut! It was the unlucky chaperone calling from home! We had not been gone two hours and here he was, already checking in on us! Checking in indeed....

"It's Papa," Jackie whispered, holding her hand over the receiver. "Il est à l'hôtel! He wants to know where we are and what we are doing!"


Click here to read the end to this story


French Vocabulary

le séjour = stay (visit)

marchander = to negotiate the price of something (story, here)

le hôtelier, la hôtelière = hotel manager

la remise = discount

en face = across the way

Tropéziennes = a classic leather sandal from St. Tropez 

passe-partout = good for all occasions 

le foulard = bandanna, scarf

une folie = a splurge 

Ça fait très rock-n-roll = you look so rock-n-roll

zut! = darn!

il est à l'hôtel! = he's at the hotel!

 (Cui-cui! Tweet-tweet! Follow French Word-A-Day on Twitter. Click here.)


A Trip Down Memory Lane... La Ciotat, 2003.

Waterpark Lorgues 025
From the photo archives: Père et Fille. Father and Daughter. Jackie is 5 years old here, learning to snorkel in La Ciotat. That's Jean-Marc assisting la petite nageuse.

Waterpark Lorgues 026
In she goes, our little snorkeler. Elle va nager avec son masque et son tuba. She's going to swim with her mask and her snorkel.

My husband could live on the sea in an old bateau pointu. One day he'll fish for daurade and I'll meet him half-way to the kitchen, a basket dangling from my arm, un panier brimming of fenouil and citrons from the potager. We'll have lunch beneath the ancient olive tree, bees buzzing in the distance over at Jean-Marc's 5-hived miellerie. Oh, to dream, to dream!


Build up your French vocabulary:

le panier = basket (see Smokey modeling one, near the end of this post)

le fenouil = fennel

le citron = lemon

le potager = kitchen or vegetable garden (click here if you love to garden)

la miellerie = honey factory

Jean-Marc found these chairs at the Marseille airport, in the trash by the parking lot. Knowing what a sucker I am for homeless chairs (here's one found in a dump in Sicily...), he brought the orphelines back for me. Here are two more Italian finds; and the story about their stowaway, here.


Faire le poireau? La fin des haricots? Oh, purée! Read a delightful feast of an essay, Communicating in the Language of Food," by Joe Lurie

Also, join me in checking out French Girl in Seattle

Max plays soccer 030
Another of those classic bateau pointus we talked about, this one in the bay of Giens, near Hyérès.


A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Love the Sandales Tropeziennes photo!

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

Merci beaucoup for the chair photos. I, too, rescue chairs and right now have more than I need. Great picture of Max. Can't wait for the rest of the story.



I love todays post - by the time I have downloaded all of your new photo's into the black hole of my photo program, daydreamed a little about when Jackie was 5 years old and gazed at the flowers on your desk as you look at Max hanging out of JM office window I am still not quite able to ingest all of the wonderful information and work you have put into today's post. I loved your little poem about JM coming up from the sea with the fish - the image of you meeting him with your basket of lemons from your garden. WOW!!! Now there is a beautiful dream for your future....your vision radiates peace - I must copy that little piece of prose for my bedside.

Kristi Honey - you are so talented with your writing. Thank you for opening up your heart and mind to me through your stories, I love sharing in how your sweet mind works.

Now I have to go back and check out all of your extra stories you have gifted me this morning.





I just finished reading one of your old comments and after consoling Kristi on the phone for the past 20 minutes I found your comment from last year. It was about how real writers open a vein and bleed all over their work, or something like that. Can you repost that comment here, as I have short-term memory problems. I did copy off that particular FWAD to send to Kristi with instructions to read your comment .... thank you for being in the archives of comments - you have helped us so much today.



Sandra Edwards

AAGGHH! We're left hanging!! Such a great story - can't wait to read the next part! Can't we have it now? :-) I wish you really knew how much your stories and posts mean to people. My life is like most people's - like a roller coaster these days - so it is so very nice to have those bright spots in a mostly non-stop, stress filled day. I get so much joy and enjoyment from your stories. You are so fun - I wish I was on your get-away retreat with you and your daughter! Take care and have a great day!

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

I can't wait for the rest of the story.......Wonderful photos ---Max is very handsome, like his dad! Sweet photo of dad with little daughter.

Thanks Kristin for the great stories & photos. I always look forward to my morning coffee & your post!

Be well.

Gabrielle Tsabag

Seeing the photo of the Rondini shop in St. Tropez made me smile ... and long for another visit. I own one pair of those wonderful "Tropeziennes" sandals for each of our five trips to the south of France: white, orange, silver, black and snakeskin. Can't wait to go back and buy a pair in turquoise!


Hahaha, what a funny story! JM est à l'hôtel, just 2 hours after you have left home! He thought he could have...surprised you at the hotel and then had to phone to find where you were. *giggle*

Katheryn Lyman

If you are too cold, you turn the A/C temperature UP. I thought of you last week as I tugged at my blouse to pull the top UP a little to cover my collarbones because the sun was beating down on me as I traveled west to Yuma!


I'm laughing over the phone call from "The Chaperone"--can't wait to read the outcome. Good luck. Mary

nancy v

As usual, I am transported to Provence and a life in the country via your writing. Thank you! Was in Houston yesterday and stopped at French Country Wines - have been wanting to go there for two years and finally made it. Will try your Dentell 2010 and 2011 this week. So excited to finally be trying your wines. Any suggestions for the food to have with them? Thanks, Nancy

French Girl in Seattle

Bonjour Kristi. Great post, as always. Love to see all that blue sky in your pictures (Seattle has decided to switch into fall mode already I think...) I just noticed you had mentioned my blog in your post. Merci beaucoup! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Karen Whitcome  (Towson, Md)

Oh, I can't wait for Part 3!!

I love your "bateau pointu avec la miellerie" dream. Very sweetly expressed.


Hi dear Kristin,
What a wonderful post! You have truly become a master at three part stories!
Your descriptions(and those gorgeous pictures!) totally captured my imagination!
Can't wait for Friday--or any day--that FWAD
is in my inbox!!!
THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Love, Natalia XO


NOOOOOO!!!! I don't want to wait until Friday!

Kathleen from Connecticut

HOW CAN YOU MAKE US WAIT....IT'S NOT FAIR! I'm trying to think about why he was there and then I think about the teenagers left alone at you house unchaperoned. Oh....NO.

I'd love to find a nice old metal bistro chair with the metal seat to put in my garden, but I haven't had much luck.


A laugh for today!! Can't wait till Friday!

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

What a lovely house you have. Are all the walls so thick, that person can sit on the outside window ledge?

That seems fun.

Waitig for Friday, want the end of this story!

Judi Boeye Miller, Lake Balboa, CA

What wonderful photos! I'm transported! and, what a lovely, romantic dream == the photos and dream poem ALMOST make up for leaving us hanging for the rest of the story!! :-)

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm ~ Applegate, Oregon

You certainly have left us hanging…though with the most dreamy and sweet photos to help ease the tension.

Love the words calm restored... I have lavender water I spray on myself throughout the day and my beloved always comments, “Oh, you are restoring calm!”.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
I missed this post on Wednesday, so I am reading today...Friday! I love the photos of Jackie and JM at the beach and the one of the boats!

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