More smoke--and sizzle! Calanque, Sugiton, sentier, plage naturiste, and les culs nus--scenic French vocabulary :-)
In the face of bankruptcy : A creative solution to "resserrer les cordons de la bourse"

Cinquante: Jean-Marc's birthday and special guests

Jean-marc in marseille notre dame de la garde sormiou 50-year-old
Jean-Marc turned the big five-oh! Here he is in his childhood stomping grounds: the calanque of Sormiou. You are seeing a nice view into Marseilles, from this angle. In the very background you can almost make out Notre-Dame de la Guard.

TODAY'S WORD: Cinquante

        : Fifty

Il a cinquante ans = He's 50


Click here and listen to our son, Max, read the following French

L'âge atteint par un quinquagénaire.
The age reached by a 50-year-old

 Jean-marc and charles

Jean-Marc turned 50 this week, but the surprises began on Monday, when two dear friends popped in from Florida. You may remember Charles from a post written in 2008--when he came to help us pick grapes -- after he had a quadruple bypass heart surgery! It was a good thing Charles showed up at the beginning of our vineyard experience because he taught us there was no wimping out or complaining of a bad back when picking grapes!

Jean-marc and charles

Charles brought his wife, Martha, who might have wimped out at our first harvest. Charles says that's because "She's a princess." But he also says she's a bulldog (able to get French government employees to give the straight story. A feat, if you ask me!). Princess? Bulldog? Martha is one cool nana .

Funny door in les goudes marseilles
The wonderful fishing cottages at Les Goudes, at the end of Marseilles.

Jean-Marc surprised us by a sentimental tour of Marseilles, including a stop at the Vallon des Auffes, a drive past his neighborhood Le Roy d'Espagne, and a stop at Le Vin Sobre where he works every other weekend. 

Lunch with jean-marc charles martha

Yesterday it was Jean-Marc's turn to be surprised when Charles and Martha crashed our birthday lunch at Les Oliviers restaurant at L'Hôtel Ile Rousse in Bandol.  We forgive them. And thank them for treating us! 

Chambolle Musigny 1967

The restaurant allowed Jean-Marc to share a very special bottle of wine from his cave: a Chambolle Musigny 1967. Charles, Martha, and The Birthday Boy were sipping in extasy as the other clients looked on like mendiants!

I downed my water and imagined the taste of that 50-year-old bottle of heaven (Martha, Charles, and The Birthday Boy were now speaking in tongues--or some such holy language.) 

Charles and jean-marc rene cros beach bandol
After, we had massages californiens at the spa steps up from the beach, and then said goodbye to Charles and La Nana at the Bandol train station.

There were a few more surprises in store for Jean-Marc. Maybe one day I'll tell you about those. This Birthday Wife is now hors de la vapeur (out of steam?). It's time to refuel avec le déjeuner (leftover pizza and le gâteau d'anniversaire from last night).

The sentimental tour of Marseilles included a visit to the Sormiou calanque, where Jean-Marc and I had our wedding dinner with friends in July 1994 (We were married at the church in September. The Town hall wedding was in July.).

une nana = girl, chick
la cave = cellar, wine cellar
un mendiant = beggar
le massage californien = California massage
avec le déjeuner = with lunch
le gâteau d'anniversaire = birthday cake

Reverse Dictionary
to run out of steam = caler,  être en perte de vitesse

Apartment for sale in Vaison La Romaine
APARTMENT FOR SALE. Now’s the time - escape to your pied-à-terre in classical Vaison la Romaine. Contact
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Jean-marc swimming bandol France renecros sandy beach

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