Glâner: a useful, necessary, verb for Earth Day 2018
Alarming news at the Dentist's + Jackie applies for Fashion school in Marseille

Caboter: A relaxing, agreeable thing to do along the coastline in France

Boat ride coast near calanque de figuerolles la ciotat cassis 
Ça y est! Part 1 of our La Ciotat renovation ended this week! We've been busy tying up dozens of loose ends, so it was wonderful to get away from it all via a little boat ride up the coast! Read about a breathtaking petite escapade from La Ciotat to Cassis in today's column, below.

Today's word: caboter

    : to navigate from port to port along the coast

Example Sentence, Audio File read by Jean-Marc

Click here to listen to the soundfile

Dimanche nous avons caboté dans les anses de La Ciotat jusqu'à Cassis.
Sunday, we navigated along the little coves from La Ciotat to Cassis

The book Pronounce it Perfectly in French emphasizes speaking, sound discrimination, and standard intonation patterns that are typical of native French speakers. Order here.

Women at DRC
Autumn excursion in France, especially for women - "Women in Burgundy: Life, Laughter, and the French Paradox” October 18 to 27, 2018 - includes two nights in Paris. Click HERE for details.


    by Kristi Espinasse

A Black Eye, A Boat, and delicious Boquerones!

Jean-Marc got a pretty good deal when he rented us a little boat from that guy with the black eye. The pleasure craft was a semi-rigide or bâteau pneumatic, as seen in the opening photo to this post. If only you could see the type who rented it to us. Had he gotten into a fist fight or bar-room brawl last night?

"Normally, I rent out my boat for full-day only," our lanky loueur explained, as we stood at the new port in La Ciotat, right across the street from the historic Éden-Théâtre. (La Ciotat is the birthplace of film. The guy handing us our clés de bâteau could've been a young Al Pacino...) "I was able to make an exception, this time, and rent it to you for only a half a day, he said, because my girlfriend gets off work at noon, and, as her husband is watching the kids today, I'm taking her out for un petit tour de bâteau...."

So that's how he must've gotten his shiner, his oeil au beurre noir! And how we got a smokin' deal on our little boat--ours for 3 full hours, which began near Parc du Mugel and ended in Cassis with the most delicious lunch in the whole wide world: a simple baguette-and-sardines sandwich which we ate on our boat which anchored in a turquoise blue calanque.

I recounted the coastal adventure--especially the delectable picnique sur le bâteau--to my mom, in Mexico. Reliving our cruise vicariously on the other end of the telephone line, Mom explained just why that sardine sandwich tasted so darn good. I cannot remember exactly Mom's poetic words, but poetry had something to do with the experience: It's the salty air, the sea's mist, the atmosphere, Mom said. The senses are heightened along the Mediterranean coast.

Everything must taste better when you are relaxed and dépaysé, or "in a change of place." (Some would say everything tastes better in France!) I leave you with pictures of our little périple across the coast.

P.S. Those delicious "sardines" were actually boquerones--or anchovies in vinegar and olive oil. Jean-Marc sells them in the Marseille wine shop where he works, but you can find them online, here. Whatever you do, don't leave any oil/vinegar in the package--soak everything up with the rest of the baguette. C'est une tuerie! It's to die for! ...Which brings us back to where we began--and the guy with the black eye. He's anxious to retrieve his boat as he's got a hot date. Mais gare au mari! (Watch out for the husband!!)

le type = guy, bloke
loueur = one who rents out (apartment, boat...
la clé = key
le bâteau = boat
un oeil de beurre noir = black eye
la calanque = rocky inlet or creek along the coastline
boquerones = fresh anchovies
un périple = a little journey
une tuerie = to die for
gare à, gare au = watch out for
le mari = husband

Coastline littorale between la cioat cassis

Grotte or cave people on paddle boards mediterranean sea  la ciotat cassis
Paddleboarders approaching une grotte, or cave.

Figuerolles calanque beach la ciotat coastline
Paddle boarder heading toward the beach at the popular Figuerolles calanque

Ruiins near cassis france sea
Our little boat arriving going past Cassis and some ruins along the coast. We passed a lot of kayakers, too.

Near calanque En Vau this is Port Pin

Swimming in the calanque en vau near marseilles

Never without my hat, after a couple bouts with carcinoma. If you haven't read my story, here's motivation to wear a hat!

La ciotat shipyard yachts boats

Returning to the famous La Ciotat shipyards, where yachts are now serviced (before, in times past, this was an industrial port)

Sailboat on the mediterranean france calanque cassis la ciotat semi-rigide

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety