meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jamie Schler and Hotel Diderot, Chinon


Just last November my family and I spent about a week in Chinon, France.  This charming French town is nestled along the banks of the river Vienne, snug in the hillside shadows of an ancient chateau  that has welcomed Joan of Arc, Richard the Lionheart and Louis the 17th among many others.  History runs deep in Chinon, and you can easily feel it wandering along the cobblestone streets.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flourishing Right Where We Are


It is fair to say everyone has experienced transition in one form or another: from sleeping to waking, school graduations, returning to reality at the end of an engrossing movie, pregnancy and childbirth, weight loss or gain, a good (or bad) hair day... it's an endless list. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Transition as “a change from one state or condition to another”.  It’s origin is Latin: transire meaning to ‘go across’, and clearly, some transitions are far easier to navigate than others.

For me a transition ‘unease’ began the year before my youngest daughter graduated from high school. We were living in Paris at the time and the only thing I could do that made me feel better was explore the city, cook, take photographs and write about it.  Turns out that was something I’d deeply wanted to do since graduating from high school and It felt good to scratch a nearly 40 year itch, but the relief was only temporary. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Adieu 2014 - Bonjour 2015



George Costanza did not celebrate "The Holidays".  His father created their own day of observance around the "Annual Airing of Grievances", something I suspect we all know more than a little about.  As 2014 rolled to a close, *a very smart man made the suggestion that perhaps more could be accomplished by airing our good fortune.  So, let the airing begin....

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Home for the Holidays


The week between Christmas and New Years Eve has held a certain fascination for about as long as I can remember.  Particularly in Paris while sitting in the back seat of our car with my nose pressed up against the cold window watching the colored  lights rush by.  The blinking and blurring in the steaminess created by my warm breath on the glass intensifies those feelings.  I wonder about the parties and all the beautifully dressed, glamorous people attending those parties.  At eleven years old it all seems so wonderfully magical.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chasing the Loire Valley

When your son is a Sommelier and he’s spending  time with you in France, there are certain places which can not be ignored. The Loire Valley is one of them. Why? Because Saumur is there. So what? You might be thinking (as did I), but it turns out that Saumur is the birthplace of the rapidly growing Natural Wine movement in France.