“A” is for Alpage

“A” is for Alpage

A is for Alpage and Annecy and animal parade. The Alpage in the Rhone-Alps region of France features all 3.

The ‘Retour de l’ Alpage’ is an annual event that celebrates the return of the animals descending from the Alpine mountains to the villages during Autumn.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the event, which officially started in 1973!

The animals have spent the summer months enjoying the mountain air and the green pastures in the region. They eat the wild flowers and herbs that add specific flavor to the

Balade Gourmande in the Rhone Alps!

Balade Gourmande in the Rhone Alps!

France is known for gourmet food and the French Alps for the beautiful landscape and nature. Add a dash of fitness, mix them together and you have the recipe for a Balade Gourmande!

A Balade Gourmand is a gastronomic walk, usually between 5K – 9K with stops every kilometer or so to enjoy a pairing of food and drink with some type of entertainment.

I was first introduced to this a few years ago in the vineyards of the French Alps.
It was such a good experience, I search for them each year.

They usually occur during warm weather month, June – September and showcase local products. Most of the balade gourmands I have attended pair local, French regional wines along with tapas size local, organic food.

Balade Gourmande Brison Saint Innocent
The walk begins and the first stop has some type of entertainment and with a starter / appetizer. Then a kilometer or so later, another animation with a small dish, followed by another, then cheese and dessert. All accompanied by wine.

Festival Mondial des Cultures du Monde de Chambéry Featuring the Ballet de Savoie!

<font face="times new roman">Festival Mondial des Cultures du Monde de Chambéry Featuring the Ballet de Savoie!</font>
Ballet de Savoie performers with Carey Taylor - Le Prince

When I lived in NYC I often went to the theatre. I loved seeing Broadway musicals, off-Broadway plays, the ballet and the opera. I really took advantage of all the culture and diversity NYC had to offer.

So when I heard about the  Festival Mondial des Cultures du Monde de Chambéry, which translates to the World Festival of World Cultures in ChambéryI had to find out more.

For the past 50 years, dance troupes from over 200 countries have come to the Rhone-Alps region of France to perform traditional dances with live music accompaniment.

Au Fidèle Berger in Annecy, France – Celebrating 100 Years!

Au Fidèle Berger in Annecy, France – Celebrating 100 Years!

When I first arrived in Annecy without any French language, and in need of prescription glasses, I noted Au Fidèle Berger, as a land mark.

Conveniently located on the corner of 2 Rue Royale, in the center of Annecy, this location was were I could remember how far the lake was, how far the bus was, and not be too lost. The windows were welcoming, the outdoor tables, charming and the name read, “the faithful burger.”

While that may seem insulting now that I know the actual name and meaning, at the time it was endearing.  I was homesick and seeing the ‘faithful burger’ made me smile.

After I got some much needed reading glasses, and visited inside, I realized that my faithful burger landmark was ‘Au Fidèle Berger‘. This translates to “the faithful shepherd.”  This is no ordinary chocolatier or patisserie, this is an Annecy landmark.

French Patisserie Au fidele berger

Au Fidèle Berger is to Annecy what La Durée is to Paris. While it is

French Floral Arrangements – Cours d’Art Floral

French Floral Arrangements – Cours d’Art Floral
Cours d'Art Floral Brison Saint Innocent, France

All towns in France have a Mairie, the town hall and Mayor’s office that is often located in the center of the town and usually has a church close by. In fact, if you select a town without an address (just the city) on a GPS in France, it will take you to the Mairie. The Mairie is responsible for governance of the town as well as culture and community. Usually, there is a benevolent, aka, volunteers that form associations and propose and approve activities.

These activities range from celebrations like the ‘fête nationale’, Bastille Day on July 14th, and ‘vide-greniers et brocantes’, a big neighborhood garage sale, music concerts, sport activities such as yoga and walking groups, as well as workshops. If you’re lucky, the French town will offer many activities.

‘Mon petit village’ in the French Alps recently offered a Cours d’Art Floral that translates to a floral art course. I immediately signed up, as

A Royal Weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland

A Royal Weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland
Carey Taylor Le Prince on the Royal Yacht Britannia

Royalty is everywhere! In London, Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle are married. Congratulations to them!

While some people will be escaping the chaos and others will be celebrating in their own ways (fascinators and scones anyone?), my prince, Marc Le Prince, and I have been invited to…(no, we have never even met them), Edinburgh, Scotland.

Edinburgh is full of royal history. In 1130, King David I established Edinburgh, Scotland as a Royal Borough, protected by a fortress that has survived invasions, bombs and wars, including WWII. Each century has added to Scotland’s rich history of nobility and enlightenment.

Queen Elizabeth and her family often come to Scotland and Edinburgh, sometimes unannounced for holidays. When this happens, some landmarks are closed for security.

We started our weekend with

Tulip Season in the Netherlands

Tulip Season in the Netherlands
Tulip Festival

It’s tulip season! Every spring, the Netherlands celebrates their native flower with a grand Tulip Festival. Tulips bloom throughout Holland starting mid April and ending in mid May (depending on the weather).

I planned our trip to coincide with King’s Day, (formerly Queen’s Day), which is Holland’s biggest street party of the year, celebrating the King. Amsterdam was bursting with orange colored festivities, the color of the Royal family. Everywhere was music, people and the color orange, from clothing and flowers to bicycles. It was great to be in Amsterdam for the King’s Day celebration.

The next morning, we picked up our bike rentals and a map to begin our tulip journey. There were many bike paths and tours to choose from and we decided on a combination of 4 different routes. All of the routes had designated bicycle lanes and the path was pretty flat.  The tulip route runs from April 21 – May 6th, 2018.

 

We followed the tulip trail from town to town, past the windmills, through the rain and wind, sometimes walking our bikes because the wind was too strong.

We stopped a few times including once at de Orchideeën Hoeve, a tropical paradise attraction filled with unique orchid flowers, animals, and other fun things. It was a perfect place to escape the rain, visit and have lunch in the interior garden with floating flowers from the air and lotus flowers in the water.

We biked an average of 120km / 75 miles per day.

Carey Taylor - Le Prince biking through the tulips in the Netherlands

Carey Taylor – Le Prince biking through the tulips in the Netherlands.

It has been on my bucket list to bike through the tulips during spring in the Netherlands, but

Weekend Round-Up / Easter 2018

Weekend Round-Up / Easter 2018

Easter weekend is early this year. Do you know why?  Easter is traditionally celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The full moon is on Saturday, March 31, 2018, which makes Sunday, April 1st, Easter.  This is actually a Blue moon since it is the 2nd full moon of the month.  Since it’s coinciding with April fools day, keep an eye out for bunny tricksters. 😉

In France, Monday is also a holiday and most people have a long weekend.

There are two events taking place in the Aix-les-Bains area of the French Alps that are both free and family friendly!

A New Yorker in the French Alps!

<font face="times new roman">A New Yorker in the French Alps!</font>

“Those who don’t jump will never fly.”   – Leena Ahmad Almashat

I am a New Yorker in Haute Savoie.

It still happens by habit.  After I wake up in the morning, I grab my coffee to-go cup, my sunglasses, my phone, my earphones and my dog. Before the first track of my playlist is over, I realize I can’t get my egg whites with spinach, tomato and feta.  I can’t even get egg whites. I can’t even get salty food. Where is the bodega?

Vivre à Annecy Magazine – An American in Annecy

Vivre à Annecy Magazine – An American in Annecy
An American in Annecy Vivre à Annecy Carey Taylor - Le Prince

How did I get here?  An American in Annecy, France.  Really happy to be featured in Vivre à Annecy magazine!

Vivre à Annecy Magazine featuring Carey Taylor - Le Prince

Vivre à Annecy Magazine featuring Carey Taylor – Le Prince

If you didn’t pick up the edition,  you can read the article here!  PDF Link: carey-taylor- Vivre à Annecy

Vivrè a Annecy is part of Le Dauphinè.

An American in Annecy Vivre à Annecy Carey Taylor - Le Prince

An American in Annecy Vivre à Annecy Carey Taylor – Le Prince

Sophie Extier, Journalist and Laurent Cousin, Photographer

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