When you think of France, what do you think of?

May 17, 2013

Paris? Provence? Bordeaux?

Today, the lovely Anita from Castles, Crowns and Cottages invited me to share what my France is.


My France almost always is the High Savoy.


One of my ancient family seats is the village and the Castle Allaman in Switzerland, on the north side of Lake Geneva, (Lac Leman).


As a matter of fact, my maiden name is Von Alemann, a gentle spelling deviation thru the centuries since my family began with a strong Saxon tribe in 1218, but the same name none the less.

I’m drawn back to Geneva, where I’ve lived for great lengths of time in the past and each time I do, I spend every second day in France. France is just a short drive across a simple open border and then suddenly you are in the glorious Haute-Savoie.

I’ve been dragging my children around from village to Alps and back to village since they were very little. Hiking, swimming, eating… living.
I think Chloe’s fondest memories might be of a great big St Bernard named Lou-Lou and raclette, (it’s a long story).

The French side of Lake Geneva has two special villages so close to my heart. Yvoire and Thonon-les-Bains.


Yvoire, the magical, medieval village with the spectacular le Labyrinthe Jardin des Cinq Sens, and Thonon, in which there is a pool right beside Lake Geneva, is where I can be, normal to me, and suntan topless with the other moms while our children play in the crystal waters. Chloe still has a friend she made at that pool when she was nine who she corresponds with today.


But then it’s always into the mountains we go. La Clusaz, Chamonix, Mt Blanc. Where the most delicious mountain air makes for the most delicious hikes and small chalet lunches.


My most favorite has always been the complex salads of that region and a baked potato, lardons, reblochon dish called Tartiflette. I make it where ever I am and instantly bring my France back to me. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll make it tomorrow and post the recipe.


So please go dig up your treasured memories of France and tell me about them. 🙂

france button

The bookstore and a Sunday Whirl
Playing with something new in the studio

You Might Also Like


  • Reply sophielipatoff May 17, 2013 at 11:30 am

    je suis ravie que tu aimes autant la France!
    et ses bonnes recettes!
    et une petite fondue?
    belle journée
    bises de Paris

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Sophie, my first guide into the world of cooking was at Cordon Bleu. I’ve loved French cooking since I was 19, (that’s when I got my diploma). Off to visit you now and see what’s new in your world. Bises. 🙂

  • Reply Anita Rivera May 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    WOW WOW WOW! Veronica, you have a SPLENDID POST HERE! Your photos are of superior quality; I love the one of Chloé at the pool and of course of each structure! I thank you kindly for getting your post ready and when you have a chance, visit the others via my blog. Everyone is really having a lovely time! MILLE MERCIS! Anita

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Bonjour Anita. Thank you so much for hosting. I’m making my way thru the wonderful blogs enjoying every second. 🙂 Bises and Bonne Journee!

  • Reply nantucketdaffodil May 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    How beautiful! It is so nice to have actual memories, as mine are all drams….thanks for visiting!

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Maggie, I hope you’ll make your French dreams concrete memories one day. 🙂

  • Reply michellepond May 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Simply beautiful

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you Michelle. 🙂

  • Reply Red Rose Alley May 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    The red flowers are beautiful against the old charming building. You have some amazing photos here.

    I”m glad I stopped by. It’s nice to meet new friends.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Thank you Sheri, I’ve had practice. 🙂 But if you start with this lovely part of the world you can’t help but have beautiful photos. 🙂

  • Reply vastlycurious.com May 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    When I think of France I think of how much I want to go! I bookmarked your page in hopes that I will one day. Your gallery is beautiful. The High Savoy makes me sigh. : )

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Kathryn, let’s run away. 🙂

      • Reply vastlycurious.com May 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm

        With your experience I think I would be confident!! I LOVE your posts!

  • Reply Violet @ Create Beauty May 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    So beautiful, I’d love to see these places in person!!!
    Your images are lovely. Thanks for joining in the party!
    ~ Violet

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Violet. I hope some day you will. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

  • Reply French Girl in Seattle May 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Enchantée de te rencontrer, Veronica. Your wonderful post brought back memories of fun summer trip with my family… So lovely to have met you. A bientôt, Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Bonjour Veronique. I’m so glad you spent time in France. We should go back, don’t you think so? 🙂

  • Reply Maggid May 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I have not been . . my idea of France is limited to movie scenes – well, until now – I see there is So Much More – Thank you for sharing this wealth. love & love, -g-

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Maggid, I hope you get to see it in person. 🙂

  • Reply Marie Antionette May 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    When I think of Paris France…I think of lavish food, gothic catedrals,exquisite gardens…and gorgeous people,
    its been a pleasure,
    Marie Antionette

    • Reply Veronica May 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Bonjour Marie Antionette. I also spent a lot of time in Paris. There isn’t a lovelier city. 🙂

  • Reply Rêver au Sud May 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Merci de nous dévoiler un peu de tes jolis souvenirs.

    • Reply Veronica May 18, 2013 at 7:09 am

      Bonjour Marie-Ange, thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂

  • Reply It;s Me May 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Welcome in France…nice to see you here…….love to do this together…Anita is such a good friend to all of us…enjoy the weekend love Ria…xxx…

    • Reply Veronica May 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Ria, I’m really enjoying getting to know all the wonderful, France-loving people. 🙂

  • Reply Stacey May 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Bonjour! Beautiful post and stunning pics!

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 7:53 am

      Merci Stacy. 🙂

  • Reply Carolyn May 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Bonjour Veronica,

    I left a message from my ipad and don’t think it went through, so will write another.
    Was great to discover your blog and meet you and many thanks for visiting me.
    I loved seeing all your gorgeous photos of France and isn’t it the most beautiful place.
    Also love the picture of the Lily of valley in the previous post and your altered book.

    Happy weekend

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Hello Carolyn, thank you so much for persevering. It means oodles to me. Happy Sunday to you. 🙂

  • Reply Lynne May 18, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Veronica, I am so pleased to meet you on this journey! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories and images!
    You are such a gracious hostess!
    I have subscribed to your delightful blog!
    Thank you for your visit and sweet comments!

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Oh Lynne, you are so very sweet. Thank you so much. I’ll be visiting you very often to see what’s new. 🙂

  • Reply lyurlynn May 18, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    super post, interesting history..France for me was Simone de Beauvoir (crazy I know) the ubiquitous baguette, berets, all the cliches however I live here now and I’m older so my appreication has expanded…what lovely memories you’ve bene able to share with your children…my hubby makes a to die for Tarteflette..

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Hello Lynn. How wonderful to have a husband who cooks! you lucky girl. 🙂

  • Reply Carol Cook May 19, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I have only seen a little countryside on a the train zipping from Amsterdam to Paris. Your photos are so enticing – I want to be in France, just wandering about.

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Hi Carol, I also want to be in France right now. We could get to know each other over a lovely steamy latte. 🙂 Oh, but it’s 7pm there right now…hmm, maybe a nice glass of wine. 🙂

  • Reply Marsha @ Splenderosa May 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    What a wonderful post, Veronica! A whole different take on Anita’s subject, which I find delightful. And YOU too.
    I’ll be back for certain.

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Thank you so much Marsha. It’s so lovely meeting all such wonderful new friends. 🙂

  • Reply hi-d May 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Beautiful photos! Lucky you to be able to experience this all first hand and with your family. So cool…my relatives from hundreds of years ago were from a small town in Switzerland – Locarno. I’d love to go there…and all over Europe.

    Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comment about my son. 😉

    Heidi @ hi-d’s place

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Hello Heidi. I hope one day you do get to go there and experience where your family came from for yourself. 🙂

  • Reply Sylvia May 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Such an enjoyable read! Love your photos! Thank you for your kind comment on my post.

    • Reply Veronica May 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      Hello Sylvia. Thank you for the return visit. Aren’t we meeting the loveliest friends? 🙂

  • Reply yonksnewsYONKS May 20, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Your France looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your view with us!

    • Reply Veronica May 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Hello Di. Thank you so much. It’s wonderful getting to meet all these lovely people, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Reply deana May 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Fun to find family history and places, when I’ve dug around in mine I have found so many new facts and paths that I didn’t expect.

    It’s been great visiting so many wonderful blogs thanks to Anita’s fabulous party.

    • Reply Veronica May 26, 2013 at 6:52 am

      Hi Deana, I’m loving it too. 🙂

  • Reply Sara v May 30, 2013 at 10:37 am

    About 2 years ago, my husband and I first visited France–Paris, Epernay, Reims and Ay–LOVED the countryside and the Eiffel, but the city didn’t do much for me (I know blasphemy!! But I’m not a city girl)–lots of cigarette smoking that ruined the outdoor cafes. Still had a wonderful time and great stories–eating apple tart and sipping cognac at midnight next to the Arc de Triomphe–yum and wow. Staying in a chateau near Epernay–double triple wow. Walking along the Seine with golden leaves scattering the sidewalk…and St. Chapelle–those stained glass windows take my breath away…(the gargoyles were Really cool too) 🙂 You have fabulous memories and photos all those years! You and your kids are really blessed (great memories are the best gifts we can give them, right?)

    • Reply Veronica May 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Sara, I know what you mean; all of Europe smokes…it’s awful. I end up holding my breath way too much trying not to breathe the second hand smoke. I’m glad you got to go to Paris. Hopefully you’ll be able to return soon. 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge

    %d bloggers like this: