La Vie en France #12: Through the Years, Im Laufe der Jahre, A traverse les annees

The Webmaster has met many new friends through his website and Facebook group over the last few years.  Yet many people do not know that he has been coming to the Meuse-Argonne regularly since 1994.  In fact, he held his 50th birthday party at the Hôtel du Commerce in Aubrèville in 2013, where he has been a regular guest since 1997.  Here is a partial selection of photographs from his June 2013 birthday slide show.   1994  Deutsches Erinnerungskommittee Argonnerwald–Irma Tunnel         Continue reading →

La Vie en France #11: The Beloved Brocante (Flea Market)

  From around May to September one sees countless signs for brocantes when travelling the battlefields.  These are town-wide flea markets / garage sales; although the Webmaster believes that many non-resident vendors also buy table space.   Each town seems to have one scheduled during the spring / summer; and the dates seem to be selected carefully so that a town does not infringe on its immediate neighbor towns.  Sunday appears to be the most popular day for the brocante.   For the rural French, Continue reading →

La Vie en France #10: Finding Suitable Places for Ladies to Pee

War-Time German Postcard:  Caption Reads “A Height Record for the Air Ship Service”   After completing his first two tours with female clients, the Webmaster is again reminded that hiking the battlefields of rural France is much easier for men than for women.  Men can simply walk behind a bush or tree to urinate.  Anatomically speaking, the same is true–but a bit more complicated–for women.  However, American women tend to see this as an option of last resort.  Thus, from a male point of view, Continue reading →

La Vie en France #9: Cheap Gas, Sundays and Creative Solutions

“When in Rome do as the Romans do,” goes the popular phrase.  Said differently, when travelling abroad one can’t expect everything to be done as it is in one’s home country.  That is definitely true when travelling from suburban USA to rural France.  Here are a few examples:     Gas Prices and Finding Cheap Gas Gas is expensive in Europe:  Right now the cheapest diesel is about €1.30 per liter.  €1.30 x 3.78 liters per gallon x $1.13 exchange rate = $5.55 per gallon! Continue reading →

La Vie en France #8: It Takes a Team Part 2–Language Lessons

    The Webmaster has just returned from tracking down a difficult “Then and Now” photo with extreme gratitude for his language tutor, Alexis P. Miller!  After fifteen months of language lessons, 2x per week more or less, the Webmaster can at least express himself and explain what he is doing:  Even if he doesn’t understand everything that others say.   On today’s search the Webmaster thought it best to ask a farm family before driving off into their field in search of the site of an airplane crash landing.  He Continue reading →

La Vie en France #7: Welcome to the Punch Bowl

La Vie en France #6 proved to be quite popular, as there seems to be a good bit of interest in seeing where the Webmaster is living during his six months in France.  Le Vie en France #7 shows a panoramic view of the “Punch Bowl” encircling Doulcon.  It is taken from a hillside along the D164 perhaps a kilometer West of Doulcon.     Western portion of the punch bowl.     Eastern portion showing Doulcon and Dun-sur-Meuse.  The church on the Hillside at Continue reading →

La Vie en France #6: An Evening Walk in Doulcon

Situated in the Department of the Meuse and the Region of Lorraine, Doulcon has  a population of around 430 inhabitants.  As travelers to the region know, this is not a wealthy port city along the coast.  Rather, Doulcon is situated in the heart of farming country; and its houses and streets reflect the increasing difficulties of farming–even in the heart of France with all its farm subsidies.  Luckily, the region also attracts thousands of tourists a year:  Tourists, such as the Dutch, who love the natural beauty Continue reading →

La Vie en France #5: It Takes a Team–including a Loving Spouse–to Pursue One’s Passion

  Leaving one’s job to spend six months pursuing one’s passion on the battlefields of France can be quite daunting.  One advantage the Webmaster has is the many friends and supporters “on both sides of the pond.”  There are too many to mention in this post; but the Webmaster appreciates them all.   Most important is his wife’s love and support:  Even though she chose not to relocate to France with him.  Before he left, she gave him a card “to be read on plane ♥.”  In Continue reading →

La Vie en France: Post #4. Eight Weeks Holiday Before France.

Friday, May 12, 2017 excerpt from my diary… So, two days prior to departure, how did I do regarding using my eight weeks to prepare for the trip?  Answer, pretty poorly in most categories; but strongest in the category that counts the most—spending quality time with my wife (who will be alone for several months.) o   Walking / hiking to get in shape:  2/3 (out of 10.)  Didn’t do often enough and didn’t really exert myself; largely because most walks were with Laurie. o   Reading Continue reading →

La Vie en France: Post #3. Skills and Talent Residence Permit Visa Obtained!!!

A key part of the Webmaster’s plan to work in France as a freelance battlefield tour guide was obtaining the “Skills and Talent” residence permit visa.  Per the France in New York website: “If you have a project, the three-year, renewable “Compétences et Talents” card allows you to exercise the professional activity of your choice in connection with your project.” However, at the Visa Section of the French Consulate-General one will not find a life coach who will guide one through the process.  Rather, one Continue reading →