I found my happy place in the Loire Valley of France. I traveled there many years ago to research a book I was writing and, after my late partner died of cancer, I went back to Saint-Martin-le-Beau to heal.

I will always be grateful to France and her people for rekindling my ability to choose joy.

Love affair with the Loire

A Collection of Stories on Traveling France:

How to Visit Château de Chenonceau & Why You Must Go

A visit to France’s Loire Valley is truly incomplete without a visit to Château de Chenonceau. I was first attracted to the Loire Valley in France because of the Loire River, which served as the demarcation line in central France during WWII. The flowing demarcation line cut communities in two. It sliced farms and vineyards in half;…

Visiting Oradour-sur-Glane in France

First, brace yourself. Visiting Oradour-sur-Glane today is not visiting a place; rather, it is visiting a place in time. Oradour-sur-Glane is preserved to look exactly as it did after the smoke cleared on June 10, 1944, revealing the charred remains of a village as well as the remains of nearly all of its inhabitants. Once…

A Perfect Day Trip to Reims, the Capital of France’s Champagne Region

If you’re looking for the perfect day trip to Reims, look no further! Just 45 minutes from Paris by train, Reims is a quiet but sparkling destination, boasting more than 250 kilometers of underground champagne cellars carved into its historic hills. With so many champagne houses to explore in the region, it was difficult to…

My Love Affair with the Loire Valley

The first time that I visited Saint-Martin-le-Beau, a commune resting near the banks of the River Cher in central France, it was a cold evening in January and the rain slopped across my windshield as I navigated my rental car over the train tracks that run parallel to town. Because it was nighttime, I didn’t…

Why You Should Visit Oradour-sur-Glane: The Martyr Village of France

Oradour-sur-Glane looks exactly as it did after the fires of June 10, 1944, stopped smoldering, leaving behind only the memories of 642 villagers who were inexplicably massacred. The burned-out shells of buildings where there once stood a church, a bakery, a deli, a town hall, are a reminder of what this village was before it…

Learning to Ride a Bike (Again)

How is it possible that, at the age of 37, I didn’t know how to ride a bike?    I’ll get right to it: I grew up cross-eyed. Yep, until I was 16 years old, one of my eyes was always turned toward my nose. (more…)

The History of Saint-Martin-le-Beau in the Loire Valle

It took a while to find the little town of Saint-Martin-le-Beau that rests on Cher River in France’s Loire Valley. The GPS started talking in British-accented circles as soon as the compact rental car left the well-lit main road for the narrow street marked with only a small arrow pointing toward Saint-Martin-Le-Beau. (more…)

For an excellent WWII book on the Loire Valley, check out Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale”. I hope my book will be half this good!

The Nightingale: A Book Review

If you’re wondering about how to make friends when traveling so you can tell stories like the ones above, check out my free, printable guide here:

meeting friends when traveling alone

Thank you for reading my stories about France. Head back here to explore more destinations in this great, big world of ours!

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