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Intergenerational: Highlights of Paris and Normandy on the Seine River

Program Number: 21266RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/7/2015 - 7/20/2015; 7/12/2016 - 7/25/2016; 7/21/2016 - 8/3/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $2,997.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats; Intergenerational
Meals: 32; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Program intended for grandchildren from 11 - 14 years of age.

Share with your grandchild the magic of Paris and the history of the Allied invasion of Normandy on a voyage of interactive discovery and learning along the Seine. In charming ports of call along the river, explore medieval history, modern life and Impressionist art, and provide your young learner with perspective on World War II and the events of the invasion of Normandy through hands-on experiences and special field trips on period vehicles.

Activity Particulars

Extensive walking on cobblestone and paved streets, some unpaved terrain. Walking and standing in museums; some stairs without railings.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Paris, 1 night; aboard vessel, 6 nights; Omaha Beach, Normandy, 5 nights.

Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 2-4: Paris / embark vessel:

Discover the historic heart of Paris, from Notre Dame Cathedral and the exquisite stained-glass windows of la Sainte Chapelle to a treasure hunt in Montmartre and a behind-the-scenes exploration of the Eiffel Tower. Board the vessel for your Seine River study voyage and enjoy festive fireworks on Bastille Day. Lodging: Centrally located Paris hotel.

Day 5: Giverny:

Experience the splendor of Monet’s gardens including the famous water lily pond. You may wish to visit the Giverny Museum of Impressionisms.

Day 6: Rouen:

On a narrated walk through Rouen, explore the city’s half-timbered houses and the site of Joan of Arc’s trial and execution.

Day 7: Caudebec-en-Caux:

Visit the Abbey of Saint Wandrille, a Benedictine monastery founded in the seventh century, where your host is one of the monks.

Day 8: Honfleur:

Discover the unique architecture of historic Honfleur and its picturesque old port. Pay a visit to the largest remaining wooden church in France.

Days 9–13: Disembark / coach to Omaha Beach / coach to Paris / departure:

Trace the events of D-Day with interactive experiences at the Memorial of Caen and at a special, hands-on D-Day museum. Take a field trip in World War II period vehicles to learn the events of the Normandy Beach invasions. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont Saint-Michel, an imposing island monastery, and examine the world-famous, 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman conquest of England. Lodging: Comfortable hotel at Omaha Beach.

MS Seine Princess

The MS Seine Princeses features two decks with a dining room, lounge-bar with a dance floor, library and gift shop. The ship's one-sitting restaurant serves artfully prepared traditional French cuisine, and the sundeck offers an incredible view of the Seine as it meanders through Normandy and into Paris.


The epicurious and the curious find much to admire in Western Europe’s largest nation, whose agricultural riches and terrain of beaches, mountains and fertile fields have drawn residents for thousands of years. The northern region hosts the nation’s Parisian capital, as well as unique Breton culture, while the sun-drenched Mediterranean coast sports the chic beach-goers and the terraced vineyards of the interior.

Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg
  Paris, France 1 night
   CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
  Paris, France
Vernon, France
Rouen, France
Caudebec, France
Honfleur, France
6 nights
   Best Western Hotel Moderne
  Caen, France 5 nights
 Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg is located in the heart of the 9th arrondissement of Paris, close to the Opera Garnier and Montmartre. With 101 rooms, this boutique hotel has both a contemporary style and inspiration from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
  Contact info: 49-51 rue La Fayette
Paris,  75009 France
phone: +33 1 42 85 05 44
  Room amenities: Rooms include air conditioning, flat screen, satellite T.V., free WiFi access, a safe, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel includes free WiFi access, a business corner, an elevator, a bar lounge, dry cleaning service, and air conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Please contact Road Scholar Please contact Road Scholar.

 CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
Type: Riverboat
  Description: The MS Seine Princess sails on the Seine.
  Ship Information: Year Built: 2002 Year Refurbished: 2010 Length: 360 feet Width: 37 feet Total Cabins: 67 Total Passengers: 138 Cabin Size: 140 sq. feet
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,  67000 France
phone: +0033 3 88 76 44 44
  Room amenities: All cabins have individual controls for AC and heat. Cabins are equipped with satellite television, a radio, a hairdryer and a safe for your valuables. The private en-suite facilities include a shower, toilet, sink, and are provided with towels, but not washcloths.
  Facility amenities: Amenities include: dining room, lounge, bar and dance floor, gift shop, sun deck with deckchairs, and free WiFi on board. Also included: central heating, air conditioning, 220V electricity, radar, and radiophone.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Best Western Hotel Moderne
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Hotel Moderne has a combination of charm, comfort and tradition. You will appreciate the excellent services including a lounge bar, a sauna and a conference room. The hotel is ideally situated less than 2 minutes from the Caen's historic centre and the harbour. Explore William the Conqueror's city at your own pace : the Abbey of St. Etienne (Men's Abbey) and William's grave, the ladies' Abbey and Mathilde's grave. Departing from the hotel you can take a leisurely stroll around the pedestrian streets in the town centre where you can find the department stores (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps...), the theatre and the cinema. Nearby, the picturesque district of Le Vaugueux and its numerous restaurants, invites you in a small greedy escape in the Norman flavors.
  Contact info: 116, boulevard du Maréchal-Leclerc
Caen,  14000 France
phone: +33 (#)2 31 86 04 23
  Room amenities: Telephone, Free wifi access, Flatscreen television with satellite channels, Minibar, Safety deposit box, Bathroom with bath, hairdryer, separate toilet.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safe, Baggage Storage, All Spaces Non-Smoking (Public and Private), Air Conditioning, Sauna, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Fax/Photocopying, Concierge Service, Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins at the welcome orientation at the Paris hotel. You will be staying at Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast with a transfer from the Bayeux hotel to Charles de Gaulle airport. You will be staying at Best Western Hotel Moderne the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Buses, taxis, and trains are available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest city or town:  Gonesse
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle Airport
  Transportation to site: Arrival transfers are organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Specific details will be provided approximately five weeks prior to the program start date, after all flights are confirmed. Independent travelers may take a taxi directly to the hotel or take one of the Air France buses. Tickets can be purchased by anyone regardless of airline. Paris Shuttle, a third party service, offers discounted shared shuttle and private transfer rates to Road Scholar participants. The rate they offer is about 10% discount off their published rate. By using the web link below, you can take advantage of these rates and book your transfer for arrival in or departure from Paris. You will need to pay in advance with a credit card to confirm reservations and print your own voucher.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Caen
  Nearest city or town:  Bayeux
  Nearest highway: A13 and A84. A13 is a toll-road while the A84 is a toll-free motorway.
  Nearest airport:  Caen-Carpiquet Airport
  Transportation from site: An early morning group departure transfer is organized for all participants from Bayeux to Charles de Gaulle airport on Day 14, and will scheduled according to the departure time of Road Scholar air. Specific information will be available approximately five weeks prior to the program departure.
Elevation Note: 500 feet is the highest elevation.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures from the U.S.
(Tuesday, July 7)
 In Transit Overnight: International flight to France.

Day 2: Arrival and Welcome to Paris
(Wednesday, July 8)
 Morning: Arrivals at Charles de Gaulle airport and transfers to the program hotel in Paris. Please note that rooms are not generally available until early to mid-afternoon, so you should plan to drop off your luggage at the hotel and then take some time to explore Paris or relax and have a leisurely lunch (on your own). There are Paris maps available at the hotel, and your Group Leader and hotel staff will be present to provide recommendations and directions.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Check-in at hotel and have time to freshen up and relax before meeting for a welcome orientation and program briefing. We will gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in a nearby restaurant.
Accommodations: Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Montmartre / Paris Overview
(Thursday, July 9)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles on cobblestone and pavement. Montmartre is on a hill; there is some walking uphill at a leisurely pace.

 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart on foot to Montmartre to walk the winding streets of this “village." Montmartre and the Basilica of Sacré Coeur can be seen from many points in Paris. This butte (hillock) is a delightful area of village streets and steep stairways that suddenly rise from the Grands Boulevards. The Romano-Byzantine Basilica of the Sacred Heart dates to the late 1800’s. Nearby the Place du Tertre (Painters Square) is very popular with tourists and street artists vying for the chance to paint their portraits. Until the outbreak of World War II, La Butte remained the city’s artistic and literary center. We will later divide into teams and learn about Montmartre’s Bohemian history on a treasure hunt.
 Lunch: At a local Montmartre restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will go on a field trip by coach for an overview of Paris. This excursion will drive by the Opera, Place Vendôme, Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the Invalides, the Louvre Museum, The City Island and the Left Bank. Afterward, we will embark the river cruise ship.
 Dinner: Welcome and ship orientation followed by dinner on board.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Paris: L'Île de la Cité and Eiffel Tower
(Friday, July 10)

Note: Today's activities include use of the Paris Metro (subway) which has unavoidable stairs. Walking up to two miles on cobblestone and pavement, as well as walking and standing during visits.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: We will go on a field trip to the heart of the city, where Paris was founded, L'Île de la Cité. Discover the word's most famous cathedral, Notre Dame, as well as the stunning stained glass windows of the Sainte Chapelle.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Explore the iconic symbol of modern Paris, the famous Eiffel Tower. The tower was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the World's Fair that marked the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Discover the original machine room, tour the first floor control room and - bien sûr! - enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
 Dinner: On board.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Monet's Giverny
(Saturday, July 11)

Note: Today's activities include walking on pavement and gravel up to one mile.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Enjoy a lecture titled, “Impressionism and Claude Monet in Giverny." With your Study Leader, learn the basics of the Impressionism movement and its artists, while the ship navigates along the Seine.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Discover Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny and the stunning foiliage that inspired the great artist.
 Dinner: On board.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Historic Rouen
(Sunday, July 12)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing up to two miles on cobblestone and pavement.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Delight in a hands-on activity onboard to learn about French culture.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Explore historic Rouen, its magnificent gothic cathedral where Monet studied and painted the effects of changing light, and its famous medieval half-timbered houses. Stroll the cobble stone street of the Big Clock to the Old Market Square and the site where Joan of Arc was martyred.
 Dinner: On board.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening and perhaps walk over to the Rouen cathedral.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Caudebec and the Abbey of Saint Wandrille
(Monday, July 13)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing up to one mile.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Enjoy a hands-on activity to learn about French culture.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: A short distance from Caudebec, is Fontenelle Abbey, also called the Abbey of St. Wandrille. Hosted by one of the abbey’s monks, visit the monastery and learn the story of its founder, Wandregisel, or Saint Wandrille. Although much of the abbey has been rebuilt, the chapel of St. Saturnin remains standing on the hillside overlooking the abbey and is one of the oldest ecclesiastical structures still in existence. You may wish to attend mass and experience the Gregorian chants or return to Caudebec for free time.
 Dinner: On board.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Honfleur / Marine Museum
(Tuesday, July 14)

Note: Today's activities includ walking and standing up to two miles on cobblestone and pavement.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Enjoy unique architecture during a tour of historic Honfleur. Learn why this city has one of the few remaining all-wooden churches and the important role of this city in the settlement of New France.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: Learn how Honfleur’s history is tied to the sea at the Marine Museum, where model ships, paintings and objects depict daily life, business and crafts of the 18th and 19th centuries. Next, you may enjoy the atmosphere of the Old Port or visit the Eugène Boudin museum independently.
 Dinner: On board.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Seine Princess
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Disembark/ Bayeux Tapestry
(Wednesday, July 15)

Note: Today's activities includ walking and standing up to two miles on cobblestone and pavement.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Disembark the river cruise ship and depart by motorcoach to Bayeux. Examine the Bayeux Tapestry, a lively description of the Middle Ages that describes the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The tapestry is nearly 230 feet long and depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, culminating in the Battle of Hastings. The actual origins of the tapestry remain a mystery, but legend has it that William's wife Mathilda and her ladies-in-waiting embroidered it. Visit the museum using a personal audio guide and watch a film in English about the making of the Tapestry. Next, enjoy some free time in the heart of Bayeux's pedestrian area before continuing on to Omaha Beach.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Depart by coach to check-in at the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Moderne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Caen Memorial and D-Day Academy
(Thursday, July 16)

Note: Today's activities include riding in authentic WWII period vehicles can be somewhat bumpy depending on the terrain. Walking and standing up to two miles over the course of the day on paved and unpaved ground. Walking and standing in the museum.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Visit the Caen Memorial and Museum, where displays, films and exhibits tell the story of World War II and the D-Day Landing Beaches.
 Lunch: At the Caen Memorial.
 Afternoon: Meet instructors from the D-Day Academy to drive in WWII period vehicles. Through specially-designed workshops and hands-on experiences, gain insights to life during the war.
 Dinner: On your own.
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Moderne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Omaha Beach / American Cemetery / Point du Hoc
(Friday, July 17)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing up to two miles over the course of the day on paved and unpaved ground.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will go on a field trip to Omaha Beach and have an on-site lecture. The battle for Omaha Beach is brought to life through stories and experiential learning activities that include a treasure hunt and quiz, while traveling the length and breadth of the beach with a D-Day expert.
 Lunch: At a restaurant near Omaha Beach.
 Afternoon: Learn about the American Invasion forces at Pointe du Hoc, an iconic site in US military history, marking the western end of the Omaha beach sector and the point of attack by the United States Army Ranger Assault Group during Operation Overlord. At the American Cemetery, a wreath-laying ceremony pays tribute to fallen heroes. We will then return to Caen.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Moderne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Mont Saint Michel
(Saturday, July 18)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach, walking up to two miles on cobblestone and pavement. Mont Saint Michel is built on a hill, therefore there is some uphill walking and steps to arrive at the abbey.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a field trip to Mont Saint Michel, a place the locals call "le Mont" and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Perched on a small rocky island that is connected to the mainland at low tide, Mont Saint Michel is a Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel Michael dating from the Middle Ages.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach to return to Caen.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Moderne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Sainte-Mère-Église / Cotentin Peninsula
(Sunday, July 19)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing up to two miles on pavement and sand. Plan to wear shoes that can get wet if walking across the sand at low tide.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will take a field trip to Sainte-Mère-Église to learn the story of the paratrooper whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will take an excursion to the island of Tatihou, just opposite the port of Saint Vaast La Hougue and accessible on foot at low tide or by amphibious vehicle.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Moderne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Departures
(Monday, July 20)

Note: Transfer Caen to Charles de Gaulle is approximately 2.5 hours.

 Breakfast: At the hoel.
 In Transit: Transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport for return flights to the U.S. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

1066, The Year of the Conquest

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Built to Last

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Charlotte in Paris

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Claude & Camille, A Novel of Monet

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Description: You can practically smell the paint in Stephanie Cowell's lyrical novel -- peopled by not just Claude Monet and the love of his life, Camille, but also by his best friend Bazille, Renoir, Pissaro and Manet.

Culture Smart! France

Author: Barry Tomalin

Description: A concise and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.

D-Day June 6, 1944

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Description: Ambrose's riveting popular account of the climactic battle of WWII.

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Normandy

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Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions.

Eiffel's Tower

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Eyewitness Guide Family Paris

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Description: A compact illustrated guide in the popular series, with dozens of excellent local maps and a kid friendly focus, including child-friendly sleeping and eating options and age range suitability. Intended for parents with kids ages four to twelve.

France Adventure Map

Author: National Geographic Society

Description: One in the growing series of excellent maps, printed on water- and tear-resistant paper.

How Paris Became Paris, The Invention of the Modern City

Author: Joan Dejean

Description: A vibrant chronicle of how Parisian rulers transformed the city into a cosmopolitan metropolis.

In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art

Author: Sue Roe

Description: Beginning with the teenaged Pablo Picasso’s arrival in Montmartre in 1900, this multi-faceted biography takes on the extraordinary men and women, including Henri Matisse and Gertrude Stein, who transformed the European art world.

Joan of Arc

Author: Diane Stanley

Description: How did a simple, illiterate peasant girl rise to become a warrior and symbol for French national pride? In a well-researched and lovingly illustrated biography, Stanley explores the life of Joan of Arc for middle readers.

Joan of Arc

Author: Mary Gordon

Description: In elegant, insightful prose, novelist Gordon meditates on the courageous and complex young girl and the iconic status she has acquired.

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook

Author: Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet

Description: This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.

Lonely Planet Not for Parents Paris

Author: Lonely Planet Publications

Description: Jam-packed with photos, fun facts and goofy cartoons, this glossy guide is just the thing for eight-year-old travelers.

Monet, the Ultimate Impressionist

Author: Sylvie Patin

Description: A colorful pocket-size reference to Monet's life, paintings and contemporaries, perfect for those visiting Giverny.

Mont Saint Michel and Chartres

Author: Henry Brooks Adams

Description: First published at the turn of the century, this classic work is a meditation on the medieval world as reflected through its most famous religious structures.

Paris in Mind

Author: Jennifer Lee (Editor)

Description: With selections spanning 300 years, this wonderful anthology reflects America's long connection to Paris and the French. The 30 American writers tapped include Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and David Sedaris.

Paris to the Moon

Author: Adam Gopnik

Description: Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile.

The Family Under the Bridge

Author: Natalie Savage Carlson, Garth Williams (Illustrator)

Description: This Newbery Medal winning book for children ages 9-12 is a charming, wonderfully human story recounting the Parisian adventures of the hobo Armand and the three homeless children who make him shed his grumpy ways.

The Food of France

Author: Waverly Root

Description: An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south).

The Secret Life of the Seine

Author: Mort Rosenblum

Description: After losing his Paris apartment, Rosenblum, a born storyteller, takes to a houseboat moored on the Seine. The result is this entertaining tour of the places and people he encounters during his explorations along the river.

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