Happy 2012!

By , January 18, 2012 10:16 pm

Happy New year!

For 2012, MeAndFrenchie would like to wish you all an amazing year full of adventures, discoveries and new experiences. It looks like this year will be a little quieter for us since we are back in San Francisco. However, travels and experiences will still be on our agenda since we are going to El Salvador and Guatemala in February!

Don’t forget to check out MeAndFrenchie in the upcoming days for new original content like:
– More French Summer pictures
– MeAndFrenchie are back to corporate America
– Moving back to incredible views of the city
– Night shooting with Occupy Wall Street
– How much money did we spend traveling for 13 months?

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Daveena & Ben Engagement Party

By , October 10, 2011 5:20 pm
Party

Party

And, we’re back!

After being on the road for 13 months and over 4 months in France, we are back in San Francisco. There are 2 reasons we came back that promptly.
– First, we found crazy cheap tickets. With Iceland Express, we got a Paris – Boston for $269.
– Second, our dear friend Ben was about to propose to his girlfriend Daveena, throwing a surprise engagement party.

Because of this, we quietly landed in America and surprised her for her engagement party. Here are a few photos.

Room Is Ready

Room Is Ready

Heart

Heart

Fried Shrimps

Fried Shrimps

Proposing Again

Proposing Again

Daveena

Daveena

Josh

Josh

Racoon Cakes

Racoon Cakes

Killing The Racoon!

Killing The Racoon!

Celebrating

Celebrating

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Missing French Couple in Bolivia

By , September 6, 2011 1:09 pm
Jérémie Bellanger and Fannie Blancho

Jérémie Bellanger and Fannie Blancho

On August 29th, 2010, MeAndFrenchie landed in South America for first time.  This was also the day two French travelers, Jérémie Bellanger, age 25, and his girlfriend Fannie Blancho, age 23, were reported missing in South America.

The story that circulated the news was that the French couple spent a night partying in the village of Guayaramerin in the North-East of Bolivia, close to the border of Brazil.  The couple were last seen leaving the party with Jaime Martinez, a Bolivian man known for several attempts of sexual assault. The next day, Jérémie came back to the guesthouse alone. He seemed very troubled and came to get something and left saying he was going to get Fannie.

The theory reported by the police is that Fannie was tied up and threatened. Jérémie was asked to go get money in order for her release.  During Jérémie’s absence, Fannie was raped and when Jérémie came back, a fight occurred and Jaime Martinez killed them both.

This is a rare tragedy that should not discourage you from traveling. However, always be aware of your surroundings wherever you are, especially in a new country. We were extremely touched by this story when it broke out last year, especially because we can easily relate to this couple.

On September 4th, 2011, a year after their disappearance, two bodies were found in this region of Bolivia and were suspected to be the bodies of the French couple.  It turned out not to be the bodies of Jérémie and Fannie.  Our hearts go out to their daughter, parents and family.

France: French Weddings Vs. American Weddings

By , July 4, 2011 10:22 am
Paparazzi

Paparazzi

While our original travel dates were until the end of June, our plans changed when my childhood friend, Benjamin, informed me that he was getting married at the end of April in Grenoble, France. It was wonderful news and I had to be there for it! Also, this was going to be MuiMui’s first French wedding and it turns out there are some differences between French weddings vs. American weddings.

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

French weddings vs. American weddings: A typical American wedding is made up of a civil or religious ceremony followed by a lunch or dinner reception, that may include some dancing. A typical French wedding on the other hand, starts with a civil ceremony at the Mairie (City Hall), and is followed by a religious ceremony (optional), then a vin d’honneur (mini cocktail reception), followed by a minimum 3 course meal, and then dancing.

Greeting The Bride

Greeting The Bride

The Groom

The Groom

The most noticeable difference is the time everybody goes home. In the few American weddings I have been to, celebrations ended at 9 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. (Las Vegas and Miami wedding). For Benjamin’s wedding in France, we went to bed at 5.30 a.m.! In a typical French wedding, people only stop celebrating when the groom and bride are done, which is usually between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Husband & Wife Leaving The Mairie (City Hall)

Husband & Wife Leaving The Mairie (City Hall)

The second difference in French weddings vs. American weddings is that French people tend to concentrate on having a fun time with all their friends and family while Americans try to have the most perfect and beautiful wedding possible. This leads to renting out a gorgeous venue, that is most likely expensive and explains why the place needs to be cleared out early.

Who Will Get The Garter?

Who Will Get The Garter?

Garter Winner

Garter Winner

Food wise, I found that it was as delicious in America as in France. Alcohol wise, France wins hands down. For instance, at this French wedding we had 2 aperitifs (starters), “Soupe de Champagne” (see below for Champagne Soup recipe) and punch. As I helped served drinks at the bar, I can tell that every guest had at least 4 glasses. Then during meals, a white wine is served to complement the appetizers and 2 additional red wines are served with the main dish. For dessert, there is an unlimited supply of Champagne.

Tipsy Groom

Tipsy Groom

One thing remains the same in French weddings vs. American weddings is that brides always look their most beautiful while the grooms look so-so. 😉 Congratulations Benjamin and Christel; we wish you a lifetime of happiness together.

Flower Girl & Boy

Flower Girl & Boy

Champagne soup has become one of our favorite drinks. It doesn’t only have to be for weddings so try it at your next dinner gathering. Enjoy!

Champagne Soup Recipe
Ingredients:
• 1 bottle of champagne (or sparkling white wine that has been kept cold)
• 1 ladle of triple sec (Giffard, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier)
• 1 ladle of lime juice (or lemon)
• 1 ladle of syrup of cane sugar
Directions:
• Simply mix in all the ingredients in a large serving bowl.
• Serve right away (cold) with a ladle.
Corset Back Wedding Dress

Corset Back Wedding Dress

Wedding Bouquet

Wedding Bouquet

Flower Girl

Flower Girl

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

France: A Friendly Horse In Our Garden

By , June 23, 2011 1:30 am
There Is A Horse In The Garden

There Is A Horse In The Garden

One of the many great things about living in the south of France is the random visitors we get in our garden. A few days ago, while MuiMui was in the living room and I was in the kitchen about to start cooking, I saw something trotting down the driveway. Then I immediately shouted, “MuiMui, come here right now! There is F***ing horse in the garden!”

While the horse is poking around, I grab the camera and we go to greet our visitor. The appeal of our garden is that whenever we have old bread, we chuck it outside for the animals. We imagined birds and maybe wild boars (yes!) would come and eat it, but never a horse as magnificent as this one. As we offer more bread to the horse, he approaches us without hesitation which tells us he is not wild.

Magnificent Horse

Magnificent Horse

Horse Eating Bread

Horse Eating Bread

After feeding him all the bread we have, the horse starts to sniff our flowers. Oh no! Then it runs wildly in the garden making a few full circles. MuiMui’s jaw drop at the sight of this and I go to call the police to see if anyone reported a missing horse. The police tell me they are sending someone to pick up the horse and maybe it was our body language that hinted it, but the horse trotted back up the driveway and onto the road for more adventures.

Yes, we live in the countryside, but even here, a horse doesn’t enter your garden everyday.

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

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