How One Man Survived World War Two

Today’s blog marks the beginning of a series on the Nazi Occupation of France during World War Two. We’ll talk about how the Germans took France by storm and recount the personal stories of several French people still alive in 2023.  When I first met Mr. René Avril, I found a kind and gentle man—mostly deaf and blind—who’d lived a …

Finding Your Fairytale Adventure in a French Castle

I suspect many of us, at least in the Western world, grew up on fairytales. At one time or another, we imagined ourselves as the strong and courageous Cinderella whose prince came galloping in to save her from her evil stepmother and took her off to live happily ever after in his royal castle. Or perhaps you were King Arthur …

How Château De Lourmarin Redeemed the Past for Future Generations

In June, we learned that France boasts its share of castles. Some sources say forty-five thousand exist, eleven classified as historical monuments. That means if I wrote a blog a day on each one, it would take me a staggering 123 years to include them all! But don’t worry; I won’t subject you to the next ten years of blogs …

How the Palace of Versailles Has Has Played a Key Role in History

My daughter instigated my first visit to the Palace of Versailles in the summer of 2018. She’d known about its extraordinary role in history, heard about the spectacular gardens, and seen a feature film that took place there during the time of Marie Antoinette. Since we were already going to take a family vacation to Ireland and England, it would …

Why a 15th Century BC Biblical Site Took My Breath Away

I didn’t expect it. As my husband and I walked the path lined with olive trees and other native plants from the parking lot to the 1,000-meter (3280-foot) ridge at Mount Nebo in Jordan, I felt fortunate to visit the holy site. I stepped up to the platform overlooking the Jordan Valley with the Dead Sea and Hebron to my …

Why Some Historic Places Leave A Lasting Impression On Us

Have you ever visited a place that so staggered you that it had an indelible effect on your life? Some veterans and their families experience overwhelming tears when they visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Waikiki, Hawaii. Others feel that same emotional tug on their hearts when they see the 911 Memorial and Museum. Many who tour Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, …