Amicalement + Farewell & How To Say Goodbye in French
Poem + The French word that looks like Hate, but has a totally different meaning

Back in France and a Writing Tip

My darling niece and nephew, in Puerto Vallarta.

If I were to give one tip to an aspiring writer, it might be this: keep it simple! I will try to exercise this astuce now, having returned from Mexico to share about the rich and multifaceted visit with my family!


    : keep it simple

Improve your spoken French with Exercises in French Phonetics
Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word & example sentence:
Download MP3 or Wav file

Rester simple, c'est une des règles de vie que mon beau père m'a transmis.
Keep it simple, it's one of the life rules that my stepfather gave to me.

Mas-de-perdrix-rental-provence-franceMAS DE LA PERDRIX
The perfect home to rent in France. Celebrate special occasions with family, friends. Click here.


    by Kristi Espinasse

"Home, now, from Mexico"

If I tossed and turned in my bed last night, it was owing to something I had forgotten to do--something our Mom used to do for us as children: nous border dans notre lit or tuck us into bed.

Without my sheets and blankets pinned down, I was loosed, last night, in a stormy sea of sheets, hit, now and again, by a chilling draft coming in from the bottom and the sides of the bed. Adding to the commotion was a looming confusion: Mexico, France, Mexico...France.... And who is that holding me?

No, I am in France! I realized, waking this morning to my husband's embrace, and to shuttered windows,  rays of light streaming in across the red floor tiles. They might have been my mom's shiny terracotta, across which I rolled my valise, now filled only with memories. Some of my favorites were these:

The scene you see at the opening of this post
That's my niece, Reagan, and my nephew, Payne, bounding into the ocean. Their enthusiasm is a gift I have taken home with me!

The Welcome Crew at the Airport
Otherwise known as "Mom, John, and Breezy" (their 9-year-old bichon frise). After 24 hours of travel (Marseille-Madrid-Mexico City-Puerto Vallarta), these familiar, smiling faces were embracing! 

John. My sister, Heidi, took this photo of our beau-père.

           Mom at the bookstore "A Page in the Sun"

The Last Lion
Whether hiking up and down the cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta (stopping to shake her bootie during a live outdoor Zumba class), or rushing to the golf course, where we might "borrow" one of the golf carts and freewheel across the field.... my Mom was her usual spirited self. She rested for a day, in between each of these escapades. Please pray for her as she may need a few surgeries in the coming months, including a hip replacement. You sure wouldn't know it, would you! 

My Sister Heidi
Who shared everything in her trousse de toilette with me and always had ideas about where to go and what to see! But I am not as adventurous...and when she mentioned ziplining (scaling the Mexican treetops via a cord) I backed out! More about Heidi, here.


Meeting So Many Endearing Characters
Including the piano man, above, and Kim, Hilda, Adriana, Lourdes, Sahil, Sam, Chuck, and the stranger in the airport bathroom (a 6ft tall black goddess in full lycra with waist-length hair and Kim Kardishan's derriere) who, seeing me struggle to squeeze dried toothpaste onto my toothbrush, offered me her dentifrice. Just when you feel invisible in a sea of strangers, a solid manifestation of kindness smacks you in the face, like a peppermint kiss.

With that I will end this little photo essay - keeping my writing vow to rester simple. Wishing you all a lovely rest-of-the week. And many thanks for reading.




                              Heidi, Reagan, Payne, and me

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YOUR AD HERE. Place an ad in the French Word-A-Day newsletter. Click here.


Touching down in Marseilles last night. More photos from my trip, click here.

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So happy to see your name in my inbox this morning! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip with family! I wish your Mom good health. She and John look so great, enjoying life! I'll "rester simple" and say "welcome home!." Is that 'bienvenu chez vous"?

Our French oasis

Looks like a fabulous trip and just the thing to escape the remnants to winter! I learnt something new today reading this - I never new that beau père means both father in law and stepfather, not having a stepfather, I don't think it is a word I have ever used in French (strange I know). How confusing this must be!


Je suis d'accord de Judi. Bon courage à votre mère! Et aussi, bienvenue chez vous, chère Kristi.😍

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Welcome home. I've been aware (and concerned) of Jules' absence. Holding you all up in prayer.

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Glad to know you all had so much fun!


Looks like you had a wonderful visit with your family, Kristi! I have been wondering about Jules as of late, and will most certainly keep her in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos and uplifting stories with us. They always bring a smile to my face. :)

Marie Fagnou

Bonjour et bienvenue!
Welcome back home!
All the best to your Mom .
Thanks for sharing your family holiday.


Hello, glad you have a nice trip and visit with your family. Hope all goes well with your mom. A coworker just had his second hip replacement in the last 5 months and is recovering fine. They get you up hours later to start moving. Gone are the days of laying in bed to recover. He says he feels like a new man. He is walking better noticeably without pain for sure. Good luck to her!!!

I understand you not wanting to zip through the air. I am adventurous, but that's crossing the line.

Hope this writing tip means you are thinking of writing a book. I now write everyday about topics that just enter my head throughout the day. Having to write papers in class again has fueled that.

Take care and relax after a long journey.


Happy to see your post today. Missed it. And very happy you had a good trip and arrived home safely I had both hips replaced in 2009. Most people wait until they cannot take the pain any longer. Tell her to get it done as soon as she can - the longer you wait the more if effects other parts of your body to say nothing of your attitude.

Karen Cafarella

Welcome Home! Looks like you had a great time. Everyone looks great!


Joan L.

Glad to know you are back. I wanted Kristi and Jackie to know that I downloaded a post in 2011 where Jackie explained "Ma Routine" and asked the question "Pourquoi mes parents ne veulent-ils pas que je me maquille?" I use this post to reinforce a unit on reflexive verbs for my French II students at Bishop McNamara Catholic High School in Kankakee, IL. I've generated a vocab list for it, and students are taking a quiz on the post Friday. I hope Jackie doesn't mind. Thank you both for the original post and for your continuing posts, which for me, are a little escape from reality in March. Joan.

Joanne Ablan

Connecting with family is the best! You are so
very fortunate to be able to embrace them and
they you! Joanne


Our dear Kristi,
So happy you are home and so happy to read your wonderful words again!Our week just isn't the same without them!
Such a joyful trip with your beautiful family!
Being together with loved ones gives life such special sweetness!
Will keep dear Jules in my prayers.Especially proud of her for taking care of herself with what she has to do for her health.
Not easy,to be sure,and takes courage.What an example she is for all of us!(as are her daughters!)
Natalia. xo


Adieu, Kristin. Wishing you the best.
Debbie in Tennessee

Leslie NYC

I love how fearless and happy you sister's kids and, come to think of it, your sister all look!
The photo of the man at the coffee bar is beautiful. There is a lot of life in that man's back.
Thanks for the sage words about writing.
I will remember them.
Wishing your mom a great surgery.

Stacy - Sweet Life Farm

Welcome home dear Kristi!

Delighted to hear you were so richly rewarded for stepping out of the comforts of home. I was feeling the enthusiasm and joy of your adorable niece and handsome nephew which was evident in your pictures and video. Your ziplining comment sure brought a laugh. I mentioned a visit to PV to a friend and she encouraged me to be sure and do the zipline if I visited. I thought zipline? No way!

I will keep Jules in my prayers. My mom had a hip replacement a year and a half ago and it gave her her life back. I enjoyed following along on your trip via your pictures and posts, what a beautiful family you have. How wonderful to be back home with all these treasured memories in your heart.


Great post Kristi! Looks like you had a beautiful visit with your family. I will keep you mom in my prayers!

Patricia Sands

Bienvenue! Thanks for taking us along on your lovely family adventure! Enjoy the wealth of lasting memories you all had such fun making together.

Cynthia Lewis

Thanks ever so much for sharing your reunion along with your beautiful pictures. I,too, was very happy to see the photo of your lovely mother, Jules. I have missed her and send her my best wishes.


Dear Kristin: What a joyful visit you must have had, and thanks ever so much for sharing. To have your wonderful messages each day is a blessing. A la prochaine, Viv

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