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  • Writer's pictureDiana Scalia

Return to La Rochelle Bliss

This last June, I spent an idyllic month in La Rochelle, known as the Atlantic Riviera, about 3.5 hours southwest of Paris. It was bright and sunny and, occasionally it thundered&lightning’d with pouring rain. It hosted two earthquakes. At times it was also scorchy hot.


I couldn’t help wonder what La Rochelle is like in the winter. Now, so very gratefully, I am here to find out.


I did love La Rochelle in the summer, and I love it now in the winter.


To begin, I get to see what it’s like to be out after dark! In the summer, it didn’t get dark until after 10:30pm, and I was usually at home and even asleep by then. Now it’s dark around 5:30pm and sometimes I’m still very much out at that hour. My first night here I took a walk in the rain to have dinner out, and I finally saw the lovely Harbor all lit up!  


My summer apartment was not available so I am in a new dwelling that is (also) extremely well-located to town and all points that I love, especially Le Marche’ – the grand daily Market – which is less than 5 minutes away. I can’t resist the treasure trove of amazing groceries there, so no surprise, I’ve been cooking and even snacking at home more than dining out.

Christmas is in the air, and I adore being on foreign soil to see what that’s like. There are Christmas Markets, one at the Harbor with artisan stalls (where I’ve yet to shop ;). Another is at the Carousel, for children, with lots of handmade wooden games to play. Little Renata and I spent glorious time there last week – see us there riding the upstairs carousel horsies, mm-hmm. Her parents dropped her with me while they Christmas shopped.


Heaven brought down to earth. Again.


Last weekend was intended for another visit from them and when the program changed – to my disappointment – I was consoled by splendid experiences that popped in. Suddenly I was quite happy, quite peacefully.

Near the Harbor, I had lunch on Friday (foto, right) and happened to meet a very handsome gentleman ... this would have been such a great story for my book, The Bump Clause! In the end I learned that he is married, very happy in life, and our exchange was simply a divine appointment ... to say bonjour, have a sweet coffee break together, and be a reminder to me that really great men are out there! That experience made my heart sing so happily, for the entire weekend.


On another high note, Saturday morning there was a pop-up street concert just near Le Marche’, and I arrived just in time to get a front-row viewing spot. I found myself almost in tears, feeling so entirely blessed on so many levels. I had just had a blast romancing merchants in the market to choose their finest offerings, my arms were full of fantastic groceries, and now this humble, loving band was gracing my morning with so much joy.


One band member in a bunny costume played a brass solo. Mama loved bunnies. My heart was overflowing.


It feels so good to be back in La Rochelle. I dream of making this town my home. Let’s see what happens.


Next up is Christmas weekend with little Renata and our beautiful French family ... starting with a birthday party Saturday night, for Renata (this week she has 5 years). Please stay tuned for news on that later on.


Until next time, here is wishing you and yours the most joyful and loving of Holidays. May your hours overflow with blessings and miracles named especially for you!

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