Wednesday Postcard: Nouméa, New Caledonia

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features Moselle Bay and the Cathedral in Nouméa, New Caledonia, the French overseas territory located in the South Pacific.

  • Nouméa Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Saint Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary
  • New Caledonia was discovered in 1774 by British explorer, James Cook, who thought the island looked like Scotland
  • In 1853, France annexed New Caledonia
  • France sent over 20,000 prisoners between 1864-1924 when New Caledonia was a penal colony
  • In 1946, New Caledonia was named an overseas territory of France
this postcard was printed in Berkeley, California!

In April 1974, the sender wrote to his sister to express his appreciation for her Easter wishes. He adds that he believes Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1926-2020) should be elected president. (He won by a margin of 1.6%, the closest presidential election in French history!)

I like how the postcard was originally printed in California, then sent from New Caledonia to France, and now that I have it, it’s back in California!

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care!

Wednesday Postcard: Bordeaux, France

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features four popular attractions in the port city of Bordeaux, located in the Gironde department of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwest France.

This undated postcard was produced by Cartes Postales Elcé (1981-1990)

Pont de pierre

This “stone” bridge over the Garonne River is actually made mainly of brick. Its design consists of 17 arches, which is said to represent the number of letters in the name, Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of France who commissioned the bridge.

Cathédrale-Primatiale Saint-André de Bordeaux

This Roman Catholic church is dedicated to St. Andrew and is one of the three main churches of Bordeaux that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

Porte d’Aquitaine

The arch is located on the Place de la Victoire, which is the entrance to the shopping area on Rue Sainte-Catherine.

Pont d’Aquitaine

This steel bridge over the Garonne River is the second-largest suspension bridge in France.

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shop or received from thoughtful family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care!

Wednesday Postcard: San Francisco’s Chinatown

Hello! This week’s postcard features the Dragon Gate in San Francisco’s Chinatown!

Photo: K. Glaser, Jr.
  • The Dragon Gate was completed in 1970
  • China donated 120 ceramic tiles depicting parts of Chinese history
  • Located on Grant Avenue and Bush Street, the arch marks the south entrance to San Francisco’s Chinatown

After our lovely lunch at Wayfare Tavern, my family and I took a stroll around nearby Chinatown.

Portsmouth Square Park with a view of the Transamerica Pyramid
“This marks the site of the first public school in California” (1848)
welcome to Portsmouth Square Park
Rack of San Francisco postcards at souvenir shop in Chinatown
one of many souvenir shops in Chinatown
Red lanterns and statue wearing face mask
spotted on Grant Avenue and Clay Street
a view of the Bay Bridge from the cable car tracks on Grant Avenue and California Street
across the street from this French bistro, you can see…
…the Dragon Gate!

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care!

Woman taking photograph of statue with her phone
Thanks to my dear husband for this “behind the scenes” snapshot 🙂

Wednesday Postcard: Tokyo’s 23 Special Wards

“Tokyo Calling” (srg-uk dotcom)

Hello! In honor of the 2020 Summer Olympics, this week’s postcard features the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan! I purchased the letterpress postcard from a stationery shop in Berkeley, California.

The special ward area is an administrative system which balances the responsibilities between the metropolitan government (who handles water, sewage, and firefighting services, for example) and the local ward governments (who handle issues, such as welfare, education, and housing.)

The 23 special wards of Tokyo are:

  1. Chiyoda
  2. Chūō
  3. Minato
  4. Shinjuku
  5. Bunkyō
  6. Taitō
  7. Sumida
  8. Kōtō
  9. Shinagawa
  10. Meguro
  11. Ōta
  12. Setagaya
  13. Shibuya
  14. Nakano
  15. Suginami
  16. Toshima
  17. Kita
  18. Arakawa
  19. Itabashi
  20. Nerima
  21. Adachi
  22. Katsushika
  23. Edogawa
  • The world’s busiest intersection is located in Shibuya (13th ward)
  • The Olympic Stadium is located in Shinjuku (4th ward)
  • Ginza, the popular upscale shopping district, is located in Chūō (2nd ward)

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care!

Wednesday Postcard: Sea Otter in Monterey Bay

a sea otter in Monterey Bay

Hello! This week’s carte postale features a sea otter swimming in Monterey Bay! In 2015, my family and I got to watch sea otters swim and play at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

In a previous Wednesday Postcard post featuring Cannery Row in Monterey, I had mentioned that I’d love to visit the central coast city again once it’s been deemed safe to travel. The State of California officially reopened on June 15, 2021, so my family and I decided to visit Monterey last Saturday!

Driving south along Highway 1 (California State Route 1), you know you’re getting closer to Monterey when you start to see sand dunes in the aptly-named town of Sand City.

Sand City | June 26, 2021

Face masks are still required here.

Monterey | June 26, 2021

My younger daughter was more than happy to pilot the paddleboat we rented at El Estero Lake.

Monterey | June 26, 2021

In the middle of the lake, there’s a tiny island where pretty birds like to hang out.

Monterey | June 26, 2021

Dennis the Menace Playground includes an actual locomotive. Until 2012, children were allowed to play in it.

This low-rise building was built in 1843 to become the first French Consulate in Mexican Alta California. Today, it’s the Monterey Visitors Center.

Monterey | June 26, 2021

Although the pieces were small (and pricey), I couldn’t resist trying the rose-flavored Turkish delight and the traditional honey and pistachio baklava by Troya, a small shop on Cannery Row.

A serene scene in Monterey Bay…

sailboat in Monterey Bay
Monterey | June 26, 2021

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care!

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)

If you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday Postcard: Chéticamp, Nova Scotia, Canada

St. Peter’s Church | Photo by P.J. Wall

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features St. Peter’s Church, located on the west coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada.

St. Peter’s Church, or Paroisse Saint-Pierre, was built in 1893 using the design by Québec City architect, David Ouellet (1844-1915). The church is one of only a few stone churches on Cape Breton Island. It is also culturally valued for its central role in the spiritual life of the French Acadian Catholic community in Chéticamp.

My childhood penpal from Nova Scotia sent me this postcard in 1989 from Chéticamp, where she spent summers with her family. She and I share the same first name, as well as a deep admiration for Canadian musician, Corey Hart! In fact, we met through his fan club called “Shades” — a reference to his 1984 hit song, “Sunglasses at Night.” 😎 By the way, his latest song, “Morning Sun” was released in May 2021. Listen:

For more information:

Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Visit Chéticamp

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care!

Wednesday Postcard: “La liseuse”

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features “La liseuse” (The Reader) by French painter, Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905).

Apart from the beautiful image of a woman reading in the nude, the model’s bright red hair caught my eye as I spotted the linen postcard at a local antique shop.

The caption on the back of the undated postcard seems to indicate that it was printed in 1981 or prior since the original painting was part of the Louvre’s collection from 1909-1981. Until 2016, the oil-on-canvas painting was at the Musée d’Orsay.

Speaking of Musée d’Orsay, its current director, Laurence des Cars was recently appointed as the new president-director of the Louvre beginning September 2021 — the first time it will be headed by a woman!

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to travel freely again, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the Musée d’Orsay and/or the Louvre, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care!

Wednesday Postcard: Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral in France

©️ 2018 Caroline Tintinger

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral in Clermont-Ferrand, which is located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeast-central France.

Clermont-Ferrand used to be two separate towns. Montferrand was founded in the 12th century and was united with Clermont in 1630 by the edict of Troyes.

Construction on the cathedral began in 1248. It was built using volcanic stone from Volvic (same source as the mineral water)! It was completed in 1884 when its spires were installed.

The postcard is part of a set I purchased online. Each postcard features a photograph from the Clermont-Ferrand area taken by Caroline Tintinger. I’ve previously shared her postcard of Royat, France. (You can see more of Caroline’s postcards at her Etsy shop here.)

For more information:

Clermont Auvergne Tourisme

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!

Wednesday Postcard: The Exploratorium in San Francisco

©️1983 The Exploratorium

Hello! This week’s postcard features “Words and Colors” from the Illusions and Other Surprises Postcard Exhibit at The Exploratorium, San Francisco’s Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception.

Instructions:

“Read this card aloud — but rather than reading the words, say the color of ink that was used to write each word. It’s not easy; the written words have a surprisingly strong influence over the actual color. The Exploratorium’s Language exhibits let you explore some of the patterns of meaning you make with words, sounds, and symbols.”

San Francisco (2017)

I enjoy visiting museums and I’m glad to see many of them gradually reopening after being closed since the pandemic began.

From 1969 to 2012, the Exploratorium was located at the Palace of Fine Arts. In April 2013, it opened its doors at its new location: Fisherman’s Wharf at Piers 15 and 17.

The Exploratorium is a popular school field trip destination, too! I went as an elementary school student, and in recent years, my daughters have gone there with their classes. I was even a chaperone for one of their field trips to the interactive museum.

There are hundreds of educational, entertaining, and hands-on exhibits at the Exploratorium. My favorites include:

  • Sip of Conflict (video)

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!

Wednesday Postcard: Alaska

Photo: M. Hage

Hello! This week’s carte postale arrived in my mailbox yesterday (April 6, 2021). It’s a promotional postcard from TravelAlaska.com (if you live in the United States, maybe you got one, too?)

It’s the third sign in recent weeks that appears to be telling me: visit Alaska!

The first sign was a couple of weeks ago when I was flipping through channels and a program caught my attention. It was a documentary about the subsistence lifestyle of Native Alaskans living near Kotzebue.

Currently, I’m enjoying season 14 of the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” which happens to be taking place in Alaska, where seven teams compete to see who can sell the most food. They do this against a natural backdrop of beautiful, snow capped mountains!

In addition to making their signature dishes, the teams complete challenges, like deep-sea fishing for giant salmon, panning for gold, and hunting for chaga mushrooms. (It’s down to two teams: Breakfast for Dinner and Tasty Balls. The champion will be named next week in Fairbanks and will win a cash prize.)

I’ve always wondered how certain destinations become THE top travel spot. A few years ago, it was all about Portugal. Then it seemed everyone was going to Iceland. Suddenly, Thailand was the place to be!

Is there someone in the travel industry who decides this stuff? If so, how do they choose? Do they spin the globe and point to a spot? Throw a dart on a world map?

Because if it were based on the number of visitors alone, then France would take the top spot every year. It’s the most visited country on the planet! According to the World Economic Forum, nearly 90 million people visited France in 2018. (I was one of them!)

But if we keep seeing Alaska on our screens and in our mailboxes, maybe we’ll be tempted to head to “The Last Frontier” when the pandemic is over and it’ll become a top travel spot!

Have you been to Alaska? What are your travel plans post-pandemic? Tell me in the comments below!

Over the years, I have accumulated hundreds of postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!

Wednesday Postcard: Cannes, France

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features the city of Cannes, located in the South of France. My cousin went on a cruise in 2010 and she sent me this postcard during a port call in Cannes.

The postcard features the world famous boulevard called La Croisette that’s lined with palm trees, luxury shops, restaurants, and grand hotels.

The circular building is the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes, which is the venue for the Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes).

American director, screenwriter, and actor, Spike Lee will be the President of the Jury for the 74th edition of Festival de Cannes, which will be held July 6 – 17, 2021.

Over the years, I have accumulated about two hundred postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so again, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!

Wednesday Postcard: Le Loiret, France

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features « Les merveilles des bords de Loire » or “the wonders of the Loire River banks.”

The Loire is the longest river in France. It’s about 625 miles/ 1006 km long.

This postcard specifically features the Loiret tributary (which is about 12 km/ 7 miles in length) and the castles and bridges in the cities of Beaugency, Meung-sur-Loire, Orléans, Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, Sully-sur-Loire, Gien, Briare, Châtillon-sur-Loire, Jargeau, and Montargis.

Joan of Arc led the French army to victory when the English lifted the siege of Orléans in 1429 during the Hundred Years’ War.

Postmarked 1979

On a personal note, during round trips between Paris and Montluçon, my train stopped in Orléans. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything as they were brief stops at night!

Over the years, I have accumulated about two hundred postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!

Wednesday Postcard: Palais Garnier in Paris

Photo: Albert MONIER

Postmarked: 1971

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features Palais Garnier in Paris. It’s also known as Opéra Garnier, or simply L’Opéra.

It was built from 1861 to 1875 by architect, Charles Garnier (he also contributed to the design of the thermal baths and the casino in Vittel, France!)

Google Arts & Culture features a virtual tour of the Palais Garnier – Perfect for these socially-distanced times!

The gorgeous opera house can also be seen in the following popular films and television shows:

Emily in Paris:

Find Me in Paris:

Leap! (aka Ballerina):

Phantom of the Opera (“All I Ask of You”)

YouTube videos | All rights reserved.

Over the years, I have accumulated about two hundred postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!

Wednesday Postcard: New Orleans, Louisiana

[Updated February 2021]

LaBranche House in the French Quarter

Bonjour! This week’s postcard features the LaBranche House in the French Quarter in New Orleans! I bought the postcard from a shop at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) during a brief layover.

The house was built by Jean Baptiste LaBranche in 1832. It has one of the largest and most photographed balconies in the French Quarter. It’s 6,700 sq feet and has 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.

Next Tuesday, February 16, 2021 is Mardi Gras! Unfortunately, Mardi Gras 2021 parades in New Orleans have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Over the years, I have accumulated about two hundred postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!

If you enjoyed this postcard, you may be interested in reading my post about beignets.

Wednesday Postcard: U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC

This week’s postcard features the inner dome and canopy over the Rotunda in the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.

Photo by Architect of the Capitol

View from the Capitol Reflecting Pool (March 2008)

Dome Restoration Project (September 2015)

The Dome Restoration Project began in 2013 and was completed in November 2016, at a cost of $59.5 million.

View of the Canadian Embassy & U.S. Capitol from Newseum terrace (May 2017)

When I went to DC in 1998, I went to the White House Visitor Center, waited in line, and picked up a timed tour pass for the White House the following day! After 9/11, however, tours had to be arranged through a member of Congress.

In September 2015, my mom and I took a trip to Washington, DC. I recall writing to my congressperson weeks in advance to request tour passes for both the White House and the U.S. Capitol.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to tour the “People’s House” as it was fully booked for the days my mom and I would be in DC. The good news was that we got a tour reservation for the Capitol!

Capitol Tour reservation confirmation

The bad news was that the weather proved to be too draining; we were exhausted before we even got to the Capitol! While we knew it would be warm, we didn’t think that it would be hot and humid with 90° temperatures!

We decided to skip the 45-minute walking tour. Instead, we went to the visitor center and the gift shop (where I got the postcard above)!

We were thankful for the Capitol’s air-conditioned cafeteria, where we sought refuge from the swelter, as well as a quick lunch.

I read the heat advisory while sitting in the cool cafeteria!

U.S. Capitol attack

On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed and vandalized the U.S. Capitol to protest the 2020 election results. The protest turned into a riot that killed five people, including a police officer.

Inauguration Site

Two weeks later, on January 20, 2021, the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was held on the west facing side of the U.S. Capitol.

With the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth inauguration (which was held at the White House in 1945), the inauguration ceremonies were held on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol until 1977.

For more information, visit National Park Service – United States Capitol.

Over the years, I have accumulated about two hundred postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!

I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams (when it’s safe to do so, of course!)

And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, stay well!