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: 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: 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: NYE 2021 in San Francisco

a mural along Highway 101

After being indoors for most of 2020, I just had to get out and go somewhere beyond the mailbox or the grocery store! I also wanted to do something special to ring in the new year since fireworks were cancelled. So, to feed two birds with one scone, my family and I decided to go to San Francisco!

Normally, we’d take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) or the ferry into The City because finding parking there can be challenging. But this time, we decided to go by car to limit exposure.

Since we hadn’t crossed the Bay Bridge in almost a year, we were surprised to learn that there were no toll collectors. You either use FasTrak (the Bay Area’s electronic-toll taking system) or they snap a pic of your vehicle’s license plate and send you a bill.

How efficient! There was no usual backup on the approach to the Bay Bridge either. Not sure if it was due to it being New Year’s Eve or because of no-stopping at the toll booth! Either way, it was much appreciated. I figure we saved at least 10 minutes of driving.

Here are some of the places we visited (or drove by while I took pictures from the passenger side):

Haight-Ashbury District

In the summer of 1967 (“Summer of Love”), thousands of young people gathered in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco. Because they believed in peace, love, psychedelic drugs, nature, communal living, and rock ‘n roll, they were called “hippies” or “flower children” (scornfully or affectionately, depending on whom you asked!) 🌼

For 43 years, the district was also home to the Haight-Ashbury T-Shirts store. Sadly, it suffered financially due to the pandemic and had to close on December 31, 2020.

On the last day, everything was 50% off: vintage-looking (reproduced) shirts with popular ’60s bands on them, minor league baseball shirts, and tie-dye shirts. Some postcards were even complimentary. Right on! ☮️

Which brings me to… This week’s postcard featuring (you guessed it): the Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco!

Images: A. McKinney/K. Glaser, Jr.

On the left are images from one of the annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fairs. On the right is a sidewalk memorial for Jerry Garcia (1942-1995) of the American rock band, Grateful Dead. In the late ’60s, members of the band lived on 710 Ashbury Street.

“We will get by. We will survive.” – from Touch of Grey by Grateful Dead 🎶

Now that’s the right attitude going into the new year!

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

Quelle heure est-il ? It’s always 4:20 here 🙂

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Piedmont Boutique

Piedmont Boutique is not only a costume shop, it’s an institution. After nine years in the Castro, they moved to Haight-Ashbury in 1981. You can’t miss it: the fabulous gams that dangle provocatively from the window above the shop is an attraction in itself:

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

Just an idea: if they painted the soles red, they’d look just like Louboutins!

Cliff House

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

In 1864, Mark Twain was quoted as saying, “If one tires of the drudgeries and scenes of the city, and would breathe the fresh air of the sea, let him take the cars and omnibuses, or, better still, a buggy and pleasant steed, and, ere, the sea breeze sets in, glide out to the Cliff House…”

In 1879, two years after his presidential term ended, Ulysses S. Grant visited Cliff House and reportedly used a telephone there for the first time.

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

The structure shown here is not the original Cliff House restaurant from 1863. It was destroyed by fire, rebuilt, destroyed again, and rebuilt again in the same location. This Cliff House was built in 2003.

Unfortunately, the owners of Cliff House and the National Park Service weren’t able to reach a contract agreement before the end of 2020. As a result, the landmark restaurant had to close its doors.

On December 31, 2020, the public was invited to watch the removal of the letters spelling out “Cliff House.” By the time we drove by, though, all we could see was the sign’s frame.

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is the largest German church in California. It was dedicated in 1895 and cost $56,000 to build.

The name on the cornerstone, St. Markus Kirche, reflects the congregation’s German heritage.

San Francisco – December 31, 2020

We’re still under stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic, so we headed home well ahead of curfew.

Enjoy this 8-second video of the drive back to the East Bay from San Francisco:

My related posts about San Francisco

If you enjoyed this San Francisco postcard, check out my postcards from Alcatraz or City Lights Booksellers & Publishers or The Presidio.

Did you know that dozens of music videos were filmed in San Francisco? I was in one, too (check it out, just don’t blink!)

My “only-in-San Francisco” favorites include the annual Bay to Breakers foot race; the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District; a new rooftop park by Salesforce; a laundromat-café; Grace Cathedral’s solidarity concert after the Notre-Dame fire; and the Blue House that inspired a French song!

Over the years, I have accumulated over two hundred postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from 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!)

If you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there!

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, take care! ✌🏽+❤️

My Top 2 Wednesday Postcards of 2020

Bonjour! Well, it’s December 30, the final Wednesday of a most unusual year. To end on a positive note, I’d like to share a couple of Wednesday Postcards that got much love this year. 💕

Lisieux, France

Most Liked Wednesday Postcard of 2020

The undated postcard features the Basilica of Sainte-Thérèse in Lisieux, a commune in the Calvados department in the Normandy region located in northwestern France.

Berlin, Germany

Most Viewed Wednesday Postcard of 2020

The postcard features famous landmarks in the German capital: Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate); East Side Gallery; and the Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower) in Alexanderplatz.

I bought this postcard from the Thalia bookstore at the Alexa shopping center during my visit to Berlin earlier this year, before travel was restricted due to the pandemic.

Starting in January, I’ll be sharing a postcard every other Wednesday.

Be safe and stay healthy. “See” you in the new year.

Music Postcard: “Ma Normandie”

Congratulations to Amandine Petit (Miss Normandie) who was crowned Miss France 2021 last weekend (December 19, 2020)!

I couldn’t decide between Music Monday or Wednesday Postcard for this one, so for fun, here is a music postcard!

This undated postcard features the lyrics to the song, “Ma Normandie” written by poet and composer, Frédéric Bérat (1801-1855). It’s the unofficial regional anthem of Normandy, located in northwestern France.

Watch the lyric video:

« J’irai revoir ma Normandie,

C’est le pays qui m’a donné le jour. »

Translation:

“I will go see my Normandy,

It’s the country that gave birth to me.”

*music, lyrics, and video | all rights reserved*

See you next week! Joyeux Noël/Merry Christmas🎄

Wednesday Postcard: La Ferté-Bernard, France

Postmarked in 1971

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features the St. Julien Gate in La Ferté-Bernard, a commune in the Sarthe department in northwestern France.

  • The St. Julien Gate was built between 1460 and 1483
  • The Huisne (ween-NA) River runs through La Ferté-Bernard to Le Mans, where the famous sports car race is held

Video by Tourisme La Ferté-Bernard | 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! And if you’ve been to the destination featured, tell me about your experience there – I’d love to hear from you!