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Hiking the GR 10 – Basque Country

Yesterday, we started our hike on the French hiking trail called the GR 10. GR stands for Grande Randonnée, and the “10” is just one of many. The Grande Randonnée (French), Grote Routepaden or Lange-afstand-wandelpaden (Dutch), Grande Rota (Portuguese) or Gran Recorrido (Spanish) is a network of long-distance footpaths in Europe, mostly in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. In France alone, the trails cover approximately 60,000 kilometers (37,000 mi). The GR 10 is a classic mountain walk that crosses the Pyrenees. The main crest of the Pyrenees forms a massive divider between France and Spain from the Atlantic to […] Read more

The Saint-Tropez of Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot arrived in Saint-Tropez with her then husband, the director Roger Vadim, to film ‘And God Created Woman’ in 1956, and transformed the peaceful fishing village overnight into a sizzling jet-set hotspot. Many celebrities had visited St Tropez: Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn and Greta Garbo all sipped cocktails at the starry club Aioli. But none had transformational impact of Brigitte. She had fallen in love with what she called “it’s genuine charms… the mulberry trees, the sheep grazing in the scrubland; the mighty farmhouses smothered with bougainvillea which belonged to the wine producers, their vaulted cellars filled with […] Read more

French School Graduation

French school graduation: 4 weeks of French language school are in the books. The time has flown by. Do we know more than when we came? Bien sûr. (Of course.) Are we close to being fluent, or even to speaking comfortably in public? Mais non! (Of course not!) We do highly recommend immersion school as second step to learning a language.  I had a semester of French in college (il y a 30 ans – 30 years ago; yikes), and I gained a foundation that Mark feels would have been very helpful for him to have learned before coming to […] Read more

The halfway mark, Nice and The Rothschild Gardens

Two weeks down and two to go at French school. We’ve finally gotten past “Je m’appelle Shauna. Je suis Américaine.”  We’ve actually learned some simple past tense (passé composé) and future tense (futur proche). Some of you have asked what our classes are like. We each have ten students (Mark is in Debutante 1 and I am in Debutante 2). There are also 4 intermediate classes and 2 advanced classes. Most of our classes consisted of being asked: if/where/how/when/with whom/why we did something (last night or last weekend) or are going to do something (tomorrow or next week). Then we […] Read more

Air kissing in France, and a few other tidbits

The original title of my post was going to be T.G.I.V. (Friday in French is Vendredi 🙂 But I obviously didn’t get this posted in time for that. This past week was as tiring as our recent cycling trip, just in a different way. We took Saturday completely off; now we’re taking a break from our Sunday studying. French school is, in a word, HUMBLING. The phrase ‘drinking out a fire hydrant’ also comes to mind. But…we do feel we’ve learned a lot already. Of course, when you know next to nothing, your rate of learning is pretty high. The […] Read more


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Mark & Shauna Trieb

We’re Mark and Shauna Trieb and we live in Dallas, Texas. We are actuaries-turned-adventurers and one of the truisms that guides us is: “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” So, we’re doing our best to see, meet, try, and inspire as many places, people, experiences and adventures, as we can during our one shot at life. Read More

Mark and Shauna Trieb are actuaries-turned-adventurers... Read More