Goodbye, Partout 2017

In the great American tradition of year-end top-10 lists, Doris and Louis are saying goodbye to 2017 with our … top 5. Each. After all, 5 + 5 = 10 and, after being together non-stop for two and a half months, there has to be something we don’t negotiate.

We excluded destinations we visit because family members live there since nothing on earth could be better than being where your loved ones live, riiiiight? Travels that came too early in the year to make the newborn Partout counted.

Before the drumroll, we want to thank you all for coming along virtually and ask you to share your favorite experiences all over the place in 2017. It’s not all about us — really! Post a comment on the blog or on Facebook or email us with what you came up with from your own travels near and far.

Until then, without further ado….
drumroll 3

#5 for Louis: Sandpoint, Idaho
“Because of the friends I met and the beauty of the place and because I feel we have a home there. I like the weather and the different type of life. For the first time in a long, long, long time, I enjoyed the difference between a peaceful small town and a big city.”

That would be Sandpoint’s Lake Pend d’Oreille from Sandpoint’s Schweitzer ski mountain. The town nestles on the shoreline below.

#5: Doris – the Netherlands (beyond Groningen)
(since Groningen would violate the family exclusion)

To be honest, the Netherlands was never on Doris’s hit list until the Fuller3 moved there. However, familiarity is breeding affection. There really is something about all that Dutch gezellig. Whether it’s the Vermeer Museum of Delft, the cheese of Gouda, the canals of Amsterdam or the primates of Apenheul, there’s just a lot to discover and enjoy.

You just never know what (or who) you will come across in the Netherlands

#4 for Louis: California
We were nearly a month in California in the spring while the Sandpoint house was in its early stages of rehabilitation and uninhabitable in the process. Louis found the variety and experience of visiting San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the wild coast highway north of there all in one year, interesting and different.

North Coast
Driving north on Coast Highway 101. (Yes, water is a theme in Louis’s favorites.)

#4 for Doris: Paris at Christmas
With all its lights and many friends, Paris made it possible to experience the season more weightlessly than in the other Christmases since Natalie died. A nice relief that was also a sensory and social feast. And that’s all without factoring in the food.

Tour at night
Louis can’t get enough of water. Doris can’t get enough of the Eiffel out the window.

#3 for Louis: Paris
Louis says, “I feel a bit at home here. It’s within my culture and language. I like to shop for food in Paris — the displays, the knowledge of food, the conversations you have around it. It is different from anywhere in the world. And we spent time with friends, so we were able to share it all. In Paris, whatever weather it is, even in terrible weather, we still have places to go and so much to see.”

La Defense
La Defense on the horizon from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

#3 for Doris: Andalusia 
You probably have to go to Istanbul to find another European city where two great cultures and their art and architecture go back so far and have bloomed so intensely as they have in Andalusia. Throw in world-changing history, yummy regional food, good wine and sunny skies, and Southern Spain (visited twice in 2017 for nearly six weeks altogether) is hard to top.

Columbus may have died in poverty, but he is entombed in splendor in Seville

#2 for Louis: Lisbon
“Porque no?” It was a shock how different Lisbon was than what we expected. We were out every day exploring new neighborhoods. The hills, the access to the sea. Lisbon wasn’t bombed during the war so it is unchanged for a long time. Plus, there is a lot to see in towns nearby. And then there is the food and wine.

Portugal’s Manueline architecture was a constant source of discovery and pleasure

#2 for Doris: Lisbon
(looks like there’s a return trip cooking for Portugal)

Lisbon was the biggest surprise of the year’s many travels for Doris. Friends who had grown up in three different countries all agreed over dinner in Paris that Portugal’s profound impact as a colonial power and distinctive artistic and other traditions were largely overlooked in our childhood educations. Along with its welcoming locals, amazing octopus and great wines, this makes the country a discovery in a way few European countries remain at this point in our travels.

This is a postcard image but, yes, this is Lisbon

#1 for Louis: Andalusia
It’s endless what we can see and discover, in good weather, with good food.

Tales from the Alhambra still are being told

#1 for Doris: Sandpoint, Idaho
It may not be exotic, but Sandpoint’s natural beauty can hold its own with any place we visited in 2017 (see Louis’s photo above) and, for Doris, there was no place like home. Despite the rigors of remodeling and all the other complications, the nearly four months we spent settling into our future summer retreat, surrounded by near and dear friends and visited by faraway family and friends, could not be topped.

Processed with MOLDIV
Sandpoint has to be great. Louis still named it one of his top 5 after all this!

In the rearview mirror

Of course, nothing can top a family destination. 2017 was a rare year for Partout because we saw all our immediate family members in their homes in three countries on two continents.

  • St. Petersburg, Florida, to see Joelle and Chris
  • Montreal, Quebec, to see Antoine
  • Groningen, the Netherlands, to see Greg, Carole and Abby
  • Trinidad, California, to see Doris’s brother Rick and his wife Suzie

Coming soon: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Zanzibar, Serengeti, Nairobi, Mombasa, Sicily (and that’s before spring)

As if by magic, freshly plucked flowers appeared on the kitchen island in Sandpoint every morning, all the hard summer long



6 thoughts on “Goodbye, Partout 2017

  1. Some things are worth waiting for!! I have savored partout in my busy life thinking that I will sit and really enjoy the episodes together. And today, on a dreary end of February moment, seemed to be the right time…I loved your top 5 each and I loved that you agreed on many things within the top 5.

    I don’t think I could do a top 5 travel destination justice, but I can tell you one thing…Sandpoint is ON MY LIST of places to see…..


  2. Dear Doris and Louis,

    We wish a very happy and especially gezellig New Year with a continuing safe world journey.
    We hope to meet again in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy New Year to two of my favorite friends. Loved sharing your travels, Photos and commentary! You could outdo Rick Steves! We leave tomorrow for warm weather!!!😎


  4. One of the top 100 is the laugh I just had seeing Doris’s #1: Louis the Handiest Man.

    Even though you excluded family visits my numbers 1 through 5 are all in one sentence fragment:
    flying to Orick, California, moving into the sweetest, windowed-est, gorgeous-est VRBO for a Christmas with both kids — it’s been over 12 years.

    Let me see if I can stick a picture into this box:

    Nope. jUst believe me: Per & Arnica are fabulous creatures.

    Happy new year from the flowery fairy, Karen


  5. Dear Doris and Louis,
    I’ve so enjoyed your posts and travelling vicariously with you. I write this from the Eastern townships of Quebec where we have been celebrating the holidays with long-time friends. And this year, for the first time in a long time, all the children in our three families were able to be here with us. 17 adults young and older for wonderful dinners every night. The temperatures have never climbed above -20C, or as we like to say in Canada, feels like -32 with the windchill! Nevertheless, it’s been a warm and wonderful holiday! Much love to you both. All best wishes for the New Year! And I look forward to travelling with you via Partout.
    xoxo Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful picture you paint, Alison, of your holiday with family. Traveling is wonderful, but having everyone you love together at once is the best.

      As we sit here trying to decide whether to “brave” the 11C night to watch fireworks on the Champs Elysee, we are thinking of you and sending you warmest wishes for a happy and healthy 2018.

      Doris and Louis


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