Apartment Calvaire is a charming but elegant apartment located in an 18th century building in the 3rd arrondissement near the Picasso museum. In the famous Marais district, it's just north of the Place des Voges. The apartment has been tastefully decorated with antiques and art. There is a lovely living/dining room, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, and a separate laundry room. It is on the 5th floor with an elevator.

Famous French Crepes

1 1/3 c. whole milk
1 c. all purpose flour
3 large whole eggs
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Mix all ingredients in blender just until smooth. Cover batter and chill at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours. When you're ready to cook the crepes, spray a seven inch diameter nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium heat. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan and swirl to coat bottom. Cook until edge of crepe is light brown, about one minute. Loosen edges gently with spatula and carefully turn crepe over. Cook until bottom begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate. Cover, stacking each with paper towel so they won't stick together. Repeat with remaining batter, spraying pan with oil spray as needed. Makes about 20 crepes. Serve with topping desired, either hot or cold. If you desire you can make crepes a day ahead of serving, keeping them fresh by covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. Ideas for toppings: Traditional way to serve crepes is with butter and granulated sugar, but feel free to use your imagination and fill them with ham, cheese, fresh fruits, or whatever you desire. A fun Christmas dish is to use a red berry compote topped with a bright green sprig of mint from the garden. Bon Appetit!

Dear Friends,

Log onto our website and checkout the about us page to meet our staff. We are also proud to feature a new page sharing some of the glowing testimonials we've received from you.

Next year, we will introduce a new look for our site which will include some flash movies as well as music. In the meantime, we have been adding to our property listings: wonderful apartments in a palazzo in Florence, large Portuguese manor houses, chic Paris apartments and Tuscan villas.

On behalf of the VillaNet staff we wish you Happy Holidays!.

Emmanuel de Ricard, President

"Villa Marchese was more magnificent than we could have imagined. It was a perfect setting for our special occasion; we'd stay there again!" - MW, San Francisco, California

"We loved the villa. We appreciated the furnishing and felt like we were living history! We loved having Lidia cook two meals. Everything about the villa was fabulous. We are telling everyone about this wonderful place!" - KN, Edmonds, Washington

"The villa and the assistance from the villa management were above and beyond what we expected. Thank you for helping us make our wedding a spectacular and memorable event for us and our guests!" - KS, Geneva, Switzerland

Fire Proof Your Christmas Tree

2 cups Karo Syrup
2 ounces Liquid Chlorine Bleach
2 pinches Epsom Salts
one half tsp Borax detergent
one tsp Cleated Iron (garden store)
2 gallons hot water

Mix the solution in a bucket, stirring all ingredients into the hot water. Make a fresh cut on the bottom of your Christmas tree and place it in the bucket for 24 hours. Then when you get ready to trim your tree, place it in the decorative stand and fill with some of the remaining solution. Keep it full throughout the Christmas season. This not only helps to fireproof your tree but will keep the tree drinking and producing chlorophyll, making the green color stay bright.

Emmanuel is the heart and soul of VillaNet. Born and raised in Southern France, he has a deep-seated love of travel that makes him perfect to lead the company. When he was just 13 years old he spent a month in West Virginia in the U.S. as an exchange student. When his friend Michael reciprocated the following summer, the 2 boys backpacked for an entire month. After camping and staying in youth hostels in Paris, Germany, the French Alps, Italy, and Corsica, he was forever hooked on traveling the world!

He came back to the United States in 1989 to study business for 2 years at the University of Eau Claire in Wisconsin where he met his wife Cori. After several years of work and travel, they settled in Seattle. He immediately found a job as a Sales Agent at a company called Rent A Home International (which later became VillaNet). It was a perfect fit with his language skills, travel and business experience. The rest is history!

Emmanuel has always been excited about linking people with other cultures by sending them to properties that immerse them in local culture. He sees this as an emerging, growing trend not just for Americans but for an international market. His vision is to increase property choices, expand to other popular regions of the world, and yet keep the hands-on quality control of a small family business. Read more...

Managing Money In Europe

Traveling to a foreign country presents specific challenges as far as money. In Western Europe it's easy really, especially now that the Euro is the standard currency used. This means that you can cross borders from one country to another and use the same cash (very nice!). The United Kingdom is still an exception, where they use the British Pound, but rumor has it that they too will soon transfer to the Euro system.

It's very safe to meander through Europe, but Americans can become targets for pickpockets. Therefore I wear a money belt under my clothing. Here I keep my passport, driver's license, cash, Traveler's Cheques, ATM and credit card. You can purchase inexpensive security belts and body hugging bags at travel stores or check out www.savvytraveleredmonds.com.

Just as in the U.S., you'll find plenty of ATM's on street corners, at banks, in airports and train stations. You'll also find that most establishments in the larger cities and airports accept USD (United States Dollars) for purchases, but their rate of exchange is not as good as an ATM or bank. Therefore you may want to order some Euros from your local bank to get you started on your trip, and be sure and ask about free Traveler Cheques (most banks provide this courtesy to their regular customers).

Just a short note about tipping in Europe: the system of paying service people such as waiters, taxi drivers, porters, maids, and others is different there. The wages already include a tip so it's not necessary to tip on top of the invoice unless you are particularly delighted with the service.

Check your specific villa or apartment rental contract from VillaNet because some property owners require a cash security deposit at the time of arrival. You will need to pay this in Euros and get a receipt. Then at the time of departure they will return it to you, barring any damage. Also, any extra charges stipulated on the contract will need to be paid in cash. This may include telephone calls, utilities, final cleaning fee, or baby crib rental. Again, not all owners ask for this, but your contract will be clear.

-Kathy Hayes, Editor

VillaNet Vacation Villas and Apartments ( Copyright 2003 )
website: www.rentavilla.com email: info@rentavilla.com
phone: (800) 964-1891 fax: (206) 417-1832