Christian Dior Chateau

Christian Dior Chateau

Christian Dior Chateau

Montauroux, France

This elegant, old Chateau in Montauroux, France is the ideal getaway for a private, peaceful vacation with all the advantages of a resort nearby.

Reflection Pool

Reflection Pool

The property is a short drive to many quaint medieval villages that provide a unique opportunity for a pleasant day of exploring, and only one kilometer away from the lake of Lac St. Cassien which is the perfect place for a day of swimming, water sports, and even a picnic by the water. The property is also an easy drive to the French Riviera beaches or other water pursuits at Mandelieu la Napoule. The grounds include a heated swimming pool, a private tennis court, a small, 15th century, ivy covered chapel ideal for weddings and other ceremonies and spacious, beautiful grounds filled with exquisite gardens, a wonderful place for a quiet, early morning walk.

For a little laugh

Advice Squad: "A word to the wise isn't necessary. It's the stupid ones who need the advice."

- Bill Cosby



If you are preparing to travel outside your home country, one of the most important tasks you have to complete before your trip is to apply for a passport. A passport is the only universally accepted form of identification.

Entry & Departure Dates

Entry & Departure Dates

Passports have been around for hundreds of years. Governments learned long ago that an official document or certification, one that identified a traveler as a citizen or national, is a necessity. Passports, letters of transit, and similar documents were used for centuries, but the adoption of the passport by all nations is a development of the 19th and 20th centuries. Passports not only give the individual a right to travel out of their country to another, but give them a right to protection while abroad and a right to return to the country of their citizenship. In December of 1915 an executive order required every person entering or leaving the United States to have a valid passport.

In the United States, passports are issued upon application to U.S. citizens by the State Department and its 13 passport agencies in major cities. It is required for both departure from and re-entry to the United States. Every citizen who leaves the country must have a valid passport -- even babies. If you're 12 or under, you don't have to go with your parent to apply in person, but you'll still have to have your photo taken for your passport. It is valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for people under 18. A U.S. passport cannot simply be renewed but must be completely replaced when it expires.

The U.S. passport is a small 24 page book that contains a description of the bearer and an accompanying photograph that can be used for identification just about anywhere. 15 of the pages are to be stamped with entry and departure dates and information, as well as visas. 3 pages are for amendments and endorsements. The other pages contain a photo page with a nine digit passport number, effective dates and an official government stamp. There are also pages listing laws regarding passports, what to do if your passport is lost or stolen, emergency contact page, and a statement from the U.S. Secretary of State requesting that the bearer be allowed to "pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need, to give all lawful aid and protection." By the way, if you have problems on a trip, you can call the U.S. Embassy office in that country for assistance.

You should apply for your passport several months in advance of your planned departure, making sure you fill in the dates of your upcoming trip in the appropriate place on the application. If you'll need visas from foreign embassies (find out by checking foreign entry requirements for the country you'll visit) allow more time. As a rule, it takes about 25 business days to process your passport application and get the document sent to you.

The State Department gives the following instructions to those applying for a passport. Follow these steps and you'll have all your bases covered:

1. Complete application Form DSP-11 -- but DO NOT sign the form until you are instructed to do so by the passport agent. (As we mentioned, application forms can be obtained from any passport agency or acceptance facility during their posted hours of passport application acceptance, or by downloading the form from the State Department's website. In addition, some travel agents keep application forms on hand for their clients.)

2. Present proof of U.S. citizenship (NOT your voter's registration card, army discharge card or Social Security card, but one of the following):

  • Previous U.S. passport
  • Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state. (The way you'll know you have a certified birth certificate is that it has a registrar's raised, embossed, pressed or multicolored seal and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office.)
  • Consular report of birth abroad
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Certificate of citizenship

When you consider its importance and how long it lasts, a passport is a pretty good deal. For routine services for U.S. citizens, passports for adults 16 and older cost $60 and those age 15 and younger pay a total of $40.

When you receive your passport, make two copies of the identification page. Leave one copy at home with family and carry the other with you, hiding it apart from your passport. (I usually carry the original passport in a money belt under my clothing, put a copy in my suitcase, and leave one copy at home.) Then I don't worry about ever losing it!

Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock


Newsletter Editor: Kathy Hayes

Sitges Rambla

Sitges Promenade

Sitges, Spain

The delightful town of Sitges is an amazing find! Located just about 20 miles south of Barcelona, you'll be close enough to tour the amazing capitol city and yet far enough away to enjoy the charm and beauty of this lively resort town. Few resorts can boast the privileges of Sitges: a breathtaking landscape, seventeen golden beaches that stretch along 4 kilometers, a full and varied cultural life throughout the year and a busy festive calendar. And unlike many other Spanish coastal resorts Sitges has managed to retain a sense of history and charm, and the legacy of the artists who 'discovered' the town in the mid-19th Century is evident throughout.

The most popular feature that brings people back again and again is the long stretch of fabulous beaches. Lining the seafront for a length of 4 kilomenters, they begin with a nudist beach east of the church, pass through plenty of busy beaches around the center of town, with sun loungers and a variety of places to eat and drink, and offer some secluded areas to the west where you will find your own space in peace and quiet.

Narrow Streets of Sitges

Narrow Streets

The old town is much the same as it has always been, with narrow streets and typical Catalan architecture. Sitges' architectural heritage - the parish church, the Maricel Palace, the many 'American' houses (named after their owners who emigrated to Cuba in the 19th Century), and the town's museums are well worth seeing. Museu Romàntic celebrates the life of a wealthy 19th century family from Sitges, Museu Cau Ferrat features Picasso, El Greco and Santiago Rusiñol, and Museu Maricel brings you Spanish artifacts and antiques. You'll find lots and lots of shops and restaurants to enjoy, each with a local name because they're run by the town's merchants rather than being part of large international chains. The eating establishments offer many different European and world cuisines, as well as local Catalan and Spanish cooking. They most often feature seafood and are priced more reasonably than you'll find in most of Europe.

The weather in Sitges is lovely. The town boasts a micro-climate that often keeps it mild and dry even when it is raining in Barcelona, just a few minutes away.

We recommend that you take a day trip to the provincial capital of Barcelona, undoubtedly the most exciting, cosmopolitan and culturally vibrant city in Spain. There are far too many highlights to mention here, but amongst the wide range of attractions to visit are the Ramblas, the works of Gaudi the parks at Montjuïc and Tibidabo and the Picasso Museum.


It's barbecue time!

It's barbecue time!

Favorite Barbecue Sauce

This is a "tried and true" recipe I always use this time of year. Enjoy the summer weather and the outdoor get-togethers to go with it!

1 cup catsup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
½ cup water
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Let simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes enough sauce for basting 4 lbs loin back ribs. Excellent on chicken also!


Villa San Remy

Lovely & Spacious Villa Saint Remy

Villa Saint Remy

Saint Remy, Provence

Find all the pleasures of Provence at Villa Saint Remy which is ideally located near Saint Remy, in the heart of Provence near such charming towns as Les Beaux-de-Provence, Avignon, Arles and Nimes. The villa has been completely renovated and has a private outdoor swimming pool and can accommodate 8 to 10 guests with its four ensuite bedrooms. For those who enjoy walking, many paths surrounding the property will lead you to the top of the Alpilles, to Roman vestiges such as the Arc de Triomphe, and the town of Glanum. This is a perfect retreat for a family or four couples vacationing together. There's nothing more to do than to sit back and breath in the scents of Provence!

"Wonderful house, most helpful owners, good facilities".

- J A, Shropshire, United Kingdom

"We were very pleased with the Villa. Thanks for your ideas and suggestions. Our vacation in Provence proved to be "French Fabulous".

- G G B, Miami, Florida

"The house and the property were wonderful! It was a great experience that my husband and I won't soon forget!"

- N O, Miami, Florida

"Fantastic place, very friendly owner! Would go back again."

-R M, Louisville, Texas

"The owner was very helpful. A lovely house in a great location!"

- K J, Pickerington, Ohio


Emmanuel in Siena

In Siena

Dear Travelers and Friends,

It's good to feel summer here and know that with kids out of school a lot of you are now free to take your families and TRAVEL!  For those who are more spontaneous, check out our "specials section" where we have some good availability and bargains yet to be had.
By the way, we're delighted to share that many of our owners will honor their 2006 prices if you want to book now for 2007!

As you read the Travelogue on Spain this month, I'm sure you're anxious to visit beautiful Sitges.  And be watching the website because we're busy choosing some wonderful new properties In Barcelona to offer!

Thanks so much for your glowing testimonials and photos of your rental experiences with  And for those of you who are soon on your way to that special villa or apartment, have a wonderful time!

All the Best,

Emmanuel de Ricard, President

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