Who was Conrad Alexandre Gerard de Rayneval?

Good guess! But this isn't Conrad Alexandre Gerard de Rayneval

Yesterday was America's 235th birthday, with commemorative parades and fireworks held in towns and cities from coast to coast.  While we like to celebrate our independence from the British, we don't always remember the major role that France played in helping our fledgling nation.  So, who was Conrad Alexandre Gerard de Rayneval?  He was a French diplomat and the first ambassador from any nation to be sent to the revolutionary American colonies in 1778.  Sure, France was politically motivated and was seeking revenge after Great Britain won the Seven Years War and the balance of power in Europe shifted in Britain's favor, but without allying ourselves with France and benefiting from their assistance, we may not have had any reason to celebrate yesterday.

So, what would have we missed on the 4th of July?

Girls with painted faces
Patriots on Segways
Fife and Drum Corps
Dressed up dogs
Political parties - the Republican float
Lemonade stands
Crowds of happy people
Boaters at Ego Alley waiting for the fireworks
Spectacular firework displays
Decorated boat slips


  1. Your pictures of a proper 4th of July were exactly what I needed. Despite enjoying a beautiful weekend in Paris with friends from out of town, I was feeling a bit home sick on Monday. The parade, the floats, the fireworks, the lemonade stand- all just what the Dr. ordered and really made me smile. Thanks!

  2. Glad to hear that the 4th of July pictures brought a smile to your face. Since I won't be in Paris for the big bash on the 14th of July, I'll keep an eye on your blog to see what I missed. The "bals des pompiers" seem to be a lot of fun.

  3. is it really called Ego Alley? Or is that a vanity indication name?

  4. I don't think that Ego Alley is the official name, but it's how all of the locals refer to it because it's all about the ego and showing off your boat. The other day I held my breath as a huge yacht passed Pussers and very carefully turned around at the end of Ego Alley before going right back out to the Bay. We keep joking that one of these days we're going to paddle our kayaks down Ego Alley.


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