04/13/2012 02:03 pm ET Updated Jun 13, 2012

A Hand-Drawn Guide To France (IMAGES)

If you have a thing for France, you're not alone. The whole world has a thing for France. Proof: it's the number one tourist attraction on planet Earth, with up to 70 million people a year invading its picturesque city streets and charming country villages.

I am one of those earthlings who has a thing for France. I rue the day that I was born in Missoula, Montana instead of the Left Bank of Paris. But what I lack in natural-born savoir faire, I have made up with thousands of miles in road trips from Calais to Cannes, from Quimper to Chamonix. In my book Le Road Trip you can travel with me on back roads and side streets through Normandy, Brittany, Bordeaux, and the Loire Valley as we dodge the millions of other tourists on the beaten track.