Posts

Calm in Corfu

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As the cold weather sits in and the days grow darker, I begin to lament the passing of summer. So I thought I'd revisit it before the mittens come out... Summer vacation in Southern Europe is an event .  People go away for two or three weeks at a time, even a whole month and every conversation from June to mid September invokes or recalls the year’s summer adventures.  This is one of the things I love about Europe.  Nobody bats an eye, nobody gasps when someone is away for weeks at a time (except the Americans, lol) and it's ok if we're a little less productive so as to recharge and be productive the other eleven months (which are intense). This year it was time for a vacation where I didn’t have to think about details.  I didn’t want to build an itinerary, have an agenda or stress about immersing myself in all things local and authentic. There is a time for that – this was not it.  I wanted to get on a plane and end up by the sea, with no agenda but "time

Cinq (Five)

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This month marks the start of my fifth anniversary in Paris and I begin my sixth year in Europe.  It feels so trite to note this, but how, oh how, does time seem to pass so quickly? When you are in your day to day, everything feels so normal and well, sometimes, boring.  But when you stop, take a moment to be mindful and step outside of yourself, you realize the whirlwind you are living. I was in the US for nearly an entire month this year.  It was a good time to go back and reimmerse myself in America.  I have changed.  I no longer snap back into being an American 90 minutes after my flight lands.  Things shock me - things that used to seem so normal to me.  People think I ask weird questions, like "Do you take credit card?" One guy even said to me, "Ma'am, whoever doesn't take a credit card is just plain stupid."  Weirdly, this abrupt retort even seems almost more rude to me than the standard and infuriating Parisian response of indifferenc

Marching for Charlie and for All of Us

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Many ideas have been bubbling in my head to restart my blog in the new year, but this week was a week of a different kind of reflection in Paris. And usually in times like this, I internalize what's happening. I rarely share my point of view or speak my mind. I live most of my life as an observer, and while this has its merits, I often ask myself why I don't get involved more. So today, I got involved and joined the march in remembrance of the 17 people who lost their lives this week, and in recognition of the values of democracy. I'll be honest, I complain about France, a lot.   Admittedly, many of my frustrations come from life in a big city. A love-hate relationship is a pre-requisite to living here - ask anybody. But let me tell you one of the things that I love about France and especially French people. The French know how to speak up when something is wrong, and they don't tiptoe around it - they just come out and say it. They debate, respectfully , an

World Cup Wanderlust

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It's here, one of the moments I wait for with eager anticipation every four years.  It's World Cup season.  To tell you the truth, I don't even know why I love World Cup or what ever drew me to soccer.  But after reflecting, I think it's tied to a childhood memory with one of my most favorite people in the world, my "Uncle" Jack.  It was 1994.  I was 12 and spending one of many summers in Dallas, Texas.  The World Cup was being hosted in the USA .  I knew nothing about soccer, but I loved my Uncle Jack, and my Uncle Jack loved soccer.  So soccer we watched.  Dallas was one of the host cities.  He bought me my first World Cup t-shirt.  I loved that thing; I wore it until it was bleached out from being washed so many times.  I remember Marcelo Balboa and his famous bicycle kick .  (I just looked him up, he actually coaches soccer in Colorado these days!) Fast forward four years later, to 1998.  This was my first trip to France and for those who remember, Franc

Running for the RER

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I’m trying to get back into writing my blog after a nearly year long sabbatical.  Since I’ve slowed my pace, I feel like I need a grand adventure to restart but alas, I realized sharing the little moments are ok too. In November of last year, I moved slightly outside of central Paris.  I now commute on the RER, the regional network that connects greater suburban Paris with the main city.  I used to live very central, with 7 metro lines super close, access to buses and to Velibs (city bicycles).  I did what I wanted, when I wanted, with not much regard for time.  Most things in France have a start time of “-ish” and funnily enough, even my very punctual friends have adapted. Hey, the RER isn't very sexy, sorry.  I report the truth, people. Now, I’m a little more limited.  I live by the train schedule, which runs every  :15 to :30 minutes, instead of the customary :02 -:07 min delay I’d become accustomed to in the last two years.  I’m getting used to it.  And what that m

Lumières in Lyon

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Today in Paris, it is cold .  Life must continue however, so I bundled up and ran around my neighborhood doing my errands.  As I walked out of the grocery store, I was greeted by snowflakes, big fluffy ones, lightly falling and melting as soon as they hit the ground.  It felt like Christmastime again.  In Colorado this year, we had snow on Christmas Eve which made the holiday perfect. I'm not happy about the cold.  About two weeks ago, I felt the days getting longer, temperatures were slowly creeping up and I thought we were over the winter hump.  But we're not,  a few more weeks of sweaters, knit hats, one of three pairs of boots on constant rotation and the desire to eat and drink endless amounts of hot chocolate.  So here I sit, bundled up in the house, watching the snowflakes fall quietly outside of my window and reliving one of my favorite winter moments - the Fête des lumières , or Festival of Lights in Lyon, eastern France. My London friend, Sharon, discovered and plan

Goodbye 2012

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Here we are at the crux of a new year.  The last few weeks have been filled with introspection, as they usually are for me.  I mull and muse over the past year - what it brought, what I learned and what is next. This year was a year of work - I worked hard and got my reward a few weeks ago when I was notified that I got a promotion.   However, that came with a price, which was mainly leaving little energy for what actually gives me energy. Sadly, the blog was neglected and it's a shame. I had so many beautiful adventures, but I feel they just sped by and I moved on, and I didn't share them. But I've been back in Paris for a few days, after lots of sleep and a good dose of home.  And the urge to write and to share and to tell has come back.  That's a good sign.  The sun was shining on new year's day.  That's a good sign.  I finally got my social security number after waiting 14 months - that's a fantastic sign.  I'm feeling good about 2013