Browsing Posts published in April, 2013

The Last Au Revoir

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Well, the Big French Adventure has come to an end. What an interesting, exhilarating (at times, frustrating), up, down, and all around time it has been. I’ll tell you this: I admire anyone who can live here and not spend every cent they have on Meursault wine and pastries, anyone who can master both spoken and written French in less than 15 years, and, most of all, anyone immigrating to a foreign country without a sidekick who’s willing and able to manage European bureaucracy.

You know, someone asked me the other day if I thought the project was a success. I suppose the answer depends on how you define success. I’ve had unforgettable experiences, and met equally unforgettable people. I’ve seen many beautiful places, and while I haven’t seen a fraction of what I’d like to see in this part of the world, Europe’s not going anywhere and I know I’ll be warmly welcomed back. Overall, I’m far better for it, despite the deleterious effects on my derrière. Continue reading “The Last Au Revoir” »

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Merci Monsieur

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I had planned to write a long and sappy, yet charming and witty post thanking Rusty/Big Red/My Better Two-Thirds for this adventure of mine (everything from funding the finding to feeding the giraffe), but then I remembered he doesn’t read my posts very often—bastard.

Regardless, I sat down to write my thank-you note, but I just couldn’t find the right words to convey my gratitude. I almost abandoned the whole thing, and then I got lucky. I found maybe the best thing I’ve ever seen on the internet, and rather than waxing poetic about my husband’s many gifts to me, I’ve decided to share someone else’s story—an ordinary couple who share an extraordinary love.

So, Neil, if you’re out there, you’re a first rate smartypants, a kind soul, and the best friend a girl could ever have. This one is for you: Click here, turn up the sound, enjoy, and then get busy with dinner, will ya?

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Island Girl

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Okay, for anyone who’s curious about where I’ll be finding me next: think ocean and mountains and vineyards. Think temperate climate, totem poles, Chinatown, orca whales, and people who say please a lot. Come the morning of May 1st, I’ll be opening my eyes on beautiful Vancouver Island. Not exotic or exciting enough? May I remind you that I have never once set foot on Vancouver Island, and that’s as exciting as I’m prepared to be at the moment.

While many locales were up for grabs, we decided an immigration to yet another foreign country was beyond our energy expenditure capacity—code phrase for too bloody lazy. We have friends and work contacts there, and I hear that English is spoken in all the respectable hair salons.

For those who might not know a lot about Canada (Americans, I’m looking at you), perhaps describing Victoria as a mini San Francisco or Seattle with fewer guns and higher taxes will suffice, with apologies to my new home if the comparison is off. Of course, San Francisco, Seattle, and my bucket list restaurant—The French Laundry in the California vineyards—are just around the corner, and I’ll be plotting a plan for all 3 destinations as soon as I unpack. Continue reading “Island Girl” »

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