- I spoke with Chris Christensen of Amateur Traveler all about Montpellier and the surrounding area in Languedoc. You can listen to it here. Or subscribe to his podcast on iTunes – he’s a really good guy, a well-versed traveler, and a great conversationalist.
- I was a special guest star on the Eye on Italy podcast, which you can listen to here. I sound like I’m at the wrong end of a Campbell soup can, but you get the gist. Subscribe to this podcast, too, while you’re at it – these girls know Italy, and there’s always something new I learn in every episode.
- I’ve been plugging away at the France Travel Guide at BootsnAll. If you haven’t done so yet, please go here and become a fan of my WhyGo France Facebook page. It’ll make me look good, and it’s where I’m usually posting on Facebook these days.
- I’ve been getting serious about celebrating my 40th birthday, which is at the end of this year, as well as throughout 2011, which I intend to spend as my own personal Jubilee Year. Finally, I’m going to be 40 – the age I’ve felt ever since I can remember. Instead of my usual month-long celebration in December, I’m thinking of starting on Beaujolais Day, the third Thursday in November, and going right on through to the Epiphany. Sounds about right.
- I flew on an AirBus 380, a huge double-decker monster of an aircraft. Holy bejeezus, was it awesome. Other than that one time I flew on a private jet, it’s the first plane I’ve ever been on where I did not feel the abject hatred of the designer for the passengers. I highly recommend the upper level window seats. And they had great movies on demand, and little menus for the dinner service, and little packages with wipes and an eye mask for napping. I have enough of these to recreate scenes from Eyes Wide Shut, but it’s much appreciated all the same.
- I’ve been exploring our new supermarket. It used to be a Shopi; now it’s a Carrefour City. This also happened in Rome over the spring, when our GS became a Carrefour Market. I for one welcome our new overlords, as the food’s fresher, cheaper and the stores themselves are nicer. But now I’ve had two occasions to join the ranks of the lost, bonding with longtime customers as we ask each other where items are now located. It’s amusing. The only downside is that they no longer carry my beloved pecorino romano with black peppercorns, an item we’ve long considered as crucial in our home as milk, butter and eggs.
- I had duck tartare for the first time. It was delightful.
- I’ve been obsessing over the following places, in no particular order: Lyon, Venice, Biarritz, Mont St.-Michel, San Sebastian.
- I’ve been obsessing over the following things, again in no particular order: professional chefs, IKEA shopping sprees (inspired by Lisbeth Salander), watches and other accessories, the 2010 midterm elections.
- I saw Eat, Pray, Love with Fabulous Cousin. The book, and the movie, will have a different effect on you depending on what you’re doing or not doing in your life, so it’s no use to have me tell you what to think. I will say this, however, as it’s true and not stated nearly enough for my taste: She received an advance to write that book. As someone who still clearly remembers turning her life upside down a mere 48 hours before getting on a plane and leaving the country for an indefinite length of time, and then living through a series of transformative experiences, and then writing about it, this offends me. Why? Because she never mentions this logistical circumstance in interviews, making everything she does and says seem disingenuous to me.
What have y’all been up to?