Hi

Yeah, so, hi. I’m still here. Some of what I’ve been doing:

  • 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?

20 thoughts on “Hi

  1. I had no idea that she’d already received the advance for Eat, Pray, Love. That does make everything about the book seem a lot more calculating and disingenuous, though as an already ppublished author I suppose it isn’t entirely surprising she already had a book deal in place.

    • Right, I mean, she was already an established writer. But while I do think that she had a very real experience – divorce is not something that should be taken lightly, nor should the transformations she obviously went through – if she had at least meta-acknowledged the fact that she was there to write a book, it would have sat better with me.

  2. Love Carrefour. We usually hit the one in Pisa when we have to make an airport run.
    Try to plan a stop bu to visit with us during your b-day jubilee. I’ll even buy the pricy fizzy rose.
    Did not know that bout Eat, Pray Love. my friends in my age bracket think it was a total waste of trees to print it. I plan to see the movie only for the scenery.
    Glad you are back. Did you see my cousin?

    • I didn’t see your cuz, but I noticed your last name featured prominently in the Sentinel Ledger for the baby blanket race! A tiny Taccarino tot won one of the heats!

  3. To anyone who’s subscribed to the comments on this post, I apologize if an offensive comment from a reader made it to your inbox. It’s been deleted and that user is blocked, and all comments will now be approved by me before appearing on this site.

    Thanks, and I apologize for any inconvenience.

    Christine

  4. Hi Christine,

    Great to hear you have been so busy enjoying lots of different things.
    I love Montpellier and the nearby Sete for its delicious restaurants where I enjoyed one of the best bouliabesse in my life:-)
    Baci from Rome,
    Nancy

  5. OK, 40. My celebration is still going on, some three years later. But I think I can stop it now, bcs I finally went surfing! That was the whole goal – we even discussed it on the beach NJ!

    As for the book – I quite enjoyed it, recognizing her good fortune (the advance) in the face of her difficult fortune (all of it in there). I automatically have a hard time with a movie when the book changes its cover to the movie advertisement! End result – haven’t seen it.

    • You finally went surfing!!!!!!!!!

      I have another dear friend who loved the book for entirely different reasons. People love it, people are meh about it, and people hate it. Far be it from me to judge people who are inspired to make a change in their life or to travel because of it.

      Yeah, I REALLY REALLY dislike when they change the covers. And that cover was really, really striking to begin with. BOO.

  6. It’s good to see you back on your blog! WIN

    The store I love in Italy is the Coop, but I admittedly have such limited experience with grocery shopping there. Still, I always keep an eye out for them and make a bee line the minute one comes into view. I’m a total amteur, for sure.

    Also with you on the Ikea shopping and watch obsessions. You’d think I had as many wrists as Kali with all the watch drooling I do.

  7. Good to see you blogging again. I do worry about the Ikea Shopping sprees…they just opened a large one next to us in Avignon and I am thinking of starting a special group for Ikea shoppers Anonymous.

  8. So how was the movie of Eat, Pray, Love? I didn’t bother going to see as people were calling it trash, a snoozer, a waste of money, a sign of how far Julia Roberts’s career has fallen, etc. Critics say the book is much better, as the thing that made the book engaging was Liz Gilbert’s chattiness, something a film can’t capture.

  9. I always wonder if the book would have as much success if she had NOT returned to the states. I purchased the second book to find out what happens next. still waiting to see the movie, I think here it will be released this weekend.

    • That’s a very interesting thought. I’mma mull that one over. But my first reaction is that I would have liked it more if she hadn’t? I think? But that could just be my world view?

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