So nice of me to update for the FIRST TIME this year. Once again, I apologize for all my shortcomings. Here’s a bunch of news.
Berlusconi and Sarkozy are out of power. Monti’s been pushing infrastructure as an economic stimulus in Italy. Hollande is pushing not being Sarkozy. Both countries still use the euro as currency – for now.
Cal tells me it’s hot as Hades in Montpel; today in Rome, it’s cold and raining. My hair is threatening to curl back up into my brain with all this humidity.
Our friend Alberico was a contestant on the first season of MasterChef Italia, and although he did not win he was its most popular contestant. Since then, he’s done a twice-weekly recipe spot on morning TV, and has written a book of recipes with the host of that show.
One of the recipes is called “Tagliolini alla Cantera,” named after yours truly! And on Wednesday, I’ll be making this recipe with Alberico on the show! Very excited. Film at 11.
I’ve been fortunate to receive review copies and/or other promotional material for the following books, which I highly recommend:
Conquering Babel: A practical guide to learning a language by Claire Hascombe. A lot of people ask me about how to learn a language – and from now on, I’m just going to point them to this no-nonsense book. A must-read, and it’s free for Amazon Prime members.
Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train by Ina Caro. You can imagine how wonderful I find this book. This is going to be your summer read.
Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day: One Man, Eight Countries, One Vintage Travel Guide by Doug Mack. This is going to be your second summer read, because it’s hilarious and awesome and true.
Surely, you jest.
Oh, except my friend Tim was recently in Monte Carlo filming the Historic Monaco Grand Prix, which is like the regular Grand Prix but with excellent vintage race cars. Our schedules were such that we were not able to meet up even though I was in Nice, but Mr. Pants and I did go for about a half hour one afternoon. We saw nothing because they barricade off the entire city with covered fences, but we did hear the deafening roar of those old engines, and we peeked through one fence and saw a couple of the cars race around a bend. Pretty cool.
My time at WhyGo France has come to an end, but the love affair between me, Sean, Jess and the whole BootsnAll gang remains and we’ll be working again on other things in the future. And the upshot is that now I can write all about my travels here, for you, my chickadees! I’m lining up posts now, so stay tuned!
But as a teaser, here are some tasty links regarding what I’ve been doing recently – click through and get ready to start drooling:
- I spent two nights on the wonderful Peniche Oz, a vacation barge on the Canal du Midi in Colombiers, France.
- I spent two nights at the gorgeous Hotel D’Europe in Avignon, France.
- I spent two nights in Usclas-du-Bosc at the quirky, fun Salamander Gite.
- I and several of my friends had a life-changing experience at Le Petit Hôpital as a guest of Demeure.
- Some of those same friends and I lived like locals in Nice thanks to this great apartment.
- We also went on a thrilling tour of towns outside Nice, thanks to the generosity of fellow travel addicts, Kensington Tours.
- Oh, but before all of that happened, Mel and I went on a super-awesome secret tour of Paris in a vintage Citroen, thanks to our friends at Viator Tours.
And this doesn’t include last autumn and winter’s travels: a weekend in Saint-Tropez courtesy of the fantastic Hotel Byblos; a couple weeks in Berlin, thanks to Gay Mafia charter member Topina; two unforgettable weeks in Paris, including my birthday, waking up in this adorable apartment with the fabulous Dew and equally fabulous Scotty, and we also went to Chartres and Rouen; oh, and I spent an idyllic a month alone in the countryside of Northeast France.
So, what do you say? Are you ready for some stories? Sure hope so, ’cause you’re gonna get ’em!