A New Year, An Old Me

ABOUT…revisited.

A New Year and a New visit to the old ABOUT page.

Revisiting is good.   Reviewing is useful.  Taking stock can be instructive.  It shows us where we have been and asks if we want to keep on in that direction.

So, looking at my first ABOUT page…August 2012.  A lot has happened.  A lot has changed.

And at the same time, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I am still supremely devoted to Journey. Culture. People. Food.  I still believe in the transformative and introspective capacity of travel.  (And I still have that green sweater and I still enjoy cooking classes while visiting other countries)

Having not posted in a while, in spite of many hours and miles logged in new adventures, I want another look at About Me…where it all started.

Looking back, the premise hasn’t changed…I am at my most open, most engaged, most hopeful and happiest…when traveling.

I get renewed by the people I meet, the vistas I see, the cultures I devour.

So I put this forth…

This is a blog about journey…could be near, could be far.  It could involve new stamps in a passport, or maybe not.  The goal is not to tick off countries, the goal is to experience.  This blog is about a collection of moments that when pieced together, fashion a life.

Whoa, who knew reflection sounded so serious?

HOWEVER, she said lightening the mood, reflecting on five weeks spent in Portugal last summer, there were many moments that looked like this and that’s a                        Journey. Culture. People. Food Wonderful thing!

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Many moments, many Pastéis de Nata

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Weekly Photo Challenge: ENDURANCE

The old stone villages of southern France are the picture of ENDURANCE, this week’s photo challenge. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries (and some before!) these villages have withstood the test of time.

Two and three stories high, these medieval stones tell a story heard over centuries.

 

 

 

Pic St. Loup, 658 meters of fun for the whole family!

We’ve photographed it…several times…different kinds of light playing off the mountain.

Lovely from afar, guidebook said the closest you can get is 4 km away…the rest is by foot.

Nah…let’s go take some more pics.

But the guide on our walking tour of Montpellier said, standing on the top of the Arc de Triomphe (they have one also, and she has the keys to the medieval (read steep) steps up)…yes she said standing up there looking over the entire city of Montpellier on one side, quaint French countryside on the other…that is the beloved Pic St. Loup.  Cherished mountain of those in Montpellier and the Hérault Valley, watching over our city.  The north face is a 90 degree angle straight up, but the south face meanders and is a lovely walk for small children and grandmothers alike.

Ok, I’m in.  I fall in between there somewhere.

Wrong.  I forgot for a moment that the French are a hardy bunch.  And I would like to meet her grandmother!

Continue reading

Tour de France, junior varsity team

The house we are renting comes with 2 bicycles, at our request.

It seemed like a lovely idea at the time…the French countryside, endless vineyards and olive trees, dry, sunny days that went on forever, and we two cycling leisurely, baguette and wine in our side bags.

Hold that image!

The truth is we are tired and sleeping late.  Breakfast on the terrace is full of fresh croissants, homemade jam, fruit, sheep’s milk yogurt, and dark, strong espresso.  By then the Mediterranean sun is getting high in the sky, the village cobblestones are warming up and voilà, who feels like getting on a bicycle at that point, I ask you? Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: CHANGE

As they say in France, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”  (The more things change, the more they remain the same)

Often the smallest changes produce the greatest impact.  The large ones, well…”Plus ça change…”

When we were very young, my brother, sister and I would pile into the family station wagon each summer for our annual road trip to…somewhere reachable by car.  My father got the greatest enjoyment out of stopping as we crossed the state line from Pennsylvania to New York and saying, “See kids…see how different it is here…isn’t it grand in New York State?”  We would look behind us, at the sprawling green hills and trees, look in front of us, at the sprawling green hills and trees, and slowly, eyeing each other for a spark of insight, mumble, yyyesss.

And onward to state lines up and down the seaboard.  (Was our entire road trip one big inside joke for my father?  Anyway, that’s a whole other story)

And So went the CHANGES we noticed crossing provincial lines and country borders between (and within) France and Spain…back and forth, hugging the border.  The signs signaled a CHANGE, not so the countryside.

Now the food…

Ch ch ch changes…

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Forgive me…this is not today’s lunch with my camera phone…I often skip lunch, and that would be a pretty boring photo…

HOWEVER…

One of the most memorable Lunches I have ever had, was a Sunday lunch last summer in Les Arques, France at Le Recreation (I’m not really sure if there is any other restaurant in this village, in which case, I could just say, I had lunch in Les Arques!)

Elegant, memorable, wonderful ambiance, the most delicious food, and great friends…what could be better?

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: BEYOND ll

The challenge is to find interest and depth BEYOND  the subject framed in the photo.

Although I can’t take credit for Taking the photo, since it is a picture of me, can I say it was my idea/my instructions/my choice of location?

Anyway, it is a fair shot of me, an excellent shot of what is beyond me…the remains of the ancient Greek Theatre in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, and beyond that, the bay lapping at Giardini Naxos near the bottom of the shot and a quiet Mt. Etna in the top right.

Moi, Greek Temple at Taormina, Mt. Etna in background

Moi, ancient Greek Theatre at Taormina, Sicily, Mt. Etna in background

 

AND, I just realized that the header on my blog is ALSO taken in Taormina, Sicily, out of my hotel window, of the towers of an old villa, with a snow-covered Mt. Etna BEYOND in the background!