August 3, 2013

On Re-Entry . . . Back in the USA

I made coffee this morning. A whole friggin’ pot. It’s hot; it’s strong, and I’m completely caffeinated. I’m not sitting in a Parisian cafe with a tiny little espresso cup. I didn’t make it in that crazy gravity-defying-espresso-pot that required YouTube tutorials to use. I’m not stirring it with a tiny little spoon reminiscent of […]

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July 21, 2013

Paris Moments

Paris, left bank, Haussmann building

Three summers in Paris now, and it’s starting to feel like home. Maybe not home, exactly, but a place where, just maybe, we belong. It’s the little things — the moments that are uniquely Paris — that root me here. We missed the Fireworks last year, but not for lack of trying. Our friend had […]

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July 14, 2013

Uniquely Paris — The Fireman Balls on Bastille Day

Fireman's Ball -- Bastille Day Paris -- Port Royal 13eme

Among the many things uniquely Parisian  . . .  the Firemen’s Balls over the Bastille Day holiday.  The Firemen of Paris– who work out daily in Luxembourg Gardens to an audience of jogging, swooning admirers — open their Fire Houses and host raucous, music pounding, dance throbbing parties for anyone willing to drop a few […]

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June 25, 2013

One Turned Right — A Sheep Stampede

Scotland

It was faint at first, and indistinguishable.  I’d already heard the pheasants making racket earlier, so perhaps it was them again. But this was different, guttural, and a lot of it, and it was getting closer. It takes a lot to get me out from under the plush covers of my castle bed, but this other-worldly […]

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June 23, 2013

Dinner Amongst Friends in Paris

Paris 2012

Last year, while in Paris for the Paris American Academy Creative Writing Program, we heard about Jim Haynes’ weekly Sunday dinner.  NPR did a piece on it a couple of years back, and a student shared it with the rest of us. An ex-pat American hosts dinner for as many as 100+ strangers weekly in […]

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June 21, 2013

Newbies in the Hostel World

BBQ Night at Wickham Retreat, Perth

Mention hostels to casual travelers and images of Jim Belushi fraternity parties may spring to mind. Twenty-somethings traveling with no money, perfecting the art of booze consumption on every continent, and passing out in hole-in-the-wall dives littered with moldy towels, dirty dishes, and bathrooms that shouldn’t be entered without protective clothing. That’s what I thought, […]

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