Blog Archives

Make It Count

My cousin, Nicole, posted this video on Facebook. I found myself watching it several times and each time I notice a bigger grin on my face and for a longer duration. I wanted to share it simply for that reason and to say that I wish I could be this adventurous (and also have the budget for it).

The video is about two guys who traveled as much as they could around the world in a 10 day period. They came home when the money ran out.

Thanks Nicole, for sharing.

If you were given a large amount of money to travel and it were to last for 10 days, where would you go and what would you do there? What types of places and adventures would you experience if you knew that no matter what, your budget had no boundaries for 10 days ?

The “7 Links Project” – Backyard Style

I was asked to participate in Tripbase’s 7 Links Project by the cool team over at Life Out Of A Suitcase. The idea of this project is to choose 7 of your past posts based on certain criteria and then nominate 5 other bloggers to continue on the project.

So here goes:

  1. My Most Beautiful Post – This has to go to the photos I took of the Sunset at St. Cyr-sur-Mer. I have to admit that I am not the best photographer or have the best camera in town (in fact most of the time I only use my Nokia N8- I am looking around for a more professional camera, just so you know). I was pleasantly surprised just how well these photos came out. Each time I look at them, I think about how that evening looked just like what I see in the photos. I am very proud of that.
  2. My Most Popular Post – Hands down to my post on Is the FedEx Strike Really Over? I got so many hits on this post that it was unbelievable. I guess a lot of you guys out there were having the same problem as I was here!
  3. My Most Controversial Post – Has to be Who Said You Could Leave the House Like That! I am definitely not into the “show it all” stuff, but I could not pass this photo op up. I don’t know how I would feel about my derriere getting plaster on the internet, but then again, I would go out like this!
  4. My Most Helpful Post – Since I have only been blogging about my life in France for around two months and I had a hard time with this one. After much debate with myself, I chose the post I wrote on The Mistrals. It was meant to give some practical information about the especially strong winds that we experience here in the Provencial region. I sincerely hope it was a help for those who wish to visit and happen to get blown away while here.
  5. The Post Whose Success Most Surprised Me – The crazy success of the post on my daughter’s birthday. When I posted Happy Birthday, Tinki, I had no idea that many people would be interested in my kid’s birthday and what kind of cake we bought for her! It simply amazed me!
  6. The Post that I Feel Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved – Definitely the post on the Grotto Sainte Marie Madeleine. This was one of the best (and totally free) places we visited. The forest surrounding this grotto, the hike to it, the view from it and the peace and serenity when you are there is something the rivals no other. It also happens to be one of the most well known places near me that many people pilgrimage to. I consider it to be on the “do not miss” list when visiting this area.
  7. The Post I Am Most Proud Of – It has to be the post It’s Official. I am most proud of it, not because I consider it to be an especially great piece of writing, but because I was finally able to accomplish something that took so long to do. I am so proud that I persevered and was able to jump through the hoops not knowing anything about how the system of “becoming a legal resident” works in France and I did it with no help from outside forces.  I really worked hard for months, on my own, to make it happen.

Well there you have folks, my “7 Links”. Now, for paying it forward.

Here are my 5 nominations to continue the experience.

  1. Southern Fried French
  2. ChezLouLouFrance
  3. The Runaway Guide
  4. Sarah in Le Petite Village
  5. Piglet in France

Adventure Dude

Dude hit the ground running today. Last night he got a call from a friend of ours who just bought a flat in Biarritz (that needs a ton of work) and asked if he could come straight away to do the fix up work.  “How soon is straight away?”, Dude asked. “Tomorrow”, was the answer from our friend.

Ok-better jump on that ticket. It turns out that there is no TGV from Marseille to Biarritz. This meant that Dude had to take the SLOW train. No kidding-there is such a thing here. The trip was going to take him 9 hours and 2 changeovers. All by himself?? No French?? Good luck with that.

Once his ticket was bought it was time for the packing. Mind you, this is 22h00 at night (I forgot that part). Dude’s train leaves at 11h20 the next day and not only does he have to pack his clothes and man-toiletries, but also his tools.

I will tell that story a bit later. What an ordeal!

This morning we get up and Dude finishes his packing. He has accumulated in a short period of time three suitcases, his computer bag, and a cot (the apartment he is working on is empty and he is just going to crash there). Nothing like waking up to work!

At 10h20, I was like, “Dude, we HAVE to leave in 10 minutes, you only have your confirmation. You haven’t gotten your ticket, yet!”

He says. “I’ll be ready! Oh, can you make me some breakfast?”

What?? The man doesn’t have time to eat. He is standing there in his underwear and slippers (very sexy I might add) and wants to eat and we need to fly NOW! Good grief! So I go and make him his breakfast (and ironed his shirt) and quickly helped close up his suitcases while he ate. At 10h40 we were out the door.

Down in the garage, while we are getting ready to put everything in the car, a wheel of one of the suitcases just breaks and falls right off.  Really and truly, no lie. He starts freaking out! It’s a sad thing to see in a grown man who, not 10 minutes ago, was looking sexy in slippers and underwear. The suitcase that failed him happened to be the one with his tools in it and it was a heavy duty one, too.

While I go and pull the car out of the garage he is scrambling around in there to find another suitcase to put his stuff in. Remember, our garage has half our belongings in it. It is pretty full in there! It felt like an eternity just to find another dog gone piece of luggage. He finally finds a suitcase big enough to be a proper replacement, but it’s stuck behind a pile of boxes that goes from floor to ceiling. With no time to waste, since the train won’t wait for commoners, he gives a big heave and topples over every box that was surrounding the suitcase he wanted. Stuff goes flying, since some of the boxes weren’t closed and taped, and he ends up tripping and almost falling trying to get out of the garage!

I started picking up the fall out because some of the boxes had my shoes it in it! The horror for any woman is to see her shoes flying through the air and landing all over the garage floor! Meanwhile, Dude is working his butt of trying to change out suitcases. He finally manages to do it and while he gets in the car to take off, I am still trying to do clean up.

I quickly jump in the car and off to the station we go. Now it is 10h55 and he is driving like he is Mario Andretti. Normally in Provence, this kind of driving works. Everyone here drives like a complete loon and most of the time you’re scared for your life. Today, however, we get behind two of the slowest cars you could imagine. What makes this day so special in the life of the provincial?? Step on it, grandma!

Good thing the station is about 5 minutes (give or take) from the house. When we arrived there was, of course, no parking space. We pulled up to the front of the station and unloaded the luggage and I told Dude to go stand in line to get his ticket while I found a parking spot. I finally did, WAY IN THE NORTH OF FRANCE, and went running the whole way back to the station. By now it was 11h05 and I walk in to see him standing in line and the guy behind the ticket counter is talking on his cell phone! Come on! This is not break-time, I don’t care if you live in Provence! Get busy and give the Dude his ticket! Tik-Tok time is awastin’.

Finally Mr. Ticket Man gets finished with his “I’m on the clock, but I am taking a personal call” and processes Dude’s ticket. I’m sure that was very difficult for Mr. Ticket Man.

All looked good now. We got to the platform, Dude and ALL his heavy suitcases with about 5 minutes to spare. Yahoo! What a team J

When the train arrived, he was able to find a spot for himself and his affairs. A nice gentleman helped us out with putting all the suitcases on the train. That was a nice surprise after the hectic morning.

I waved bye as the train pulled out of the station. With 2 stops to go and a lot of luggage, I hope Dude makes it. I’m sure a phone call will be headed my way in no time.

Say “Bye” to Dude. Here he is in the station ready to depart with all his stuff. He looks a little nervous, I think.



I have bettered my life simply by adventuring to new lands and experiencing the lives of others.

%d bloggers like this: