|Salade de chèvre chaud|
|Nice, la Baie des Anges (the Bay of Angels)|
|One of these parasols (beach umbrellas) has my name on it!|
|Looks like I will have to get a new wardrobe.
I don’t suppose Northwest fleece would look good there…
|Sun year round: Some people have all the luck!|
|One (giant) window down; two to go…|
Junior and a buddy of his are camping with Wilderness Awareness, a local organization. My young environmentalist signs up for their programs every summer. He will not miss me a bit, you’ll see. One of the pets is going to the pet hotel (Hailey the yellow dog) where she will get daily walks. Felix the cat will stay here. He will spend a lot of time outdoors, hunting, eating rabbits and birds, and coming home at night to recover from his exhausting life. As for Hammy the hamster, well, to be honest, I am a bit worried about Hammy. Le Husband will be under strict instructions to feed him and check on him twice daily. There will be obnoxious post-it notes placed in strategic places all over the house, [including the bathroom mirror,] and they will say things like: “FEED HAMMY!” – “CHECK ON HAMMY!” – “HAVE YOU CHANGED HAMMY’S WATER?” – “WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CHECKED ON YOUR SON’S BEST FRIEND?” Hopefully, little Hammy will survive just fine.
|I will leave my cell phone number with Hammy so he can call for help!|
I still need to pack, but the basics are ready. France and the Mediterranean are out there, and I can’t wait to enjoy one last summer fling before the beginning of the next long, wet, Seattle winter. A good book. Check. My favorite Longchamp Le Pliage travel bags [carry on only, of course. I am NOT letting airlines ruin this trip!] Check. IPod and travel speaker [le pied-à-terre will be rockin’.] Check. Le faithful Lumix camera and Le MacBook Air laptop. Check.
|My favorite Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag in a great color, Taupe.
I also own a large travel bag, and a day pack (backpack.)
|It’s easy to bring several Longchamp Le Pliage bags:
They fold and hide inside my suitcase
[Plier = to fold, in French]
During the travel workshops I teach in the Seattle area, I like to tell jokes about Rick Steves’ appeal: In Paris neighborhoods highlighted in his guidebooks (la rue Cler on the Left Bank comes to mind,) it is not uncommon to spot Rick Steves guidebooks [and the American tourists holding them] everywhere, at the local bakery, at the grocery store, in cafés and in the street.
Come what may, his books are well-researched and regularly updated by local reps. While we were in France this summer, we noticed Rick Steves was known personally by hoteliers, restaurateurs and other locals involved in the tourist industry. They referred to him as “Monsieur Steves“, were able to remember the last time they had met him in person and offered special discounts to anyone who presented one of his books.
|“Ugly Americans” do not read Rick Steves’ guidebooks|
|The attractive American tourist (The Tourist, 2010):
Is that a Rick Steves’ book in Angelina’s purse?
I saw Rick Steves on different occasions during the fun and informative Travel Festivals he organizes every spring at his homebase in Edmonds, WA. I finally got to meet him in person just a few weeks ago at a summer outdoor concert at a local winery, Château Ste Michelle. The artist was Garrison Keillor. Apparently, Rick is a fan. I spotted him in the crowd and Le Husband convinced me to approach him after the show. I did so reluctantly, since he was there with people, but he was very friendly and we chatted about this and that, France, and his upcoming European travels. Scoop: He is shooting new travel shows in Europe this summer. What a fun evening we all had and what a treat it was to meet a local celebrity!
|Garrison Keillor in action: A piece of Americana for these French imports!|
|Great friends, good music and wine: What’s not to like
at Woodinville’s Château Ste Michelle?
+=+=+ Operation “Approaching Rick Steves” – Code name: “Le Guru” +=+=+
Step 1: Take your picture while celebrity chats in the background to make it look like said-celebrity is part of your group (Rick is in the striped shirt.)
Step 2: Approach local celebrity and chat casually for a few minutes, acting relaxed.
|Rick is thinking: “Oh, no, French tourists!”|
Step 3: Sharpen negotiating skills and request celebrity’s permission before taking picture.
|Le Husband (after taking three pictures):
“One last shot, s’il vous plait, Reeekkkkk”
Step 4: Act relaxed [I meet celebrities all the time, no big deal!] and smile for picture
|French Girl thinks: “Merde, I should have powdered my nose.
Coco [Chanel] would not approve.”
So off I go, leaving Seattle behind, back to Europe and la Méditerranée. Landing in Nice on Saturday August 13. There are so many salades niçoises and bottles of rosé wine waiting…
I hope you all have a wonderful August, here, there, everywhere. Keep in touch, will you?
What happened to this French Girl in Nice, France? Don’t miss these stories if you want to find out:
Part 1: Living on Nice Time
Part 2: Surviving Monaco
Part 3: Eze, Enjoying Life on Top of the World
Part 4: As If the World Needed More Reasons to Love Nice
Part 5: Every Day is Market Day on Cours Saleya
There is always time for one more story about Nice:
The Negresco: The Museum-Hotel