Saturday, February 26, 2011

Live Deliberately

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived.” - Henry David Thoreau

Friday, February 25, 2011

Inner beauty

I found this article to be beautifully written and inspirational.

We live in a world so focused on outer beauty, however that is not what defines us. We are not defined by a number on the scale or how pretty we look on any given day, how well dressed we are or how young we look. Some of those things have their place but are not the most important things in life. It is our personality, our interests and hobbies, our passions in life and the way we treat other people, being spiritual women, being gracious and kind. Those are some of the things we'll be remembered for. This article was just wonderful!

Paris J'Taime

Some thoughts on the French. I enjoyed watching the French. French women smoke a lot. They do not eat a lot. One morning Dan and I were in an American-style bistro for a hearty breakfast for our big day ahead. The first morning we had croissants and coffee. It was fabulous, but did not keep us going for the morning. We were walking all day long, we needed protein! So we're at this American-style bistro/cafe in the Latin Quarter and were promptly greeted by a young American man with Justin Bieber styled hair, with an artsy attitude and who was trying to act too cool to care. Slightly amusing. The gal at the counter was originally from Texas. Super sweet. I got talking to her and asked what the French eat for breakfast. "How do they survive on croissants and coffee? Everywhere we go its croissants and coffee - but we needed eggs this morning, which is why we're here". The Texas lass said that her french friends hardly eat anything! She said "from what I've observed of french women, they eat a croissant in the morning, a salad at lunch, and share a dinner at night. They just don't eat a lot. Me - I need a good breakfast". Our sentiments exactly. I felt a little guilty for eating at an American styled bistro for breakfast, but with 10 hours walking ahead - we needed something hearty. We shared a croissant over morning tea with a coffee!

The croissants in Paris are as fabulous as can be. The bakeries incredible. Tarts, macaroons, pain au chocolate. Mmm. Each day I bought myself something as a treat. One day it was a chocolate tart (life will never be the same again). Another day a pear tart. At night I ate nutella crepes, profiteroles, steak & frites. You name it, I ate it. We walked a good 10 hours each day, which helped work off some of our eating - but not that much eating! Alas, we were in Paris for 3 full days. It has to be experienced as fully as possible.

My favorite part of Paris was the Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe. I've been fascinated with that area since I was a kid and studying French. The Eiffel Tower of course is incredibly huge, as is the Louvre. My favorite neighborhood was in the 4th arron - Le Marais. So many good bakeries. I loved the streets of Le Marais. We visited Montmartre, which was lovely but terribly overrun by tourists. That spoiled it a little for me. I don't like to feel like I'm hanging out with tourists :) (oxymoron?) Instead I love to wonder villages and get a real feeling for the place. We stopped in many cafe's to read and drink tea. We walked from the Latin Quarter all the way to Notre Dame, through the Tuileries and up through the Champs Elysees to the Arc De Triomphe. What a walk!!! It was lightly raining, which made the streets beautiful. Walking by the Seine is a real lovely of course. I've always liked Bridges. Yes, bridges. So to be in Paris was exciting for a Bridge lover like myself ;) I liked Pont Neuf a lot. Pont des Artes is one of the famous bridges. I liked it on the Le Marais side of the Seine.

We went to see a ballet at the Garnier Paris Opera House. What a treat! We had a box, which felt very "The Age of Innocence". The Paris Opera House is wonderfully opulent and splendid. The ballet was very moving. It was performed to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Four Seasons will always sound and feel different to me from now on. What an experience. "Winter" is my personal favorite of the seasons.

The Musee D'Orsay was one of my favorite places to visit. I love impressionist art, and am currently trying to find an art history course to take locally. I'm a big fan of Manet and Renoir's works. To view such wonderful artist's paintings was just fantastic. I've been fortunate enough to have gone to many wonderful exhibitions, including a Renoir exhibition in Los Angeles last year and a Monet exhibition in Perth, along with visiting world renowned art museums. But the Musee d'Orsay and the Louvre really "took the cake" for me.

I'll write later with more Paris reflections.


I have so much to write about. I wish I had a chance to blog when overseas. Now I'm back in Southern California in my living room with no voice. Its Friday. We got back Thursday night.

England was just lovely. I love England. Its a country that resonates with me and I could happily live in, with Daniel. Unfortunately Daniel doesn't feel the same way. He doesn't mesh with England, just like I don't mesh with California. I have tried for four years, but its not happening. Ce La Vie. I feel like I've overstayed my welcome in California. Or maybe California has overstayed its welcome with me. I know its definitely time to leave because I'm starting to resent this place. When flying back in from England I didn't feel like I was flying home. I felt like I was flying back into a country I didn't want to be in, that I felt nothing for. Either way we've grown tired of each other and being away gave me some wonderful perspective on life. I needed to get out, to enjoy other cultures, to be with my family. I find Americans to be very much "its all about America". Many do not see outside of their Californian world. Not all Californians are like that - in fact, many I know aren't - I have many beautiful friends here. But there are many people who will make comments like "you don't speak properly" "you don't say things the right way". Pah to that. Comments like that get old. I think to myself "do you know how ignorant you sound?" - but whats the point of saying this? Going away reminds me that there are different languages, different accents, different ways of doing things outside of California's bubble of warm weather and "everything is perfect". These things are obvious - and things I've always known of course. But experiencing different cultures was so refreshing. So very needed. I might sound cynical, but thats how it gets when you've outgrown a place. I'm not sure I ever grew into it here. Being away reminded me I can't live my life feeling guilty about living in my home country, for living my life near my own family and friends - and that living here isn't the life for me. I've made a decision to switch off any emotions felt when made to feel guilty about moving back to my home. Because life friends is meant to be enjoyed, to be grasped with both hands and to be made the most of. We cannot live our lives through other people

Monday, February 7, 2011

La Vie En Rose

Friday we leave for Europe. I'm so excited. For the most part people are excited for us. One person we're close to isn't. But oh well - when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. Right? Hopefully its not sour lemonade. I'm always baffled when people aren't just happy for you in life. When something nice happens for someone - its the kind thing to be excited for them. Oh well, we all come in different shapes and sizes, right?!

Yesterday we had family pictures. The leadup to it was stressful - way more stressful than it had to be. But its over and done with now. Hopefully the pics come out nicely. I'm sure they will.

So we head to Europe Friday and go straight down to Dorset to visit my parents. I'm looking forward to spending time with them. We're also heading to Paris and Belgium after. I'll have more to write after the fact.

I'm feeling a little tired today, so if I'm sounding less than inspired - thats why. However I felt the need to document something about our upcoming trip! We've had a lot-alot on lately. It feels like we've been going to endless meetings. Not the AA kind. You know the kind I mean. We've had assembly/special talk on top of our usual meeting/witno schedule. Its been great - really it has. We have been "socializing" a lot too. We probably have to cut that back a little. Like... when we're forty maybe.

This week I'm packing. I read you should put your things together a week before and slowly go through it - taking out what you don't need. I always overpack. Its hard not to when you're heading to cold weather.

I drink way too much beer. I'm getting a beer belly. If I was a guy I'd be proud of it. I'm pretty ballsy, but not that ballsy ;)