Why is it that all of the things that are so fabulous in France are not nearly as fabulous here in the U.S. or are completely unavailable? For instance, boullabaisse: I have NEVER had boullabaisse in the U.S. that tastes like it does in France. I’ve even followed the same recipe that my french “mom” prepared for us…not the same. How about Nutella…surely it is the same. Nope…not the same without the delish french baguette. French wine…not even close….in America it has sulfites.
So when faced with selecting a look for my new hardwood floors, I, of course, should have known better than to try to replicate those beautiful, aged, gray, rich, rugged, weathered french oak floors that I grew to love in France. But I didn’t…I tried to replicate. And it almost worked. We tried to match the old and new and it was a disaster.
Time to let go of dreams…I decided that if I couldn’t have what I wanted…we’d go to the other end of the spectrum and I chose a really really really dark stain. In the end, it will look fantastic- especially with the white cabinets, wool skein walls and ticking striped accents.
I guess I will save my fabulous french floors for my house in Provence (that I’ll purchase when I win the lottery)!
Welcome to Singapore. Southeast Asia. First impressions after over 30 hours of travel:
I finally made it. The airport was very clean and prganized with great signage for directions- thank goodness since I was so tired I was seeing double!
The taxi line at 11:45 pm was long…yet it moved fast and the man at the front directing everyone through wore an interesting uniform and sophisticated white gloves. I love a white glove treatment- perfect. Every cab looked new.
As we drove off, we proceeded down a multiple lane tree lines highway. Highrise buildings everywhere. As we continued, the trees continued. No graphitti. Nothing out of place. It all looked perfect. We progressed through the city. Barely any traffic (though it was quite late….you’d think a city with nearly 5 million people would be busy all of the time). No horns. No lively people on the street. No homeless. Nothing out of place. My first impression is quite a good reflection of the city as a whole. Singapore is like a type A city with every t crossed and i dotted. I can’t wait to explore more.
I love the romantic notion of strutting through the airport as a world traveler- dressed to the nine, chic yet casual, fab luggage, designer handbag and a grande Starbucks latte- Picture a cute actress, snapped by the paparazzi and featured in People magazine.
ok but seriously…now lets talk about me. Not glam. No designer luggage. No paparazzi. Maybe a Starbucks latte.
As I began to pack for this 30 hour travel deal, I threw romantic notions out the window…comfort first. I really do usually try to look sophisticated while traveling but in light of this gruelling trip, I decided to go with a backpack as a carry-on. I definitely haven’t carried a backpack since I was 20 headed to Europe. And I must say…the back pack is very practical. Easy to carry, easy to pack. Not so chic but so practical.
And for added comfort, I bought some new moisturizing socks. They are extra fluffy and are moisturizing. I don’t know how this works…I think it may be a false promise. These socks will be perfect and cozy for the flights. I’ll just snuggle up with my blankie and catch some z’s over the pacific. Bon Voyage friends!
The Japanese are so genius. They think of EVERYTHING. Seriously. EVERYTHING. Take a look at this toilette from the Nortita Airport in Tokyo. I have never, in all my travels, seen such a sophisticated toilette. This gives new meaning to man’s thrown!
Take a look at the control panel on this toilette....I love the "flushing" sound option!
Have you ever noticed that pumpkin is added to virtually everything in the Fall? There is pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pound cake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin sorbet…and I just discovered chipotle pumpkin salsa. The moment I saw it, I knew I needed to try it. Not simply because it was “pumpkin salsa” but because it was made by Rick Bayless, a James Beard chef who specializing in Mexican cuisine. AND whose restaurant, Topolobampo, is on my Chicago bucket list.
I wasn’t really sure what this pumpkin orange salsa would taste like. The smokey chipoltle peppers gave the salsa a rich campfire aroma and the flavor was an interesting combo of tangy tomatillos and earthy pumpkin. This salsa definitely had some kick and was a little too rich to be just consumed as a dipping salsa. It really needed to accompany and slow roasted pork tenderloin or a lean flank steak. The pepper flavor lingered like fireworks in my mouth-a delish celebration of Fall.
Oui. Avec gas. I think it took weeks in France to figure out exactly what the waiter meant when they blurted out something about gas. But once I figured out what he meant…there was no turning back. Today, I only drink water with gas when dining out. For some reason those little bubbles just make everything taste better. Perhaps it is a memory association with my glory days in southern France.
Anyway- I don’t usually like fruit flavored water. But, of course in my quest to try something new, I found myself staring at a variety of Perrier waters. I chose the most outrageous flavor possible- pamplemousse rose also known as pink grapefruit. And actually the flavor was quite refreshing. A bit of a tangy kick and a mild citrus whim.
There are some days that ya just gotta force your inner zen to come out. Not everyday is naturally peaceful. Heck…most days are down right stressful and crazy. And I will be the first to tell you that there is nothing zen-like about I-85.
I seem to be making this stressful trip more and more frequently. So today, I decided to connect with my inner zen. I normally listen to shows like the Gayle King Show and Broad Minded, but today I tuned in to Spa radio and cruised along, channeling my inner peace. It was really hard not to get stuck on my work thoughts….which really creates stress. These thoughts tend to snowball and next thing ya know…its heart palpitations and frustration to be spending time driving rather than getting the to-do list done.
But on this trip, I guided my thoughts to a peaceful place and took the time to reflect and relax into the moment. AHMMMMMM AHMMMMM yogi breathing. Try it some time. It’s a challenge- but the reward is worth it.
Do you remember your first cell phone? When I turned 16 I was given my Dad’s old bag phone. It was huge and I could only use it for emergencies. Which sometimes consisted of calling my boyfriend while driving home from school. Emergency is relative when you are 16. And I can remember upgrading to a HUGE handheld…then my first flip…then my first cute little red nokia….on to a blackberry…the one with the wheel on the side. Ah progress. Or is it progress?
Is it progress to be married to your job via a cell phone? Is it progress to be constantly in communication? Is it progress to ALWAYS be checking your in-box? To check it just before bed and first thing in the morning. I guess “progress” is as relative as “emergency”.
I entered the working world in 1998. Email was used…but a fax machine was used more. Cell phone were still cell phones and not lifelines. I wasn’t required to have a cell phone for my job and quite frankly when I walked out of the office, my day was done…finished….complete…until I arrived back at the office the next day. No emails, no texts, no internet at home. WOW. I can’t even imagine, just a short 12 years later, not being completely connected 24-7.
There are days that I love the connection and of course days when I would like to throw my pink crackberry out of the window. I’m preparing for my upcoming trip to Singapore and of course need to stay connected. My current crackberry won’t work internationally so today I got a new one. Not a fancy iPhone…not a hip Droid….a boring, but reliable crackberry. I think I’ll call him Tom.