Musician, Barcelona

Barcelona, we’ve only just met, and I’m already on my way.  I’d prefer to stay awhile, maybe have to go to the grocery store to make a real meal to serve to friends to really feel like I’m getting to know you, but it’s not to be.

I remember when rushing into a new town, frantically seeing all the famous sights, walking my legs off and staying in hotels was my idea of blissful travel.  Not now, I ... Continue reading »

Montserrat, Barcelona

So, I’m a reluctant tourist at best.  Short attention span at best.

And best at being the tourist who has a companion leading the way.  So I don’t have to think or plan or pay attention–

But here I am, exploring a new place, alone.  Which is how I like it, so as a tourist, I’m in a little bit of trouble.

Take yesterday and a nice little jaunt to Montserrat, an old monastery an hour and a ... Continue reading »

Mr. Pids, Paris

On my way to Barcelona, I stopped in Paris to leave a suitcase at a friend’s apartment.  I am sure this part of the plan was worth it.

So worth it because I met Mr. Pids.  He’s nine months old, and is actually named Piddles, but I think this is one of those names based on premature impressions.  Mr. Pids is a fine young hound now.  He kept me company all afternoon as I tried to stave ... Continue reading »


So, I don’t like road trips in the first place.  Maybe it’s because I live in Southern California, and to say I live in my car is not to exaggerate the situation.

But I don’t think I ever liked them, even though the childhood road trips were as pleasant as my mother could make them.  These included bi-annual trips from Massachusetts to Kentucky where my parents had grown up.  It was on one of those trips, that I left ... Continue reading »

Statue of Liberty

I blew into NYC last week.  And then I blew right back out.

I think that sounds really cool, the blowing in and out of NYC.  Makes me sound like I do it all the time.

But I don’t.  I barely go to New York.  Last time I was there was ten years ago.  This is practically a sin.  New York City is NEW YORK CITY, right?  An iconic place.  An American iconic place.  I should be ... Continue reading »

La Grange, IL train station

I get away from the beach madness of Southern California in the summer to the quiet countryside of Western Illinois.   But it takes me longer to get from Newport Beach to Macomb than it takes me to get from LA to Paris.  This normally isn’t a problem.  The trip happens once at the beginning of the summer.  Then weeks later, at the end of the summer.

But this summer I had to leave Macomb right ... Continue reading »

Beach Red

Reading about winter clothes in Vogue, in the depths of a Midwest summer, has presented me with a challenge.  It turns out I’m supposed to wear red this winter and love it.   Oh, and by winter, Vogue means this fall.  Just so I’m clear.

This fall I’ll be in Paris.  In Paris, as all us American tourists have emblazoned on our brains like permanent dye, one wears black.  Not red.   Just ask me about the time I got ... Continue reading »

Orange Red Farm Door

I’m in this tiny town in Western Illinois and yesterday their monthly air raid siren went off.  It wailed long and strong.  Went on longer than the tsunami siren they’ve just installed at the end of the Balboa Peninsula.  And at the end, the sound even got creative.  Short and long and short again.

This morning a one- propeller plane flew over.  I haven’t heard an airplane in two weeks, let alone a propeller airplane.   I ... Continue reading »

Queen Anne's Lace

I just read the name of a recipe.  Pear Tart with Stilton Cheese and Cranberry Rash.  Cranberry Rash?  Ghastly.  Maybe they mean rasher, as in rasher of bacon.  Anything’s possible, just off the plane, train and automobile, getting from California to Illinois.

My head clears.  I look again.  Cranberry Relish.  The recipe is for Cranberry relish.

I hope the rest of my stay here goes like that.  My world upside down, but upside right if I read ... Continue reading »

I just saw “Midnight in Paris”, Woody Allen’s latest, less than wonderful movie, and could barely get passed the shoes the fiancee and her mother wore throughout.  High heeled, wedges, stilettos–none of which would be possible to wear in Paris, unless you were either born and bred in Paris, or you were carried around by large henchmen.  Furthermore, these two ladies obviously never got that famous tourist syndrome–the blister-that-never-goes-away.

The last trip I took to Paris, one during which I ... Continue reading »