I actually read this several months ago, but then remembered it over the holiday season, when I visited Paris for the first time with my partner and parents. Admittedly, I am somewhat Julia Child obsessed. I’ve seen the entire ten year run of The French Chef from PBS; watching her as a kid (and reading my Mom’s enormous 60s-style Better Homes and Gardens cookbook) instilled in me a love of cooking (though my given name had a bit to do with that as well, I suspect). Given that, however, this biography is terrific. Even if you’re not Julia-crazed. Even if you’re not much of a cook. Even if you don’t typically read biographies. This one is a real joy.
These shots were taken during a walk my partner and I took through the Grund area of Luxembourg City. We took the walk before the snow hit us about a week ago, so things are greener (and much less cold) in the photos than they are currently. I still try to get down there and take a walk whenever I’m feeling stir crazy, as the views and trickling water are quite relaxing. I hardly even notice the cold.
It has happened. The planets have aligned. My taste for trashy biographies and my bizarre fascination with the Facts of Life girls have merged into one book. The disappointment is that it has been written, but not yet published.
I beg you, publishers. Snap this up. Now. It will be worth it for the Lisa Whelchel dirt alone.
PS: Charlotte, please include some dirt on Lisa Whelchel. Or at least on cousin Geri.
We arrived back in Luxembourg City 27 December, eager to relax but also to allow my parents to experience the city where we actually live. The Christmas Market was still active in City Center, we wanted to try another bus tour, my parents wanted to see some of the old churches, and we wanted to check out the Museum of Art and History. We were disappointed that the Casemates du Bock were not open to the public in the winter, but ended up stumbling upon them anyway. The next week was considerably more laid back and less frenetic, but just as enjoyable as the trips to London and Paris.
I know this is a few days behind the curve, but I have my reasons. At first, my reaction to this little display was one of indifference. “About time!” and “Duh!” were my only thoughts on the subject. When the video as a whole finally sank into my subconscious, the righteous indignation began to take form.
Those who spread the nasty rumor about the French being rude have either never been to France, or went with an entitled, customer-is-always-right American attitude. If you have that sort of a chip on your shoulder and expect to have your ass kissed when you walk into a restaurant or a shop, you will probably be met with some hostility. If you respect that you’re in a new place and behave in a humble and civilized manner, you will have no problems at all in Paris. I found both the city and the people wonderful…except for a few cab drivers. But that seems to be a problem with cab drivers worldwide and not indicative of Parisians in general, no?
We arrived in London the evening of Thursday, 20 December, a bit worn out from the long train ride. We managed to transform our enthusiasm for being in a new city into just enough energy to make it to the hotel and head out for dinner. We picked a fairly touristy location for our stay (Tower Hotel), but overall we were all pleased with the hotel. It was moderately priced, accessible to many of the spots we wanted to see, the rooms were spacious enough and clean, the hotel staff was friendly and helpful, and the views were pretty amazing. The hotel is situated right on the Thames near the Tower Bridge. My parents had the above view from their room.