Last April I was training for the Camino, a walk in the hills of Spain, a pilgrimage.
It’s been almost a year since I crossed in to the plaza, staring up at the Cathedral de Santiago, my feet blistered, the sounds of the Glacian bagpipe echoing against the brick. In my naivete, I thought this was the end of my journey. But I realize, more than ever, that I am still very much on this pilgrimage of life, walking it’s peaks and valleys.
I’ve felt the downward slope of rough days in the past week, feeling frustrated, weak….sad. But then I remember Peter, from Korea, with his kind eyes, telling me how as he walked the Camino, he felt every. step. Uphill, downhill, through the rain and in the sun, he walked with purpose, never taking a moment in his journey for granted.
Finding blessing in being a perregino.
…And what a blessing it is.
Well, this lady is officially living in a new city. I made the move last Friday and have been spending the week getting acquainted with my new job, new home and new neighborhood!
One thing I’m super excited about? Pistacia Vera, a dessert heaven, home to beautiful macaroons.
And I love macaroons.
When I lived in Luxembourg, famed Parisan macaroon atelier Laduree opened a shop in the city. It took everything in my being to not spend entire paychecks on those tasty little French cookies. Specifically those of the salty caramel variety.
(These macaroons lasted only mere moments after this picture was taken)
(image: from here)
I’m packing my things, getting ready to make the trek to the ol’ capital city (ohio’s capital city to be exact). As I’ve organized myself this week, I’ve also made a point to cross some things off my Cleveland bucket list. My mom has been rolling her eyes at me all weekend, pointing out that I will only be two hours away and this will probably not be my last weekend/week in the city by the lake.
But hey, I’m viewing this an as opportunity to take some time to really appreciate my hometown. Heck! I should have been doing this all along.
A few selections from the bucket list (in no particular order):
1. Dim Sum at Bo Loong in Asian ‘village’: true story – there were fried chicken feet involved
2. Cocktails at the Velvet Tango Room in Ohio City
3. A loaded hot dog at Happy Dog in Detroit Shoreway
4. Gathering ingredients at the West Side Market in Ohio City for a tasty dish
Food seems the be the overwhelming trend in this list but, trust me: Cleveland is just that delicious.
(Image source: Unknown)
One night in Luxembourg, I was going to dinner with some friends. I had gotten ready in the normal fashion – coiffed hair, make-up, a carefully selected outfit – and hit the town. As we entered the restaurant, I caught a glimpse of one of chicest women I’ve ever seen: fresh faced, her hair naturally falling down her back, a simple long sleeved shirt, and (of course) red lips.
I loved that. Simple, effortless, natural, with a pop of color.
It seems like the M.O. of those stylish French ladies is to take care of what you’ve got, and then, to show it off. For example, in France, the pharmacies are filled with lovely creams, lotions, and vitamins for beautiful skin that you wouldn’t think of covering up with foundation.
The other day I found Gwyneth’s list of her favorite French pharmacy finds and it made me (among other things) want to get on the next plane to Paris.
There’s something about the snow this year. It hasn’t announced itself with fury or force, but rather quietly, as though on tip toe.
It’s been the kind of winter where you’ll wake up in the middle of the night to see the flurries dance around your empty street, whispering quietly to yourself ’snow.’
Sometimes it stays for a bit, becoming more forceful and angry. And sometimes it goes as quickly as it came.
But it always arrives the same. Quietly, unsuspecting, beautiful.
“I am younger each year at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, in the air, all little and moving; then I am in love again and very young and I believe everything.” Anne Sexton, in a letter to W.D. Snodgrass (November 28, 1958)
This book had been on my list for a while:
a. It takes place in France
b. It takes place in France during WWII
But it is the author that intrigued me the most. Irene Nemirovsky, already an established French author at the beginning of the War, witnessed the invasion and occupation.Unfortunately, she died in Auschwitz in 1942, leaving behind an unfinished manuscript that wouldn’t be discovered until decades after her death.
This novel is beautifully written, but what makes it even more poignant is the story about its inception and the woman behind it.
Interested in more book club suggestions? Check out some past recommendations.