Lessons from the (cobblestoned) road


Learned from Carcassonne:

– Let your history be haunting; illuminate it at night; let your hair stand on end as you hear whispers in dark corners…

– Let fat stay on the meat; the flavor is intoxicating.

– Be bold!  Make friends on the road! (People make wonderful companions…)

– Walk in the rain, even if it’s cold; don’t miss out on any experience because of “bad weather.”  There is no bad weather, only bad attitudes.

– Drink rose wine and eat good cheese.  Presentation of food is key.

– Some people are still really upset with the USA.  (Sidenote: Racism is not a uniquely American phenomenon).

– Drink everything in wine glasses.

Learned from Arles:

– A whistle is intended as a compliment.  Take it in stride.

– Be grateful always for your own bed, your own sink, your own shower, and — vitally — your own toilet!

– The French sure love their carbohydrates in the morning.  Tread lightly.

– Sometimes you end up at your destination by getting lost first.  And that’s ok.

– A dinner for one is not at all a lonely thing.  Eat alone more.  And eat well.

– Learn more about Van Gogh.  You might be soulmates.

– Get drunk on color.  Watch the light dance around you.  Marvel, and take pictures.

Learned from Avignon:

– Allow some time to become friends with a new place.  You always do.

– Your body can handle more than you think it can: walk, climb, push yourself!  You are sore everywhere, but you feel SO good.

– Views from on high are spectacular.  See them more.

– If the opportunity arises to live in a castle, you should really take it.  Even if you are a part of the clergy.

– People-watching is a cultural-immersion experience.  Partake liberally.

– Ask for help when you need it.  Don’t judge people based on how they look.

– Say “voilà!” more.

– Riding buses can be humbling.  Ride buses more.

Learned from Vaison la Romaine:

– Funky hotels are the greatest thing.  Always try to get a room with a view.

– Sometimes the journey is more difficult than the destination is worth.  Although, sometimes, they are about the same.

– Go to bed early.  And sleep.

– A boulengerie is a bakery.  It does not serve coffee.

– A quick jolt of caffeine can be all you need.  Then, start to hike.  All the good views are from on high.


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