Thursday, July 26, 2012


Amazing to think what this gargoyle has witnessed over the centuries...
As promised, here is the soon to be growing list of links to posts about our month in Paris:

June 20 Leaving Pains
June 21 Kindness of Parisians
June 21 Fête de la Musique
June 23 Kayaking -- guess we can't stay away from the water!
June 24 Angers
June 25 Day of the Dead
June 25 Boys' Day Out
June 27 Chip's Birthday, Part One
June 28 Wine Museum and creepy wax figures **NEW POST**
June 30 Waterfalls and futures **NEW POST**

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Brunswick, GA

I can hardly believe it, but our month in Paris is now behind us. We arrived safely back to Cara Mia last Thursday. Our bags arrived on Friday. This might seem, at first glance, like a quel dommage (oh, bummer) moment. In fact, I was absolutely giddy about it.

We flew into Atlanta Wednesday, shuttled to a hotel, shuttled back to the airport Thursday morning to catch a Greyhound bus to Savannah. We had a lovely three-hour layover in the historic district, then a two-hour bus ride to Brunswick and a one-mile walk to the boat. You get the idea: All that travel with NO bags to carry! We were light as a feather and thrilled that our luggage spent an extra night in Amsterdam.

Delta delivered our bags to the dock, we threw them in a dock cart and wheeled them to the boat. A free service that should cost a premium!

I must admit that I enjoyed my month without blogging, the first break I've taken since I started blogging four years ago. However, my blogger's brain was fully active, so a month in Paris has left me with many stories and photos to share. This is how we'll do it:

Starting tomorrow, I will methodically post about our idyllic stay in Paris. These will be posted on the date they actually happened. At the top of the blog (here), I'll post links to the new posts, so you'll know they are down there somewhere. If you'd prefer, you can also sign up to receive automatic notifications via email by putting in your address over there on the left sidebar where it says, "Follow by email."

In the meantime, let me remind you about this month's Raft-Up, where many cruisers answer the same question. This month: Sailor or Traveler? Here are the links to all the posts. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Savannah, GA

Historic Savannah, a kind way to reenter the country.

While we were enjoying our three-hour tour of Savannah, I had three culture-shock moments that made me have a good laugh at myself.

First, as we were leaving the restaurant where we ate lunch, I had a near panic attack that I hadn't tracked down the waiter and said, "Merci. Au revoir," an obligatory courtesy when leaving any establishment in France.

Second, we popped into a coffee shop and an employee shouted, "Hello!" I thought, "Finally, someone who knows about proper greetings." I returned his greeting, and he said it again, louder, "HELLO." I thought he was getting a little too carried away when I realized he was saying, "We're closed."

Third, we left the coffee shop and walked to the corner. I said to Chip, "LOOK, macarons!"

Soap. Quel dommage.
To explain my confusion, here is a real macarons display:

The exquisite La Durée near Madeleine in Paris.
Curious about macarons? Here is everything you might want to know plus info about La Durée, where, I just now learned, these amazing clouds of French deliciousness were born.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Paris, France

I may be in Paris, but the show must go on! The latest installment of my column, InTheStream, was published this month in Classic Yacht magazine.

More photos and updates from Paris coming soon...

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Paris, France

Yesterday, we visited Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, because you have to when you're in Paris. We enjoyed the surrounding neighborhoods but bolted through the tourist areas, wall-to-wall Americans and tourist shlock.

Looking beyond the tourists, every step is a feast for eyes. The buildings, the cobblestones, balconies with flower boxes.

I was on a quest to find the original shopping malls built in the 1800s, the precursor to today's version. Many of the originals still exist, and I want to visit as many as possible, not to shop but to gawk at the amazing structures and ponder who else has passed over the same stones in the last 150 years.

A special thanks to my Parisian blog readers, soon-to-be cruisers who told me about them!

I promise to publish more thoughtful posts with more organized photos once I have my computer again. For now, enjoy this smattering of shots.

One of the world's first shopping malls.

You are not allowed to leave Paris without taking this shot.

la vie en cliché

Friday, July 6, 2012


Paris, France

"I soon realized that no journey carries one far, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." -- Lillian Smith

It's time for Raft-Up, where a group of sailing bloggers writes each month about a common topic, one of us each day, to offer readers varying perspectives on the same theme. You'll find links to the other blogs at the end of this post. This month's topic: Sailor or Traveler?

Traveling by boat obviously makes me both a sailor and a traveler, so the real question here is, which one is not optional. The fact that I write this during a one-month stay in Paris is probably a good hint.

I am a tumbleweed raised in a family of oaks, born with an itchy desire to find out what else is out there, who's out there, and what they're doing. I seek out new places, new cultures, new anything, new everything.

Travel is both my teacher and my muse. I never tire of seeing what a very tiny piece I am in this gigantic human puzzle, how different I am from the other pieces and yet ultimately, if I look hard enough, exactly the same. It is that fuzzy line between foreign and familiar that feeds my writer's mind.

Sailing for me is secondary but a perfect mode of transportation, teaching me to slow down and savor, to notice and digest. It requires me to be in touch with nature, to live outside myself. If I am a very tiny piece of the human puzzle, in the midst of gargantuan nature, I barely exist at all. It is humbling and at the same time invigorating.

It is uniquely rewarding to sail into a faraway harbor, knowing I came under my own power, that I have earned my way, inch by inch. It's an accomplishment that cannot be matched by stepping off a plane (although I like that too).

And, best of all, when I've explored that new harbor, I can go home, because I have brought home with me. Every day I travel. Every day I am still home.

For Chip, sailing came first and gave birth (or is it berth?) to an avid traveler. Sailing quickens his pulse but travel tunes him into the pulse of the planet. I have to say, he embraces the planet. I am an observer, but Chip is a member of the global family. He walks right in and sits down at the table. He will communicate with any form of language at hand, by sharing his meal, holding the door open, surprising them with his thoughtfulness. He is a keen observer of the human condition and should be the writer here. Instead you're stuck with me.

We both find that cruising comes with limitations. That little bit of water we cross to go ashore separates us from the people on land in a way I don't quite understand. We can interact with them, but we are perpetually separate, always the outsiders. While that might be true of all forms of travel, I have found it much harder to make that arc from the water, an arc we will keep trying to make.

So we are one traveler who loves to sail and one sailor turned traveler. We have no immediate plans to stop sailing, but when we do, we will not stop traveling. How else would we find out what's waiting just beyond....and just inside. How fortunate for us that we are kindred, roaming spirits, the further we extend into the world around us, the better we understand the world within.

Read other Raft-Up bloggers on the same topic.

who are these people? me | chip | cara mia | our very long timeline

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Greetings from PARIS!

We arrived safely, and I've finally borrowed Casey's computer for a quick update. Paris is perfect. The weather is perfect, low 70s every day. Our apartment is perfect. Our neighborhood is perfect.

Okay, there will be grand detail when I have time and connection. For now, here are a few photos from the little camera to whet your appetite:

Chip being very French in front of the Pantheon.
Our first dinner.
The reunion in the Metro.
Me and my baguettes heading up our perfect street.
Chip in our apartment. (Louvre)
At Pere Lachaise.
More soon!