Tuesday, March 30, 2010

au natural

mimosas, one of my favorites, were in bloom all over the south!

so i've been trying to decide how to blog about france, the day by day is on the other blog, so i just want to highlight things that i observed, enjoyed, etc. so i think i'll do it by themes. todays theme: nature.
i've realized in my travels that pretty consistently from tropical to tundra i gravitate towards nature, wild places, open expanses, growing things, clouds, etc. i suppose this should come as no surprise, but it is interesting that while history, art, cities, food, etc. all have a dear spot in my heart, nature takes the grand prize. and this trip was no exception. france is abundant in natural beauty, and nature that has been cultivated for a LONG time. i loved getting to drive all over provence through endless vineyards and olive groves, seeing the long standing relationship between man and nature.but my two favorite places were les calanques and chasteiul.
les calanques are a series of inlets and cliffs along the cote d'azure from marsailles heading east. the cliffs and rocks are primarily white, dotted with the perfect amount of trees and shrubs, and make a stunning contrast to that gorgeous mediterranean. ahhh the mediterranean. i can never get over the incredible deep blue it is with green tones at the edge. it makes sense they had to name it mediterranean blue because there is nothing else to compare it to. we went hiking along some of les calanques near st-cyr, and then drove along la rue des cretes (the road of the cliffs) just east of cassis. i couldn't get enough of it and know i will have to come back to spend weeks just hiking along them (there is a trail that runs all along the southern coast of france . . . any takers?)
then chasteuil and les gorges du verdon (the grand canyon of france) where my sister is living. she's been telling me about chasteiul for so long it was so wonderful to finally see it. i was expecting quite honestly to be underwhelmed because the photos i've seen of it just do not do it any justice. i was totally won over. the gorge is dramatic and stunning and towering white cliffs dropping into a narrow gorge with a turquoise river at the bottom. driving along it was breathtaking (and super dangerous). and then chasteiul nestled in the maritime alps is so lovely and rugged. it really is the sanpete county of france. again, this is a place i will revisit and spend more time. i just want to hike all over france. i have been bitten by the bug. p.s. if you want to see the full collection of france photos just go to my facebook page, i'm too lazy to post more.

Monday, March 29, 2010

home from france, still jet lagged

usually i bounce back, but man! it's rough this time! oh well. france was great. the kids were so good. the food was so good. being with my sister for 8 days straight was super great. i will write more and post more pics soon, but for now, this one is for lize, this was eaten in your honor. it was thoroughly enjoyed, but would have been better if you'd been there to share it with me (or just have one of your own!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

les tigres en france

i created a new blog, mostly for the parents of the kids i'm taking, that i will update everyday from france, so if you want the blow by blow, go here for the next two weeks. on y va!

Monday, March 08, 2010

gratitude list

1. my dad called on saturday from phantom ranch. they are having an amazing trip. speaking with him left my heart warm and my eyes wet. i am so inspired by my parents.
2. this talk by elder scott. i keep re-reading it and getting more and more from it. i'm so grateful for such powerful oracles of truth in a chaotic world.
3. dinner made by a dear friend, watching the sunset out her kitchen window as we ate.
4. taking a walk with ernie the happiest dog in the world.
5. seeing this photo by lovely cousin ann-marie: perfection.

Friday, March 05, 2010

guest woman

my dear cousin ann-marie (one of the loveliest human beings around) is doing this great series on her blog about why women love being women. she featured me today (and made me blush profusely!) stop and check out her glorious blog-o-blog and her photos that are beyond lovely. i'm sure she'd love you all to participate in her woman project too (sara!) so send your list to lady.of.lorien9@gmail.com xoxo

Thursday, March 04, 2010

oh march, you fickle thing

this morning was sunny and gorgeous. i donned a cotton cardigan and light silk scarf. i rode my bike to work and sang under my breath. and right now? oh, you know. it's a blizzard outside. SIIIIIIIGHHH. march is so mercurial. such a tease. so hot and cold. she drives you crazy like a teen angst love affair. but do not fear. i am keeping it real by remembering that in a weeks time i will be leaving for this gorgeous seaside town on the french riviera where it is currently 57 degrees. focus. keep it real. grit teeth. endure. (but please know that really i am grateful for the snow. we need the water).

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

lds church in haiti

this article is wonderful. may God continually bless the good people of haiti as they rebuild.

march acquisitions

good news! my accountant called me last night and said he'd been wrong and i DON'T have to pay anything for taxes, in fact i'll be getting a little somethin' somethin' back. phew. i was taking the news that i had to pay as some sort of universal adult growing pain, but was really stressed about having to come up with that chunk of change- essentially it would mean buying nada in france. but now i don't have to worry. phew.
this month's acquisitions to my library are appropriately frenchy. the book is 'paris made by hand' by stylist and blogger pia jane bijkerk who's blog i've been reading for quite some time. it's lovely. and this book is her lovely little guide to 50 parisian speciality shops all featuring handmade and crafted goods. it's gorgeous and i'm positively drooling as i plan my visits to some of these gems (again, SO glad about the taxes so i might come away with some little treasures).the film(s) (two for the price of one!) i bought have been some of my favorites since about, oh, third grade: 'jean de florette' & 'manon of the spring'. i remember seeing them at the byu international cinema with my parents and then watching them at home with my third grade french teacher as the guest of honor. they are heart-breakingly devastating and gorgeous and so french. i love them and am so excited to watch them again.speaking of french films, i've been trying to watch as many as i can to get my french ears on and the other night watched this really darling one 'avenue montaigne'. it is a sweet story about the intersection of several people's lives revolving around a little cafe in paris' theater district. tres charmant.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

every kids dream

this video is a kid's booby trap dream come true. a bright spot after finding out from my accountant that i have to pay taxes because one of my employers only filed an i-9 rather than a w-4 and taking taxes out. ugh. the amount i have to pay is almost the full amount i made working for them. stinks. oh well. c'est la vie.