A slice of March…
A day in Santa Cruz – Hugo and I drove up to Santa Cruz and spent a lovely day wandering. We left our laptops behind and took the day off from normal life and it was wonderful. It was like a tiny vacation. That sounds silly because it’s less than an hour away, but I thought it was as much fun as wandering through Lisbon or Sète or Oxford. It’s just nice to go somewhere beautiful and explore, no matter how far from home you are.
Rusalka – I love going to the Met Opera broadcasts (Live in HD) because you get to see world-class opera up close for cheap. It’s not the same as being there in person, but in some ways it’s better — it’s like having a front-row seat and a backstage tour for the price of a standing-room ticket.
Rusalka is essentially the Czech Little Mermaid, and while I take issue with the whole “mermaid makes life-destroying sacrifice for a dude she doesn’t really know” thing, the music is beautiful and the production was magical. The New York Times called it a “Dark, Sexy Hit.” Look at the costumes and the set!
75th birthday – No, not mine. My dad turned 75 in March and insisted that I sing at his party. For those of you who don’t know, I trained for many years as a classical singer and worked as a singer in Chicago until I moved to Paris, but I haven’t performed or auditioned since then.
The voice is a muscle — singing after a five-year break is like a former athlete hitting the track after not putting on her sneakers for five years. (I don’t really speak sports but hopefully that was accurate enough to hold up as an analogy.) It was actually fun to sing again (turns out I can still pop out a high D!) I hope that someday when we’re not perpetually on the move I’ll be more involved in music somehow.
The real star of the evening was the food (there were four kinds of duck and four desserts and no, I’m not kidding) and the friends and family who came to celebrate.
I remembered that I’m supposed to blog about France and finished a post on Paris, one of my favorite cities. I loved reading your suggestions for other places to explore in Paris! (I have a permanent Paris bucket list going.)
Sometimes I’m hesitant to write about Paris because I feel like it’s all been said before, and I was happy to hear that these hidden neighborhoods were still unknown to most people.
I also wrote about my experience doing a Whole 30 and what I learned.
What I’m watching
Hugo watches “Le Quotidien” religiously. Sometimes I watch with him if they have an interesting guest (like a presidential candidate or Neil Patrick Harris) or if someone is doing something goofy like stealing sheep from the agriculture fair in Paris.
Recently they did an episode featuring French people of Asian heritage discussing the prejudice they face in France. I was glad to see this addressed in the mainstream media — one thing that shocked me in France was casual racism towards Asians, and it seemed that a lot of it stemmed from a basic lack of awareness and understanding. You can watch a clip of it (in French) here.
What I’m reading
My marketing textbook, mostly.
Favorite Trader Joe’s
Coffee! We’ve tried out a few kinds, but now we always buy TJ’s Sumatra coffee. It’s also fair trade and organic which makes me feel good about my coffee habit. Now I just need to find the perfect non-dairy nut-free milk to put in it…
All in all, March was a great month! I’m so happy that spring is here. (Not that winter here is anything to complain about.) The warmer weather and the longer days just make me feel lighter and more energetic. I hope you’re all enjoying spring, wherever you are!