Happy Saturday! YOU MADE IT TO THE WEEKEND!! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, paddle boarding, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “one year ago today” - you can click here to read about my reflection on the process of researching, writing, and handing in my Masters Degree dissertation! Otherwise, if you’re all caught up, buckle up and let’s continue this journey together! In the spirit of continuing the trend of where I was this time last year, let’s head to France! Oui Oui!
While I was living in Dublin and finishing up my dissertation, I received a message from my now-boyfriend. He was curious if I wanted to be his plus-one at a wedding in the South of France. I found out the necessary details and said yes (though I was super duper nervous if I’m being totally honest), and I told him that I was planning on doing a trip to Salzburg after the wedding as I’d always wanted to do the Sound of Music bus tour (get PUMPED for that upcoming post)! He said he’d come with me to Salzburg and then we could go to Munich and stay with one of his old friends. What started out as a wedding in France quickly turned into a mini Eurotrip (and now, a year later, we’re in love and live together and have dance parties in the living room and yell at hockey on the TV, so life is pretty twisty-turny crazy, and I love it).
When I arrived at the airport in Marseille, my boyfriend was there to pick me up with French baguettes in hand. Talk about ideal, y'all. His sister (who had given me lots of advice regarding Trinity and who helped fill in the details of wedding attire for me), her husband, my boyfriend, and I then drove to Marseille and took a boat trip out to one of the islands off the coast where we enjoyed some time at the beach, ate dinner, watched the sunset, and I tried Pastis for the first time. It did not go well. I am happy to report, however, that although it has taken me close to a year, I have found a version of Pastis that I enjoy, so great success (Borat voice)! We took the boat back to the city and were driven to Aix en Provence where my boyfriend and I found our way to the AirBnB we’d call home for a couple nights. It was a jam-packed day for me of traveling, especially since there were flight cancellations and some rerouting involved, but it was a good day when all was said and done.
One of my favorite books is Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which takes place over a summer on the French Riviera. I’d always had an image in my mind whenever I’ve reread it of what the scenery looked like, but it was so much better in reality than what my mind conjured up. Have you ever visited a location from one of your favorite books, especially one in such a romantic setting? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story
15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander
16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper
17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg
18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo
19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast
20. the world's most magical toilet
21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors
22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you
23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat
24. the next maxim cover girl!!
25. you can vote now!!
26. kindness at… the airport??
27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals
28. aren't gas stations amazing?!
29. not just mac's... supermac's
30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
31. brown bread ice cream
32. Black Lives Matter
33. technology and theatre
34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto
35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company
36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad
37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness
38. thank you! round 2!
39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza
40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london
41. a special london edition nerd alert
42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time
43. that wanker Van Morrison
44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
45. LA girls love London green juice
46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley
47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails
48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden
49. dublin tattoo magic
51. thank you! Maxim round 4!
52. dublin bog bodies
53. dún laoghaire ice cream
54. local celeb sighting
55. 13.1 in Dublin
56. thank you! Maxim round 5!
57. every girl likes a bad boy
58. poolbeg lighthouse
59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast
60. bow to your lord mayor
61. HAPPY HAMILTON DAY!!
62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!
63. gulliver's travels in belfast
64. all aboard the HMS Caroline
65. all aboard the RMS Titanic
66. you know nothing, jon snow
67. cave-born shadow babies
68. afraid of heights?
69. giants and their egos
70. the Kingsroad
71. sunsets in Donegal
72. derry dining chains
73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!
74. Spontaneity is Key
75. Dear Nana
75. blasket island centre
76. Nana's blue tin cookies
77. a dance lesson in Dublin
78. dublin to Royal Portrush
79. Shane Lowry's Open Championship
80. maxim and Belfast Chinese food
81. Irish beachy wild women
82. my Irish love, Cork
83. my Irish love, Cork: hot chocolate
84. my Irish love, Cork: knit life
85. my Irish love, Cork: English Market
86. my Irish love, Cork: Blackrock Castle
87. one year ago today