Summer may be over, but the fun continues

Once again it has been a long time since I’ve written. But I can promise it’s been a crazy if fun (and of course travel filled) six weeks.

On the practical front my visa renewal is all but finished. I have my temporary papers but need to collect and drop off two final school related items to claim the official document. Which means, I officially get to stay in France for another year.

I also took my first trip to Burgundy and stayed with the absolutely lovely L. family. I got to experience Beaune in all its glory. Great Pinot Noir. Amazing Chardonnays. Intriguing Aligotes. (and yes, I am actually raving about white wines) In fact, I added to my steadily growing collection. I got to explore some of the area’s history, the Hospice and Clos de Vougeot. And the wine nerd in me got to see the famous Domaine de Romanee Conti. Now I just need to get a chance to taste the wine…. I’ll have to work on that. Click here for some of the amazing array of photos.

Then I went home for three weeks and almost completely checked out (even though I did bring my computer home). I got to see old friends, celebrate birthdays with family and take a vacation. Stops included Disneyland (yes I’m still enough of a kid to love it), Vegas (yes I’m enough of an adult to take advantage) and Mammoth (got nothing on this one). Sorry no high-quality pictures on this one, but click here for a few iPhone snaps.

And on the way back to France, I made a pit stop in Amsterdam with my dad. And a whirlwind 48 hours it was. A Canal Tour, Heineken Brewery Experience, Van Gogh Museum, the Flower Market, Museum of the Canals, Houseboat Museum, Tulip Museum, Cheese Museum, the House of Bols and Genever, the Windmill Brewery (Brozerit’j IJ) and of course the obligatory tour through the Red Light District. It was a very busy trip and of course this time there were photos.

I would say I don’t have another trip planned but I’m afraid that just isn’t the case. I’ll be back in Spain, visiting the Rioja region with school, in October. And it looks like I’ll be headed back to Burgundy for the Hospice de Beaune Vente de Vin in November. In the mean time, I’ll go back to work and start preparing for the new school year. I’ll confess to feeling very nervous about what this year will bring, but I can say with 100% certainty that I know I’ll be enjoying that wine collection I built up over the summer. In fact, I doubt it will last until Christmas. 😉 But I promise to start posting more wine reviews and updates.

So for now –à la prochaine !

A Shakespeare Update

A little belated, but in honor of what we think is the Bard’s 450th Birthday, I thought I would post an updated on my posts from January and September about Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Clearly it hasn’t been a priority, but I was incredibly excited to hear that the organization has met its goals and will be offering a 2014 season.

The new Santa Cruz Shakespeare, will be offering As You Like It and The Merry Wives of Windsor this July, under the leadership of the new co-Artistic Director Mike Ryan.  For those familiar with Shakespeare Santa Cruz productions, Mike Ryan has long been a favorite actor and community participant.

While I am thrilled that amazing outdoor Shakespeare performances will continue in Santa Cruz, I will admit that this is tempered with a bit of wistfulness. I will not be in the United States this year to watch any Shakespeare performance. Perhaps, I’ll just have to return to England and catch a play at the Globe.

Apartments, Holidays and More

It’s been a crazy couple of days. In fact I would go so far as to say this week was crazy and a little stressful. There were apartment viewings, bus issues, a wine tasting, a Christmas market, school work and the Cyber Monday prep. I wish I could say that things will be calmer next week but I think I’m looking at a sprint to the finish.

I’ve got school projects galore! And on that note – check out the latest post on my second blog! In fact, my team was one of the four from the English cohort chosen to proceed to the next level on our large professional project – the wine challenge! I’m excited that our hard work paid off but it means another round of crazy preparations and hard work. And coming up on the 16th of December I’ve got two major presentations for the same class. And to top it all of next weekend I will be on a school trip to Cahors. So…not much work getting done then. Oh well.. Continue reading