Fall Plans (to USA!!) And Life Update
It’s been a while, I know, I know.
It’s the story of my life these days, still trying to find my new balance, that tricky place between living my life and sharing it online. These last 4 months (!!) have been my longest break ever, the absolute longest time I’ve been completely off all social media, at least since I was a young lass before the internet ever even existed.
It’s been an interesting experiment, good in many ways, perhaps a bit lonely in others. I really needed the break, but I can’t deny I’ve also missed the interaction with blog friends old and new.
Lots has happened of course.
Our pets are doing really well, Polly and the two cats. The cats are international travelers now, having made a month-long trek to Italy back in May in the motorhome. If I get organized enough to write about it I will, as it really was an outstanding trip and a place we’ll definitely go back to in the future. Besides who doesn’t dream of la dolce vita, morning cappuccino in the town square, chats with the locals, an aperol spritz, and the passeggiata, the evening walk all Italians take to socialize and take in the air?
It’s the life, it really it is, and given the free daily treats Polly got at the local butchers, she can most pawsitively attest to this.
We’ve also been for a cool trip into the Pyrenees mountains in LMB, I drove to Nice for an awesome week-end to visit a dear friend and we’ve attended several local events. It’s all been good, really.
But the main reason I’m “back” here today is to share my plans for a fall trip to USA, get some feedback and perhaps the chance to meet-up with some of my good blog friends along the way. In fact this whole plan has come together rather quickly and surreptitiously, which makes it both super exciting and comfortable to blog about. My perfect kinda of travel plan.
A Quick Update On France
Before I launch into the deets lemme give you all a quick update on our life here in SW France.
Honestly, apart from this week it’s been a surprisingly easy summer. While the whole world roasted away, our weather stayed unusually cool and mild. It made no sense really, as places just steps from us plunged into deep drought and suffered intense heat-waves whereas our little teeny corner of France just….coasted along?
In fact all was bliss until this week when our first canicule (heat-wave) and the hottest day we’ve ever seen in SW France sent temps rocketing above 43°C (109°F) and everyone into hibernation in their house caves with shutters closed and air on. It was brutal, but 2 days later it’s back down to 16°C (60°F) and rain. Insanity, really!
The pets have loved it, as has the garden too.
We sowed a single packet of Italian cherry tomatoes in Spring that has now become a forest of 60 (!!) bushes so loaded up with candy-sweet fruit we harvest a good kilo almost every other day.
We used a local “no dig” method too, where we just piled a thick layer hay on the ground in early spring, planted in our seedlings (very deep) after a few months, gave it a good watering and then just left it. No pinching of side-shoots, no additional watering, literally nothing at all. It’s been such an outstanding success that I don’t think I’ll ever do tomatoes any other way.
We’ve also enjoyed an abundance of cherries (late Spring), a crazy number of Mirabelle plumbs and Asian pears (right now) and of course an insane supply of zucchini’s.
The latter is an old gardening joke and the fodder for endless memes. Everyone has so many right now you can’t even give the bloody things away, and should someone leave you a multi-ton pile at your doorstep you have to ask yourself what they really mean by it. Forget “sleeping with the fishes”, it’s “crushed by zucchinis” here in SW France!
And Of Course The Paws
The paws are doing great, truly.
Polly is an old girl now and almost completely deaf, but she’s still in great form, loves her daily walks and is very serious about “the schedule”. Her days revolve around food, naps and herding us into action which mostly involves barking when we happen to miss an important event (say, a few seconds late on the morning feed), as she can’t hear anything else at all these days. Oh and of course, she spends many hours keeping track of the cats. A full and adventurous life.
The cats are an absolute pain in the butt and total joy.
Maya is the crazy lover, always wide-eyed and curious, totally enamored with Polly and wants to be involved and wherever we are, preferably with a paw on us just in case we happen to move while she’s asleep. She’s as nuts as she was when she was a teeny kitten, loves to be chased and has taught herself to fetch, a game she’ll play for hours on end on her own or (preferably) with us to throw. She’s so darn cute.
Dante is still a totally chillaxed cat, soft, sweet and docile except for the rare, odd moments when she freaks herself out and springs up in the air like a jack rabbit with her tail puffed up to three times its size (it’s so random). She prefers to spend her days by herself, napping in her special spots, but can also be intensely cuddly and will reach out her paw to you and meow softly when she wants some love. She’s also too darn cute.
Life with pets is more complicated, but IMO always more fun.
And Now, To The Future
So yes I’m going to USA, out West no less, in Oct of this year. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!
It’s been 7 long years (!!!) since I last stepped foot in my beloved PNW. I’ve been planning to go back ever since, but as these things go it just never came together until it suddenly did, just a few weeks ago. Some gentle pushes from Paul, a couple of text exchanges with dear friends and then “the event” that crystalized the dates, the Annular Solar Eclipse in Oregon on Oct 14th.
Oh yes, there we have it baby! That’s the sign.
Once I zoned in on that, everything else fell into place like a line of stacked dominos ready to go. I got my tix booked (on credit card miles, naturally), locked in several visits with close friends, found out my good buddies Technomadia are going to be at Eclipsefest (yeah!) and mapped out a loose itinerary of where(ish) I’m going to travel.
The crazy price of rental cars locked in my final decision of how I was going to do all this, and it’s something I haven’t done since my 20’s…car camping with a tent…old school style, baby!
So now the bones are in place, I’ve just got the mini-details to work out: Internet access (I’m researching various short-term data e-sims), where to car tent camp (I know where to RV camp on the OR coast, but tent camping??), and how many stops to make (sadly I only have ~20 days to do it all). Exciting planning, to be sure.
So that’s my long-overdue update my dear blog friends. If any of you have any tips for my upcoming US trip (esp. for car-tent camping) or you think you might be somewhere along my route in Oct please DO please let me know! I would LOVE to meet-up. DO also tell me how you’re doing in the blog comments below.