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November 1

Red Tambourine has been silent for a few months.

I have been traveling in France for about a month which has been really great for building confidence and re-connecting with friends and new projects. I have renewed enthusiasm for completing the decoration in my home after several visitors offered their opinions and ideas, and I spent a couple of days at a Sibuet hotel, decorated by Jocelyne Sibuet, famed decoratrice and hotelier in France. Joecelyne shared a breakfast with me and her enthusiasm for new projects that she is working on was contagious. One of my house guests proclaimed her ‘joyfulness’ each day and it teaches me to appreciate and look forward to each moment. ‘Gratitude’ was also another word that she used every day in the spirit of being thankful. She is a wonderful cook and we enjoyed eating a number of creations she whipped up in the kitchen with ingredients fresh from the local market! She studied at Peter Kump in NYC and encourages me to take some courses, even if just for a weekend or a short course. The cooking school is now re-named but easily located in Manhattan. I now find in my pocket a reciprocal invitation to make a visit to Mexico where they manage a resort.

I built some confidence by renting a car and driving it from the south to the north of France on the French expressways, mastering all the equipment, including the GPS. The GPS dutifully led me to all destinations. I visited Morzine-Avoriaz, a French ski village in the Savoie, now in conversation with Telluride, Colorado, about a ‘Sister City’ relationship. I tried to move that initiative with Megeve, but it did not work out. In my opinion, Megeve seems like a nicer ski resort that Morzine, but perhaps Morzine is more ideally matched to Telluride because it feels less pretentious. There are less fancy shops and perhaps more back-country ski pistes. I visited as just an interested resident of Telluride, not as an official ambassador. Morzine is located about an hour further north and east in Savoie from Megeve.

I am now in one of my favorite provinces, Alsace. I am spending the weekend with long-time friends and we are having  ‘Indian Summer’ temperatures. Today we are going to a cross-stitch festival, and later to an Alsatian restaurant in a small village. Alsatian cuisine is specific and very different from classic French cooking. Alsace has been somewhat ruined, in my opinion, by the construction of a north-south expressway which cuts the visitor off from driving through all the little villages that were formerly located on national roads. I am hoping that we skip the expressway in favor of the smaller roads today. The grape leaves in the vineyards are withering and changing to fall colors, creating a beautiful palette of gold, brown, red, and light green across the landscape.

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