We are in Corsica.. for the next 10 days. Beautiful, wonderful Corsica..
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When I started this blog, my idea was to write about my daily life in the beautiful country where I live, Italy. What I didn’t know is one year later, I would be going back to work full-time in the wonderful world of fashion. Since talking about my frutta vendola (which is Italian for the guy at the fruit stand) is no longer the only thing on my agenda, I thought I would try to make room for a bit of everything, I mean why not? I live in Milan – one of the fashion capitals of the world. Plus, it is my blog.
So to make room for my new adventures, and for fashion, Italy with Grace is about to under go some minor changes with the help of a good friend of mine, Michael Gross co-owner of Full Circle Search – an internet marketing company based in Redondo Beach, California.
Bear with me while there is a bit of work in progress😉
See you in a few days,
One thing for sure I have definitely shifted into full on relax mode in the 3 weeks that I have been here. The days of feeling guilty for not doing a million and one things is long behind me..well sort of, anyway I have been busy, in fact I made a list of what I have done since arriving to the Côte d’Azur.
Taught my son to ride a bike.
Sat and faithfully watched my 7-year-old under the blazing heat for 5 days straight while she worked on becoming the next Sharipova.
Fooled around on a daily basis.
Sat and watched my 7-year-old while she worked on her sailing skills.
Realized that I am never going to be the next Sharipova.
Realized how much I love
my alone time having cousins and family around me on a daily basis.
Drank a very important amount of rosé. (See above point for reference)
Read every Côté Sud that has ever been bought. (well not really because I don’t read French that well, but I did look at all the pictures)
Befriended many a many French person. (including supermarket cashier, baker, pharmacist, and guy at the fish market)
Decided it was time to go back to work. ( see above point for reference)
This week has flown by. There were courses to sign the kids up for, beach house reparations to be done and me who ended up getting sick. Well a sore throat and sort of feverish, anyway. I don’t usually get sick, so after several months of having this sore throat come and go, oh and strep throat in both kids schools, I decided to go see a doctor. A French Doctor. It is not my usual French doctor, but a new place where I am told to go to ‘examine the throat’.
I arrive at the new doctor’s office and wait my turn patiently in the small white waiting room. When it is my turn, I go into the examination room. The doctor is a small woman with a brown bob, around her mid-fifties.
I sit on the examination chair.
She stares at me for a moment and then says in French ‘what is the problem?’
I tell her ‘I have a sore throat, a really bad sore throat.’ I say this in french ‘Moi, j’ai un grande mal de gorge’
She looks at me with a blank look on her face and says to me ‘C’est normale’ which means ‘this is normal.’
I don’t understand what she means so I say ‘il n’y a pas normale autremente c’est un gorge normale, e moi j’ai un mal de gorge‘ and this means ‘no, it is not normal, otherwise it would be a normal throat, instead I have a sore throat.’ She becomes very irritated with me and I don’t why, maybe she was hoping I came in with a giant jellyfish stuck to my head, instead here I am whining about a sore throat. She pulls out a very long popsickle-like stick and jams it into the back of my throat making me gag, at the same time she tells me to stick out my tongue.
I am trying to but it’s not easy, I say ‘il n’y a pas facile’.. she sighs a very deep sigh,..takes out the popsickle stick and chucks it into the nearby silver trash bin. Then without saying a word she scribbles something on a piece of paper, grabs the paper and leaves the room. I stare at the door and then follow her out of the examination room. She is nowhere to be seen. I pay the smiling receptionist, who tells me I can pick up my exams in one week. I smile politely, thank her and leave the building. I then walk straight across the street and into the local pharmacy. The woman at the counter says in French ‘Can I help you?’ I say ‘Oui, merci, j’ai un grande mal de gorge…’
Just another day in the beautiful French Riviera..
Evenings in this part of the world, one is never left short of things to do. With each little beach town beautifully lined one after another along the sea the choice of restaurants on the French Riviera is never-ending, a 10-20 minute drive can take you to places like the glitzy glam of Monte Carlo,Monaco – or up to the ancient fortified village of Eze, sitting on its mountain peak with amazing views of the coast.
We decide to go to Monte Carlo Saturday Night, to Cipriani Monte Carlo. Cipriani’s is in the heart of Monte Carlo and as most restaurants on the Côte d’Azur offers 2 seating times – 8.30 pm or 10.30pm. We choose the first hour knowing that most of us are usually asleep by the second. We arrive and the maitre d’ tells us our table is not quite ready and suggests we have a drink at the bar. I look around at the empty restaurant and wonder if there is something special they need to do to the empty set tables before we sit down. We do as told and just as soon as we all have our drinks in hand, voilà our table is ready. (now where I from that there is called hustling..) We sit down and order, as the restaurant slowly fills up. (what happen to the seating times?) The food is actually excellent, and the ambience is exactly what you would expect in Monte Carlo.
Okay so the truth is I am having a difficult time working from here. Sending emails while my 4 and 7-year-old are in the pool is just not an option. Making telephone calls while my son screams “caca- doons!” is also not what I had in mind. It’s like all of a sudden I am a mom of 2 kids and have to work from home. oh wait. I am. Right, so the only way I will be able to get anything done around here, is to wake up earlier than everyone else. Much earlier. and then leave. just kidding.. well, sort of. But how early is early? 6am? not going to happen. 7am? not going to be easy..what’s wrong with me? just one week in the beautiful South of France, and I have all of a sudden shifted from my high-strung, high achieving self to relax mode?! just the thought sort of makes me want to start hyperventilating. I am not a relax person. Doing nothing scares me. I need my daily list of 10,000+ things to do. I’m an all or nothing type of gal. I grew up in Lake Tahoe for heavens sakes..
But then..there is actually nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying my summer days. Right?
quick someone get me a paper bag..
I am on vacation. For the next 3 months. Really. Well, at least my kids are. As for me I will work from my computer, and travel back and forth to Milan when necessary for appointments.
My duties here will include many things, amongst which there is – going to beach, drinking Rosé , playing tennis, bringing children to every possible sport, and of course the most difficult one, to follow the terror twins in every waking moment of their lives whilst they scream “mommy!!! watch me……” (and here you can fill in the blank with just about every single thing a small child can do in a 15 hour waking period..)
I love France.
I love the people.
I love to speak French. My 7-year-old has asked me not to do so..
The French are so much different from Italians, so incredibly…
I am always so inspired when I am here…
I really and truly hope you will find the time to follow me here..
In France, with Grace.
..is Mezzanotte Store. I noticed the store months before it opened mostly because the first thing built in the small store was a modern, white, 100% functional children’s playhouse. Something entirely new in a city where nannies can earn like managers.
Once inside this lovely little store one can find beautifully made, one of a kind, children’s clothing, along with a broad choice of everything from froggy backpacks, to fun flip-flops, making it a great place to go when searching for the perfect gift. Everything is very carefully selected by the store’s owner, Barbara Mezzanotte,
whose elegant taste makes for an incredible selection – without being over priced.
I know it seems like all I do is go out lately. Which of course is
not true. The thing is, here in Milan it rained for like –EVER. Then finally it stopped. And now all of a sudden there is a bazillion people milling around, and the only logical thing to do after all that rain is to go out and let mother nature know how grateful we are that the skies are no longer dumping down on us.
I call my good friend Leslie and suggest we go have a drink at one of the most beautiful hidden gardens of Milan, a place I know well and have already spoken about before..the beautiful Bulgari Hotel. The crowd has changed a bit since the last time I came, but none the less having a 20 euro glass of wine in the middle of the lush garden makes you feel like you are really and truly
stupid on vacation. Leslie and I start chatting from the time we sit down until the time we have to leave..
just another wonderful warm summer night in Milan.