Full steam.

just jaunty   garfield 3: feline groovy

Today Gabe is wearing a green jacket, a tan fleece, khaki pants, and brown shoes.

And no boot! His foot is healing, ever so slowly, so he is back to his classic matching-shoe look, and no longer hobbles (that much), which is fantastic.

Yesterday I had a pretty shocking realization: in less than I month, I will not be in Seattle — in fact, I won’t even be in America.

You guys! In less than one month, I’ll be in France — for just over three weeks.

Gabe (in case you couldn’t tell from his dashing moustache) is a French guy. Well, his father is from France. Gabe was born and raised in California, though he spent some childhood years and a stint before college in la France, learning the art of growing fine facial hair and appreciating a good wine.

A few years ago, his parents bought a place in the northeastern part of the country, and they & their many visitors spend their summers there fixing it up and having a grand old time.

Through weird work schedules and general not-getting-it-together I have never been to this amazing French location. Until this year. But now I am going! And I couldn’t be more excited.

I traveled a fair amount as a young lady — I visited various European countries twice in high school, then studied abroad in Paris for 6 months during college (during which time I also went to Morocco which is the number one place I’d like to go again) — but since graduating college have only made  one big trip out of the country, to China to visit a friend in 2010.

Oh, and I ran a half-marathon in Vancounver, BC last year…but that doesn’t really count, right?

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I am super excited to be heading abroad again and it’s making me realize how much I have missed it and that I want to do it more regularly.

Gabe and I have been batting around the idea of going somewhere tropical for a few months in the fall (maybe Costa Rica? Going somewhere he can surf is key), and I really hope it comes together. If not that plan, then something similar. Soon.

We live a life where pulling up stakes is relatively easy. All of our furniture came mostly free from Craigslist, and we are both prepared to hastily sacrifice it all on the side of the road as we drive away in search of adventure. It seems like we should really take advantage of this freedom.

Plus, as an Internet writer, I can work from anywhere, whether it’s my bed in Seattle or a tiny hut somewhere on a far off island.

But back to the trip at hand. My number one concern for visiting France this summer is handling my waning French skills. I spoke basically fluently when I lived in Paris, but somehow I’ve retained all the grammar and none of the vocab all these years later. I can deliver some weird complicated verb-based sentence like “I really would have liked to have gone to that party” but at the end won’t be able to remember the word for party.

Instead of sounding like a child like most tourists, I’ll just sound like a really forgetful adult. Quel dommage.



  1. bensbitterblog

    Sounds like a cool trip. I am still hoping to ever leave North America. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Hawaii, but never outside of North America. I hope to learn this continent someday.

    • Kate Stull

      Well it sounds like you are definitely making the most of this one continent! 🙂 I know I’d like to add a few of those places to my list. Hope you make it overseas someday — I’m sure international air travel would provide fodder for quite a few bitterness posts over on your blog…

      • bensbitterblog

        Oh yes. In fact, I could do a post about how close I have been to getting overseas. I had trips planned for Switzerland and Hong Kong that were cancelled. I am definitely bitter about them.

  2. Alex-Marie

    My boyfriend is from France too :). I’m very jealous! Amuse-toi en France, et mange beacoup de moules et pain. That would be my plan.

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