Monday, July 21, 2008

Keep On Moving, Don't Stop ...

So I'm trying really hard to add photos taken from my new digital camera but Blogger isn't cooperating. I will try to figure it out later. The good news is that I have a new camera and while it's not my old camera/camera set-up, it's still quite nice. (Update: Here's me and MSJ and her air conditioning unit.)

Last Sunday? Rome, Italy.
This Sunday? Shubuta, Mississippi.

It's amazing what can happen in the span of a week. I jaunted down to the coast on Saturday to collect Maddie and, in the process, had a rockin' family pool party/dinner thanks to the awesome that is MSJ. She wasn't skeered to whip together some gumbo and tomato-basil pies and also gave me a kickin' little birthday gift. So fabulous and what a blessing to have such an amazing sister.

I decided to return a different way yesterday. It's actually the way Mapquest recommends but I've listened to locals in the two years it's been since I've lived here and they all swear that going through the country (relative term here) is fastest. Not only does it bring about a rage in me that I find difficult to express - other than stringing expletives in a way that even I find creative, natch - but it just gets on my damn nerves. I abhor being behind a slow poke for 10 miles of 2-lane highway so the route down the interstate into Meridian, MS, and the 4-lane Highway 45 all the way down to Fruitdale, AL, seemed easier, even though it took the exact same amount of time. Long story, I know. But I got to use the word "Shubuta," which is pronounced, "Sh-Bootah," and I giggled for an hour.

Continuing with my story ...

Sunday morning I opened my eyes to find us docked in Marseilles, France. It was very utilitarian with these white-ish cliffs surrounding the port, and not exactly what I think when I think "Mediterranean." I decided to run on the treadmill for an hour and was able to look at the city/port quite a bit from my vantage point in the gym.

We disembarked and took the shuttle into the city, and it quickly began to grow on me. The outskirts of Provence were decidedly French, and I began to appreciate the diversity - the range - of culture along our plotted course. All of the European history I'd studied in college began to make more sense and it was nice to have that "Ahhh, I get it" moment.

We fell victim to some of the waterfront vendors, buying some really fantastic soap, then ventured off the beaten path where we found the most fantastic crepes bistro and ordered lunch, despite a significant language barrier. My goat cheese and tomato crepe combined with a decadent kir made me a super happy camper. If I could post a picture I would. J-Dawg and I were so pleased with ourselves that we did, indeed, take photographs.

The fabulous architecture of Marseilles and styling of the buildings reminded me of the French Quarter in New Orleans. I felt a little bit at "home," but also recognized how old and classic the city was. It also possesses a modern layer of shopping and commerce, and while I felt a bit American for hitting up H&M when I should've been touring a church, I was nonetheless proud of myself for insisting on the sale price of a pair of shorts, post-sale, with, again, little English-French translation. Once a power shopper, always a power shopper, I say.


Hunter said...

too funny - i bought soap at that same little dock side market.

Rachel Mularz said...

Can I have two more beautiful cousins?? This is an awesome pic. I'm really loving your blogs. You really need to put pen to paper and write a book.