Yesterday we took a walking tour to the James Baldwin house led by an amazing talent and force, Pearl Ramsey. She and her friend, Shannon Cain are involved in an effort to purchase the house back from a real estate developer and turn it into an artist’s retreat. So many coincidences and serendipitous exchanges occurred on this tour. Turns out the house is right across the street from our hotel. I’m looking at it right this minute as I sit on our balcony.
Here is the shine on the his front door
Dorothy and I recently watched the documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro. We’re so glad we were able to see the place where he lived and wrote during his 17 years in Saint Paul and where he died. Quotes from Pearl:My fears are not my anchor
We cannot create habitats inside an idea.
We haven’t melted yet but we have a lot of ingredients.
I’d share more but I can’t get our wifi to cooperate- eternal spinning circle of “wait a minute bubba, you ain’t going nowhere fast”. So I’m gonna try this very brief, no pictures update to see what happens. Yesterday marked the arrival of Eva and T – now we’re complete. While they rested, others explored Saint Paul de Vence for lunch, shopping and visiting Chagall’s grave. After our happy hour on the Terrance at Le Hameau our entire group enjoyed a wonderful dinner back at Saint Paul de Vence. Tonight the official tour begins. More later.
Ps the French term for Dirk’s sympathetic pregnancy symptoms is couvade.
My favorite things about this day:
- Never been packed so early for a trip before.
- Dorothy discovering my passport in our office about 15 minutes before we were about to leave.
- Tasty Bloody Mary and snack at the Shuttlesworth International airport in Birmingham with Anne, Judy, Carol and Bob.
- People watching in the Atlanta Airport gate for our flight to Paris. Mentally playing “guess the nationality” of those waiting to board.
- While we were in the Atlanta airport and after we received notification our flight to Paris would be delayed by about 40 minutes and knowing our connection to Nice was very tight, we were able to “protect” seats on a later flight to Nice.
- After ordering a Vodka on the rocks for D and me, the Delta flight attendant gave me the two fingers down signal with the stealth of a major league catcher signaling for the next pitch. I did not wave off the signal.
- There is Nothing favorite about trying to sleep on an airplane unless you are one of those First or Business class passengers in one of those cute little sleeping pod thingies.
- Annie and I competed for the “Most Forgetful” Award. She almost left her purse on the flight to Paris and I had to go back and retrieve my hat from the Nice flight.
- Westcott and Dirk meeting us at Hotel la Hameau and taking us to lunch – a short walk up the hill towards Saint-Paul-de-Vence
- The nap back at the hotel for our sore and tired bodies. Drooly kind of sleep for me.
- A cup of coffee at 5 pm to get the blood flowing again.
- Delivery of our mini’s Blue is my color.
- A “get acquainted” Rosè happy hour.
- Short trip up to Saint-Paul-de-Vence in our tour’s land yatch and a lovely dinner at Le Tilleul. There were red blankets draped over the backs of our chairs to help with the evening chill.
- We laughed about Dirk having “sympathy pregnancy symptoms” such as tiredness and bloating. Westcott told us there is a French word for it – I’ll get back to on what that word is. We laughed about Dorothy shouting “Eden” at my car’s voice GPS and we talked about whether Pop Gates will incorporate S-Town details into his Thanksgiving evening Von Donne story.
- Discovered Westcott totally understands (but does not speak) French and Judy does speak it. And of course Dirk gets by. They have the rest of us covered.
- Eva and T (Quattro Tango) arrive tomorrow.
The actually MiniCooper Tour doesn’t start until Thursday evening. I guess you could say we’re “pre-gaming”. This is going to be a really good trip.
Symone’s constant traveling companion (compliments of Alexandra Alexander) – Theodore. We probably jinxed ourselves by getting here really early because our flight has been delayed by 1 hour. Dorothy, Symone and I are meeting up in New York with my brothers to celebrate my mother’s birthday (June 15th) and bury her ashes on her parent’s and brother’s grave in upstate NY. This won’t be a sad trip. We’re going to do some NYC things, drive upstate, visit cousins and childhood sites. I think this will be a good trip. So we’re hanging out at Good People getting in the mood to fly away.
I’m going with the orange/yellow breakfast.
Even the view from the airport is beautiful with the Mediterranean in the background.