Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Settling Back in Saint-Jean-de-Védas

Although I didn't arrange the transportation until a week out, I knew while in Venice and Munich that I'd soon be headed back to Montpellier. And despite this prior knowledge, it still felt a bit surreal to arrive at Gare St. Roch and step out into the sunny, familiar streets—like I'd hacked time and jumped back to a prior chapter in life.

A fifteen-minute car ride later and we were back in Saint-Jean-de-Védas at the Rius residence, where I felt right at home.

French Eats

Damien's mom made paella on my second or third day—what luck!

That first weekend she also made beignets à la citrouille—her mom's recipe—with chocolat chaud:

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Moment Catching in Montpellier

After an early morning train from Strasbourg, I arrived in Montpellier on Thursday, March 30, where Damien picked me up and took me to his parents' house in a nearby suburb. On Friday afternoon I took the tram into Montpellier to sketch at Parc du Peyrou for the weekend's Moment Catchers challenge.

It was a special sketching session for me because it's here where I painted my very first on-location watercolor last September, dabbing at colors and not knowing what I was doing. Below are my watercolors and the painting:

Watercolors: September 2016

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[Photos] Maxing* in Munich

*Maxing = Hanging out with Max

A few days before my train to Munich, my friend Max—with whom I'd be staying—found out he'd have to work in Frankfurt during the week, and thus would not be at home when I arrived. He gave me directions to his apartment, made sure a roommate would be home to let me in, and welcomed me warmly with this awesome spread:

Umbrella, apple, towel, warm socks, tram map, cloth bag, key, handwritten welcome note with info + tips, and snail mail sent to me via Max. Amazing!
He also made and shared with me a Google map where he'd marked over 30 places, with his comments on each. Incredible!

One of the places he recommended was a nearby cemetery, where locals often go for a stroll or to sit in peace on the benches:

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

I asked 44 pilgrims what they learned from walking the Camino de Santiago. Here's what they wrote:

For a month in the fall of 2014 I walked the camino francés of the Camino de Santiago—a pilgrimage across Spain.

Partway through the journey, I began keeping a running list in my mind of small lessons I was learning, which made their way onto a page in my journal and eventually became this reflection.

At some point along the journey, I decided at the end I'd ask other pilgrims what they had learned as well. After finishing, I bought a little notebook from a souvenir shop, grabbed a pen, and headed to the line of pilgrims waiting to get their certificate of completion in Santiago de Compostela. 

(This is the short version of how it went down, by the way. Here's where you can read a behind-the-scenes look at what was running through my head, and how the project almost didn't happen!)

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