Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Countdown to Release Day - One Week!

As the Car Talk brothers like to say, this is the "shameless commerce" blog entry with the Countdown to Release Day - One week until Tuesday May 5th when the first Green Earth Guide hits bookstores and online booksellers. The booksellers I have talked to are excited about stocking the book and I can only hope that readers will be as thrilled to have it.

One little heads-up if you are ordering through Amazon.com. If you choose the free shipping option, they say the book will not ship until May 11th. If you choose the "standard shipping" option, it ships on the release day - May 5th - in other words, the free shipping orders get put on the back-burner until the people paying for shipping get their orders.

For a couple of corrections (yes, even in this day of digital and expert proofreading, a couple of mistakes make it into print), please see the page devoted to the Green Earth Guide: Traveling Naturally in France on the Traveling Naturally Web site, www.travelingnaturally.com.

I hope everyone finds the book helpful, informative, and interesting as they plot their travels through France.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I have been having a bit of a love affair with Bellcaire d’Emporda. My view of the town, surrounded by what will be fields of sunflowers in a few months, from the restored stone Masia I have been living in for the last three months is magnificent at every time of day. The old castle at the center of the town is perched on a bit of a hill, and the sun gleams yellow and gold on the village most days. I can bike or walk to the village and get really everything I need there - fresh food of every kind, from meat, fish, goat dairy, fruits, vegetables, wine, newspapers, and chocolate!

People are friendly, and the lovely woman who runs the local bar and café knows to bring me an aqua con gas con limon (sparkling mineral water with a lemon) when she sees me walk in the door.

I have become very partial to this little medieval village that sits about six kilometers southwest of L’Escala, a fishing village turned tourist town, on the Mediterranean.

As I start to organize and pack my belongings, getting ready to return to Vermont after a winter in Spain, I am thinking about storing up inside of me all the deeply satisfying moments here in this house and village - bike rides with the wind in my face, smelling the divine fragrance of a clover-like crop used to nourish the soil; warm sun soaking into my skin in February and March; lavender plants by the score, olive trees, and almond blossoms; my own little orange tree, which clearly knows it is loved by its show of profuse new growth; funny and profound conversations with my fourteen year old son; delicious fresh food for dinner every night; meeting new people who are open and kind, funny and beautiful, some of which are only brief encounters like the darling older Spanish man at the café in the train station with his weathered face exclaiming when he heard I was from the Estados Unidos (United States), “Bush es muy mal! Muy mal para el todo mundo.” (Bush is very bad! Very bad for the whole world.); old stone villages and houses; green, green, and more green; and reconnecting with dear old friends, and making new ones.

At the beginning of my time here, three months sounded like it was going to be so long. Now that I am at the end, there is so much I haven’t done that I wanted and hoped to do. Time -- what an amazing thing - different every day - fast, slow, unpredictable. And here it is, three months later, and I am packing my bag, trying to make room for a little olive oil and a few small containers of the local anchovies, like none I have ever tasted before. And bringing home the hope that I can return for more of this country that I have grown to love deeply.