Dear Everyone,

Somehow, I don’t think I’m in Kansas anymore…

I’m sitting in a comfy chair in the Air France 1st class lounge.  I just had my first glass of French Champagne (lovely) today. Walking in here feels like a big ‘ahhhh’. The soft sounds of French all around me, yummy snacks, wine, cheese, chocolate, lattes. Ooh La La. I’ve been assigned seat 2B, my luggage trundled off, marked ‘priorité’ and I’m feeling the buzz of the ‘Cinderella effect’ of these trips.

It does feel like magic to go to the head of a huge line, show them by e-ticket from the French Government Tourist Office, politely suggest that I was told that I would be upgraded if there was space available and ‘voilà’, I was.

I just read the International Herald Tribune, my favorite French (written in English) newspaper.  Always so interesting to get the European perspective.  Major headlines:

“Obama leading race as the agent of change”  (Yes!  Why don’t we see that here???);  “US Legal Influence Dips”;  “Around the world, stocks fall after U.S. props up AIG…” (not surprising)  and “Has U.S. stopped practicing what it preaches?”

I will arrive in Nice on Saturday and the press trip begins on Sunday, when I’ll go to the airport in Nice and meet up with the other four people on the trip.  We’ll go to our first Deluxe Provence stop, Terre Blanche, in the hills behind Cannes. The PR firm which manages this property is the same one that handles the Georges V in Paris, so that says a lot.

But tomorrow night, I’ll be back in pumpkin phase, on my own, going to an inexpensive hotel I found on the internet (still $100). I can’t figure out whether it is a youth hostel or a hotel, but at least I have a private room, though it seems that the bath is down the hall? It was hard to find a room at all and so I took it, to avoid wandering around Nice, dragging my bags, in a jet-lagged daze looking for somewhere to stay.

So I’m going to settle back here and for the flight, drink champagne, eat delicious food served to me on real plates with real silverware, be called ‘Madame’ very politely and hopefully snooze in my comfy chair which reclines all the way back. I’ll savor every minute of the sweet journey.

Now, it is time for another glass of champagne and the French Elle is calling.

Bises (Kisses) for now!  À bientôt,  (till soon)

Diane

'Fall in Provence' 2008

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