Friday, February 27, 2009


I don't know why I am in such a good mood on a cold dreary day in February, but everywhere I look, it seems like the universe is conspiring to make me happy.

I know, crazy, right?

The real good news is that my dissertation is going well. In fact, as soon as I finish typing this, I am headed to my neighborhood coffee shop to spend the afternoon revising the second half of my chapter so that I can get it to my advisor next week. I met with her today and she told me that she is about halfway through the wannabe article I submitted to her, but it looks "very promising" so far. And she gave me some good advice about interviewing to teach a *literature!* course for the fall. And she approved the abstract I am going to submit to a literature conference. Full speed ahead!

Even more exciting is the fact that David and I booked our trip to London for this summer! We will be staying at the Staunton Hotel in Bloomsbury and making our way around the city for a week and a half, with a couple of day trips planned to Bath and Oxford. In a freak twist of fantastic luck, it is very likely that my dear friend, former bridesmaid, and future legal counsel, Natalie, will be in London at the same time, studying there through an opportunity with her law program. Celebrating my birthday in London by going to see a Shakespearean play at the Globe theater with my hubby and one of my BFFs? Could I imagine a better birthday? (Well, I could, and of course it would include a fabulous afterparty with ALL my BFFs and my family, and anyone who reads this blog, and how about the cast of the play while we're at it... But still. This one's gonna be a good one.)

And we will spend the last four days of our trip in Paris. We have not yet finalized our accomodations, but we just got offered a great deal on renting a flat on the Left Bank of the River Seine. Does it GET any better than that?

The apartment belongs to our friend Kate and her husband -- Kate was our tour guide in Italy last summer and she and her husband Markus rent out their Paris flat (which is their homebase) as well as a farmhouse they own in southern France ( She is willing to let it to us for just the four nights that we will be there and they rent directly so we can leave cash and not pay extra fees for an agency. I am so excited!

Here is Kate's description of her flat:

The flat is situated on the fourth and last floor (no elevator) in Montparnasse in a quiet street (rue Bréa) between the Blvd Montparnasse and the Luxembourg gardens. Very good links to public transport - three different metro lines within easy walking distance, several useful bus links, a direct line to the Gare du Nord, as well as to both airports. There are also two stands of the city bikes (Velib) just outside. This is a fantastic and virtually free way to discover Paris. Check it out at Local food shops, markets, bakers, banks, post office, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and lots of lovely, expensive, clothes shops in the surrounding streets. Delightful Luxembourg gardens at the bottom of the road.

The flat has a large double sitting/dining room running across the front, with three windows onto the street and the little square Bréa-Vavin, with trees, cafes and a newspaper kiosk. The double bedroom and connecting bathroom are on the other side of the central passage, as is the kitchen. This side looks out over the building's quiet residental courtyard with a former artists' studio and trees. The flat is very light and airy, with big windows on each side. The bathroom has a bath tub with shower over, and there is of course a basin and loo. The kitchen has a gas cooker with electric oven, and a washing machine. There is Wifi access in the flat, but no television.

YES I WANT TO LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE FOR FOUR DAYS AND MAYBE I WILL NEVER LEAVE. I definitely trust Kate's recommendations and I am thrilled that she is willing to rent us her place. I can just imagine waking up in Paris, popping across the street (rue, I mean) to get coffee, croissants, and the New York Times, and eating a leisurely Parisian breakfast before renting bikes to take us sight-seeing. We can return home to have dinner at a cafe near our flat or buy bread and cheese and wine at a market and eat in the dining room with the windows open, pretending that we are locals...

I am so crazy excited about it I can hardly wait. What a way to celebrate finishing my dissertation and stayin' married for 5 years!!! I feel incredibly lucky and blessed and like the universe is smilin' on me.

And, in other good news on the local and domestic front, my parental units are coming to visit this weekend -- we don't have any big plans, but my mom is going to help me finish this sewing project I'm making for my friend Carol and I am going to ask my dad to take a look at our loo and see why it sometimes has condensation on the outside of the bowl toward the back. (Tip: Put your parents to work when they come to visit. No, they like it.) My mom and I also plan to do a little shopping and we'll go out Saturday night to have some St. Louis-style Italian dining on The Hill (or, technically, just south of it, in our neck of the woods).

Here's to health and happiness and safe travels, whether driving across town or state or jumping over the pond to Europe. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Really, can our 29th b'day beat the Double Dare B'day party we had in the backyard? (probably so - wish I could go!) Mom