Classic Movie Offers Words of Comfort for a New Year

When choosing a book or movie, I ask, “Where do I want to go?” emotionally and   physically. Films and travel memoirs have shaped my Bucket List, transported me back to places I love, and moved me–literally–to live abroad for three years. Two of my first posts on this blog were movie reviews–one on Slumdog Millionaire set…

Under the Moroccan Sun: Restoring a Holiday Home

The house is a metaphor for the self, of course, but it also is totally real. And a foreign house exaggerates all the associations houses carry…. And, ah, the foreign self. The new life might shape itself to the contours of the house, which already is at home in the landscape, and to the rhythms…

Riad Dar Kleta: Marrakech Stay for Rest and Inspiration

Stepping from a tunnel of the Medina into a passageway to a massive door… crossing the threshold into a lush courtyard garden flanked with singing birds… climbing the spiral staircase to three levels of heaven.  Exploring Riad Dar Kleta is a magical adventure.  Being inspired by the creativity of its owners, Julien and Francoise Gaumont,…

Salute to a Southern Summer: On Nashville, a Surprise Guest, and Coming Home

I read within a poet’s book a word that starred the page: “Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage!” Yes, that is true; and something more you’ll find, where’er you roam, That marble floors and gilded walls can never make a home. But every house where Love abides, and Friendship…

48 Hours of Marrakesh Magic

Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion. —Leigh Hunt, English Romantic poet and critic I adore Europe, but it turns out after living two years in Morocco,  that Africa is my second home.  I found more beauty, adventure, and relationship (especially in Marrakesh)–the three things I seek most in life–than…

Carnival in the Caribbean

It was the Grand Finale of a month of festivities all over the island. In Santo Domingo there had been an air show the week before celebrating The Dominican Republic’s Independence Day on February 27, and this would end the Caribbean Carnival season in Santo Domingo. My friends texted to say the Malecón—the oceanfront road…

A Wedding, the United Nations, and Disney

A wedding. Two unique people become one. A mystery and a marvel. Until recently I’d never attended a January wedding, but starting a new year with a couple committing to share the rest of their lives felt right. And kind of Disney. Weddings renew hope, reminding us that there is happy-ever-after, not only for the…

Wisdom Wanted for the New Year

It was a good day. My coworkers in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic  greeted me Latin-style after our being off for 3 weeks for Christmas break. Hugs. Kisses.  Big smiles.  “Happy New Year!” “Feliz ano nuevo!” On my way to the grocery an older lady saw me trying to cross the street in the rain and…

Pat’s Palo for a Front Row Seat to the Real Santo Domingo

Like I said, Santo Domingo takes salsa seriously from Sunday night dancing-in-the-street in the Old Town to Saturday night shaking-in-the-courtyard in the New City.  According to health experts and dance studios, such as Arthur Murray, salsa and merengue burn an average of 400 calories per hour.  Good to know for those who love the pulled…