A Perfect Paris Sunday (Among Other Great Adventures)
EAT THE DAMN BREAD
Colet Williams, podcaster for “Eat the Damn Bread,” is not only a certified health coach and Brussels sprouts connoisseur, she is also a serious Francophile. Her weekly podcasts are mostly about life in France and how to create that “joie de vivre” we are all looking to achieve…through the topics of nutrition, movement, mindset and environment. She invited me to participate with her in a podcast. So on Thursday afternoon, Colet and I informally talked about whatever she wanted to talk about…it was her interview and she was in charge.
I’d never met Colet before (pronounced “Colette”), but she super impressed me with her positive energy and intelligent questions. These are some of the talents that make a great podcaster. What I thought would be just a few minutes of conversation, turned into almost two hours of not wanting to sign off and just keep chatting. Before we did say our “au revoirs,” Colet asked me what “Eat the damn bread” meant to me.
“Colet, first of all I stopped eating bread years ago, so I get it. It means ‘Don’t deprive yourself of living your life to the fullest.'”
While I fully agree, I’m still trying my best to not let those baguettes and croissant go straight from the lips to the hips! She promised to edit the session to extract the best dialog of the lot. The moment the audio file is ready for broadcasting, I’ll share it with you. Until then, as Colet would put it… “Create a life on your terms and never be afraid to ‘eat the damn bread!'”
A CUT ABOVE THE FRENCH RIVIERA
Thursday evening, our latest House Hunters International episode, “A Cut Above on the French Riviera,” aired in the US. It was possible to watch Friday morning Paris time by tuning into HGTV on my Amazon Fire TV Stick set with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in order to view US programming.
Don’t be fooled by the change in titles—you will see it in some places as “A Cut Above in France” and others as “A Cut Above on the French Riviera.” It’s the same show, but clearly at least one of the titles is a mistake.
We taped it last December with our masks on, except for when we were on camera. The director went home after the filming and immediately got sick with Covid-19, which scared us all. Fortunately, she was the only one to come down with the virus and she recovered well, too. Natasha and Yannick, the contributors, were a delight to work with and of course, taping on the Côte d’Azur was a heavenly pleasure.
If you missed it and would like to see it, HGTV makes it available for purchase for just $2.99. Click here to get your copy.
IS FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP RIGHT FOR YOU?
Saturday evening, well over 100 people tuned into our webinar, “Is Fractional Ownership Right for You?” There were so many questions that we took an extra 15 minutes to answer as many as we could…and there were lots of good ones. The webinar was designed to explain everything about the concept and the actual functioning of a property shared by many people. There was also quite a bit of detail about the projects we currently have on the market as well as those we will be working on soon.
If you missed it, you can view it here.
And here are some of the questions we ran out of time to answer:
Q: Can one owner own two shares, so as to have eight weeks every year?
A: Yes, of course! One owner can buy as many shares as they want, as long as the developer allows it!
Q: Can there ever be more than 13 owners—that is can shares be split?
A: In our properties, there are 13 four-week shares. One share can be purchased by more than one party, so it can be shared between them.
Q: What happens if one of the owners doesn’t pay the yearly share of the dues?
A: The Homeowner Association may use all or any part of any owner’s security deposit is an interim method to cover the unpaid amount and will be considered a loan. The amount shall remain outstanding and the owner shall continue to be deemed in default until the amount is repaid as well as any outstanding portion of the original obligation, and any outstanding interest or penalties. However, in my experience, I’ve never come across a “dead beat” owner, but I’m sure it can and does happen.
The rest of the questions were successfully answered during the webinar, so I suggest tuning in if this if of interest to you. Click here to see it for yourself.
LE JARDIN DES PLANTES…AND ANIMALS, BOTH DEAD AND ALIVE
My daughter is home for much of the summer, and in spite of living together in the same apartment, we are like passing ships in the night. She has her friends and work and I have mine. So, in order to have quality time together, we have to make a date with one another—set a time and a place to do something we both want to do.
There are lots of new things to do in Paris at this moment, such as visit the newly opened Samaritaine Department Store (“The Rebirth of an Icon“) or the newly renovated Musée Carnavalet, but we opted for something we hadn’t done since she was very young, and is very Parisian indeed: make a full day’s visit to the Jardin des Plantes and all it has to offer, of which there is plenty.
“In the beginning the term Jardin des Plantes referred only to a botanical garden of 58 acres (230,000 m2), created and built by the royal physicians Jean Herouard and Guy de La Brosse. It therefore became known as the Royal Herb Garden. Created in 1626 and opened for the public in 1635, it is the oldest part of the national research and educational institute for science, the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, which was founded in 1793.” (Wikipedia.org)
Starting out early with tickets in hand (there’s no entry without them to the various exhibitions) and umbrellas over our heads, we had allowed most of the day, but began by visiting the Galerie de Géologie et de Minéralogie (Geology and Mineralogy Gallery). I had taken her as a young kid to this museum when it was located on the edge of the Jardin du Luxembourg. She fell immediately in love with minerals and has been smitten ever since. As we went from display to display, we “ooed” and “aahed” awestruck at the incredibly beautiful natural formations of the minerals and their colors, taking lots of photos.
Next on the agenda was the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution (Gallery of Evolution) or what you might call the Natural History Museum. It’s a very large and very beautiful building with four levels devoted to…dead animals. I find the taxidermy both fascinating and creepy. The museum was packed with visitors on this rainy afternoon, most of which were children. I’d dare say we might have been the only adults unaccompanied by kids…we WERE the kids.
Erica had reserved a virtual reality session (on the third floor) for us both—something I’d never done before. We chose to be together in an underwater deep sea diving expedition, so we were placed in one room surrounded by white curtains, a virtual reality set placed on our heads and controls in our hands. We saw each other as deep sea divers. We had controls to shoot a laser at something we saw which allowed a tablet to pop up with information about that thing—whether it be a creature or an object. Another control allowed us to photograph what we saw…virtually. At the end of the session, the museum staff emailed us the photos we had taken…virtually.
Sated with being surrounded by both dead and virtual animals, we then headed over to the “Ménagerie,” the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes. It is here that Erica literally cried at the sight of the animals in their cages, particularly an Orangutan family—the father (“Banggi”) asleep on a piece of paper to protect himself from the dirt floor and a mother (“Théadora”) staring out the glass as us humans as she coddled her infant (Java) who was fast asleep.
The zoo is small and houses rare smaller and medium-sized mammals and a variety of birds and reptiles. It was founded in 1793 by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737–1814) who “was committed to the principles of keeping exotic animals in their natural environment, having regard to their needs, placing them under scientific supervision, and allowing public access in the interest of public education.” (Wikipedia.org) Even with the zoo’s somewhat miniature size, we were now thoroughly spent and could barely get our feet to carry us off to a late lunch in the neighborhood at Square Saint-Médard at the bottom of rue Mouffetard.
It was rainy, but not cold, our shoes were caked with sand from the garden, and we were exhausted from the many kilometers we’d walked. But we didn’t care. It had been a perfect Paris Sunday.
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
Adrian with daughter, Erica, at the Jardin des Plantes
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I so look forward to your newsletter! You always make me smile 😊 Live the picture of you and your daughter. I leave for Paris (from Seattle) tomorrow and am sorry you can’t yet return to your monthly Après Midi. I was at the last one just as COVID-19 was beginning.