It has been a long and not so easy transition back to the US, but let me back up… how did I even get here you ask? Three words: planes, trains, and automobiles. I remember years ago when Gracie and I were traveling around Europe via train for the summer...we had six suitcases, a giant Mac desktop computer for Gracie’s homeschooling, and a ten week old French bulldog puppy who wasn’t exactly potty trained yet, and my god, that summer was a nightmare. But now, looking back at what I just went through getting to the US, that summer with Gracie was a piece of cake. However, with the help of my friends, family and caregivers, I got back to Santa Barbara, California in one piece. Don't feel too bad for me, it was rather luxurious. My sister arrived to Paris July 25 to take me home. (Yes, I'm talking to her again). I wish I could have taken my three caregivers back with me but one of them does not have a passport, one of them has no travel visa and the other has political asylum in Paris. Trust me, the word “smuggling” crossed my mind, but I am probably in enough trouble with the Parisian Palliative Care Center
already. However, I did take them as far as I could, which was to the private airport in Marseille… but let's back up. On July 31, David put my two caregivers, my sister and me on the south bound train from Paris to Provence. It was a complete necessity that I spend 3 days in Provence so that I didn’t hate France forever and it worked. My sister, the caregivers and I were fortunate enough to stay at Romy and the Apricot’s beautiful villa in the South of France. If you don’t remember who they are...Click HERE.
Don't be too jealous… I still have ALS and someone still has to wipe my tushy everyday :). We arrived in Aix en Provence to my friend’s house on a perfect summer day. We were greeted with open hugs and kisses from everyone… my friends, their staff and the dog, Lupo. Five minutes later we were seated at the beautifully dressed lunch table shaded by a chestnut tree. Meal after meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner was complete perfection; from the table setting, the perfect ambiance to the painstakingly organized menu by their cook, Christina. My friends even brought their cook, Sao, from their other house near Italy to make her special pizza. Even though I can barely swallow, I had a few bites of those pizzas… I didn't care if I choked to death. If I choke to death in the South of France in a beautiful villa surrounded by my friends eating gourmet pizza.. so be it. I can think of worse ways to die.
Saturday at lunch, Romy put on her favorite song. It is a French song called “Eleanor” and the lyrics had us all balling our eyes out. I thought my sister was going to have a stroke. I think it was the first time my sister realized how much Romy and the Apricot and I love each other. You really cannot find better friends. It was very emotional in the very best way. I was so happy to have spent these few days talking and hanging out with my friends. I still officially hate France but the three days spent with them put a little BandAid on my bruised soul (more on that later).
On the third day we headed to the Marseille private airport to catch my flight back to the US. This didn't suck either. My friend G.P. graciously offered to fly me home on his plane, which happened to be a 727 private jet. G.P and I have been friends for years and he is one of the kindest most generous gentleman I have ever met in my life and he is not fucking obnoxious about it... he is soft spoken, humble, and a class act. I wouldn't be so gauche as to post photos of his plane but if you want to see it (you should) you can see the whole kit and caboodle in Architectural Digest, Click HERE. This was the most beautiful plane I have ever seen, decorated by the lovely Craig Wright who also happened to decorate my friend Diandra Douglas’ house in Spain and in Santa Barbara. Wanna see? Click HERE and HERE. Mr. Wright
also happens to be a true gentleman in every sense as well. Now, back to the plane… G.P gave my sister and I basically the back living room of his plane. Carmel covered leather seats, Ralph Lauren bedding, huge fur blankets, three course meals (tomato mozzarella basil salad, filet mignon with mashed potatoes and green beans, and chocolate cake for dessert) but that wasn't all... my sister had about 24 cups of tea served in an antique 1940’s Art Deco tea set, 14 candy bars, 17 bags of chips, 23 sticks of gum, and a gourmet breakfast to boot. The best part about the plane ride was that there were only 10 people on the plane and I knew everyone of them. So, it was like traveling with family except no one bothered me. Remember Chapter 19 of my book? They were on the plane and I was actually so happy to see them that I almost cried. Isn’t it funny how time heals everything? 12 hours later (which actually only felt like 3) we were back on American soil. If I could have kissed the tarmac I would have. I have never been so happy to see the Los Angeles smog in my entire life. I am finally home. I survived France.
I have so much to tell all of you but I have to go slow because my voice is almost gone. This is what I had in mind…. The next few blogs will be about why I left stupid France, why I moved back to my beloved Santa Barbara, my new house and the best news is that I have some more antique sales left in me! I think you all will really like the next sale. Thank you all for being patient with me… I am still on my last leg but I have so much to tell you...but it is just going to take me a little time.
● Something you don’t know about me? I shipped back to the US every single solitary card that all of you sent me. I am so appreciative of your kindness, your well wishes, and your friendship. Your cards mean everything to me...so thank you.