catching up on last weekend in the U.S.

I found the cord to my camera and have some time, so please read yesterday’s post below, but I have to go back a week to catch you up now…

I wrote this in my journal Friday, March 31:
I was in 4 countries yesterday. I woke up in Switzerland after only a couple of hours of sleep (I was working til 3 :30 a.m. writing a proposal for an academic Institute some of us are trying to create), drove like a bat out of hell to catch the plane at Malpensa airport in Italy. The Italian border guard stopped me to flirt and I said to him, “Look, I’ve got to catch my plane and I’m afraid I’m going to miss it.” He said, “Oh, okay.” He was cute, too, but no matter.

I can’t even remember the flight to Paris. I think I slept. Then I had the most god-awful five hour layover in Charles de Gaulle airport. The thing is a modernist behemoth with inadequate facilities — nowhere quiet to just sit and chill. I paid over 20 euros for a plate of cold cuts and lettuce and a hunk of gorgonzola. I love airports, but hate Charles de Gaulle airport.

Flew Air France the whole way from Italy and the food was fantastic — so much dairy I thought I should moo. Cheese and yogurt with every meal, and then something like sour cream that you just eat straight with a spoon. I sat next to a great (very married) French guy on the plane, Franc. He’s married to Holly, an American. They have three kids… Adrian, Paul and Melanie… I even know their personalities and that they have a summer house in the south of France. We talked business and skiing and cheese. The man had 5 kilos of stinky French cheese in his bag — a man after my own heart… only he really, really wasn’t. Just a nice, good guy.

I know that one of these days there will be a man after my heart… wonder when.

And then to Hampshire! Home! Coming up the drive felt even more like coming home than driving into Sarasota. It even smelled like home. Everything is so casual in Amherst. People at the conference were in jeans and Birkenstocks and I was in a black dress. Whoops — I’d forgotten! I look like a beauty queen here — so different from the standard of beauty where I live now… there I am over the hill and not done up enough to be beautiful. The women are over the top.

And Amherst! I’d forgotten how absolutely thrilled I am by the red barns… and now I know why, after all these years! They look just like the Fisher Price barn I had as a little girl… remember those? With the little round people and plastic farm animals? I loved that thing!

Look at these great photos of Boston I got as we took off back to Europe:

It was good to be back home again. I love it there, in Amherst. People think like me and talk about things I care about.

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