First Work Trip Abroad: Completed

Bonjour!

I returned from my work trip on a Thursday, had to go into work on Friday, slept all of Saturday and Sunday, then was back at it again on a Tuesday.

My first work trip abroad was a success! I’m feeling more comfortable and relaxed in my position–not completely comfortable and relaxed–but more, and it’s quite a relief.

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The Moet & Chandon property

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I always choose scallops.
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The Moet & Chandon vineyard
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A fancy door and parquet flooring I’d like to have in my house, tyvm.
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There was SO much champagne.
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Moet & Chandon
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My French hotel
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You’ve seen one castle, you’ve seen ’em all, but…still pretty impressive n’est-ce pas?!
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A vineyard
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My hotel room in Germany

I didn’t really get to do anything but work in Germany. I wish I had gotten more pics but–maybe next time! But as you can see, France was a dream. We stayed in the Champagne region where all the world’s champagne is made (otherwise it’s called sparkling wine), and there were vineyards as far as the eye could see. We got to stay at a fancy hotel because my company was doing a collaboration with the hotel, and I may have never been able to stay in such a luxurious place if it weren’t for work.

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Next time I’ll tell you about some artwork I bought (online) for the house and have become obsessed with. But I bought some new running shoes and now I have to go get my money’s worth out of them. I’m training for a marathon next year–haha, just kidding. I couldn’t even finish that nonsensical sentence, BUT I do have a goal of being able to run a mile in eight minutes or less. I don’t know why. Never having a reason for doing stuff is kinda my thing.

À la prochaîne !

I’m French Now

I’ve been high all day. Not on drugs, you heathens! On an experience.

This morning I went to Starbucks and while I was standing in line, two ladies a few feet in front of me were having a conversation with each other in another language. Was it French? I listened a little harder but I couldn’t really hear them that well–but it sounded like it could be French.

Oh, nope–not French.

Wait, yes it is. I think. 

Then they started to order and one of the ladies was talking to the barista but he couldn’t really understand her, so the other lady would translate. And then I heard the first lady say the French equivalent of “ummm,” and I knew immediately!

Yes, they are French! French people, Kristin!

They started to speak a little louder and I understood bits of their conversation.

Kristin, they are French! This is your chance! Talk to them!

Then the other Kristin that lives in my brain (the one who doesn’t want me to be great!) started trying to talk me out of it.

They’re strangers! You hate talking to strangers! You’ll freeze and forget every word. Don’t do it!

By this time, they had finished ordering and it was my turn.

Do it, hurry up! They’re going to leave!

Don’t do it!

Do it! Do it!

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Guys, I was legit having a heated argument with myself in my head. It was too much. I finally just told Downer Kristin to shut it, walked over to them and said, “Bonjour! Vous êtes françaises? That’s “hi, are you French?”

And they were kind of shocked but in a good way, and they said, “Oui!” And I told them I was still learning French, I asked them where they were from (Toulouse and Paris), they asked me where I’m from, I told them that I had gone to Paris last December, we talked briefly about Atlanta, they told me that my French was very good and I didn’t have a strong accent (!!!), I told them about a couple of French restaurants in the area… This entire conversation was in French. The whole thing! I didn’t speak in English with them once!

I don’t know if it was Downer Kristin or Smart Kristin but one of me was like, Okay say goodbye, Kristin! Leave on a high note! Don’t fuck this up! 

I listened to whichever Kristin was telling me to wrap it up. Let’s face it–I had nearly exhausted my limited vocabulary by that point. I told them it was nice to meet them and goodbye (all in French!), and they said “Bonne Journée !”

I mean, could things have gone any smoother?! Even that bitch, Downer Kristin, was like…

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I walked to my car like…

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It was a good day. I’m still floating.

À la prochaîne !

This Weekend In Malibu

Chrissy Teigen has highlighted Instastories of her cooking recipes in semi real-time from her cookbook. I made the pan-seared fish this weekend. I followed it step by step, and my fish (sea bass) turned out beautifully. It was perfect. Like an actual chef had cooked the dinner.  I’m not the kinda girl to brag, but… My sea bass could be served in restaurants. I don’t think that’s bragging as much as it is just plain, ol’ facts. I substituted garlic & basil butter (from Whole Foods) instead of plain butter, but that’s the only thing I changed. If you like to cook and you’re not following Chrissy Teigen on Instagram, what are you even doing? She is single-handedly responsible for taking my cooking game from a seven to an eight. I’m at an eight, guys.  With some dishes anyway.

This past weekend we drove to Malibu and stayed at an AirBnB for the weekend. It was picturesque and relaxing. I don’t really think of myself as a city girl because I’m happiest and most relaxed barefoot and away from people. But… But I need to be close to the action. And I think that the distance from L.A. to Malibu is just right. When we used to visit my grandma every summer in small town Mississippi during my childhood, I don’t think I ever put on shoes. And my cousins and I used to beg my grandma to let us ride in the bed of her pickup truck, which of course is illegal now. I mean–I know that some of that was just the ridiculousness of youth, but–I still don’t care for shoes much. I’m just a country girl who likes the city sometimes! Malibu would be perfect for the rest of my life if the weather was colder during the winter. Also if it were cheaper.

Spring in Malibu is something special, though. The Bae and I went sailing, and although he was loathe to get on a boat with me as the lone sailor, he knew that it was best to at least pretend that he believed in my sailing skills if he wanted a conflict-free weekend.

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Guys, I took sailing lessons for like three years as a kid in Chicago. And again for another couple of summers as an adult in Chicago. CHICAGO IS ALL ABOUT SAILING IN THE SUMMER. I’m very good. Even better than I am at parallel parking. You can trust me.

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Wear your life jacket, though! #trustbutverify

Last weekend, I also binge-watched the entire season of Selling Sunset on Netflix. It’s a reality show about realtors in L.A. selling multi-million dollar properties. I usually hate most reality shows, but this one was catty without being too catty. Ya know? Like the perfect amount of drama combined with stunning and jaw-dropping real estate. I happily consumed every second, and now I want more. Who knows when they’ll drop the second season, though. I’ve been patiently waiting for the next season of Narcos, and…nothing!

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Talk soon, kids! Bisous!

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I’m getting better at driving in L.A. But parallel parking? That’s a whole other can of worms.

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Don’t blame me–blame the southern school system into which I was thrust while all my Midwestern friends were taking drivers ed in school.

Guys, it’s difficult not to be in a good mood in Los Angeles. The sun is shining, it’s not too hot (yet), people are wearing sunglasses indoors, there are food trucks everywhere. I mean, come on!

Sometimes when I’m in Atlanta I listen to this song

on repeat in the mornings to get my mood into the right space, but here I don’t even have to do that! I still do, though, because this song is magical. If you want an instant good mood, just blast this song when you wake up. That’s it, you’re done–you’re happy as f*ck now.

And if that’s not enough, L.A. will send you uplifting messages throughout the day.

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This past weekend we did go to the Griffith Observatory at night, and it was pretty but there weren’t that many stars visible. The planetarium made up of for it, though. Beautiful. We also found some good French restaurants. My favorite, so far, was Oriel Chinatown.

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I also went to The Row store, which is my favorite clothing brand that I can’t afford. That’s okay, though. I just buy secondhand, which saves my bank account and the earth.

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I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go to the store, though. The Olsens have great taste, and I had to see it firsthand.

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I live.

Alright–I’m hungry and there’s a taco truck somewhere with my name on it. G’bye!