Currently October 2020

Currently | 10.29.20

Life in the Age of the Queen

[Explaination of the name in April's Currently.] As I write this I am currently “en vacances” although “ce n’est pas grand chose” (not a big deal) because I feel like we didn't have a lot of choices for a destination. If things were normal I would have returned a week ago from 3 weeks in France. One week in Paris and 2 weeks in Brittany.

Currently October 2020

But things aren’t normal, are they?

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Instead, it was staycation and day trips. We had originally planned to camp near the Blue Ridge Parkway at Grandfather Mountain. Mr. Misadventures was there last week for leaf-changing and even though it was midweek it was crowded. Cases are still rising in North Carolina (our Phase 3 has been extended until Nov 13) and we don’t want to be around crowds so instead, we headed to the peninsula for bears and birds at the beginning of the week. We checked out a few outdoor sites in Raleigh (Yates Mill and the 164-acre outdoor park surrounding the North Carolina Museum of Art) and ate some carbs (it's vacation after all!) and checked out some spots 15-20 minutes from where we live, like Jordan Lake.  

Last week I kept wondering why I was so excited about a week’s vacation then it dawned on me that I haven’t had a week’s vacation in 2020. I took 4 days off at the end of January to leave Phoenix and drive to North Carolina. I took a day to sign papers to close on our house at the end of February. And I’ve taken a day here and there including 2 days in August to go to the Outer Banks. But this is the first time I’m off for a full week this year!

And while I am not in France which isn’t doing so hot either (2 weeks ago most of the country was put on curfew between 9 pm and 6 am through the end of the year and then yesterday President Macron re-confined the country until Dec 1.) I recognized that I am lucky to have any vacation at all. I do not take my job in tech for granted. Particularly now when so many have lost their jobs or a loved one during the Queen’s reign.

I think the US will be facing its own type of re-confinement soon. I know that this will severely impact the holidays, but I am hoping that people will recognize the need to suffer short term for the greater good. The best we can do is take is 1 [safe] day at a time.



Now, onto October and what's been going on in the Misadventures world!

Watching | Engrenages (Spiral)

Currently Watching: Engrenages (Spiral)

> Ever since summer ended, Mr. Misadventures has been out camping 1 or 2 nights a week, mainly to the Albemarle Peninsula but also to the mountains. That means I have been catching up on shows that I typically watch without the hubby. I finished getting through Season 4 of This Is Us and Queer Eye in Philly. And of course, I watched Emily in Paris.

The show has caused quite a fuss with expats and francophiles. I thought it was fluffy but having lived in France, worked with French people, visited Paris more than 50 times, and the spouse and daughter-in-law of French citizens, there were some things that were culturally accurate and lots that were big stereotypes. I can recognize that given my experiences, but I enjoyed the scenes around Paris, it was a nice respite. 

At the other end of the spectrum is Engrenages (or Spiral in English) that shows the less sexy, problematic, and grittier Paris and its suburbs in a police drama series. The first 5 seasons are available with English subtitles if you have Amazon Prime. When you get to the 6th season you will have to subscribe to their add-on service for international shows which we were completely unaware of but so pleased to have stumbled upon because it has some additional French series that we know and love. When it comes to the last 2 seasons (7 + 8) you have to buy an additional add-on, in which case we said Basta (or Ça Suffit in French, which by the way could be the theme for 2020!) and ended up buying the DVDs from Amazon.fr! 

Anyway, I love the series even if I want to slap some folks in it from time to time. And 2 of the actors are also in the cast of A French Village (Un village français) which is a Misadventures favorite.

During our weekend in Black Mountain, Mr. Misadventures and I watched Enola Holmes (really enjoyed, wish it was a series) and Social Dilemma (nothing surprised me here as I have worked in social media for a while).

Reading | Welcome to the United States of Anxiety

Currently Reading: Welcome to the United States of Anxiety

> Misadventures with Andi is 12 years old and if you have been reading awhile you will know that I have read each and every one of Jen Lancaster's books. At least once in her books I will actually guffaw out loud or laugh until I cry. This is a very different book. Its timing is eerie to given the Queen. In fact, she wrote the forward in March as the U.S. was going into confinement. Despite its seriousness (it is still humor-based), I am still enjoying it. Particularly since we around the same age and I relate to a lot of the cultural references and experiences.

Up next…

Seriously, I need to get to these!
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, on par with Big Little Lies (which I love!)
The Cheffe: A Cook's Novel by Marie NDiaye, the (not very easy) life of a female chef in France.
The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang, if you like Crazy Rich Asians, this is supposed to be on par.

Best Bite | Union Special Baguette

> Following a low carb lifestyle, we don’t do rice, pasta, or bread (unless it is a low carb version) so we haven’t had a good reason to try any bakeries in the Raleigh-Durham area. However, since we could not travel to France, we decided it was perfectly reasonable to go get a little France. When the Queen first arrived in town we saw a local news story on Union Special Bakery in Raleigh. They were doing everything they could to keep their employees working and their commitment to feed communities around them. They have a “pay it forward” loaf that you can purchase to assist with these efforts. I started following them on Instagram after that and through the months I could immediately recognize that they were baking good bread. Trust me after living in France and being with a Frenchman for close to 20 years you can immediately recognize a baguette from a good! Union Special has the good stuff and we immensely enjoyed our jambon-beurre sandwiches this week!

Working On | 2020 Gift Guide

> I have been working on a massive gift guide for 2020. I have several individual gift guides that I update each year, plus the main one and they take A LOT of work! It’s taken me about 2 months to get it together and will be out (fingers crossed) next week.

Feeling | Anxious


> I don’t write a lot about politics here, but I am anxious about the election. More than anything I just want it to be over. I want to know what the next 4 years are going to be like. I experienced voter suppression in Arizona but got my votes in any way. The process in North Carolina to receive our ballots in the mail and to drop them off has been flawless. Mr. Misadventures turned them the first day of early voting and we received notifications that tracked them the entire time. North Carolina is a swing state very much in play, so our vote is important. No matter what your party affiliation, I encourage you to get out and vote. Every voice counts!

Planning | Very Little

> Mr. Misadventures and I have been trip planning, we have Plan A, B, L, M. You name it. But we have sort of exhausted what we can plan for. Moving into winter, we won’t be going anyplace where we can’t camp so it just depends on how cold it gets. We have cold-weather winter insulation for our Tepui tent and sleeping bags that can handle super cold weather. We have all kinds of cold weather outdoor clothing and gear. It will largely come down to the roads. Of course, grey overcast skies are not good for photography so we hope for cold but clear. So now we are weather hawks ready to camp at a moment’s notice.

Loving | Big Scoots

> As I mentioned earlier, this blog is 12 years old. That means lots of posts and above all, lots of images. An important aspect to look at when selecting hosting is not only how many visitors your tier supports, plus SLL and CDN, storage capacity is a huge deal. I had been with WordPress Engine since 2017, but I had reached storage limits and the next tier up was double the price. I turned to blogging friends who let me know about Big Scoots. They had raving reviews in one of my blogging networks so I gave them a shot and am super pleased. The migration was a breeze, I increased my storage capacity and REDUCED my monthly payment.

My Favorite Photo | Jambu Shoot

Cool shoes for fall and winter - Jambu Eagle Water Resistant in Navy at Outside Inn Mountain Cabin Black Mountain North Carolina

> I think it is so important to build long-term relationships with brands. It is something I have always advocated for when I am on the brand side. But very few brands actually do that. But one brand that does is Jambu. I have had the pleasure of working with them for 5 seasons (going into my 3rd year) and besides actually being an amazing shoe, the brand is a joy to work with. I wear a pair nearly every day and neither I nor my feet have any complaints. If you are looking for a comfortable, fashionable adventurous show that you can take from mountain to street, check them out. You will not regret it!

Published in October

That’s my month, what’s CURRENTLY going on with you?

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  1. I always love reading your posts. I get to travel through your eyes. This year sure has been interesting and I can’t wait to see where you go next.

  2. I’m sorry you are feeling anxious, I need to check out that book though

  3. melissa chapman says:

    It is certainly a bad time to travel these days. I am not a rgular tourist but I will wait out these bad times and go when it is safe. Y.ou seem like you keep busy even in these times

  4. Amber Myers says:

    I love Jen Lancaster as well! I will have to read this for sure.

    Jambu sounds like a great brand. I’ll have to check them out!


    Sounds like the gift guide will be big!!! I look forward to seeing that when it’s live.

  6. I might have to check out that book! Things are definitely different, plans rearranged and nothing is “normal”. Facebook keeps reminding me of all these amazing memories from last year and at times it makes me sad because we lost all of that this year (my daughter’s cheerAbilities competitive cheer team, all the fun we had, the places we got to visit, etc.). It’s so frustrating because so many are determined to go about their business as if there’s nothing wrong, as if we aren’t still deep in a pandemic. They have huge gatherings, parties, swarm town like it’s break from school, etc. We have been warned that the holidays don’t need to be our usual holiday gatherings, we don’t need to be around the elderly or have huge parties but I’m sure many will. I might be over cautious to many but I have an extremely high risk child, my dad is severely high risk and since I’m now newly diagnosed with a heart condition…. well… I’m not taking chances.

  7. Sarah Bailey says:

    I hope things calm down for your anxiety soon, I feel like the world is such an anxiety filled place at the moment it is very hard to live within at times.

  8. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    I’ve read several of Jen Lancaster’s books and didn’t realize she had a new one! Yes, it’s not the best time for travel right now but short trips can still be fun!

  9. I agree! I think it is a decision to be happy. I love these tips.

  10. Nikki Wayne says:

    I don’t travel too much and I agree, it’s not a great time. Thanks for the book recommendation, loved it.

  11. Cynthia Nicoletti says:

    I am not much of a traveler and will surely stay put at our present time.

  12. I’m very anxious about the elections too, and the state of the world in general. I hope whoever gets voted in, really starts taking things more seriously. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you with your travel tales!

  13. Gervin Khan says:

    Nice post and reading it makes me travel anywhere in this world. I am pretty sure that anytime soon you will be okay, just pray and ask for His guidance.

  14. Love your posts. This year hasn’t been an easy one so far, right? October is the month of a new lockdown here, sort of, but I’m positive so I do really hope to move on soon.

  15. I enjoy reading your post. I am missing traveling too. Sadly this time is really not a good time to go some places and explore. I feel anxious too about this year’s election. I hope this pandemic ends soon so everything can get back to normal.

  16. Staycation is an option that we began to love. Love to discover new places around me, and I appreciate them more than ever.

  17. Emily Davis says:

    I just want to get back to traveling. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I wish I had time to travel more, I’m hoping to make more time when things (fingers crossed) go back to more normal I can plan more trips and make more memories.

  19. Helen Little says:

    Loved reading this post! It is an anxious time, I’m feeling that too. But you’ve shown there are comforts to be taken. Will check out your recommendations!

  20. Jersey Girl Cooks says:

    Sometimes a local vacation or staycation can be the best. But I am looking forward traveling hopefully sooner than later.

  21. Monica Simpson says:

    I love your “currently” posts. I too am nervous about the election and am looking forward to it being over!

  22. I feel like the months just flew by since we’re mostly just at home. It’s good to take a break and enjoy a vacation. Hope the elections will go well!