Quinzomadaire (our secret to finishing a book) + Some news to share--all in French!
Adieu to a beloved Poet + favorite French words, in honor of Herman Meyer

Kicked out of Monaco + On the road to the Riviera in our electric car + 22, v'là les flics + pictures from Sospel, Menton, Nice

Sospel, France. February 2021. What with La Crise Sanitaire, it has been over a year since Jean-Marc and I traveled and courted adventure. Recently, we hit the road in our electric blue ZOE and were pleasantly surprised at how far it took us--all the way to the Italian border from La Ciotat--on one full "tank". (Jean-Marc had une borne de recharge installed at his wine shop, where he and his clients may charge their electric cars. C'est commode!).

For our 4-day escapade, we considered France's "Island of Beauty" (an overnight voyage via ferry) but were dissuaded when the Corsican getaway called for a PCR test for Covid. That is when Jean-Marc mentioned Menton, only a two-hour drive from our home. The moment my husband suggested it, visions of bright yellow citrons danced in my head. Bonne idée! I agreed and, fast as you can say Vingt deux, v'là les flics! we were on the road, heading toward a needed change of scenery just a stone's throw from the Italian border.

Any fantasies of traversing that frontière (for a meal in Badalucco or a stroll in St Rémo...) were soon nixed when, on day two at the bustling farmers market in Menton, a few locals relayed the latest government orders. "Il ne vaut mieux pas. Vous serez arrêtés et détournés," warned the octogénaire, handing me my change along with her homemade "confiture 3 agrumes," and bay leaf branches from the riviera hinterland.

Jean-Marc quickly offered a Plan B: A visit to Sainte Agnès. Allez, chiche! I agreed, sharing that my artist friend Tessa lived there many years, and it would be good to finally see the perched village and hike up to the chateau ruins above it (Jean-Marc's idea, nevermind it was freezing outside). But with cafés closed because of Covid, the next best way to warm ourselves would be a brisk hike. As we climbed the medieval stone steps I noticed the ground was covered with le verglas...it looked like somebody had dumped a giant snowcone over the hillside. Mittens and wool bonnets would have been good to bring along, but who packs those for a trip to the sunny Riviera?

Jean-Marc and Kristi at Allez Hops beer shop and brewery in Nice

The rest of our séjour was warm, cozy and colorful! (photos of Sospel, below), including a trip to see our friends who run Allez Hops! a boutique beer shop and micro-brewery in Nice. Dan, Julie, and their daughter, Gab, thoughtfully welcomed us with a cheeky--make that chalky--message on the ardoise outside their shop--and even had delicious rootbeer waiting for the abstème in our group! It was wonderful to catch up with our friends, and we were set to see one more copain the next day.... 

Every trip has a misadventure or two and for us that came on the last day, at the border of Monaco, after a couple of flics ordered us off the road. I rolled down the passenger's seat window and fumbled for my mask. "Vous venez d'où?" the policeman with salt-n-pepper hair asked, beginning his interrogation.

"Menton." Jean-Marc replied, from the driver's seat.
"Vous habitez en France?" The officer asked, noticing our license plate, with its two-digit area designation (13 for Marseille, where we bought our car).
As the two wrangled in French, I was about to elbow my husband to just answer the policeman, and quit with all the explanations! but that would not be very French of him, would it? Every Frenchman (mine, at least) must have their say! 

"Je vous ai demandé où est-ce que vous habitez?" The policeman persisted.

"La Ciotat," I replied. "On vie à La Ciotat!"

"But we are here to have lunch with our friend--un Monégasque." Jean-Marc insisted.

"You'll need an affidavit from your friend." The police responded. Zut! Only one day ago we could have wandered aimlessly through Monaco, the rules had changed overnight! After a little more wrangling, Jean-Marc relented, or so it seemed. Taking the next exit, he phoned his friend, who arranged a clandestine rendez-vous, and so smuggled us back to his place for calamari... Everything happened so fast, it was only after I took another bite of octopus that I realized I had once again gone against my gut in order to go with the flow!

"Is it good? Do you like it?" Our smuggler Monégasque asked.

"I do, but... Have you seen My Octopus Teacher?"

If that sounded like an obscure question, dear reader, you haven't seen this documentary, but back to our ethical dilemma involving cops and calamari, because I know what some of you are thinking: Shame on you, Kristi, for sneaking back to your friend's house! How irresponsible of you! What do you have to say for yourself?! We are waiting for an answer!

All I can say is Thank you for waiting! From here on out, I will listen to my conscience, whether it tells me to skip the octopus or skip town! Or skip the comments section of this blog which has taken a slight turn since the new year, with just enough negativity to have me weigh every single word for fear of offending someone, somewhere, somehow. And that makes for a lot of stress in writing and sharing my stories. 

One step forward, two back. Just like you, I am doing the best I can. And the best I can do is to get out of bed each day and go to work, avec ou sans peur. I am extremely grateful for this job as a full-time writer. Thank you for your understanding, for your trust, and for your support. It keeps me writing in an era where speaking to a friend (let alone an audience!) is akin to walking in a minefield. Watch your step! 22 v'la les flics! (Watch out!)



Room with a view in Menton
Room with a view in Menton

la crise santitaire = health crisis
une borne de recharge
= charging station, charge port for electric car
c'est commode = it's convenient
dépayser = to experience a change of surroundings (more here)
bienvenue = welcome
une escapade = getaway (travel)
le citron = lemon
une bonne idée = good idea
Il ne vaut mieux pas = better not to
Vous serez arrêtés et détournés = you'll be stopped and turned away
Vingt deux, v'là les flics! = a slang expression for "watch out!", literally Twenty-two, here are the cops!
la frontière = border between countries
la confiture = jam
l'agrume (m)
= citrus fruit
allez chiche!
= you're on! let's do it!
un périple = trek, journey
le verglas = ice
une ardoise = slate, blackboard, chalkboard
l'abstème (m,f) = person who doesn't drink alcohol for one reason or another
le copain (la copine) = friend
le (la) flic = cop
le carrefour
= roundabout, intersection
le séjour
= stay
monégasque = resident of Monaco
zut! = darn!
avec ou sans peur = with or without fear

Sospel balcony
Colorful patina in Sospel
The colorful town of Sospel. Not a lot of tourists, plenty of local characters.

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Great article on so many levels.

Love you two! Love you!
So great that you had a holiday... it looked lovely.
Please keep writing. :-)
Ignore the negativity!
And I would find the marriage guide fun to read by the way ... I triple dare you to write it!

I can already imagine it. Like the memoir, one chapter your perspective, one chapter Jean Marc. I think it would be enlightening, funny, touching and inspiring... plus most of all real. I declare myself your first sponsor... :-)

The octopus teacher documentary is wonderful isn’t it?!


"Ignore the negativity" but don't ignore the law: https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19


Good on you for finding a way around those stupid rules. A great many make no sense.
Keep healthy in body and mind
Best medecine.

Claire Branning

Thank you for your beautiful words! I've been a subscriber for many years and now have a tiny human that I want to be bilingual. Thank you for your beautiful posts! Xxx


You're ok with the octopus police, as Calimari is in fact squid! (unless I'm mistaken....)


I agree with Danielle. So many of the rules surrounding the pandemic make no sense. You should not feel guilty about finding a way to be with your friends.


I really enjoyed your little voyage. It brought back memories. We frequently visited Nice to see friends and even looked into buying a place in the Roya River valley. One time we took the train to Ventimiglia for gelato. Loved the idea of hopping onto a train for a short ride to Italy. Another day, a bus to Mentón for lunch and a stroll. During these lockdown times, it’s how we travel-in our memories. We feel fortunate to have traveled.

J Butler

Ignore the negative comments. Due to the pandemic isolation as well as all the ignorant PC stuff, some people have nothing better to do than find something to gripe about.

Broussard Christine

Superbe histoire et photos Kristi. Je suis de la région
Et comprend aussi le fait de ne plus pouvoir s’exprimer plus librement. Je suis en Floride ou la vie et belle et facile. Moins de flics, peu de masque, restaurants ouvert et traffic presque comme d’habitude. Les touristes arrivent Daytona 500 et bientôt Bike week! Pour moi la peinture.


I love Menton and that wonderful market. Did you buy any lemon oil or orange oil? We had a fabulous day there when staying in Nice. We ate at a restaurant in the Old Port. I have such wonderful memories of Menton. And yes, calamari is squid. Gods for you getting an electric car and installing a charging station. I’m sure more adventures are on the horizon.

Geraldine Ventura

Sorry if you are getting any negative comments. I have always enjoyed your blog because it was so truthful but not political, and gives us a great look at life in France. Glad your husband is adventurous, and yes, some of the rules are strange!


You know, I don’t read other people’s comments as a rule, but when I have on a few occasions on Instagram I am shocked by what people say. People seem free to unleash any kind of criticism or vitriol that they would never do in person. Especially at a time like this, we could all use more kindness and understanding.
My husband and I both received our first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine with the second dose in two weeks. It’s happening and it’s the beginning of the end of this terrible time. I hope it’s happening everywhere.
Take heart.❤️

Ann Jewett

The entire world seems to be going very negative. Just try to ignore it as much as you can. Let’s all hope folks can soon move on from this negative outlook.


Thank you for the article Kristi. I also saw « My Octopus Teacher », and now, even though I find octopus (and squid) delicious, I don’t want to eat it anymore.


Thank you for the splash of sunshine and adventure during this difficult time!

Lynn McBride

The Octopus Teacher was great. Except I don ‘t eat meat, and now I can’t eat seafood either! Today’s story was great fun. But I am discouraged by the number of French vocabulary words I did not know!

Del Lancaster

Please don’t feel obligated to make explanations. Your stories are so warm and inspiring and everyone looks forward to each and all of them.

Pam Horovitz

Kristi, We keep reading your blog year after year for the vocabulary (and there were many new words and phrases this time) but most importantly we read because of who you are. Stop worrying about eggshells and just write what you want. You'll feel better, and so what about the gripers. (Loved The Octopus Teacher!). Loved this story.

Carol W Wayne

2 other blogs that I read have dropped the comments section due to negative remarks.

I used to read a lot of the comments to articles in the Washington Post and New York Times..but they have really deteriorated over the past year.

Stay well.


Julie Farrar

I love that picture of the two of you. Yes, I know it's maddening to see the same scenery and same faces every day. I miss travel as well. Stay safe.

Patricia Sands

I'm so glad you spent some time in the part of the coast I love so much! One of our sons runs a microbrewery here in Ontario, so we will visit Allez Hops for sure next year in Nice (I'm being optimistic!).Kristi, don't ever question the value of your words and how your posts are appreciated. As I always say about negativity ... "Consider the source!". And yes to The Octopus Teacher! Magnifique ... like you!
Bises, P

Gina C.

I love your from-the-heart writing Kristin. Here’s to success to you (and me, too) trying to follow gut and conscience!
When I was a kid, some 70 yrs ago, my mother would say ‘If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything”. That should be an 11th commandment for social media! Happiness and health to you and your family!

Sue J.

“My Octopus Teacher” was transcendent. Have eaten octopus occasionally, but now that I’ve seen this remarkable documentary, I’m sticking to not-octopus. Loved your adventure from home and glad you are safely back.


Felicitations! Bien merite. (Je ne trouve pas les accents sur ce ChromeBook. Desolee.)
BRAVO. Vous m'ammenez en France. Merci! Ne faites pas attention aux grincheux. Vous nous apportez le soleil!


Those “ stupid rules” as you call them make the difference between a grandparent living or dying. Covid is no joke.


How would an affidavit from your friend stop the spread of COVID? I'm so glad you went anyway! Ignore the vitriol - it seems it's the way of the world today. Peace, joy, love to you Kristi - be responsible as much as possible, but enjoy life while you have it ♥


Our dear Kristi,
Your words and your pictures absolutely wrap us in hugs.
And!!Very especially, your honesty and your attitude just always an inspiration!
A sure pick me up when things and situations put one in a funk.
Arms around you
Blessings always
Natalia. Xo


"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." That was my parents motto as well. Your writing and pictures are uplifting. As well as very educational. Keep writing and posting - Ne faites pas attention aux grinscheux.


You do not know who has what, where he/she has been, what virus they may be carrying with no symptions, etc. Until all of your friends are tested daily and/or vaccinated (they are probably too young) the virus is out there. It does not discriminate.


I wonder if "22, v'la les flics" is related to "23 skiddoo"? In the old movies it was "cheese it, the cops" or something that sounded like that.

Cindy McDonald

Love you Kristi ❤️ « You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. « 
You will have to translate that :-) Sending you a donation. Bisous pour chère Jules xoxo


Lovely article. I love reading your posts as it allows me to practice my very poor French. How sad that you are made to feel cautious in your writing for fear of offending someone. You will offend someone just sitting there so throw those worries away and write from your heart. You have a right to say or write what you want just as much as the naysayers do! Don’t let their negativity infect you

Cheryl in STL

A ray of most welcome sunshine this morning! Your pictures warm me when all I see here are inches and inches of snow. I'm sorry that you've been the target of ugly negativity. It just seems pervasive anymore. It's as if confinement has brought it out, even in the most unexpected places. I'm looking forward to more adventures for you to share with us! And here's to warmer weather and vaccines for all of us!

Neil S. Plakcy

J'aime bien votre blog! Please don't let some nay-sayers stop you. As long as you and your Monegasque friend were careful, I don't see a problem. And Google Translate says octopus is pulpe, whereas squid is calmar.


Moi, aussi,Kristi, j’aime bien voyager. Chapeau!

Ellen A.

I hope your kids appreciate just how cool their mom and dad are!

Ron Cann

Some people WANT to be offended. With little self-worth of their own, they thrive if they can position themselves as enforcers of the rules, no matter how petty.
So in a way, you are providing them with enjoyment. You know, when you entertain before an audience, some people signal their pleasure by applauding, and others by whistling. Think of the "negative comments" as dog whistles.


This is the beginning of Lent and we received a package of cards, from our church, with things to do during Lent. For week one (until Sunday, February 21) a suggestion was made of things to practice:
5 things to give up for Lent:
*negative self talk
*comparing yourself to others
These 5 things are difficult to give them up. They just seem like part of me, especially worrying.
So maybe we need to try to do these 5 things, stop worrying what others think, do the best that we can and be true to ourselves.
Peace, Kathleen


Your trip sounded so fun! I live in California and we were in Nice and the Riviera 2 yrs ago and had hoped to be back way before this. Menton is one place I can’t wait to visit. Criticism of your situation, considering who you are is uncalled for. During COVID most of us are making the best decisions we can, even if they are quick and unexpected situations. Your visit was limited in exposure and time, but even so let the guilt go. You don’t deserve any negativity.


I am so happy that you and your chauffeur/ husband/ adventure partner got out of 'Dodge'. Must have felt FREEING! And with a new electric car to boot! Awesome! Bravo:)

I am sitting here in the South of Oregon right now creating a new scene in my mind as I transport myself to somewhere along the Cote D'azur not giving any attention to anything but these visuals and these feelings. Just like with your writing, Belle Kristi, ignore the BS and Ecris in the moment!

love you tons!
See you as soon as I, too, can get of 'Dodge:)!!

Your La C buddy:) in Oregon


Janine Cortell

If you loved MY OCTOPUS teacher, read an amazing book:SOUL OF AN OCTOPUS. You will learn so much about these amazing creatures.
Note the spelling on VIT à la Ciotat.
Loved the story and your beautiful photos.


It’s so easy to just pass on by....

Linda Holt

Dear Kristi - PLEASE skip any negative comments!! They are not worth your time and attention. I've never seen the point of putting negativity out into the world - it doesn't help anyone or change anything. Your writing is perfect and your stories endearing, and I wait for every one impatiently. Prenez soin. Kisses to you and Jean-Marc! Love, Linda

marti hinman

As always, love reading your entries.
Some of the places you mention, revive lovely memories of our visits to those charming towns.
I also enjoyed Soul of an Octopus.
I hope and pray for a return to normality.



Gerald and Jann Forth

Loved the tale of the trip, especially since the rest of us are frozen out of France. Even with the encounter with the police, it sounded like a nice trip. We have a favorite restaurant in La Turbie that you probably already know about: Cafe de la Fountaine. We long to have a casual lunch there again. Maybe by the end of summer.

Please keep up the news and thoughts about French life.
Jann & Gerry


You cannot please all the people all the time. Tell yourself that every time you sit down to write.Those that are negative....that is their problem and they should just choose not to follow you. Ignore them. Do what you please when it pleases you. Life is too short as we have all witnessed this last year. And I am happy that you were part of a clandestine adventure. It's not like you went to some big soiree with even 10 people. So continue to savor life with Jean-Marc.....it becomes you.

m k paris

Loved this...merci! Where did you stay in Menton? We want to head over there in a week and it looked divine!


Excellent advice that we should all follow!

 Dawn Johnson

Loved My Octopus teacher too, Love your stories. Let the negative comments roll off, I also think theres a danger of allowing such fear of Covid to take away everything thats important, people NEED to be with other people and so many of the rules are inconsistent and make no sense , its far scarier to me to see the degree of freedom being taken away.


Be yourself and don't worry about the critics. Breaking the rules is integral to French life! Enjoy your holiday.


Lovely article, Kristi. Thank you!! A great movie on marriage relationship is The Gathering Storm. Through thick and thin, their love remained. God bless you all, C-Marie

Carol Sud

I think that everybody has at least once this past year(yes, it's been close to 12 months!) has disobeyed the "rules," while still being careful. Let's cut everybody a bit of slack for an occasional "mistake." And then get back on track to keep ourselves and everyone else safe.


Enjoyed this post. I heard Menton is not holding its lemon festival because of covid. I don’t blame them. I love to travel too, but as an older woman unable to travel because of covid, it makes me sad. I don’t want to die because somebody didn’t take proper precautions, nor do I want to unknowingly give covid to others. It’s a pandemic because people laugh it off and don’t do what they are suppose to. Let’s grow up and do what is right to stay safe and keep others safe. And then maybe we can all get to travel or do whatever it is we wish to do.
I agree you should write whatever you are moved to write. And, if you invite us to comment, then we should be able to comment. With speaking out, however, we should do so responsibly. With freedom comes responsibility.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,
Thanks for sharing your adventures! Sounds fun!

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Marvellous photo of Our Espinasses here, Kristi! Happy that you had your getaway.

Warm kudos to Ron Cann above for his comment giving us all a fine perspective on the other current pandemic -- that of normally courteous folks' spontaneously snarling these days on all social media. Let's let the snipers snipe and, with a wee smirk and a shrug of cordial disregard, let's blow their snarls away like smoke. We love you for your candour and authenticity -- so sad to think you're feeling cringey about letting us hear the 'real deal' these days.

So much natural good humour has melted away this past year -- I notice its absence even in comedy tv shows although true humour itself requires risk-taking on 'dark' topics. And I of course am sometimes drawn into snarlitude, till I notice it and stop. This too shall pass, and neo-puritans will recover their humane tolerance, for sure! Till then, let 'em growl on, and SURE: throw 'em a chewy bone now and then!
ALSO: -- If anyone is curious about that snazzy expression "22, v'là les flics!!", I gave my reading-French a workout here -- fun conjectures about its origin! (Copy/paste into your browser:)


Sheryl Powell

Just a variation on "le système D"!

Kristin Espinasse

We were delighted with our 4th floor apartment overlooking the sea, and (currently) discounted to 144 euros/night:


m k paris


Lou bogue

Thanks for the memory, have been down those same roads, hope to make it again this year BUT looking doubtful at the moment, does Mother look after the store while your gone?


I don’t think what you did is so bad but as a scientist, I am appalled by the woman in Florida who condones not wearing masks and eating in restaurants. You should not post dangerous views.

Joan  L.

Just to let you know: I was able to access this post with no trouble this time. Thanks for your personal answer about the glitch last time. Just one of those things?
Keep up the great writing, and sharing your life's adventure. I don't like the negativity, either. I think we've all been shut up for too long, and some people handle the stress by griping. When I worked for the telephone company as an operator years ago while in college, I was amazed at what some costumers would say to face-less but not feeling-less people out of aggravation. "God bless us, every one..."

Catherina Marquet

Hello! Nice and interesting story as always.I have been following you for a long time here, and also on your IG before you blocked me for whatever reason.Could you unblock me?My IG is "Christina Mozène".Thank you in advance. CM

ann sorocki

bonjour, Kristi: I always enjoy reading your articles; I never find negativity in them; they are honest, open, frank & sincere. I'm sorry that there are people who do get offended; as others have said, please do ignore them. Life is way too precious to try to please everyone on the planet. So happy that you took your journey; we haven't journeyed anywhere since last March. This COVID virus is nothing to sneeze at! We must all take it seriously; masks on! Stay well, safe & warm. Amicalmente, Ann

K. J. Laramie

Asymptomatic carriers ...
Sadly, a fact of life and death these days. We love you all and hope you both self-quarantined from loved ones and employees after you got back home from your adventure. (This comment comes from a positive person.)


As an avid watcher of a variety of YouTube channels, & just being on social media in general, I hear you when you talk about the negativity (& just plain meanness) that is out there, ever ready to drop a toxic comment.

Dear Kristi, difficult though it is, IGNORE THEM.
Consider instead just how sad & miserable these folks must be, quelle domage!!

Thanks for all your wonderful stories, & for assisting my very slow building of a vocabulary in beautiful French.

Best regards from New York


You should not be concerned with any negative comments, after all you are inviting such by your recent actions, both ignoring what appear to be current French and Monegasque rules, and also mixing with others, sans face masks and social distancing (previous post). And your readers are capable of then deciding whether, or not, to continue reading. I have decided that, after 15 years or so of following it is time to say goodbye. I will never know if anyone thinks this is negative, I will have unsubscribed. I have enjoyed watching your family grow up and I wish you all well in the future. And please, an extra treat for Smokey.


Salut, K! You simply cannot concern yourself with offending folks....somehow our society has managed to find fault, n’importe où. If you inhale, you offend someone. If you exhale, you’ve now offended someone else. Just continue to be your wonderful, honest, thoughtful, kind, and frank self! Xop

K. J. Laramie

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." -Mother Teresa.

My comment comes from love and compassion only. ❤️

Laura Barry

*If* you are being irresponsible. They were isolated while in their car, and were not going out and about in huge indoor crowds, maskless. No difference here between seeing a friend and reporting to a school to work everyday with hundreds of people in it, which I am doing in NJ, so far so good. Save the criticism, we've heard it all a million times, and it's not helping anyone ;)

Lisa Harquail Sierveld

i LOVED "the octopus teacher"!!!!!..... it allowed me to forget the last year ! Given the tone and intent of your warm newsletter pieces, i find it TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE that people try to sully this HAPPY, lovely forum.....i have friends that have behaved both safely and daringly during covid, and nothing i say or get mad about will change their behavior......the shutting down of nice sounds futile to me, btw....so jsut say what u wnat to say and forget about the rest....

now, to sweeten things up, below, in both french and english, is a supposedly great recipe for confiture 3 agrumes, which is one of my favorite things to stock up on when we are in france......

Commencer par peler les fruits à vif, en prenant soin de bien éliminer les peaux blanches.
Récuperer le jus rendu, et couper la pulpe en petits morceaux.
Mettre les pépins dans un nouet de mousseline.
Peser la pulpe et le jus obtenus, peser le même poids de sucre.
Dans une grande bassine, mettre le sucre et 20 cl d'eau par kg de sucre.
Porter à ébullition, laisser bouillir 10 min, puis ajouter la pulpe de fruits et le nouet renfermant les pépins.
Laisser cuire à petits bouillons environ 1 h en écumant et remuant de temps en temps.
Une goutte de confiture versée dans une assiette froide doit se figer aussitôt pour qu'elle soit assez cuite.
Mettre en pot et fermer hermétiquement.

Start by peeling the raw fruit, taking care to remove the white skins.
Collect the juice returned, and cut the pulp into small pieces.
Put the seeds in a muslin knot.
Weigh the pulp and juice obtained, weigh the same weight of sugar.
In a large basin, put the sugar and 20 cl of water per kg of sugar.
Bring to a boil, let boil for 10 minutes, then add the fruit pulp and the knot containing the seeds.
Leave to simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off and stirring occasionally.
A drop of jam poured into a cold plate must set immediately so that it is cooked enough.
Put in a pot and close tightly.

bonne journée kristi !

Mary Catherine

I agree with you Dawn. The fear is the worst part of this and has caused the most damage. Constant negative and inaccurate reporting from the media and those "in charge" and the taking away of our freedom to live as human beings is just inexcusable. Thank you Kristi for your writing and for always choosing to be non-political and upbeat. You offer a welcome respite from our confinement.

Judy Hunnicutt

What a memorable article. My husband and I spent to separate one-month vacations in Menton. One adventure took us to St. Agnes in a downpour with winter running down the streets. Another was a day spend at an agricultural festival in Sospel which was so much fun. I wish I could be there! A greeting from a winters, snowy Chicago.


Well, using the USA as ANY example of good control around COVID-19 is, frankly, laughable. Your country, with its recent dreadful milestone of 500,000 deaths, is no exemplar of good behaviour during the pandemic. And if your state has chosen to leave schools open, then it has also accepted them as vectors of transmission, which is counterintuitive. Yes, speaking up DOES help -- so soundly disagree with you.

Laura Barry

Actually, "based on the data available, in-person learning in schools has not been associated with substantial community transmission," per our CDC website. In our district, we have a hybrid schedule, and most of our students chose to learn remotely. We normally have 1,500+ in the building, so 200 is very low, and we are spread out and masked. There have been no person-to-person transmissions in our building, only people testing positive who, after contact tracing, contracted it elsewhere. My point was that schools have been doing *very well* here when following guidelines, and that Kristy's expedition was much less risky than my coming to work every day, which I am required to do. The 500,000 deaths are absolutely atrocious, but I would attribute that to other events, not schools. As far as speaking up - We have heard it all, we know what to do and what not to do. Criticizing Kristy for something she already did, with both parties knowing full-well the risks, is in my opinion pointless.

Julia ~ Falling Off Bicycles

Good for you for continuing your life and doing what you and JM wanted to do! You're not a bad person for doing what you need to do for your health and well-being, despite what people and the gov't think they can impose on us. The shaming has got to stop; whatever happened to personal responsibility? My life and health are the responsibility of no one but myself. When I get sick, I don't blame it on anyone. I really don't know how this has become acceptable in the last year.

People seem to have forgotten that illnesses need a good host in order to propagate, but I guess it's just easier to blame a neighbour than take responsibility for one's own health.

I admire your bravery. Keep writing and telling us about your comings and goings. They'll all get over it.


I am an older grandmother and I think that friends would not invite friends if all were not sure of their good health. Being responsible means being mindful. Masks and good hygiene are most important and I am sure these friends used those.

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