frances mayes

The entire hour, I was glassy-eyed. I was in the presence of one of my author idols, Frances Mayes. She was doing a book reading at Warwick’s in La Jolla for her new book, See You in the Piazza. After painting Italy with her lilting Georgia accent, she moved toward the book-signing table. She stopped and turned toward the crowd. Her eyes met mine.

friendly amsterdam

To me, the most friendly city I’ve visited in Europe has to be Amsterdam. The people are genuinely welcoming and don’t seem annoyed that every year, millions of tourists invade their beautiful city. Sure, they get us back by zinging past us on bikes with a mere ching of the bike bell as a warning, but in general, you couldn’t ask for a more accommodating people.