This year is already off to a series of fortunate circumstances. After a holiday trip to Europe, where I:
- walked all over Paris and climbed mostly by foot the Eiffel Tower while chatting with people from all over the world - the couple from Shagai and Bristol was the most interesting, we exchanged stories about cultures, and favorite experiences like the one we were sharing - had the most wonderful meals at le bar a huitres in St. Germain and l'Amphitryon on rue blanche (make a reservation, it is small), crepes at le Moliere cafe on rue de Buci and at Christmas markets all over town;
- broke bread with family in Modena at Christmas with all kinds of amazing foods washed down with Lambrusco and Prosecco, shopped for their gifts with mom and my younger sister so I could also be the style consultant, a role I love to play and they say I play masterfully, and had the best gnocco fritto and apple strudel the town has to offer;
- proceeded to see not one, but two WWI museums in Brussels - the exhibit at the Musée de la Ville was surprising in its utmost care with which it was curated and narrated, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History - to walk all over town, rain and wintry mix and all that, and to eat at some very fine restaurants - Le Marmiton stood out;
- celebrated new year's eve with an amazing bottle of Armand de Brignac Brut gold oysters and caviar
All of which means I am now on an accelerated nutrition program to get back into my skinny jeans! It was worth it, though. Kind of felt like that Trip to Italy movie broadened to French-speaking countries - the bread is unbeatable.
The point of this post was indeed culinary and dinner-related. Because one of the many good things that came my way in the last week was in the form of a kindle playbook - Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins by Jayson Gaignard.
Between the time I saw it and the time I bought it the number of reviews went from 3 to 45 and the price from $1.99 to $3.95. I read it with the same gusto I ate every meal on my trip, savoring every moment, and nodding at the recognition of each ingredient combined exquisitely. The magic is in the details (thank you, Jayson).
Jayson managed to put into a succinct space many of the themes you will find here and in my work and life. Because I do believe in connecting ideas and people, that is how talk can change our lives.
I have also said “stop collecting and start connecting” more than once writing here and elsewhere. My goals for 2015 do include getting the right people in a room with me in it. If yours are along the same lines, do yourself a favor and buy this playbook now.
Happy New Year!