Mulled Wine

The best cup of mulled wine I've ever had was on a skinny street in Paris, outside of a bookshop called The Abbey. The street was so thin that cars weren't able to drive on it but motorists buzzed past. There were lights hung around the perimeter of the windows outside and a table with piles of books welcoming you before you got to the door. The owner of the shop was from Canada, and his parents actually live in the small bay-area town where I went to high school. After talking, he invited us to a book reading by an American writer who was in Paris doing research for her historical fiction novel (very much like a writer I know, Erin). 

The book reading took place outside of the shop because the inside was made of narrow aisles and passageways; perfectly cozy for reading and perusing. The shop owner was dressed up in what looked like Renaissance clothing, and the female writer wore a big dress from the time. It was a cold day in May, and my leather boots from Italy were worth packing after all. The table outside had a silver carafe of mulled wine to warm our hands and bodies while we listened to a period piece. It wasn't just the taste and spicy scent of the mulled wine that made it so great, but it was being surrounded by English-speakers, an American writer, a Canadian bookshop owner, and us tourists trying to feel grounded in Paris. Paris stole my heart that night, and she did it with a cup of warm and spiced wine.

This time of year, it smells like mulled wine. There's warmth inside houses and stores, there's spices in cookies and dinners, and there's joy from my heart to yours. S has been working on our holiday card (this is last years), I've been reading a million books and drinking Christmas coffee. My Christmas coffee from the Fresh Market has vanilla, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon and makes the house smell like Christmas morning every morning. Some mornings, instead of a croissant or yogurt for breakfast, I'll have a peppermint cookie from Trader Joe's with my coffee. This is the only time of year I feel like I can get away with sugar for breakfast.

We've been taking M to the dog park. At first, I wasn't all that comfortable with dog parks. We've spent a great deal of time training Mordechai to be well behaved and since he is still new to us (5 months) we still can't predict how he will handle each situation. What if he were to meet a fluffy white dog that reminded him of the lure at the tracks? Thankfully, he has met fluffy white dogs and this has not happened, but I didn't want to go seeking out trouble. We've found a new dog park close to our home that is so quiet on Sunday mornings that we've been twice and have seen the same beagle both times. The big dog area is normally quiet when we first arrive, then a husky or golden retriever will join the park and he'll have some time to socialize. So far, it's been really fun. I enjoy seeing him run for a short three laps (and then he's exhausted) and after he explores, he trots, he wags his tail at the little Italian greyhounds through the fence. He's truly a gem, this guy. 


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  1. I really enjoyed this post. It felt like your life, a little snippet of it, with the story about the wine in Paris setting the scene. So tickled that your pup has turned out to be such a pleasure. What joy in your lives.

    1. thank you lauren! when mulled wine comes up this time of year, i always flash back to paris xo

  2. I loove mulled wine although I've recently discovered Aspall mulled cider and I have to admit, this steals the spotlight for me! SO good <3 I wouldn't say no some mulled wine in Paris though ;-) xx

    1. i have never tried mulled cider but i would totally be into it! i've recently been trying more and more ciders these days and it sounds refreshing with holiday spirit too!

  3. such a lovely memory you shared. i feel like i was right there with you. wish i could actually be there with you in real life, in paris, sipping mulled wine!

    i saw a greyhound today and i immediately thought your guy. i didn't even think about the fluffy dog situation, that makes so much sense dog parks would be a bit nerve wracking, but what an amazing boy you found.

    ps i LOVED your cards last year! also reminds me i need your new address. when i looked you up in my address book today i remembered you had moved!

    1. aw a greyhound up north! i always figured that they aren't too many greyhounds as far north as you because many of the race tracks are still in florida. thankfully, many greyhounds i now know don't have an intense "prey drive", morty included. but i have heard scary stories and i wouldn't want that to happen to any dog until i know m 100%, and we're getting there! every dog meet-and-greet he proves more and more that he's chill and friendly :)


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