Over the last few weeks, between visitors, I started exploring some new programs and tools that seem like they might be useful professionally. It's been a lot of fun to learn something that's not French! Since I didn't have an actual project to work on, I tasked myself with using Esri's Story Maps tool to … Continue reading A Day Without Cars
One of the hardest parts of living abroad is being so far removed from Big Important Things that are affecting friends and family in the States. Last week, that was Hurricane Michael. It's been heartbreaking to see the destruction to Mexico Beach, which has been my family's go-to beach for generations, and to the area … Continue reading Encore, the Alps
Hey fellow Americans, I’m dropping in today with a quick reminder to vote! First, register. If you’re an American abroad, you can do so by filling out a short form available here: https://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter. (Fun fact: as a citizen abroad, you generally vote in the state where you lived last, so Colin and I are still … Continue reading Time to register to vote!
I’ve been to my French discussion group three times since the day I accidentally assumed the role of (amateur) photographer, and I have some good news and some bad news. The good news: my secret identity as an economist-turned-heiress-photographer is still intact. The bad news: the instructor Laurine seems to think that having a photographer … Continue reading The current state of my secret identity
I know you're all anxious for an update on my secret identity - and I promise I'll get to that soon - but the prelude to that update is actually my recent trip to Italy. I know, I know—after having just written about how this fall is jam-packed with visitors, how did I have time … Continue reading A quiet realization
Summer is definitely tourist season in Paris, unless - apparently - you're living here, in which case all your friends and family prefer to come in the fall. For the first six months, we had exactly two houseguests: (1) my mom, who works in an elementary school and thus can only get away during the … Continue reading Tourist season, take two (it’s better with champagne)
The success of every spy (so I’m told…) depends on the strength of their cover – their “legend.” Without a good one, a spy’s going to get found out before they even make it to Chapter Two. That’s probably not news to you if you’ve read any spy book ever. But here’s what you might … Continue reading Five truths about being a spy and learning French
While Colin's brother was visiting, he mentioned that he wanted to try some macarons. So although Colin and I had to leave him to meet our landlady for a glass of wine (she was passing through Paris, and we'd never met her in person), we gave Ross directions to the nearest Pierre Hermé and told … Continue reading More macarons!
In the words of John Muir: the mountains were calling, and I had to go. Last week, Colin and I returned to my new favorite place in France - the Alps - this time with his brother and brother's girlfriend, who were the first in a long string of visitors we have coming this fall. We … Continue reading The mountains were calling
I may have mentioned a time or two before that Paris is very easy to love. Beyond the list of things written about in every guidebook, the city reveals its character in small ways, in the otherwise understated gaps between the glitz and glam. One of the most powerful of these glimpses is the plaza across … Continue reading Responsibility and overcoming indifference