Yesterday - Thursday, November 15th - was a totally French holiday. Not the kind of holiday that gets you out of work but the kind that warrants drinking wine just because. It was Beaujolais Nouveau Day, which is the day - always the third Thursday of November - when that year's vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau … Continue reading Beaujolais Nouveau: il est arrivé!
As if speaking French weren’t hard enough, last week Colin and I decided to try our hand at Dutch and hopped a train north to Amsterdam. Our friend Ben, who is a professional singer currently living in London, had let us know that he would be performing there, and it took us only half a … Continue reading Bikes, boats, and beer, oh my! (Or: Amsterdam)
A couple weeks ago one of my best friends from grad school visited with her husband, and she said she wanted to see somewhere fancy. Pas de problème—France has so much history that sometimes it seems like every large building used to be a palace of some sort. When she asked about Versailles, though, I told … Continue reading If you thought Versailles was fancy…
Halloween isn't really a thing in France, so Colin and I decided to celebrate on our own in the most spook-tacular way: by going ghost-hunting in the catacombs. The Paris catacombs, created in the late 1700s to address problems with overflowing cemeteries, are hidden deep underground and are full of artfully arranged human bones, mostly … Continue reading I ain’t afraid of no ghost
Time for another language lesson update! I debated for ages whether to share this story, but since I promised you the good, the bad, and the horribly awkward, I feel like I can't hold back on the embarrassing stories front. Anyway, I was at discussion group shortly after my trip to Switzerland with friends Beth … Continue reading Not that kind of friend!
The past two months have been more or less continuously filled with visitors. While it's been wonderful to share our life abroad with so many friends and family members, it is a relief to have our tiny apartment back to ourselves. (For reference: 18 square meters is comfortable with two people, cozy with three, and … Continue reading How to be a good tourist
You may remember, from about a month ago, the Great Macaron Showdown. During Round One, Colin and I bought macarons from the super-traditional Ladurée; we thought they were great. During Round Two, Colin’s brother treated us to macarons from Ladurée’s more experimental rival Pierre Hermé; they were great, too. That left things at a bit … Continue reading The Great Macaron Showdown, Round Three
Earlier this month, when we took a trip to Switzerland with our friends Beth and Will, they had one special request: fondue for dinner. (Side note: Fondue is now known as a Swiss specialty, but its popularity can actually be traced to the 1970s marketing efforts of the Swiss Cheese Union, a shadowy cartel like … Continue reading The peculiarities of eating fondue in Switzerland
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