Well, tourist season in Paris is officially over. It's turned wintry - meaning rainy - over the last couple weeks, and our last visitors left on Wednesday. That in itself is bittersweet. It's nice to get back to a regular routine, but it's sad to realize that we'll be leaving ourselves in just a couple … Continue reading A few days in Barcelona
A few weeks ago, I decided to walk to the western side of the city, past the Eiffel Tower. I had just discovered that there are, in fact, three islands in the Seine in Paris. The first two are well-known: Île de la Cité, which is home to Notre Dame, and Île Saint-Louis, which is … Continue reading Gustav Eiffel and the Île aux Cygnes
Happy Thanksgiving! Today isn't a holiday in France of course, but Colin and I are lucky enough to have his parents here to celebrate with us. Although I should specify—here is Barcelona, Spain. We're off adventuring again, taking them to explore a new city and country. So even though our Thanksgiving will probably include more … Continue reading Thankful
In this episode of Things the US Should Consider Borrowing from Europe, let's talk about: Fresh mint tea. It's everywhere in Amsterdam. I've never seen it anywhere else. It never even occurred to me to make tea with fresh herbs! But it is oh so delicious, and the rest of the world should take note. … Continue reading Mint condition
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!