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
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
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)
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