» beautiful

Roscoff Skies

After a rainy drive to Roscoff, we were rewarded in clouds. Other rewards included delicious local delicacies (crèpes and cider), a hike around Île de Batz, and a visit to a gorgeous botanical garden. The next day, we were off to Cornwall by ship…… Read More

Quimper in Stained Glass

Whenever I visit a new city, one of my favorite pastimes is photographing stained glass in every church and cathedral I can find. Not the usual, “this is a really big wall of glass and look at all the beautiful colors” photos, but photos of the intricate details that are easily missed when taking in the window as a whole. Why do I do this? Sometimes to find inspiration for my own illustrations. Sometimes because I love the stories the glass portraits tell. Sometimes because they make me laugh. And sometimes, simply because I like the colors and shapes. Occasionally I neglect to take any photos of the entire window, and only realize this days later when sorting through my photos.… Read More

Saint-Émilion, Home of the World’s Most Convincing Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Is nine months too late to write an overdue travel post? Last June we found ourselves in peaceful Saint-Émilion, staying in an historic farmhouse in the middle of wine country.

We began in Bordeaux on the day of a huge wine festival, enjoying local wine and the best sunset of our trip. The following day, we explored St. Émilion, an ancient city dating back to prehistoric times. We explored Roman ruins, sampled more local wine (of course), confused a cat, and visited a nearby market town with friends.… Read More

Morocco, Week Ten

My tenth week in Morocco was challenging. I had one of those workweeks where the few rewarding moments are swept away in a deluge of minor catastrophes. Despite all of that, this week I put the finishing touches on a school reading contest (with the help of my intrepid student volunteers, of course), fleshed out ideas for a few library fundraisers, and got paid.

And, of course, read one of my other favorite childhood books to the kindergarteners, In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. Loved the amazed faces when Micky flies his dough-y airplane to get milk for the bakers. Still in store for the kindergarteners: Pierre, Just A Dream, Cautionary Tales for Children, The Adventures of Isabel, Amos & Boris, The Paper Bag Princess, Two Bad Ants.… Read More

Morocco, Week Eight

At the beginning of week eight, I acquired a new roommate. One with spindly legs, abundant whiskers, and a very pink nose. Like the old nursery rhyme, he followed me to school one day. And though it was against the rules, I have to admit that it was difficult to resist scooping him up and installing him in the library. I shouldn’t have worried, however, because he was still sitting on the front steps waiting for me when I left school that afternoon.

Shortly thereafter, Loki was installed in his own little room in my apartment, complete with armchair, big cushy pillow-bed, and plenty of toys. I’m thoroughly convinced that out of all the kittens in Tangier, I’ve got the very best one.… Read More

Morocco, Week Five

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here over a month already. Sometimes I feel like I just arrived, and other times I feel as if I’ve been here for years. A strange feeling, like making a new friend who becomes close so quickly that you forget there was ever a time when you didn’t know each other.

My workweek was action-packed, and by “action-packed” I mean “hours in front of the computer preparing a pretty exciting edtech project”. More on that soon. I mostly remembered to eat food: I made harira again, ate liver by accident for the second time, and probably devoured my weight in homemade Moroccan treats.… Read More

Morocco, Week Four

I received a request last week to share a little more about work, about religion, and about my sleeping habits. For those of you who don’t know, don’t care, or just haven’t had the time to meticulously stalk me on the internet, I’m working at the American School of Tangier as Educational Technology Specialist/Head Librarian. If you think that sounds like a lot of work, you’d be right.

There are advantages and disadvantages to being in charge of a library. Nonetheless, some pretty exciting things are in store for the library and AST’s one-woman EdTech department. Hold on to your hats, and stay tuned to my blog for further updates!… Read More

Morocco, Week One

Two weeks ago, I moved to Morocco. I’ve been so busy settling in, getting to know the city, and having fantastic adventures that I’m only just now getting to this post. But better late than never!

Over the first few days I organized my beautiful apartment, met some co-workers, and even introduced myself (awkwardly) to a couple of neighbors. I went on an unsuccessful quest for basil, oregano, rosemary, and aloe vera plants. I had my first tagine. I explored the oldest parts of the city, enjoyed a sunset on the beach with my toes in the sand, and visited an ancient Phoenician burial site.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Eight

We woke up at the crack o’ dawn on Sunday to drive down to Muir Woods as soon as the park opened, and before all the tourists arrived. Choosing the path less taken every time, we found ourselves on a beautiful two-hour hike through the woods, culminating in a spectacular view across the park. Mist was still blowing through the trees, so the landscape changed every couple of minutes.

Spotted some cute banana slugs, a gaggle of chipmunks, and a couple of hawks. I also made friends with a lizard and he allowed me to get within a few inches for some excellent reptile portraits. He was missing half his tail, so perhaps his amiable demeanor didn’t work with hungry foxes and birds.… Read More