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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

Carcassonne, a Day in Verse

Oh! Dear readers, do please accept
apologies, for I have kept
away too long, and long delayed
more stories of our escapades.

Imagine now an ancient city,
fortified, and very pretty.
Up to the walls march our young heroes.
Unarmed with any sword or spear, so
luckily equipped with minds astute,
we snuck in through the tourist route.… Read More

Weekend in Italy

Two months ago, I ended up in Italy for a conference. (You know, my glamorous librarian lifestyle.) In a misguided effort to save money, I flew a discount airline to Bergamo, rather than straight to Milan where the conference was. And you know what? That ended up being one of my best travel decisions ever.

The trip was off to an excellent start with the continuation of my favorite Madrid airport tradition. (Favorite tradition, not favorite airport. Madrid-Barajas is a soulless warehouse of an airport, with vast, fluorescent-lit hallways and overpriced amenities, cunningly designed to rob travelers of all hope and vigor.)… Read More

Morocco, Weeks Fifteen and Sixteen

On Saturday afternoon I was off to Spain. You might remember from my last post that Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which includes sheep sacrifice, was coming up. Well, rather than listen to thousands of dismayed sheep bleating across the city (and smelling them roasting later on) I opted to travel to northern Spain. My goal, San Sebastián, (Donostia in Basque) was only two flights and a three-hour bus ride away.

On the first flight I sat next to a young man who had never flown before. Through him, I remembered the wonder of seeing the tops of clouds for the first time. It was great seeing the look in his eyes in the moment when the plane lifted off the runway.… 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 Nine

I’ve been behind by a day throughout this trip, and it looks like I might finally catch up if I can knock this one out before I fall asleep. Today was our long-awaited Chinatown day. We strolled down Stockton Street and found ourselves in the midst of a bustling food market that extended several blocks in each direction. Every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine, seafood, dried who-knows-what, candy, tea, snacks, noodles… the list goes on. But the highlight of the day turned out to be the bizarre toys we found in bazaars and gift shops. These ranged from angry wooden toys to zombie stickers that are designed to attach to your mirror so you can pretend to be a zombie in the morning, to “handerpants”, which, as the name suggests, are underpants for your hands.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Six

We spent day six wandering around the Castro, caught a screening of Vertigo in 70mm at the beautiful Castro Theatre, ate dinner at Orphan Andy’s, and ate an excessive amount of ice cream at Ghirardelli.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Four

Spent the day in the Haight, saw more vintage and thrift stores on one street than I’ve seen in the whole of DC, had a nap in a park, got a panoramic view of the city from Buena Vista Park, and climbed the Lyon Street steps.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Three

Day three was jam-packed with beautiful things: a languid morning at the Conservatory of Flowers, took in some art at the De Young museum, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in front of a beautiful fountain, visited the rose garden, listened to a Mary Poppins-esque one-man band, and ended the day with a fabulous meal at (in my opinion) the best Indian restaurant in San Francisco.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day One

Even before we arrived in San Francisco, fantastic things were happening. Smoothies and french fries for breakfast, the speediest airport security I’ve ever encountered, and a gorgeous aerial view of the Rockies out my window. On our first day in the city, we visited some fabulous exhibits at the Asian Art Museum, examined a few thrift stores, discovered a delicious lunch spot, wandered up to check out the view at Coit Tower, and finished the day with a sunset by the bay, bread from Boudin, and free chocolate from Ghirardelli.… Read More

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