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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

Vertically Challenged Bread

Let’s all stay politically correct here, okay? Nobody wants to eat smaller-than-average bread with a complex. These went straight from my oven to a fancy dinner party at a local museum. In case you’re not important enough to be invited to such an event, these can also be rolled flat and cut into exciting shapes, like dinosaurs or ferocious undersea predators.… Read More

Peeking at Peaks in Py

The next stop on our European odyssey was Py, a tiny village in the Pyrenees. First, though, we had to get to France! After saying goodbye to our hosts in Girona, we hopped on the bus to Perpignan, on the French side of the mountains. The driver chatted away to me as he hauled our bags into the belly of the bus. When I explained that I grew up in the US but currently live in Morocco, he immediately shifted to darija and spent the remainder of the trip trying out various Moroccan Arabic phrases on me and watching my reaction, despite my protestations that I only spoke “shwiya, shwiya!” (A little!) So that was entertaining for one of us.… Read More

Journey to Girona

After over a month of traveling in Spain, France, and England, I am shamefully behind in blogging my adventures, of which I have had many. Couchsurfing through Spain and France, I made new friends along the way and had some great experiences. I left Tangier by plane on June 23, with my faithful (and unbelievably patient) sidekick travel partner, Erin. Just after touching down in Girona, we were whisked away by our hosts, Miguel and Cristina, to a party in honor of St John’s Eve.

I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Catalonia. Men fed the bonfire while their wives chattered away happily with us.… Read More

Morocco, Week Thirteen

I began this post on Sunday morning, sitting in my underwear typing it up. Because, really, being able to lounge around the house in your underwear is one of the nicest perks of living alone. I had woken up an hour earlier, with early-morning sunlight glinting in through my window.

Partially because I was rejuvenated from a relaxing weekend in Chefchaouen, and partially because my work week was only four days long, my week started out great. Got lots done in the library, and even managed to begin the planning stages of a new, exciting project in the community.… Read More

Morocco, Week Six

Week six, week six. As everyone gears up for the start of the school year, it’s become increasingly difficult to find that ideal balance between life and work. I spent long hours at school whipping the library into shape, then worked on the aforementioned secret edtech project from home most nights. This was complicated by the fact that Ramadan was followed immediately by Eid, a two-day holiday, on Wednesday and Thursday, so most of the work at school had to be put on hold until Friday.

Still, I managed to get away from my books and my PHP code every once in a while, if only out of a sense of responsibility to my readers. If I didn’t do interesting things each week, there would be nothing to write about. And definitely no photos.… Read More

Morocco, Week Three

My workdays during week three were filled with reorganizing the library. Moving shelves, sorting out picture books and junior fiction, peeling tape, selecting featured books, and making to-do lists. I also spent a great deal of my week walking and cooking, though not at the same time.

I cooked two vegetable curries, pizza for six, meringues, countless fresh fruit smoothies, and tabbouleh with parsley from the Sunday market, picked fresh that morning. I scavenged some beautiful succulents from the edge of a beach and finally found a basil plant, both of which are sitting happily on my balcony. I even found time to argue about Shakespeare.… 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

Magic Pizza Crust

Let’s imagine that you, dear reader, are filled with admiration for my cooking projects and immediately run to the kitchen to try out each of these recipes over and over. If this is the case, then you have a veritable swimming pool of pesto sitting around, waiting to be used. And you’re probably sick of eating it with pasta. Well, here’s some great news! You can have fresh, homemade pesto pizza! Yum yum! And it’s so easy! … Read More