The Monarchs of Mexico

I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man? (Zhuangzi) As I sit here watching my little girl on our baby monitor all cocooned up in…

Alpine Adventures

It’s a busy week in Toulouse. Not only did the first Starbucks in the city open this morning (complete with people lined up well outside the door for hours to be the “first in”), it’s also a week marked by ongoing protests over changes to France’s labor laws. The reform under debate makes it easier…

On Castles and Chasms (or a Weekend-End Trip to South-Central France)

“Looks like you’ve made the American version,” said my oh-so-hilarious doctor at my 32-week scan. He’d just informed Matt and me our petite not-so-petite little girl was already weighing in at an estimated and whopping 5.7 pounds. Yep, our feisty, little, French-made bebé, who punched at the ultrasound wand while the doctor was trying to…

Micronation, Macro-Fun: A Day in Luxembourg

One of the best things about living in Europe is the ability to visit so many cities and countries on our bucket list. We’ve even discovered some amazing places we didn’t know should be on our bucket list. Take Luxembourg for example. We knew it was a small country sandwiched between France, Belgium and Germany, but we had…

A Tale of Three European Christmas Markets

I think I’ve dreamt about visiting a German Christmas market since I was in high school learning German and studying the country’s customs and cultures. Visions of stalls piled high with sweets and festive treats filled my head. The image of lights twinkling and decorated trees towering over snowy streets beckoned me from afar. Once…

A Day at Mont-Saint-Michel

It’s funny the difference a few days can make. Just last week we were making plans to pack our bags and move to Germany. This week we are settling in to France for another few months. It’s a long story that involves visa delays and last-minute scrambling (neither of which was from our end). Suffice…

Nothing Miniature about This Tasty Adventure

Is there anything better than spending a Saturday eating chocolate and marveling at a miniature universe? We didn’t think so—and apparently many visitors to Hamburg don’t think so either. Miniatur Wunderland and Chocoversum are two of the highest rated tourist attractions in Hamburg on TripAdvisor (numbers 1 and 27 respectively). Since it was yet another…

Adventures in Hamburg: The Stadtrundfahrt

Ich spreche nur ein bisschen Deutsch. I speak a little German. For the first time since I started studying German, I was actually in Germany. The only problem was it had been about ten years since I last took a German class. Starting as a freshman in high school, I took five years of German….

A surprise trip to Hamburg

Dear readers, please forgive my lack of posts this week. On Wednesday we found out my husband had to travel to Hamburg, Germany for work–and he had to leave that night! Being the amazing husband he is and knowing I’ve been dying to visit Germany, he booked me a flight and let me tag along! …

A Cheesey Day in Montauban

Southern France in fall has proven to be very beautiful. The leaves are changing, the weather is mostly mild and the fruits and vegetables are a gorgeous mélange of autumn hues. While the slow shift of seasons is similar to what we were used to in the U.S., the decided lack of fall marketing is…

A Medieval Tale: Carcassone 

Part of the fun craziness of Matt’s new job is not knowing where we’re headed next. A few weeks ago we got a calendar outlining our assignments after Toulouse, but just yesterday Matt found out things might change again. Unfortunately the change means we might be headed out of Toulouse for about six weeks to stay…

Moher Adventures in Ireland

If I close my eyes, I can almost feel the chilly breeze whipping my hair and smell the salty ocean breeze mixing with wind-blown grass. Memories taking me back to the day we stood on sheer cliffs and stared out at the wide-open expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Our fourth day in Ireland was slated…