Jul 2014
Road Trip: Wenatchee

When my beloved 1992 Jetta was hit with some minor but worthy-of-being-deemed-'totaled' damage a couple of years ago, I got myself a new VW that invariably came with tons more automatic doodads and general smarts than my old car had. Even just getting a cup-holder and no longer hand-cranking the windows up and down was a huge advance. I hadn't quite expected the car to actively nudge me with notes on ...

Jan 2014
Oaxaca: Color and Flavors Abound

I realized I'd taken a lot of photos when I got that error message saying my 4GB media card was full. Thankfully it was the last afternoon of the weeklong trip to Oaxaca and I had my phone at hand to capture some final images before packing away my t-shirts and sun hat and dried chiles and corn husks along with an overload of sensory input and experiences to pack along home as well. That's just one measure of what a ...

Oct 2013
Leavenworth Retreat: Sleeping Lady

  The shuttle bus was free, so there was no reason to complain. Not that we would have, anyway. It's Oktoberfest season after all, revelry abounds around the beer-fueled festival no matter how far away from Munich it may be celebrated.  And as much as I'd already come to relish the tranquility of the setting, it was an even more striking example of how much a refuge Sleeping Lady is. My husband and I ...

Sep 2013
Culinary Conversation on San Juan Island

It's funny, much as I usually abhor ruts and routine, I can be quite the creature of habit sometimes. Which, in the case of visiting the San Juan Islands in the Northwest corner of Washington state, comes in the form of me heading 99.9% of the time to Orcas, dating back to trips made there with my family as far back as I can remember. Which is one of many reasons why I'm so looking ...

Aug 2013

Paris: A Review

Paris: A Review

So there I was in Paris for a month earlier this year, living la belle vie, nothing but time to wander, read, eat, write, ponder, drink, consider, explore. It was glorious, as you can imagine. Unseasonably cool and quite wet weather didn't dampen the experience. I made a number of blog posts, far more than a typical month for me. I wrote and wrote and wrote, tens ...

Jul 2013
Communicating Abroad: Keeping it Simple

It was our second or third morning in Zurich, in the breakfast room just off the lobby of the hotel where we were staying. A gentleman at a table near me tried to tell the server that the used plate and coffee cup on his table were not his and should be taken away, that he'd just sat down. When she didn't understand he simply repeated it, again, in English, sounding exasperated. She again ...

Jun 2013

The Rhine River: Our Un-Cruise

The Rhine River: Our Un-Cruise

  There's nothing at all Viking River Cruises could have done. Lord knows they didn't turn on the rain in the previous couple of months that lead to the record-breaking flooding of the Rhine and Danube (and surely other) rivers late May and earlier this month. I had been in Europe since late April and certainly noticed it was a particularly damp spring in Paris, enough so that this Seattleite was even taking pictures (and one video) of the deluge. It ...

May 2013
Beyond Golden: Finding Flavor

This picture is one of my favorites from this month's escapade in Paris. It was taken at one of the top pastry/confection shops in Paris, Jacques Genin, which I was very happy to find to be just a matter of blocks from the apartment I rented in the Marais. And it was taken at a Sunday lunch I enjoyed with my sister. Not dessert after lunch. But FOR lunch. We each got our own from among the few millefeuille ...

May 2013
Market Day Potato Salad

I went a little nuts at the market today. It's Sunday, a prime market day in many neighborhoods around Paris. The closest/best to where I'm staying in the Marais is the Bastille market that spreads north of Place de la Bastille on the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. I went to the market last Sunday too (it's on Thursdays as well, I'll hit it one more time this coming week), but that was a more casual ...

May 2013
Sharing France: Cocktails with Dad

My first three trips to France came over the course of about five years and the length of each trip increased about five-fold from one to the next. First, one month with about 20 students for a Winterim term in Paris. Next, just six of us from the same university returned for the inaugural year of our school’s study-abroad program, a semester at the Université de Dijon. Then came my cooking school adventure, which I thought would be ...