“Le dessert?,” the waitress asked.
I looked at S with eyebrows hopefully raised, thinking about the French treats we were just drooling over on the restaurant’s chalkboard wall.
“Oui!”, he said.
I turned to the waitress, “Oui! Les profiteroles, s’il vous plait!”
“What just happened? I thought we were getting the check?,” S said. “L’addition.”
“No…she said dessert. I thought you said yes to le dessert not l’addition….”
And so began our first trip of the new year…with a mistaken dessert that we didn’t regret and the subsequent order of another bottle of wine. About two hours from home, we were exploring the beautiful French city of Metz, with it’s gorgeous cathedral, excellent restaurants (I especially recommend L’Escalier, which specializes in steak and frites…and profiteroles), and fun bars (I especially recommend Les BerThom, part of a chain of bars serving excellent IPAs and Belgian beers). We’ve already vowed to go back.
2014 has been a big year for me: about 26 cities, 10 countries, 3 continents, 24 flights (8 of them trans-Atlantic), 10 road trips, five long train rides, and a bus. Add to that learning a new language, learning to cook, learning to live with S, navigating the German visa system, and a little bit of wedding planning, and it’s easy to say this ranks as one my biggest years yet. Throughout all of the traveling and the lovely little bits in between, it was a year full of growth, rest, excitement, food, and love. I can only imagine what 2015 has in store.
What travel/food blog posted on December 31st would be complete without a round-up of the author’s favorite foods from the year? Not this one! So here they are, my top food photos from my travels this year. Conspicuously absent are all of the spießbraten, bratwurst, schnitzel, and kartoffelpuffers that I ate at the Christmas markets this year because none of them lasted long enough to be captured…maybe next year.
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill
A look back at my favorite buildings of 2014:
Yesterday marked one year since I began my sabbatical from work and moved to Germany to study, cook, live, and travel with S. What a year it has been!? Scrolling back through my photos and thinking about everything I’ve seen and done and eaten this year and how much I’ve changed (mostly for the better), I am so thankful for this opportunity and looking forward to new and exciting experiences in the new year. There were so many beautiful moments in 2014 that I could not choose just a few favorite photos, so I divided them into four groups: Landscapes, Architecture, Food (can’t leave that one out!), and Life. Cheers to 2014 and an even better 2015!
The jewel of Granada is, without question or competition, the Alhambra. Perched high above the main city, the Alhambra is a sprawling fortress and palace, with walls, arches, and ceilings so intricately engineered and decorated, it could take endless visits to fully appreciate its beauty. The richness of its aesthetic appeal is equalled only by its history. Built as a fortress in the 9th century and expanded into a palace in the 11th century, it was the last Muslim stronghold in Spain until the Catholics took it in 1492. For a time, it was used by both Catholics and Muslims, however, that symbiosis was relatively short lived, lasting less than ten years.
If I had to pick superlatives from my recent trip to Southern Spain (and I had to because what else do you do on the way home to make the trip last a little longer?), I’d say that out of Ronda, Nerja, and Granada, Ronda was the most charming and Granada the most interesting. From our hotel window at the foot of the Alhambra and overlooking the city center, Granada looked more like a peaceful town or a village than a city. However, once we trekked down the hill and wandered the city streets, we soon learned that the city is full of energy with street performers and artists entertaining cafe goers and tapas eaters, business people traveling to and from meetings, students and professors attending class (but mostly not attending class), and market goers carrying home their fresh fish and olives. Looking back on our few days in Granada, it’s almost a blur of wandering through these scenes, tapas, sangria, more tapas, and flamenco!