We landed in Dublin on Good Friday. In other words, we landed in a place known for its stout and whiskey on a day when no one would/could sell us any stout or whiskey. Even the gas station beer selection was covered in bed sheets. Great planning on our part. Undeterred, we hopped in a car and drove west toward Connemara, hoping to find some sort of wild-west-we-do what-we-want spirit. We pulled into a convenience store/bar (because most establishments in Ireland are a something slash bar) outside of Clifden, hoping to charm the proprietor into selling us a welcoming brew. The little Irish man behind the counter seemed physically pained that he couldn’t send us off with a Guinness. Really, we could tell that it hurt his soul. And we’re also pretty sure, based on his pointing and winking (something that the Irish confusingly do a lot), that he would have sold us some if his wife weren’t working the register next to him.
Between going back to work, traveling, casual wedding planning, and enjoying life in Germany, this year is flying by and the blog has taken a bit of a back seat. Here we are in mid-July and my un-airconditioned apartment in the Rhinegau is making me miss the crisp air and incredible views of Innsbruck, which conveniently is where I left off with my posts. For my first taste of spring skiing (which now might be the only time year that I ski – no hat and drinks on the slopes in the sunshine? Sign me up!), S and I headed to Innsbruck and checked out the runs on Stubai Glacier and Kitzbuhel. It was a memorable weekend with great friends, gorgeous runs, and few toasts to both.
For reasons unknown to me now, S and I found ourselves one day in December Googling festivals in Sardinia. As it turned out, the weekend that we’d be there in January happened to be the weekend of the St. Antonio festival, which kicks off the carnival season and involves bonfires and the passing around of wine and snacks. Food, wine, and bonfires …no need to think twice about that.
“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: