Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

As an amateur photographer I have lots of bad habits, but by far the worst is not looking at my photos after I take them. Over time, the weight of all those photos becomes oppressive, as it can take hours to sort through my mostly crappy snapshots to pick out a handful of favorites. Eventually […]


When it comes to travel, Esteban and I are planners: Before every trip we peruse a stack of guide books from the library, study some history, and map out our logistics. Eight cities and three countries in one trip. WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! Although we still leave plenty of time for serendipity, planning helps us […]


Yesterday I wrote about the impact one’s choice of lodging can have on a trip — and about the unexpected joys of occasionally staying further afield. Such was the case in the beautiful little city of Freiburg im Breisgau, which lies in the foothills of Germany’s Schwartzwald (Black Forest). You need not be a cartographer […]


One of the least-discussed truths about travel is that your lodging sets the tone for everything — which is why I sometimes pay a bit more to stay in the heart of a city. But, as I learned last December in Freiburg, straying off the beaten path can sometimes yield its own delightfully unexpected rewards. […]


Although I haven’t been back to Cologne since I last visited at age 16, its cathedral has loomed large in my imagination. I’m pleased to report that I found it just as glorious in real life as I remembered in my mind’s eye. Even if you’re not particularly devout, standing in front of this monument […]


We were sad to leave Bruges this morning. I have so many little stories to share (like watching the movie In Bruges last night … in Bruges). But because I’m on a bouncy train — and because I don’t have time to construct a cohesive narrative — here’s a loosely structured list of The Top 10 […]


When I visit a new city, I like to learn a bit about its history — so I hope you’ll indulge a brief history of Bruges. No one knows exactly when Bruges was founded, but we do know that there was already a fortified settlement here when Julius Caesar and his troops arrived. Trade between […]


I’ve known for months that on a particular November day Esteban and I would be leaving for Europe, so I was confident of my preparations. I had a packing list; I’d gathered my toiletries; I’d charged my batteries. Yet, on the morning of our departure, I once again found myself doing the “Pack’n’Panic.” Piles of […]


Every year, Esteban and I grant a (purely ceremonial and very silly) award to the first friend(s) whose holiday card we receive. Once again, the four-years-running champions are our dear friends Jim and John. Their 2012 card was entirely too appropriate for this incurable Francophile. I will treasure it among my favorite keepsakes. But beyond […]


I adore my friend Laurice for a million different reasons. She’s smart, cool, funny, kind, a wonderful mom, and an unbelievable cook. She’s also incredibly creative and generous — and I’m always grateful when I’m on the receiving end of her creativity and generosity. Such was the case a few months ago, when she surprised […]