We went to Barcelona!

Barcelona has been on my list for a long time now, and I finally got to check it – and a new country! – off as visited. Originally, we had planned to visit Barcelona in the summertime, for the prime-time experience of beaches, sunshine, all the good stuff. Unfortunately, life got in the way and by the time we were in a position to plan a trip, we were looking at mid-November. We decided to head on down to Barcelona anyway, even if we wouldn’t be splashing in the waves this time of year. (Spoiler alert: toes were dipped).

A long weekend in Barcelona

We left bright and early in the morning for our short flight – less than 2 hours – to Barcelona. We were in the city and checked into our hotel before it was even lunchtime. Continue reading

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Second Thanksgiving in Paris

Last year, I got lucky. I had moved abroad, but I was still working for an American company. The result was that I had Thanksgiving day off as a holiday, just like always, allowing me to focus my time on cooking way too many mashed potatoes, picking up our fresh-ordered pumpkin pie, and generally lazing around the house to the smell of a feast in progress.

This year, I officially work in France where they do not celebrate Thanksgiving. In theory I could have taken the day off and, honestly, I had fully planned on it. But between our recent long weekend in Barcelona (which I will tell you about soon), plus being in the middle of a HUGE project at work, plus needing to take scattered days off soon for signing on our apartment and moving and all that good stuff, well, it just wasn’t feasible to take my Thanksgiving day.

So here we are, working on my treasured American holiday. Continue reading

The Fête des Vendanges

Last year, I just missed the Fête des Vendanges. It ended the 9th of October. I arrived the 10th.

This year, there was no way I was going to miss this!

La Fête des Vendanges 2016

A “fête des vendanges” is a wine harvest festival. THE Fête des Vendanges is a wine harvest festival in Paris itself, in Montmartre. Because there’s a vineyard in Montmartre. Did you know that?

montmartre-vineyard-paris

So this particular Fête isn’t just any wine-soaked fête, it’s a wine-soaked fête perched atop the highest point in Paris, surrounding the iconic Sacre Cœur and overlooking the rest of the city. So you can see why I was determined to go to this year’s event. Continue reading

Fall in full swing

I’ve had so many things to say – and so little time to say them.

First and foremost… It’s my France-iversary!

I’ve officially been living in France for a full year, minus those couple of months at the start of this year. But my stuff has been here for a full year and that’s what counts. Home is where the heart your stuff is.

It’s amazing to me that it has been a year already. This time last year, I was just moving into a freezing apartment with no heat, nervous to try the metro alone, and starting a long, strange few months working from home. I can’t believe how much has changed since then. Travel, engagement, married (twice), working, feeling settled… I couldn’t have asked for more. Continue reading

Thoughts from Paris, Spring 2016

A lot has happened in the last couple of months, and I haven’t written about any of it.

It’s not like I didn’t have the time. For almost all of April and May, I was home just about every day. With exceptions of course for that time I got married and the week I showed my parents around Paris, I’ve had a pretty wide-open schedule. I’ve filled my days with job-hunting for hours on end, cat-snuggling (a full time job on its own, really), and going for really long walks to get lost and find my way home again. And yet somehow, I never found time to tell you all about it. Or maybe I just wasn’t inspired after several days straight on the couch.

Human contact is a funny thing. Too much of it and you’re dying for some alone time in your jammies with a snack and your favorite shows. Not enough, and you start to become a bit too attached to your Netflix account, who is always there for you and would never do anything to hurt you.

Over the last couple of weeks though, things have been looking up! Good stuff has happened, the weather got better (briefly), and I started to spend more time with fun people other than my cat. Lunches here and there with friends, shopping trips, and – most important of all – I found my people in France for weekly Game of Thrones viewing. It does a person good to find their fellow nerds.

Anyway, I’m bouncing back with a few random thoughts from the last few weeks of “Spring” here in Paris: Continue reading

I’m still here, I swear.

I’ve been slacking.

I was supposed to write about Christmas in Paris, but Christmas came and went and I didn’t get around to it. Then I thought, hey fine – I’ll write about Christmas and New Year’s Eve together, that’ll be great. Then New Year’s came and went and I didn’t get around to it.

I’d like to say that I’ve just been so busy with my fabulous life and that I was just “living it to the fullest” so much and that’s why. But that’s not exactly true.

True fact: I have been busy. True fact: it is not with fabulous life-living. It’s with paperwork and planning and flights home and trying to find enough sweaters to not freeze to death in this arctic New England weather we’re so nicely experiencing just as soon as I got back here.

So here’s your quick recap of the past couple of weeks, in photo/summary format. Continue reading

Thanksgiving in Paris

I’m not usually one for gushing, “let’s go around the table” declarations of what we’re grateful for at Thanksgiving dinner. To be honest, if someone asked I usually wouldn’t know what to say (I would probably make some snarky comment). If you suggested it with my family, we would all probably awkwardly ignore it and try to move on. We’re not touchy-feely types.

But this year, there is so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my safety, after a stressful and tragic few weeks. I’m thankful for my family – awkward as we are – for being totally on board with Project: Elizabeth Moves to France. I’m thankful for my job, giving me the ability and opportunity to keep it and still be here.

And I’m thankful that I get to live in this amazing city:

Notre Dame Paris

Francegiving: An American Thanksgiving in Paris

I may be in France, but there was no way I was going to miss out on one of the best holidays of the year. A holiday entirely devoted to food? Impossible. Continue reading

An American in… Bruges?

I have been dying to go to Bruges for years. I tried to go once before, but was unable to make it happen. So once I knew I was moving to Paris and Frenchman and I would be making plenty of little trips, the very first one on my list was Bruges!

Bruges Brugge train station

It was a short trip – 2 nights and 2 very full days – but it’s a small town and we made the most of it. Bruges (or Brugge) is a beautiful little medieval city with some of the coolest architecture. It’s also home to beer, chocolate, lace, and waffles. I think you can guess which 3 of those things we focused on! (Hint: not the lace) Continue reading

Restaurant Round-Up: October!

One of the first things people ask me about living in France is always about food.

Without fail, everyone wants to know about the food (and wine). Whether they’ve just found out I moved here or they’ve known for a while and are checking in to see how it’s going, there will inevitably be a question about what I’ve been eating, how is the cheese, have you had a lot of croissants…

So I’ve assembled a few of the places I’ve eaten in the last month for a quick Restaurant Round-Up! Continue reading

A visit to the Salon du Chocolat

Where do I even begin.

Salon du Chocolat

Well let me begin by explaining that the Salon du Chocolat is not a small, intimate, sexy event like you might believe from the name salon. It’s big. It’s in a freaking expo center. And there are two levels.

The Salon du Chocolate is, at its worst, a giant fancy candy store. Not like “Sweets From Heaven” mall sugar but like, that local super expensive store you drool at the windows of. All in a huge convention center.

What I’m trying to say is, it was magnificent.

Continue reading