travel log

plans: NEW YORK CITY (nov 2015) &
traveling w/ students: BERLIN, PRAGUE, VIENNA, VENICE (june 2016)

july 2015
Colombia is about to explode on the mainstream travel scene, so hurry up and get there. It wasn't since my very first trip abroad that I'd been to Latin America, and I didn't realize how much I missed it. Colombia is an awesome mix of cultures and climates, which makes it perfect for traveling in a group of friends who want a mix of city, country, and Caribbean coast. Whether fine dining in Bogota or hiking through Tayrona National Park, Colombians everywhere are full of hospitality and happy to talk to you about insider tips to find the best ceviche or arepa in town. If you go, don't shy away from places like Medellin, where change happens at a dizzying pace.
Food Memories: arepas of all types, ajiaco, ceviche, red snapper

june 2015
This year I think I totally nailed the itinerary and pacing of traveling with teenagers. After five days of non-stop go-go-go in London and Paris, relaxing in Arles, eating glace in Orange, and swimming in the Pont du Gard was just what those kids needed. I don't want to jinx it, but this was the best student trip yet. Lots of cheese, nutella, and lavender for everyone.
Food Memories: lavender ice cream and rose jelly

march 2015
Although not my first trip to NYC, this was a special trip to kick it in Brooklyn with my best travel buddy, Bree, and her newborn, Arden. But, within an hour of landing I bee-lined for Chinatown to consume two highly anticipated dishes in a row: spicy cumin lamb noodles from Xi'an Famous Foods and soup dumplings from Shanghai Cafe Deluxe. After that, it was all breastmilk and cookies (not all for me).
Food Memories: spicy lamb cumin noodles, soup dumplings, betty crocker chocolate chip cookies


july/aug 2014
Bilbao and San Sebastian really do have the best food in the world - just grab some pintxos at a bar on the corner to find out. The beaches aren't so bad either, but don't measure up to swimming at the Pont du Gard or the calanques of Marseilles. Toulouse is definitely vraiment France, the people are so kind and down-to-earth and still so French. Between Albi, Foix, Arles, Aix, Avignon, St. Remy, Les Baux, perhaps I scratched the surface of Provence. Food Memories: pintxos of every shape and size, fresh anchovies, light-as-air bacalao croquettas, horse (yes), sweetest cherry tomatoes, baguette & cheese picnics, genuine toulousain cassoulet, duck rillette tartines, anything fig & lavender flavored.
Inspired Posts: tartines

july 2014
Visit #6 to Paris and my first time with cold, rainy July. Still a charmer. Belgian "chocolate crawls" in the streets of Bruges, followed by some mussels and waffles. I'm ready to move to Amsterdam, for the spekkoek alone. Amazed how much Copenhagen has changed/is changing in the past 8 years, but those street hot dogs with mayo, spicy mustard, pickles, and fried onion are still the best (outside of Chicago).
Food Memories: saffron chocolates, spekkoek (Dutch-Indonesian spice cake), fresh gouda, speculoos cookie butter.
Inspired Posts: spekkoek

march 2014
Third time in Rome was a charm. A full week was time to find that charm a city that can be frantic in only two days toting a group of students. I learned how to detect a perfect pizza crust, nosily peering into patios of diners before settling on a restaurant for lunch. The chilly spring weather justified many a bowl of rich spaghetti carbonara or pappardelle al ragu - a needed carbo load between touching ancient monuments, winding through etruscan caves and catacombs, or climbing Renaissance domes. Food Memories: Pappardelle al ragu di lepre (rabbit), spaghetti carbonara, pizza "rucola e prosciutto crudo," truly fresh mozzarella, panna cotta, torta di pistacchio.
Inspired Posts: pappardelle al ragu, spaghetti alla carbonara di carciofi

july/aug 2013
1,300 miles, 16 days, 10 cities, 3 countries, two completely different worlds.  Garrett and I loved every moment of this trip.  Morocco during Ramadan was a beautiful cultural challenge that I'm still trying to understand.  Portugal is the sleeper gem of Europe.  
Food Memories: Tagine, pastilla, harira, mint tea.  Port wine, arroz de mariscos, pasteis de nata.
Inspired Posts: preserved lemons, harira, chicken tagine, my caldo verde

june 2013
I can't believe how much we saw in 12 days: Rothenburg, Munich, Innsbruck, Venice, Verona, Lucerne, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Paris.  Closest I ever came to losing a the Louvre.  I freak for places that history has made culturally amalgamous, so Strasbourg did it for me.  
Food Memories: flammkuchen, swiss chocolate, black forest cake, quiche lorraine.  
Inspired Posts: flammekueche, lemon ricotta cookies, lasagna soup

july 2012
A trip of many extremes.  Istanbul was gorgeous and a little scary, Romania idyllic and slow, L'viv (Ukraine) charming and grungy, Krakow bustling and sorrowful.  Travel is the best when you wake up not knowing what you're going to get, and surrendering to what the world throws at you.  Bree also had me addicted to the Plague game, which was great for those rickety Romanian long-distance trains.  
Food Memories:  Simit, honey desserts, sarmale, borscht, pierogie.  
Inspired Posts: eastern European stuffed cabbage, borscht

june 2012
If you ever can arrange it so that your trip ends in Sorrento, do it.  If you could also be the chaperone of a charming young woman on her sixteenth birthday, even better.  London, Paris, Florence, Rome and a finale swim in the Mediterranean and the blue waters of Capri.  
Food Memories: Marks & Spencer food, crepes, pizza, gelato, gelato, gelato. 
Inspired Posts: pesto gnocchi, garlic linguine

march 2012
Once in your life you must rent a Parisian apartment for a week with someone you love.  Walk 10 miles on your first day soaking it all in.  Eat cheaply with cheese, baguette, and fruit in the parks and then fall asleep outside.  Try not to get mauled by little women tourists from East Asia.   
Food Memories: Onion soup, croque madame, macarons, espresso, cheesecake.  
Inspired Posts: cassoulet, salade lyonnaise

july 2011
I was never a beach person until Bali.  Landed at 2am, cabbed to the coast and watched the sunrise.  Pretty much set the tone for the whole trip.  Bali to Bangkok, rediscovering the Cold War in Cambodia, hitting up the schools in Singapore, sidebar in Malacca.  
Food Memories: Fruit smoothies, pad see-ew, strangely good oatmeal, dried mango, cap cay.  
Inspired Posts: mango lassi, Thai red curry soup, spring rolls, Southeast Asian soup

june 2011
There are food gods.  They are angered when you break certain rules: don't eat goulash in Austria on your way to Hungary, don't go searching for Kebab in Budapest (and do not go asking the locals where to get kebab).   Vienna truly is the Paris of the East and the Schonnbrun blows Versailles away (nice work, Habsburgs).  
Food Memories: Schnitzl, sachertorte mit schlag, goulash.

dec 2010
Always good to start a fight between a couple with split loyalties between Real Madrid and Barca in a tapas bar.  You should go see Gaudi's work with an architect and tour the Bernabeu.  Barcelona's Boqueria market rivals Tokyo's for world's best.  Madrid for Christmas.   
Food Memories: Iberian ham, churros y chocolate, paella, croquettas. 

july 2010
Japan may be the world's most perfect (or most perfectionist?) country.  Bopped around from Tokyo, Nagano, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, and on to Busan and Seoul.  No better place on earth for the perfect mixture of megacity and pristine nature than Japan.  Korea is just plain fun, they like to smile just as much as Americans.  
Food Memories: Unidentifiable fermeted root vegetables, gyoza, green tea soba (and everything else), bbq, rice wine.
Inspired Posts: yaki onigiri, korean barbecue w/ bulgogi, bibimbap, korean tofu rice bowl, spicy soba noodles

july 2010
Have you ever chaperoned a bunch of 16-year-olds to an Italian club for European teens?  Amazing.  Almost as fun as making pizza with them in Rome or racing to the top of the Duomo in Florence or taking my first dip in the sea on the rock beaches of Nice.  Always thought I'd be more of a northern Europe girl, turns out my heart's in the Mediterranean.  
Food Memories: Prosciutto-wrapped canteloupe, fresh pasta, gelato alla nocciola, candied fruit of Provence.
Inspired Posts: roasted rosemary tomatoes

july 2009
My first trip abroad with students.  My fist time in Paris.  Nothing is more rewarding than showing youth the world (ensuring they are banned  from Starbucks and McDonald's).   I could live in Berlin, take weekend trips to Prague, holiday in Lucerne, and keep an apartment in Paris (just in case).  Nothing beats the experience of an swim in an Alpine lake at sunset.  
Food Memories: Currywurst, grog, strudel, escargot.
Inspired Posts: German rouladen

june 2009
Getting very lost is amazing when you're in a country like Norway and hitchhiking is still normal because people still have souls in Scandinavia.  Helskini with a side trip to Tallinn, and then on to Stockholm, Oslo, the Fjords, Bergen, and Copenhagen.  The most memorable was Laerdal - a Norwegian village in which we found ourselves after winding up on the wrong ship and being denied  by the captain a place to rest our heads for the night "at fjord."  
Food Memories: Smorrebrod, danish, dill everything, fish, fish, fish.

june 2008
I fell in love with the world and became addicted to travel for the first time.  Nerves kept my stomach turning for the first few days, I had rarely been away from home, and never out of the U.S.  Seeing Bree waiting for me at the airport in Santiago made me feel safe.  I learned that traveling with a friend brings you closer than any other experience.  And that Machu Picchu is otherwordly.  Maybe I'll retire in Lima.  
Food Memories: Cortados, lomo saltado, ceviche, sopas, all things potato.

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