Saturday, November 15, 2014

Travels and Food

Hi family and friends!

Things got a bit crazy here with my move and teaching. I moved to a new apartment which is really cute and much larger than my last place. It's on the north side of the Loire and I still have about a 20 minute walk to the main campus which I love. I've taken advantage of living near the river to explore a bit of the bike paths.

On Tuesday I ventured out on a little hike/bike ride and came across a beautiful field of wildflowers.

My reward for a beautiful day spent outside was coming down with the flu. Since I'm still stuck inside and under the weather, I figured a blog post was in order. I'm feeling nostalgic for all the delicious foods I ate when Michael was visiting a few weeks ago.

I met up with Michael in London and we did a lot of walking and eating. Found a neat place called The Queen's Head Pub that had good beer and had my first good beer since coming to this side of the pond.

We ate some delicious Indian food.

After London, Michael continued on for work and I ventured off to Bath for a solo adventure. It rained the entire time I was there, which just made sitting inside with tea and treats even more wonderful and cozy. Bath was really lovely in the rain.

I nerded out at the Jane Austin Center and ate my weight in clotted cream.
Found a sweet little vegetarian restaurant for dinner.
After Bath I headed back to London and we continued on to Berlin. I fell in love with Berlin.

When Michael was busy working I did a lot of exploring and ate at a famous kebab place.

My veggie kebab had such amazing flavor. These guys really know what they're doing!
 Later on, Michael and I explored together and ended up at a beer garden where of course we had some pretzels.

After Berlin, Michael continued to Switzerland and I headed back to Tours because I do have a job here. Michael met up with me a few days later on his week off and we rented a Smart Car and drove around Normandy.

We saw the Normandy beaches, Mémorial de Caen and Mont Saint-Michel.

After a few days back in Tours we went to Paris.

Hazelnut, tiramisu and Speculoos ice cream.
I better get used to the sun before I head back to Colorado!
Michael's impression with France was that everyone has to have a baguette with them at all times.

The week after Michael left, I went back to Paris with a friend to hang out in the city and see a concert. We had such a nice weekend and ate some more amazing food, of course.

Waiting for the falafel.
That's it for now. No more adventures until I get over the flu!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Coffee treats

I'm into my second week here and things are starting to feel more familiar. I finally got over my jet lag, thank goodness. Looks like I'll be stirring up my routine again because I'm moving probably early next week - my neighbors where I live are so noisy and I found a quiet and much nicer apartment in Saint-Cyr-Sur-Loire, just on the other side of the Loire from where I live now. It actually has an oven and a washing machine. These are gold here, apparently. Perfect timing, because I'm ready to do some laundry!

Last weekend I grabbed French brunch with some friends and enjoyed a giant piece of tiramisu for dessert. I really love the lifestyle here - I walk a few hours a day and enjoy my dessert and still feel great. No long driving commute for this year!

American-sized dessert.
Here are some other lovely treats I had this week:

I don't know how I've never had this before - café gourmand. You get a coffee and little desserts. Perfect. 

And in non-dessert related news:

View from my office.
The Guinguette, a really neat riverside bar/café with excellent views of the Loire and great outdoor seating. Only open until the end of September - it's a summer thing. We're trying to take advantage of it while it's open!
OK friends and family, that's it for now. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Le décalage horaire

Hello from Tours, France! I've been here a few days now and I'm settling in as well as I can. I had some really bad jet-lag which I'm still getting over - I don't know why, I've never had it this badly before. I've basically had insomnia at night and I turned into a zombie during the day. I must be getting old.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous so far. I know this isn't normal for Tours so I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts. I must have brought the Colorado sunshine with me:) Here are some pictures from my walk around vieux Tours this morning:

Place du monstre
I found Les Halles today, where there's a big outdoor market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I'm good food-wise for now so I just walked around, plotting future meals.

I have three boulangeries close to my apartment. I stopped in one of them today for une tradition and my weekend dessert, a pear almond tartelette.

The bread was still really warm.
Everything I hoped it would be, and more.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Getting Ready to Go

Here's my blog I'll keep during my trip to France. I think I'll write a lot about food on here but also about my experience living in France and teaching English.

I leave on Sunday - it's so crazy how quickly this came up. I've known what I'm bringing for about a month (thanks, mom!) and I put everything in my suitcase last weekend. I just have a small checked suitcase, a backpack and a purse. Navigating airport/train/metro/etc. is definitely much easier with less.

Not too bad for a 10-month trip!
This weekend we had a nice little going away brewery party at Left Hand. It was wonderful to see people before I head to France and I'm so thankful we've met so many great people in Colorado. It's hard to believe that 3 years ago we didn't know any of these friends. Before we moved to Colorado, a good friend told me that she was so excited for all the people out there who would become new good friends. I'm keeping this in mind as I get ready to move to Tours.

Before I head out, Michael and I plan to hike my favorite Colorado hike - James Peak and St. Mary's Glacier.

It was absolutely gorgeous the last time we did it and I'm hoping it doesn't disappoint this time around. We've gotten some good hiking in this summer but never as much as we'd like.

I can't leave today's post without talking about food. A good friend gave me some wonderful travel supplies - who knew Maldon made travel salt!? I have some great plans for these yummy treats.

If you haven't had Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter,
go buy it now! It's amazing.

When I travel internationally I always request the vegan meal. Even if you're not vegan or vegetarian, it's always been the most fresh and well-rounded food I've seen in the air. When we went to New Zealand one meal was quinoa, chickpeas and greens with fruit for dessert. Nothing processed and no microwaved meat. If my meal isn't as great this time, at least I have lots of delicious snacks to keep me busy:)

That's it for today. Please send me your address if you'd like a postcard!