I’m Back!

IMG_6193I realize I haven’t been around much lately.  I don’t have a great excuse.  Life just happened.  I finished the classes for my MBA in Paris.  I traveled to the USA for the first time in a year and visited family and friends.  I returned to Paris.  Tomorrow, I start an internship at an international design agency in Paris.  I’m excited and nervous and happy to be back.

I had an incredible time when I was back in the US.  I spent Christmas in Chicago with my family and then went to California.  San Francisco is my other home.  I lived there for eight years and I have an amazing group of friends there.  I love the sun, the food and the laid back culture.  Here is a glimpse into my trip:

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Coastal Days and Saying Goodbye to Summer

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This was my last week of freedom before school starts marking the end of summer.  Two months is the most I have had off since I was 16-years-old.  I have always had corporate jobs where you were lucky if you got two weeks!  I thought in the beginning that it was so much time off and I didn’t know how I was going to fill it.  Now, I realize that it isn’t that much and that I could easily fill a years worth of time off if I could.  Sadly, that is not in my budget.  I am incredibly grateful for this time.  It has been amazing.

As a send-off to summer, I have spent the past week with my mom on the coast.  We have mostly been in Brittany with a brief jaunt into Normandy to see Mont St Michel.  The coast is beautiful and I have been posting way too many beach photos on facebook.  I have gorged myself on seafood and crepes and relaxed into this last week of summer.  I feel incredibly lucky as I get ready to embrace this next part of my journey.  Merci!

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Amsterdam Days

 

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I fell in love with Amsterdam.  I didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did.  I wandered the canals and got lost in the beauty.  I found cool local designs in the boutiques and lots of hip cafes and restaurants.  I stayed away from the tourist areas.  I got lost.  I was almost run over by a bicycle several times.  I sat on benches and enjoyed the sun and the view.  The city has both an energy and a peacefulness about it.  I can already tell that Amsterdam will be a place I will return to again and again.

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Hamburg Days

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Hamburg is one of those cities that is really nice place to live or to just hangout for a few days.  It is clean and beautiful with good restaurants and shopping.  It is not a city that has a lot of huge tourist sites so if that is what you like I would look elsewhere.  For me it was perfect.  I stayed with an old friend and it was so lovely to catch up!  I ate good food, relaxed, walked around the lake, and went to the beach.  It was a true vacation! Continue reading

Summer Travel Essentials

Rimowa Salsa Air

Rimowa Salsa Air Suitcase

I have spent the past three weeks traveling in Europe.  First to London, then on a trip to Berlin, Hamburg and Amsterdam. It has been a blast but a hot, sweaty blast.  A heatwave has consumed us and made me realize how inadequate some of my packing (3 pairs of jeans?!) was.  If I could do it over again, here are my summer travel essentials.

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Berlin Days

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Berlin is such a cool city!  I spent the past four days there and I really enjoyed it.  It is such an interesting mix.  It has all this history yet is so modern and ‘now’ feeling.  The beautiful gentrified parts are still a bit gritty.  As with any city with a rough winter, the people really know how to celebrate summer.  There are beer gardens everywhere and all the restaurants have terraces where you can sit outside.  Here are a few photos from my trip.  Next stop, Hamburg for four days!

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London Days and Ottolenghi

IMG_3844I’m not a huge fan of British food.  Sorry!  I am however a big fan of some of the diversity of the London food scene.  Craving Malaysian roti canai?  Got it.  Want a real taco de carnitas? Done.  One of my favorite spots in London is Ottolenghi.    The chef and author, Yotam Ottolenghi, wrote one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Plenty.  I love his unusual combinations and fresh flavors.  When I am in London I make sure to stop by one of his delis.  I know it will be the best meal I have while I’m here.  Keep reading for the items I picked up this time.  Perhaps they will inspire you (as they have inspired me) to try something new in the kitchen!

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