Bordeaux: Le Vin et le Sable

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We had gorgeous weather for our weekend getaway to Bordeaux last month, which made wandering through vineyards, soaking in the city’s beautiful architecture and climbing Europe’s largest sand dune particularly delightful. I wasn’t expecting the city of Bordeaux itself to be so cool — It’s filled with sidewalk cafes, interesting bars and students having picnics on the grass along the river. Gui and I met my two friends from grad school there for a weekend adventure and by the end I was googling the cost of rent for flats near the waterfront. Maybe one day ūüôā

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15-Month Anniversary

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I have to be honest: I’ve been totally wrapped up in trying to power through¬†the 90-degree Fahrenheit/32-degree Celsius temperature inside our un-airconditioned Geneva apartment and get some studying done¬†for exams, and did not realize I was due for an anniversary post until my trusty phone alert late last night. Thus, you’ll have to forgive that this entry is¬†short on thoughtful expat reflections, and accept a substitute of¬†some very wise attic apartment advice instead: When it’s 90 degrees outside, do not leave your windows open all day in the hope that a¬†breeze will bring some fresh air into¬†your¬†flat. There is no breeze and your apartment¬†will somehow stay at a sauna-like 90 degrees all week as a result — even though¬†it’s back down to 70 degrees outside. (You’re welcome.)

Outside of studying for exams — four more to go! — Gui and I have been spending our time down by the lake relaxing between workdays and classes, and soaking in what I really do think is Geneva’s best season now that I’ve experienced¬†them all: Summer. (I know, it’s still officially spring, but this weather says otherwise.) The city comes to life with swimmers, sailors and festivals, and it’s really a different atmosphere from the quieter winter months when downtown empties out¬†in favor of¬†the nearby ski¬†slopes.¬† Continue reading

Chianti: Pour Me Another

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Our decision to book a half-day wine tour in Chianti, Italy, was a very last-minute one: We originally signed up¬†for a Sunday bike tour through Tuscany that included a visit to a castle and wine and olive oil tastings, but we cancelled once we found out it was going to be 99 degrees outside. Then Saturday, hanging out at a cafe in Pisa, my dad used the wifi to scout out other options and snagged us seats on a wine tour in — the¬†top selling point —¬†an air-conditioned van.

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Burgundy: “Terroir” is Everything

Yes, yes, I’m still here — just extremely behind on logging my adventures¬†after spending a wonderful two weeks with my family visiting from the states. FaceTime and Skype are great, but nothing beats actually having your favorite people right there in front of you, showing them around your new city,¬†with¬†a few fantastic trips thrown in for good measure. I’ll catch you guys up¬†in reverse order since our most recent adventures¬†are the freshest in my mind. First up: Burgundy!

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