Postcard from the Christmas Market in Arras

During the Christmas season, you always see lists with a title along the lines of “Best Christmas Markets in France“, or “in Europe“, and so on. In regards to the north of France, Lille always seems to make the list. And don’t get me wrong, the Christmas market here in my city is gorgeous- the ferris wheel offers sweeping views of the city (with the totally and completely … Continue reading Postcard from the Christmas Market in Arras

Notes on Coming Home for the Holidays

  As I write this, I am currently en route to Paris via Copenhagen, thanks to bargain SAS flights. I’ve spent the past two weeks celebrating Christmas and New Year’s back in my hometown in southeastern Wisconsin. It was a much needed, much welcomed visit and break from my life in France. I don’t come home to the United States as often as I would … Continue reading Notes on Coming Home for the Holidays

Christmas Markets in Cologne, Germany

I love the European Christmas markets. It’s something that doesn’t really exist in the United States, but it really does help get one into the holiday spirit! I am so lucky to have experienced different markets in France, Belgium, and England, but I had yet to see the wondrous and raved-about markets in Germany. So, when a day trip to Cologne in December was offered with Cice … Continue reading Christmas Markets in Cologne, Germany

The Best of 2015 International Traditions: Thanksgiving, Dutch Sinterklaas, and French Christmas

Since moving to France almost three years ago, I have lived with two Brits, three Americans, four French people, a Spaniard, a Czech, a Sicilian, a German, and a Dutchwoman. Besides feeling like I’m living my very own version of Auberge Espagnole, the best thing about living in internationally diverse settings is having the chance to intimately get to know, understand, and experience other cultures and customs. … Continue reading The Best of 2015 International Traditions: Thanksgiving, Dutch Sinterklaas, and French Christmas

Cambrai, France et ses Bêtises

Back in December, my colleague invited me to come spend a weekend with her in Cambrai, a neighboring city just south of Valenciennes and Lille. Delighted for a change of scenery, I gladly accepted. We spent the cold December evenings soaking up the warm suds of her outdoor jacuzzi and indulging in typical French cuisine, and the days exploring the town, which included a Christmas … Continue reading Cambrai, France et ses Bêtises

Ringing in 2015 in Lyon

My favorite part of January was ringing in the New Year’s with some of my favorite people in France’s third largest city, Lyon. I first experienced this magnificent city back in December 2013, for La Fête des Lumières. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to head back to Lyon and experience the city at its normal, everyday pace. They say that Lyon is a mini … Continue reading Ringing in 2015 in Lyon