Our family arrived in Lyon just over a week ago, so with another ten days before school begins, I decided we'd make a day trip to Valrhona's Cité du Chocolat--an educational experience (much like a hands-on museum) focused on chocolate. Located in Tain l'Hermitage roughly 50 minutes south of Lyon by train, Cite du Chocolat opened just five years ago (in 2013). Having had a delectable first visit in 2015, I was excited on this visit to see what was new (and to taste the high quality samples)!Read More
Bonjour again from Lyon! This is my family's first extended stay in France, so it's also the first time I've had the role of preparing meals for my children here. Living here has improved my meal planning skills and expanded our palates, I'm glad to say! I've consistently tried to plan French meals so my children can enjoy one of the best aspects of living in France--the food and the culture surrounding it. Here's what I'm doing differently here:
I'm writing you with a full stomach and a contented heart because we've just spent a week in Bretagne (Brittany in English). Bretagne is on France's northwestern coast below Normandy, and it's a popular vacation destination for Parisians who want get out of the city. It's an area with Celtic culture that can be seen in the age-old erected menhirs and dolmens--great Stonehenge-like monoliths that you might recall from Asterix comic books. We didn't see those rocks, though we enjoyed hiking among similar ones with my distant relatives. Actually, I should say my probable relatives--we haven't proved we're related, but genealogy suggests we are and we share a variation of my maiden name. I enjoyed staying with this retired couple ten years ago, and this past week my husband and children got to join me in experiencing their amazing hospitality.
C'est la saison de Noël! This December I've enjoyed the gift of time with my children to do some simple crafts and activities: beeswax candle rolling, making gingerbread houses, and biking the Christmas lights at Portland International Raceway. If these experiences are new to you like they were for us, you'll appreciate a few details about how they worked and what we learned.Read More
Living in America means that I have a very comfortable life. However, my family and I also live a fairly unconventional life for Americans, considering some of our lifestyle choices. So today I'm launching a series of blog posts highlighting some of the items that we don't own or use, and why we've chosen to live that way.
In 2006, I read a Pew Research study stating that 68% of Americans considered a microwave oven an essential item, compared with just 32% of Americans ten years earlier. Apparently my mindset matched the cultural shift, because at that time I couldn't imagine getting by without a microwave.Read More