The Essence of Thanksgiving

The Essence of Thanksgiving -- celebrating our first Thanksgiving abroad! |

Even before Chris and I moved to Paris, I knew that the hardest part about being abroad would be the holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas and the glorious season in between. I live for all of the traditions and nostalgia and family gatherings that define the season, and I knew that it would be difficult for me not to feel a part of it, to be so far from home. Sure enough, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, it took everything within me to resist dropping a couple hundred dollars on a plane ticket, to be honest, just so I didn’t miss out. […]

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Pucker Up: Navigating La Bise Française

La bise, or faire la bise, is what the French call the cheek kisses that accompany a friendly greeting or farewell. Where Americans would shake hands or hug, the French use la bise as a polite gesture, an acknowledgement of recognition, affection, and camaraderie. It is a vastly important component of French social etiquette, taught to children alongside “please” and “thank you” and “cover your mouth when you cough.” Different regions of France teach different iterations of la bise: most of the country, including Paris, uses 2 kisses (one on each cheek), while other regions use 3 and even 4! La bise is a fine art, to be sure. There’s […]

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Roundabout Horror at the Arc de Triomphe

Roundabout Horror at the Arc de Triomphe |

Every few weeks since we arrived in Paris, I make a point to visit the Arc de Triomphe. This might seem like a silly ritual because, you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times. Maybe so. Maybe it’s touristy and over-crowded. Maybe they charge an arm and a leg to climb the 284 steps to the overlook at the top. Maybe. But, is it worth it to me? Absolutely. Now, I like a spectacular view just as much as the next person. I too get googly-eyed over the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Cœur basilica and the giant Ferris Wheel at the […]

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Guest Post & “This Woman I’ve Met” Series Kick-Off

This Guest Post was written by my mom and best friend, Annie Weaver. I had asked my mom only a few days ago if she’d like to write something for the blog, not really having a clear direction but suggesting that she share about a travel or life experience that was impactful to her in some way. Not two days later, “This Woman I’ve Met” was in my inbox, and I was so inspired I decided that it couldn’t be a standalone piece. I am excited to kick-off a new series I’m calling, appropriately, “This Women I’ve Met,” of which my mom’s post will […]

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The World is Watching: French Opinions on the US Election

I have been asked by several friends and family members to shed some light on how the French are feeling about the results of our recent US election. Let me preface this by saying that I was wary of tackling a piece like this because, admittedly, I wasn’t sure how I could write about the outcome in an unemotional way. But, now that the dust has settled a little and I feel a bit more, shall we say, levelheaded about it all, I have decided to give it a go. I am in no way positioning myself as a political expert, […]

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Autumn Snapshots: The Paris Catacombs

This past weekend, in an attempt to celebrate Halloween in some capacity, Chris and I decided to pay a visit to the Catacombs of Paris. We really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, except that we’d get to see a few bones, maybe learn some historical tidbits, and, above all, we’d get a healthy dose of some pre-Halloween spookiness. While all of these expectations were met during our tour, I never anticipated finding it as entertaining and informative as we did. There is a vast expanse of history (nearly 2000 years!) buried in the dark tunnels below The City of Light, and […]

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