Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: year in review.

At first, I thought I was just going to put together a brief list of the high points of 2010. You know, sort of "the best of." But then I realized- my list of the best things in 2010 was not brief.

Which was a lovely realization.

That's not to say there weren't tough moments (or days, or weeks...) but overall, it really has been a spectacular year and one worth celebrating now that the end is approaching. So, what follows is a little month-by-month recap of some of the big things that happened this year. With pictures.

Dined in a tiny glass box on top of the Palais de Tokyo (an amazing Christmas gift from Daniel's parents). Partook of the bi-annual French soldes. Sadly said goodbye to Daniel as he headed back to California after his Christmas visit. Tried very hard to stay warm.

Took a trip to Cairo to visit my aunt and cousin. Rode a camel, saw the pyramids at Giza, ate fa'atir and took a falucca ride on the Nile. Also ate a lot of chocolate chip cookies.

Watched the Chinese New Year Parade on Valentine's Day in Paris. Visited the Musee Quai Branly for the first time.

Flew out to San Francisco for Daniel's birthday. Ate my first hamburger in months from Taylor's Automatic Refresher (that was still the name then...) and took a ride Larkspur ferry. Watched lots of Eastbound and Down while he recovered from surgery on his Achilles' tendon.

At the end of the month, my brother came to visit me in Paris on his spring break and tried his very first crepe.

Ate McDonalds for Easter breakfast while spending the weekend in the Loire Valley. Also did wine tastings and toured the chateau where Sleeping Beauty was written.
Took a trip to Florence to for my 24th birthday.

My friend Anna came from Spain to visit me in Paris and got stranded when volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull started interrupting air traffic. Later, my friend Kinzie also came to visit and it was a mini-reunion from when we studied abroad together in Paris in college.

Took another trip to California. Attended Bay to Breakers dressed as a mouse.

Also attended a wedding at Kunde Winery in Sonoma, not dressed as a mouse.

Returned to Paris and felt homesick for California. Assuaged my sadness with lots and lots of Berthillon ice cream.

My parents came to visit me in Paris and we took a tour bus to Beaune with the Chevaliers du Tastevin. We ate far too much food and drank far too much wine and my mother fell in love with a bulldog named Stanley.

Later in the month, I took a day trip to Giverny to see Monet's house and gardens. I met a group of American girls studying for a few months in Paris and rented bikes with them. We saw cows and took lots of pictures of the scenery.

I also finally (finally!) made it to the YSL exhibit at the Petit Palais by waiting for 45 minutes before the museum opened. Huzzah.
Found out I'd be staying in Paris until the end of the year.

Stayed awake nights because it was so hot in my un-air-conditioned apartment. 
Went to Berlin for three days with my friend Cristina. I tried Currywurst for the first time, drank lots of fruit juice, got a sandal tan, visited the Berlin Wall, and watched ballroom dancing on the banks of the Spree river at night.

I came back to Paris for Bastille day, which I celebrated with petillant and cupcakes with my friend Dakota. We saw Owen Wilson riding a bicycle in the Marais.

I saw a concert of Gregorian Chants at Notre Dame in Paris.

Towards the end of the month, I flew back to California to work out of company headquarters while the whole French office went on summer vacation. 

Made an impromptu visit to San Diego to surprise my friend for her 25th birthday. Also got to visit my parents and dogs. My mom made fried chicken.
Took a trip to Napa and Sonoma with Daniel and my family. We had an amazing dinner at the Farmhouse Inn and an unsatisfying vegetarian lunch at Ubuntu. We went wine tasting at Opus One and visited the French Laundry gardens.

In the middle of the month, I returned to Paris and found everything, unsurprisingly, still closed. I rented a velib' for the first time and kicked myself for not having tried it sooner. On a Saturday, I took a trip to Chartres to see the cathedral.


I took the train Rouen to see an exhibit on Impressionist art at the Musee de Beaux Arts de Rouen. I also saw where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.

On the 10th, I flew to Copenhagen.  I visited the cemetary where Kierkegaard is buried, took lots of hot baths, ate smorrebrod and took a boat tour in the pouring rain. I walked around Christianshavn, which reminded me of Berkeley, and spent hours wandering in the botanical gardens.

France went on strike over changes to benefits and the retirement age. I bought an absurd vintage fur coat at the Salon du Vintage.

Daniel came to Paris and then we traveled to Rome, Bologna, and the Lago di Garda.

My Mom arrived in on Armistice Day and I spent a very lovely 10 days eating and galavanting with her in Paris.

Ate canned tunafish for Thanksgiving dinner.

First snow of the season in Paris.

In December, I made the move from France to California. I spent Christmas in La Jolla at my parent's house. We celebrated Thanksgiving in December, decorated the Christmas tree, and made three kinds of Christmas cookies.

We spent Christmas Eve with my dear friend Lena and her parents. We had caviar and champagne (one of my very favorite traditions) along with some of the treats from my Christmas box.

For the days leading up to New Years Eve, Daniel and I booked a trip to Chicago to stay with friends.
Which is where we are now. 

All in all, 2010 has been a pretty marvelous year. Looking forward to new adventures in 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

to chicago!

At 7am tomorrow morning, we leave for Chicago for 4 days.

I am so excited.

For a few years, Chicago has been my number 1 in terms of US cities I'm most interested in visiting, as I've never been before. We'll be staying friends and celebrating New Year's Eve with them. I'm expecting it to be miserably cold chilly, but that is in no way dampening my enthusiasm. I can't wait!

Happy holidays. See you in 2011.

Photo credit:

thanksgiving in december

I missed Thanksgiving with my family this year, so when I got to San Diego, my mother decided that we would have Thanksgiving dinner with all of us together.

There was pumpkin pie, of course

And sausage and thyme stuffing

And turkey

 And brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. And gravy.

I heaped my plate and went back for seconds.

And then also ate pie.

Everything was delicious. 

Oh, I love Thanksgiving. Very thankful to have had one- even if a little late- with my wonderful family!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

point loma seafoods

Words really cannot describe how much I love Point Loma Seafoods.

My mom picked me up at the airport today and we drove straight there. 
I always get the same thing: a fish sandwich, french fries, and a lemonade. And lots of tartar sauce. 

We looked out at the harbor while we ate our sandwiches. It's good to be back in San Diego.

Point Loma Seafoods
2805 Emerson St.
San Diego 92106

the whirlwind

It has been quite the whirlwind couple of days - not surprising, of course, but I'm still reeling. This moving business is tough!  Fortunately, it has all been pretty wonderful and I'm feeling more excited each day about where I am and what's to come.

Some particular highlights from the weekend:
  1. Putting the finishing touches on the Christmas tree at Daniel's parents' house.
  2. Dinner at Oenotri
  3. Watching Going the Distance and feeling happy that that situation no longer applies to me
  4. Mulled wine + gingersnaps

Sunday, December 19, 2010



It is official- I am back in California.

It was not an easy process.

Firstly, my flight connected through Heathrow but due to weather conditions we were delayed and I missed my connecting flight to San Francisco. After waiting for four hours in line at the British Airways help desk, I found out that there were no flights until the next day and I'd have to stay at the Crown Plaza at the airport. The one interesting thing about waiting in the line is that I was standing behind a group of guys who clearly looked like they were in a band together. You know, dressed in black, heavy eyeliner, liberal smattering of tattoos. After the first hour or so in line, someone finally asked them which band they were in and it turned out to be Papa Roach. I almost said "I remember hearing you on the radio when I was in high school" but then realized that that was 10 years ago and it might be impolite to point out that that was the last I'd ever heard of them.

Anyway, I somehow dragged myself to the hotel, feeling deeply sorry for myself. I hadn't eaten anything all day and I had no clothes to change into, all of my bags having been checked through to SFO. I sat at the hotel bar and ate dinner and drank an enormous goblet of wine and sulked while some sort of party went on around me. Which you would think would have made me feel worse, given that I was stranded and all alone, but actually made me feel better because it gave me the mean pleasure of judging the people who would get dressed in formal attire for party at an airport hotel.

Sometimes I am not very nice.

But after a fitful sleep, I headed to the airport and actually got on the plane to San Francisco. So I made it, and miraculously, all of my luggage made it as well.

It's sort of strange and wonderful, to be in California again. I almost swooned yesterday when i ate a Gordo's burrito for lunch. It's good to be home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

getting on that plane

Tomorrow morning, I'll be getting on a plane.

That in and of itself is not so unusual since I travel a fair amount, but in this case there's something different. You see, in this particular situation, I only have a one-way ticket, which means...I'm moving!

To San Francisco.

And by extension, this blog is moving there, too.

I suppose I could say that I'm moving back to San Francisco, since I have in fact lived there before- but it really feels like a brand new chapter. I am so excited.

Anyway, this moving business is exhausting, so it's time for me to go relax a bit on my last night in Paris before the insanity of apartment checkouts and airport screenings and 12 hour flights tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

le croissant du jour

I don't need to work out. My anxiety acts as aerobics, so I get the exercise.
                                                                           -Woody Allen

Monday, December 13, 2010

rose bakery

Yesterday was pretty much perfect. 

I woke up late and read the paper in bed then pulled myself together at a leisurely pace to go out to lunch around 12:30 at Rose Bakery.

In case I haven't mentioned it before, I adore Rose Bakery. 

Yes, it's always crowded and, yes, it can take an unholy amount of time to be seated, but it's still one of my absolute favorite places for lunch in Paris. Maybe a funny thing to say because the food is not French and most everything is vegetarian- doesn't sound very exciting when you put it that way, does it?- but they have the most wonderful tarts with roasted shallots and pumpkin seeds, and salads with ingredients like kohlrabi and mustard cress. They also have incredible desserts. I'm especially partial to their cakes- simple frosted loaves in bright flavors. The citron, in particular, is to die for- and I usually despise lemon desserts. Also, the date slice. Be still my heart. 

I used to go there all the time but I hadn't been in a while and so lunch there yesterday was something of a treat. In a fit of nostalgia, I bought their cookbook. I can't wait to try it out. 

After lunch, I went wandering with my Diana. I didn't really have a destination in mind, but I ended up over in the 6th. I shopped for little things like Christmas cards and tins of tea. I took pictures and felt a little bit sad because the day was so lovely. 

Rose Bakery*
30, rue Debelleyme
75003 Paris

*There is also a Rose Bakery in the 9th on the rue de Martyrs and, apparently, a new one that's opened by Bastille. But usually I go to this one, in the Marais.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

bon weekend

Just relaxing and taking it easy this weekend- really looking forward to catching up on some sleep after an exhausting and snowy week. 

Happy weekend.

Friday, December 10, 2010

a christmas box

Today, I got a Christmas box at work.

The contents of the box are as follows:
  • Foie Gras de Canard entier du Perigord (duck liver paté)
  • Rilletes de Lapin (shredded rabbit with herbs, salt and duck fat)
  • Le Poulet aux queues d'ecrivisses (potted chicken with shrimp tails)
  • Le lingot au foie d'oie (goose liver paté)
  • Confit aux deux poivrons et paprika doux (marinated red and yellow peppers)
  • La Specialite de piperade de canard confit au foie de canard (onions, peppers and tomatoes with duck thigh and liver)
  • Pate de canard au foie de canard et aux cepes (duck liver paté with mushrooms)
  • La terrine de caille au muscat de beaumes de Venise (quail paté)
  • Truffes fantaisie (chocolate truffles)
  • Les petites madeleines (madeleines in syrup)
  • Chateau Lousteau Vieil 2007

A veritable cornucopia of Christmas delights. As long as you're not a vegetarian, that is.

I wonder how many ducks had to die to make this Christmas box? Not to mention chickens, geese, rabbits and quails. I am not complaining- I love me some foie gras- I just can't imagine how I could even begin to put a dent in the quantity of paté I now have in my larder. Oh, my.
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