The French Pyrenees: La Mongie
Nov04

The French Pyrenees: La Mongie

        As we drove further and further away from Lourdes, past pretty Bagnères-de-Bigorre , and through the green valleys of the French Pyrenees, we made the ascent to the largest ski station in the area: La Mongie. Stepping out into the cool, clean mountain air, the only thing we could hear were the occasional barks of some shepherds’ dogs, and a whistle or two from their master who was overseeing...

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The Pastel Town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France
Oct29

The Pastel Town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France

After a disappointing experience in Lourdes, I needed something that was the polar opposite of mass tourism. Driving further into the French Pyrenees, I stopped at the cute town that was the site of one of the Tour de France finish lines that I was at earlier in the summer: the colorful, small town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre. Ah, yes. This would be the perfect place to wander the pastel-toned streets with my family, sip on a steaming...

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Photos: A Pit Stop in Pau France
Oct25

Photos: A Pit Stop in Pau France

I loved the Pyrenees so much, that I was back a month later–but this time, staying just on the French side. A couple of hours spent wandering the streets of Pau in southern France was a spontaneous decision fueled by hunger, that made a nice pit stop on a sunny August afternoon.  While the town itself wasn’t particularly memorable, some bits and pieces stood out (check out that gorgeous mint green door!) Certainly...

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Where I Went in 2011
Dec20

Where I Went in 2011

As the year wraps up, I’m looking back on how amazing it’s been, and how lucky I feel to be enjoying these experiences. This year, though I added just one new country to my list, I added many new destinations and explored my adopted country even more thoroughly. January I started off 2011 fresh from a Christmas visit in my hometown of Seattle. I rang in the New Year in the gorgeous waterfront pueblo of Lekeitio in Basque Country and...

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Rue Cler in Paris
Sep20

Rue Cler in Paris

If you read my Travel ABC’s, you know one of my favorite things to do while traveling is to explore the local markets. It gives you an authentic slice of local daily life and it’s often the best place to buy great foodie souvenirs and handcrafted goods to take home. That’s why when I was in Paris, checking out a few of the local markets was high on my to-do list. I did my research and was recommended to go to the market on Rue Cler,...

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The Colors of Paris
Aug26

The Colors of Paris

I didn’t go to Paris expecting to see much color. In a uniform city (there’s a strict 6-story max building code) often with a backdrop of a drab, gray sky, I didn’t imagine color would be bursting at its seams like it does in Morocco or Greece. But, if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find it: You’ll find it in the manicured lawns of Versailles, in clusters of grapes, in neat rows of trees and in well-kept gardens. You’ll find it in...

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