Archive for January, 2014

There are a million ways to travel, but for me they all boil down to two fundamental approaches: Stay a few days and glimpse only the highlights — or stay a lifetime and still only glimpse the highlights. In other words, you can never see it all. I tried to keep this in mind as […]


Think back for a second: Can you recall a moment in your life that changed everything — a moment so irrevocable and so defining that you knew in that instant nothing would ever be the same? Here’s a snapshot of my moment: On this date four years ago, I was told I have a brain […]


Phoning it in

16Jan14

Technology is a funny thing: First it astounds you; then you get accustomed to it; and finally, when the novelty and wonder wear off, you take technology for granted. This cycle is natural and inevitable, I think — unless something disrupts it. Like, for instance, the technology suddenly stops working. I’d noticed that my iPhone […]


“We’ve made a huge mistake,” I thought as our train sped down the Rhine Valley. The three nights in Bruges already seemed like a distant memory, and we’d barely scratched the surface after two days in Cologne. Yet here we sat, already on our way to Heidelberg. The fuzzy landscape became a visual metaphor. There […]


Although I haven’t been back to Cologne since I last visited at age 16, its cathedral has loomed large in my imagination. I’m pleased to report that I found it just as glorious in real life as I remembered in my mind’s eye. Even if you’re not particularly devout, standing in front of this monument […]


I haven’t been to Cologne since I first visited at age 16. And because my only parting memories were that (a) the cathedral was awe-inspiring and (b) there was a McDonald’s across the street, I didn’t know what to expect. First, the good news: The cathedral and its McDonald’s are just as I remembered. The […]


Yesterday’s post about the Paris Catacombs got a handful of comments (thank you!). But the one I’d like to highlight came from none other than my co-author and collaborator, Des: I watched you take your photographs in the catacombs and I still don’t understand how you manage to take such good pictures in near complete […]


In January of 2013, I had the privilege of meeting my friend and fellow blogger Des. It was such a wonderful experience that Des was among the very first people I contacted when I learned I’d be returning to Paris. Through our correspondence, I discovered that he hadn’t yet visited another of my favorite Paris […]


We were sad to leave Bruges this morning. I have so many little stories to share (like watching the movie In Bruges last night … in Bruges). But because I’m on a bouncy train — and because I don’t have time to construct a cohesive narrative — here’s a loosely structured list of The Top 10 […]


I won’t mince words: 2013 was pretty shitty.* I came home from holiday in January to find my home destroyed. The months that followed brought indescribable stress as Steve and I struggled to understand the insurance process, salvage our possessions, and rebuild our house. But only recently, with the clarity of hindsight, did I discover […]