coffee

What Do Expat Spouses Do All Day?

Imagine, if you will, a world of single-income families in which one spouse of each couple does not have a full-time job. This is the bubble in which most expats live. The primary reason for this somewhat anachronistic scenario is the lack of availability of jobs for people who may not speak the local language, or…

Circa 1968.

A Word About My Hair

In general, I’m not one to write about “chick” topics. I may have mentioned weight/fitness goals a time or two, but that’s about as far as it goes. In part, this is out of respect for my long-suffering husband, who once asked me to remove the word “Tampax” from a post in which he was…

The interior of the Gran Mezquita.

Beautiful Córdoba

For our Spain trip, I wanted to do Madrid plus one smaller town. I like big cities, but I find that after two or three days, I need a break. It’s an introvert thing, I guess. So, I chose Córdoba, a couple of hours south of Madrid by train.

Parque del Retiro.

Mad About Madrid

Here’s an awesome thing about being an empty-nester: you can get good deals on travel because you don’t have to work around a school schedule. So, yay for that. Last week we took advantage of that fact to snag a bargain flight to Madrid. Got a pretty good deal on the hotel, too. Right on…

Very tempting to ice skate on these little streams.

It’s Snowing!

I have been taking an online photography course this week, and really enjoying it. Finally, I’m learning what all those buttons and dials do on my Canon. I am still somewhat mystified by f-stops (they seem to be some kind of backwards mathematical thing?) but I think with practice, they will become clearer to me.…

nyhavn-15

2015: Year in Review

This is the post in which I sum up all the wonderful and exciting things I did over the last year, painting a glamorous picture of Foreign Service life that will make you jealous as hell. Or not. Expat life is a weird combination of exciting, stressful, and totally mundane. That was our 2015, right…

The man in question: one of several portraits which vary wildly in quality.

The Pope’s Kayak

We have been to Krakow often enough that we are starting to seek out the smaller tourist attractions. These are often the best, anyway. Or at least the oddest. Our goal for a couple of extra hours we had last weekend was to visit the medieval art collection at the National Museum at the Bishop…

Lots of Christmas wreaths and candles.

Krakow’s Christmas Market

Poland is not generally known for its Christmas markets. In fact, I’d been told by many people here not to expect too much of them—maybe because our previous post was Vienna! While most Polish markets can’t compete with those in Austria or Germany, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Old Town market in Warsaw. It’s…

donald trump

World, Meet Our Crazy Uncle

Dear World, We were kind of hoping you wouldn’t have to meet him. But, it looks like he’s gone and introduced himself already. He’s that guy. That uncle that is a part of nearly every American family. (If you are white and from the southern half of the country, you’ve probably got two or three…

Photo from Amazon.

Winter is Coming: Let There Be Light!

Technically, winter is still three weeks away. But it is already cold and gray as all get-out here in Warsaw. The first few flakes of snow have fallen. Sure looks like winter to me. By the time winter is actually chronologically, here, it’s going to be colder still, with an average high temperature of 31 degrees…

Westminster Abbey.

Halfway Home

Last week we hopped a cheap flight to London to visit our son for his birthday. The trip was well-timed! I’m not a Third Culture Person, a global nomad, or whatever you want to call it. Though my country seems to be losing its collective mind and conscience lately, I still identify strongly as an…

A heavenly chorus.

Gray Sundays in Warsaw: Medievalpalooza at the National Museum

We’re settling into a routine here, of yummy Sunday lunches (pumpkin soup! poppy seed torte!) followed by a museum visit. Survival skills for northern climes, what can I say. The National Museum in Warsaw doesn’t look like much from the outside. Completed in 1938, the building is your basic between-the-wars-box. But such cool stuff on…