Posts Tagged 'europe'

Pipe Dream #124: To Spare No Expense – Menton

Cost of the bus traveling through Monaco, Cannes and Menton: 1 euro.

Cost of the pair of tights that got wrecked because I walked in the ocean: 2 euros.

Visiting Menton: Priceless.

Ya’ll know I gotta drop cents when I travel.


Pipe Dream #121: To Forego the Faux Pas

Is it a major faux pas to post pictures of a different country on the 4th of July? I don’t really mind, but I feel like every other blogger in America will be highlighting the virtues of our democratic system. Welp, this will have to do in place of that. I still love fireworks.

Oooh ahhh,


Someone Got It Right: The Cinque Terre

Thank you, God, for this beautiful place. Thank you for giving Rick Steves the gift for writing travel guides. Thank you for grueling 90-minute hikes that are the ultimate reward in workout and photos. It was just what I needed.



Favorite Shots: Interesting Characters

One of my favorite things about traveling is all the odd people you see, doing all the odd things they do. It was the joy of my life to see precious old ladies after months of seeing no one but people my age. They are so dear.

One of my favorite games to play was the “I’m Not A Tourist” game. In London, I would take pictures of “the tourists” and refer to them as “all these tourists” as they passed by like I wasn’t one. I got so good at this game that I actually started to believe it was true. My family is very good at making up games to play. Other families had GameBoys, my family had “Let’s Find Some Hollow Sticks And Make Blow Guns.” I’m grateful.

I had to quit this game in Paris though, because 1) I don’t speak French very well and 2) the French girl I was staying with told me how annoying it was when all the tourists took pictures of her and her friends at the Pantheon on their lunch break. I got a little bit stuck on how neat it is to go to the Pantheon on your lunch break err day, but then I quickly put away my DSLR.

As I perused my pictures upon returning home, I realized that I may have an obsession with photographing the shockingly over-exposed old men on the beaches I visited. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised–another true true stereotype, European beaches are–but I still took photos at every opportunity. I can’t even apologize.

This one is easily my favorite. So typically French–the Speedo, the pose, the shoes…the moustache.

Oh you are so welcome,


Pipe Dream #102: To Spend Time Around The Table – German Waffles

One thing that really astonished me when I visited my friends in Germany was the amount of time we spent around the table. It didn’t happen every meal, but occasionally we would sit there for hours grazing on food and chatting. One more morning we started breakfast at 9:30 and didn’t get on the road until noon.

And I was bothered! I’m embarrassed to admit it, because obviously I’d like to paint a picture of myself as extremely chill and happy to be around people making small talk for hours like I don’t have a care in the world. Probably one part of my unease was that much of the small talk was actually in German. And the other part is that my culture is messed up and we rush around like crazy fools for the better part of the day. So nurture, not nature.

Anyway, I eventually relaxed and had the wonderful feeling that I really didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything. It was very nice.

We spent one of the nights in a flat drinking Christmas tea and making waffles. German waffles, from a cookbook that all good German girls have, so my friends said. If you can interpret the recipe, feel free to look at the ingredient list. Otherwise, translation follows below.

Auf Wiedersehen meine Freunde,


German Waffles

Adapted from German Linda’s recipe

250 grams butter

250 grams sugar

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

500 grams self-raising flour

500 milliliters milk

Cream butter and sugar with a stand/hand mixer. Add the eggs, mixing to combine. Next add the flour flour, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour batter into a hot waffle iron, and use as directed.

Pipe Dream #95: To Eat Snow Despite – Schneebällen

Remember that one time I went to Rothenberg? Me too. :]

Sidenote, my blog jumps around in time like H.G. Wells. I hope you don’t mind. I do live my life in real time, but you get the mad version. English people say ‘mad’ like we say ‘crazy.’ It is precious.

Anyway, this cute, Christmas-y medieval town had many cobbles and LED lights, but it also had tourist food. Duh, I know. Rothenberg is famous for its Schneebällen, or snowballs. They are big, deep-fried dough balls of awesome, and they are all over the city.

Other sidenote, I love eating snow. Everyone’s mother always tells them that snow is actually really dirty and it dehydrates you because your body has to work so hard to make it warm…but I would like to persist in my unbelief at this point. Clean snow tastes so good! It actually does. And I feel so much more refreshed after eating it. How could it not be clean and hydrating? I’m probably no better at de-toxifying my body than those tea drinkers, but I’d like to think I am. Anyway.

We stopped at one little bakery place, and I got to watch how they make them. I have named the German guy who made them Roberto because he looked somewhat Italian.

First, Roberto rolled out the snowball dough into a thin sheet with a rolling pin.

Then he sliced it into strips with this neato cutter thing, which reminded me of those quilting tool embosser things on Cake Boss. He didn’t cut the dough into actual strips; he cut almost to the edges.

Next, he put the quilted sheet into what looked like a huge tea steeper. The dough only filled the steeper halfway. My guide, Gerhardt, spoke some polite-sounding Deutsch words to Roberto at this point, and he paused very handily so I could snap this picture.

But instead of steeping the dough in water, Roberto actually steeped it in…trans fat! Actually, I don’t know if deep-frying oil is trans fat, but I can only assume that it is bad for you, and when I think of fat that is bad, I think trans fat. That sentence makes so much sense. He probably left it in there for two minutes.

When the dough popped out of the steeper, it had magically become a snowball! A very round and knotty snowball.

I think the traditional Schneebällen are dusted with powdered sugar, but who wants powdered sugar when you could have white chocolate nougat? That is what I had. It was grand.

Here is a recipe I found online for snowballs. I don’t know if it is great, because I haven’t tried it, so risk it at your peril. But seriously, at worst you will be able to eat a bunch of melted white chocolate.

Holler atcha,



Adapted from

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons spiced rum

1 tablespoon cream sherry

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups sour cream

1 teaspoon nutmeg

cooking oil

powdered sugar

Cream sugar and eggs together, and then add the remaining ingredients except flour. Add the flour in gradually (cut it in with a pastry cutter, knife or with your hands) Cut in the rum, cream sherry, and sour cream to make the dough, adding flour from board as necessary. Knead about 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is stiff and shiny and pliable, then cover and chill in fridge at least one hour.
Roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick and cut into strips. Make the strips into a ball by wrapping them around each other. Fry in hot oil until golden brown on one side, then turn over and fry the other side until golden brown all over. Drain on paper towel and when cool, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.


Favorite Shots: Children With All Levels Of Imagination

Continuing in my creepy fascination with children and statues, or children’s propensity to hang around statues in cities, I give you this. I love it.


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