Tag Archives: Europe

I’m still sick, so I hope you’ll forgive me for another brief blog post. I feel like wet concrete has been poured into my sinuses.

This is madness, people.


When I was a kid, my cousin would often come visit from Italy during the summer. He and his parents (and later, when they existed, his siblings, too) would stay with my grandparents in their tiny little bungalow (translation: non-air-conditioned house) not far from Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Soon after their arrival, I would drag a suitcase full of clothing over to my grandparent’s and spend much of the summer there. On sunny days, my cousin and I ate junk food and went to the beach. When it rained, we’d eat junk food and play Monopoly.

He now owns a gelato shop and I eat or write about cake on an almost daily basis. I’m not saying that those two things are necessarily related to the amount of sugar we consumed as kids, but … well, it’s interesting, isn’t it?


This picture is frigging adorable.


My first impression of Paris didn’t take hold until we got to our hotel. The cab ride was lost to a jet-lagged fog – no opinions or observations of the city would be forthcoming. I simply struggled to keep my head up so that the driver would think I was awake, and wouldn’t take any costly detours through the outskirts of the city.

Not that I’d know it if he had.


Sometimes my mother will say or do something so strange or utterly clueless, that all I can do is pull her onto my lap (for my mother is very wee and weighs nothing, and the genes that cause that are apparently recessive, damn it), gently take her face into my hands and whisper,

“You would have been eaten by wolves if it weren’t for me. Do you understand that? BY WOLVES.”

And she will dismiss me in that charming Italian way of hers, saying something like, “Oh, Geraldine, do shut up,” while sounding exactly like Arianna Huffington.

Recently, though, I realize I’ve evaluated the situation improperly. I simply thought, for years, that there was something wrong with my mother.


To follow up on yesterday’s ten facts about San Marino, I decided to add some visuals of our trip to the lovely little mountain town country. My apologies to those of you who dislike top ten lists, or have a phobia of the number ten, or sustained some traumatic injury as a child while learning base ten (which, if you are anything like me, involved those little orange blocks). I realize this is the second post in a row to feature that number so prominently (also, it is the 10th!) But I am jet-lagged, and having a bit of structure to my blog (in the form of finite, numeric lists) helps reign in my wandering mind, which so easily gets off-track.

Which reminds me: I could really go for some cake right now.

Anyhoodle, here’s ten photos from our visit to San Marino. And a special thanks to the ragtag band of folks who escaped the conference with us for a few precious hours to go sightseeing. You all rock.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find some butterscotch krimpets.

  1. Snowy stairs.

    Yes, we climbed then. With minimal slipping, I might add.


  2. Nice vantage point.

    Geography isn't my strong suit, but I'm pretty sure we can see Russia from here.

    - (more…)

… but never asked (mostly because you had never heard of it before).

Downtown San Marino.


During our last trip to Italy, Rand and I spent a few days in San Marino, which is not far from Bologna. Prior to arriving, my knowledge of the place could be summed up thusly:

  • It was the answer to a rather misleading question in Trivial Pursuit that threw Pinguina off track last time she played. The question was, “What European republic rhymes with the name of a famous football player?” And while “San Marino” and “Dan Marino” do rhyme, it seems kind of unfair as the last three syllables of each phrase is, in fact, identical. By such logic, one could argue that “orange” actually rhymes with itself. A bit of a cop-out, really.
  • Absolutely nothing else.


Photo by the fantastic @sallysimpleton, who I really need to visit now that I'm home.

Misery, thy name is Air France.

Rand and I are home after a long trip to Europe, a trip made even longer and more difficult by the good people of Air France. They must have an extreme fondness for us – as they did everything possible to try and keep us the country, and when they couldn’t prevent us from leaving, they kept our suitcase as a souvenir. Forgive me if I have trouble writing this post, but this Dick Move is still fresh, like a crisp baguette still warm from the oven (also, apparently I am hungry, and thinking about French things isn’t helping).

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? We booked our tickets with Air France months ago – sometime in January. It was our first time flying with the airline, and we hadn’t really heard anything (good or bad) about it. Our flight to Europe was without incident, and the plane was a newer one. We were in the Premium Voyageur section, and while not quite as nice as BA’s World Traveler Plus, it was still pretty darn comfy. It was on our return flight that things started to break down. We were going to be flying from London to Paris, and from Paris on to Seattle.