Monday, February 29, 2016

Paris is Always a Good Idea

In the famous words of Audrey Hepburn, "Paris is always a good idea."  I first visited Paris when I was in high school and immediately fell in love with the city.  The architecture, the lights, the cafes, the history... everything about Paris made my heart sing.  Last year as I was sorting through some of my old mementos I found my travel journal from my first trip to Paris.  As I read the entry describing the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower I actually teared up.  I remember that magical moment so vividly and it was fun to remember what Paris looked like through my teenage eyes.  During the semester that I studied abroad and the year I taught abroad I made countless trips to Paris where I visited the same sites over and over with friends and family members.  By time I returned to the United States in the spring of 2012 I was "sick of Paris."  Instead of seeing the beauty of the city that once captured my heart, all I could see was the trash on the streets, the homeless people in the metro, and the frustrated looks of the Parisians as yet another tourist demanded to be seen and heard.  Needless to say, in my mind, Paris was no longer a "good idea."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dining with the Stars

When most people think of Michelin they probably think of the big puffy white guy that tries to sell tires.  At least that’s what I always thought of until a few years ago when Florian introduced me to the world of Michelin Restaurants. Michelin is a company that was started in France by the Michelin brothers in the late 1800s.  The company started by selling tires and then like any successful company quickly tried to find a sneaky way to get car owners to wear out their tires more quickly so they would have to come back for more.  The company then started making road maps complete with hotels and gas stations to entice French drivers to travel more.  The Michelin brothers added restaurants to their travel guide after World War I and started awarding stars to the best restaurants shortly after.