What I’m Into May 2015

what-im-into

I’m linking up a little later than usual this month with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into this month, and what I’ve been into has been mostly travel. I had the privilege of visiting family in Germany and France and seeing parts of Switzerland and Italy while I was across the Atlantic. I actually wrote most of this post at O’Hare waiting for my last flight home before my laptop battery ran out.

Books

I read surprisingly little this month, considering how much time I spent in transit, but most of my favourite reads of the month were recommendations that Leigh and Mary from Giving Up On Perfect made last month (the book recommendations are the reason I started following this link-up in the first place). The Collectors’ Society brought together a number of characters from beloved works of fiction and put them in a new setting, and Scarlet is a new take on Robin Hood. I can’t give the twist away, because it’s a major plot point, but it’s definitely worth a read. Also, I could not put down Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. So good! I pretty much just want to read all. the. things. by her now.

Food

I didn’t get to do a whole lot of my own cooking and baking this month because of my travels (though this Cherry, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Pizza, Pulled Pork Pizza with Roasted Garlic and Maple Barbecue Sauce, and this Salted Honey and Meyer Lemon Shortbread Tart all come highly recommended), but I definitely enjoyed the chance to eat my way across Western Europe. Both my aunt and my uncle are, as it turns out, pretty excellent bakers, so I got to entirely too much of these lovely cakes.

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Other culinary highlights of my trip include this spectacular chicken and couscous from A l’Orientale, a Tunisian restaurant in Strasbourg and this potato, sausage, and zucchini flower pizza from Grazie a Dio e Venerdi from the Monti district in Rome.

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I also got to visit my sister’s favourite tea shop in Lyon, where we enjoyed some rhubarbade and fabulous millionaire shortbread bars.

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Hands down my favourite thing I ate on this trip, though, was the gelato from Gelateria Fatamorgana in Rome. If you’re ever there, this gelato is unmissable! My favourite flavour was definitely the Basil, Honey, and Walnut gelato, but I also really enjoyed the Ginger, Chestnut Honey, and Lemon Gelato and my sister was a big fan of the Punch Paradise flavour (strawberry, lemon, and white wine).

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Travels

I flew in and out of Dusseldorf on my Europe trip, but I also took the chance while I was over the Atlantic to buy a Eurail pass and see some places I’ve always wanted to see.  I ended up visiting Trier, Strasbourg (new favourite city? I think so!), Lyon (where my sister has been working as an au pair for the past year), Florence, Rome, Avignon (another unmissable spot, and easily managed in a day), and Geneva. Here are some of my favourite sights:

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The Porta Nigra in Trier

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Ile de France, a lovely corner of old Strasbourg that dates back to the early modern period

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The view from Croix Rousse in Lyon (you can see the basilica on top of the next hill. Related, walking in Lyon is less fun than enjoying the view from the hills.)

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The view from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence.

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The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

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The Papal Palace in Avignon

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Lac Leman and the Jet d’Eau, as seen from the Jardin Anglais in Geneva (seriously, the parks in Europe in general are gorgeous. I also really liked the Jardin de l’Orangerie in Strasbourg and the Parc de la Tete d’Or in Lyon).

Exciting sightseeing aside, though, the best part of my trip was definitely the chance to see my aunts and uncles and cousins and to spend a week of quality time with my sister/BFF, who is an au pair in southern France this year.

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With my cousin at karaoke at the Irish Pub Trier (let the record reflect that I hit every note in Defying Gravity, in the original key)/at the Parc de la Tete d’Or with my sister

Also, hours on the train meant time to cross stitch, so after a long lull I actually finished two pictures this month:

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Now I’m back home, missing my family across the Atlantic but happy to be with my husband again, and my fridge is groaning under the weight of our travel magnet collection.

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That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog for more link-up submissions.