Tagged with Travel

GalleryThe Vacation, Part Three: Provence and the Rhône

I can still remember coming in to Avignon during the final two days of the Festival d'Avignon, a month-long showcase of modern art, theatre and music. On paper a festival in an old Provençal city sounds intriguing. Yet when we drove into the city on Saturday night, we were underwhelmed by the generic festival glaze that coated the city. It was as though the cultural world had turned out its pockets of lint and change and bits of debris and with it all manner of musical and carnival fray clattered onto the cobblestone. View Gallery »

Father: A rock ban.
Little boy: A whot?
Father: A rock band-d iza grup zat plays toge-ther.
Little boy: Ah, ah, yes, I know.

— Overheard in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont
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GalleryThe Vacation, Part Two: Toulouse and the Languedoc

architecture, languedoc, Languedoc, Pont du Gard, Roman, aqueduct

There's a practiced romance about France that's so suave and self-assured as to be intimidating. The most oft repeated association with Paris is love, after all. So while I felt both excited and oddly nostalgic walking through Paris, there was also a pressure building to maximize our experiences in such a short time.

In fact it wasn't until we left the harder greys and creams of the capital for the ochre and pinks of the south that we allowed France to have its way with us. Not soon after our arrival in Toulouse, Aus even wondered aloud if the trip was improving day upon day, or if it was just his image of it. A bit of both, I suppose. I also felt a little quieter and more relaxed. View Gallery »

GalleryThe Vacation, Part One: Paris

While Matt, Austin and I had read and planned and scrutinized the arrondissements on a map, in guidebooks, and in exchanges amongst friends, I felt somehow completely unprepared when Matt and I touched down at Charles de Gaulle on July 18th. My stomach was filled with butterflies as the captain announced that it was going to be a beautiful 35° C. Only on airplanes do they use words like beautiful to describe the weather.

Right away I felt out of sync with the surrounds. While waiting to buy tickets for the train, everyone was so polite to one another we could barely tell who was in line. A nice young Frenchman approached me while I was standing half in and half out of line and launched into three or four sentences before he trailed off, noticing my expression of confusion, and hearing the few words I half spat out and half swallowed when I told him I didn't speak French.

When we got up to the machine, we were lacking in both Euro coins and a chip-and-pin credit card, the only options for payment (!?). I forgot about paying to use the bathroom, and, once outside, we were wholly unprepared for the 90°+ F weather in our leather boots, jeans, and shirts. View Gallery »

GalleryLamb Shanks - Seriously good bits

It might just be time to post some recipes around here, don't you think? I mean, we do like to cook, and food and travel get along rather nicely. View Gallery »

GalleryHong Kong streets

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GalleryThe Great Road Trip of China: Yunnan

Pepper harvest outside of Nánjiàn

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The Great Road Trip of China comes to a close

It's been an incredible journey. Other than listing out superlatives -- the highest altitude we've visited, the longest drive, the most diverse travel in terms of language, weather, people and geography, the longest stint of consuming noodles, the most interest strangers have ever taken in us -- we're still trying to organize all our thoughts and visuals to bring the experience more into focus for you. We have so much to tell you. Just bare with us while we sort and pack all our stuff, sell our car and all other acquired gear, drink a few beers, pay our traffic fines, cancel our insurance, visit with friends, and buy plane tickets... 

In the meantime you can enjoy this happy bunch. We greatly sympathize with how they melted into smiles within just a few photos. We also had our moments ... View Post »

Third large bowl of lamian is served at a Hui noodle joint.

Matt, voicing our server: A third bowl, eh? Are you meeting a friend?
Anjuli, responding: No, we're going to the end of the world. We need sustenance.

— A hui lamian joint in Hezuo, Gansu
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Don't be upset if we call you with no advance notice, tell you we'll be in your city in one hour, and ask -- would you like to meet up? We're travelers; rest assured, you learned of our plans as soon as we did.
— Observing how we always say "Sorry for the late notice, but..." in emails, texts and calls
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