Hello, Chicago!

Fall in Premonotory Park

Trans-Atlantic flights, endless packing and unpacking of boxes and suitcases, and all the stress of job and apartment hunting have marked the last five months, but I can finally say we are settling into the new life ahead of us in the windy city, Chicago. I have to admit, adjusting back to the American way has been a struggle (reverse culture shock is always even more shocking…) and starting from scratch again has been trying, but I’m excited to explore this new city and make it our own, live just steps from Lake Michigan and be just a short drive away from my family.

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Being in the midwest for this gorgeous fall has also helped to make the transition smoother, and my new neighborhood, Hyde Park, is brimming with places to enjoy it. This weekend we finally had a chance to stop and relax with old and new friends in one of my favorite new places, Premontory Point. Lots of people stick to the Northside of the city, but if you have the chance to spend a sunny day at this park on the Southside, it is well worth it. Jutting into the bluest blues of Lake Michigan, the park is a paradise of lush green grass, shady trees – that happened to be peaking with their golden color this weekend- and one of the best views of the complete Chicago skyline. We spent the early afternoon with a simple brunch picnic of veggie frittata, roasted squash, cheese and baguettes, and some sweet apple fritters and homemade cannelés. Can you guess what I brought 😉

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Fresh air and warm sunshine, good food and golden leaves, and, best of all, great people. Welcome to Chicago!

Besos, Dianne

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The Journey Continues…

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Time has been moving way to fast, we’ve been counting down to our last days in France, and suddenly there are only days left. We’re finally making the big move back over the pond and I have to admit that my absence from the blog has been on the one hand because there has been so much to do to finalize things here, and on the other hand because I’ve felt like by avoiding the topic it would somehow stall time.

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IMG_20140525_004427But, the days keep moving and we’ve had a last weekend to Paris, a last picnic on Lac Kir, the last wine tasting, the last nuit des musees, the last tea at Comptoir des Colonies, the last jog to the park, the last morning at the market. Every experience has been priceless, gorgeous time filled with incredible people and places; Dijon, Burgundy, and France will always hold a special place in my heart. Fingers crossed I’m back sooner than later. Merci, Dijon!

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And, while I’m sad to think that Paris won’t be just a 3 hour drive away, that a bottle of Burgundy wine won’t be quite in the budget, Eric Fevre baguettes (the best in Dijon) and Pierre Hubert pastries (the best in the city!) will be a plane ride away, I am also so eager to go back to family and friends who’ve been too far away for too long, and back to enjoying all the things that have come to mean so much more to me since I’ve left. Nerves, tears, joy, sadness, excitement, suitcases…this beautiful journey continues.

Bisous, Dianne

Lovely Lyon

Spring in Lyon, France // A Beautiful Journey

I fell in love with Lyon last weekend. Maybe it was spring. Maybe it was having time to getting lost. Maybe it was the amazing food. Whatever it was, I saw the city like never before.Spring in Lyon // A Beautiful JourneyAn endless line up of top-notch produits regionelle make Lyon an indulgent escape. It’s the gastronomic capital of France, so stop by the seriously mouthwatering Les Halles de Lyon where, hungry or not, you’ll want to have a gourmet lunch of quenelles or oysters or some local cheese and a Rosette de Lyon sausage for a picnic. After, stop at any shop for the sweet, bright red almond praline that you’ll see in every window. The croquant de amandes is delicious and the brioche sells like hot cakes.

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Rosette de Lyon // A Beautiful Journey

Praline of Lyon // A Beautiful JourneyDespite being probably the most touristy place in the city, you can’t go to Lyon without a stop at a bouchon in Vieux Lyon. Rue Saint Jean is the place to be. You’ll find the same “Lyonnaise Menu” for about 15 euros at just about every restaurant, so take a stroll until you find the place you like best. We stopped at Les Paves de Saint Jean,where the magret de canard with honey and citrus sauce was amazing.  Don’t be alarmed of you are seated at a table with another couple or the decor is absolutely hideous…that’s the bouchon’s charm. And, save room for a crepe made by the sweetest monsieur on the street.

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Crepes in Vieux Lyon // A Beautiful JourneyFor a relaxing retreat head to the Roman Theatre. Tucked in the hills about the city, the funicular drops you off just in front. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or a moment of peace. When you’re finished the Basilica is just up the street. Despite being overwhelmed with tourists it’s still a must see with the neo-baroque byzantine interior and the breathtaking views of the city.

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melyonThere  is something about getting lost in a city, so go to Lyon to discover the corners and details instead of rushing from one sight to another. Take advantage of Lyon’s easy public transport (subway, tram, and busses) and find your own Lyon. If you’re out for the evening the Liberte Soiree Pass is a deal offering unlimited travel after 7pm for 2.80 euros, and for a day in the city the day pass can’t be beat at 5.20 euros. Add Lyon to your list!

Besos, Dianne