The Windows of Moldova

Viewed from afar, Moldova’s villages resemble a cluster of gingerbread houses. The plaster adornments framing the windows and doorways look as though they were made by the steady hand of a pastry maker piping on frosting, and the wooden cut-outs gracing gables reminded me of the lacy paper snowflakes that I used to make as a child. The catchContinue reading “The Windows of Moldova”

The Windows of Plzeň, Czech Republic

Renowned for its Pilsen beer which was first created there nearly 175 years ago, Plzeň is the Czech Republic’s fourth largest city. I’ve taken a tour of the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň, culminating in a taste test of the cool beverage on a sizzling summer day. I’ve even researched a branch of my German-Austrian family in the city’sContinue reading “The Windows of Plzeň, Czech Republic”

The Windows of Zagreb, Croatia

My ‘window collecting’ mission in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city, was as hurried as our day and a half there. Arriving via Germany, Austria, and Slovenia earlier in the morning, we settled into our apartment, and took to the streets, while dodging raindrops and securing some goodies at one of the local supermarkets. Our whirlwind exploration took usContinue reading “The Windows of Zagreb, Croatia”

Into the Wild American West: Genoa, Nevada

Named after Genoa, Italy, but pronounced juh-NO-ah, unlike its Italian namesake, the Nevadan town of Genoa epitomizes the American West. Founded in 1851, Genoa is Nevada’s oldest settlement, and it has the distinction of having had Nevada’s first court, hotel, newspaper, and even its first ‘thirst parlor.’ Like nearby Virginia City, which offers similar wild west charm, Genoa, NevadaContinue reading “Into the Wild American West: Genoa, Nevada”

The Windows of Basque Country, France

Nestled in French Basque Country, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a fishing port and resort town just minutes away from France’s border with Spain. We book-ended our two-week stay in Bilbao, Spain with day and weekend trips to Bordeaux and Rioja Alavesa wine country, elegant Biarritz, France, and seaside Saint-Jean-de-Luz. When Shawn, his parents and I weren’t tempted by what wasContinue reading “The Windows of Basque Country, France”

The Windows of Novi Sad, Serbia

Novi Sad dramatically welcomes visitors with its formidable fortress and clock tower boasting reversed hour and minute hands. Like so many strategic spots in the region, Novi Sad also has a complicated history. It’s been conquered by the Celts and Romans, Byzantines, Hungarians, Ottomans and Habsburgs. The city’s complex past is reflected in Novi Sad’s eclectic architecture, and well-illustrated by the whimsical windowsContinue reading “The Windows of Novi Sad, Serbia”

Soaking up the Details (and the Wine) of Saint-Emilion – Bordeaux, France

Enclosed by vineyards producing some of Bordeaux’s most esteemed wine, it’s no wonder that the village of Saint-Emilion is one of the region’s most alluring destinations. During a weekend trip there earlier this year, I found myself effortlessly charmed by Saint-Emilion’s elegant limestone buildings, its window-boxes brimming with beautiful blooms, its wine, and its almond-flavored macarons. By day, Shawn and I ascendedContinue reading “Soaking up the Details (and the Wine) of Saint-Emilion – Bordeaux, France”

The Water Wells of Moldova

The Republic of Moldova is perhaps best known for its impressive wine – something it’s produced for thousands of years – and its former status as one of the 15 Soviet republics. If you’re scratching your head and feeling geographically-challenged about where Moldova is in Europe, rest assured that others are often perplexed too. In the UK, a familyContinue reading “The Water Wells of Moldova”