I write from the Provence leader house, amid a low murmur of convivial kitchen banter and stovetop smells. I’ve brought a bottle of wine to contribute to this homemade chicken soup dinner, so my hands are free from cooking tasks. And so I sit and I think… as another season winds down.
Cinque Terre is one of those rare places that leap from the pages of picture books simply because it seems too picturesque to be real. Do places like this really exist? A string of colorful centuries-old seaside villages perched on the rugged cliffs of the Italian Riviera, clinging to the rocks as if defying gravity. Small fishing boats ply the waters between the towns and happy locals enjoy lively conversations in the narrow winding streets that thread and climb steeply through these enchanting outposts overlooking the blue Mediterranean.
If I learned one thing while studying in Switzerland, it’s that fondue brings people together. Fondue in winter warms you up from the inside. Summer fondue is a naughty pleasure, like a morning mimosa. Should you find yourself high in the mountains after a day of hiking or cycling, starting to shiver beneath the green-cheese moon—maybe it’s time to ditch the diet and dip in.
After spending four years living abroad, I came home wanting to rediscover the American West with a new fervor and appreciation. Somewhere along the way, I heard you could take a train from the San Francisco Bay Area to Seattle: an overnight, day-long, 22-hour journey past mountains, woodlands, lakes, rivers, cities and small towns.