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France

Postcard from Lyon Hôtel de Ville

I stumbled across these gems on a cloudy day in Lyon, and they were an instant burst of unexpected joy. I have no idea why they were there, or how the creator figured out how to create tropical creatures out of twigs, but I got a kick of them....
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Postcard from Grasse

Happy Chinese New Year! In addition to wishing peace and happiness to you and yours, I'd also like to take advantage of this day of renewal to announce a new component to the Postcard From series. Since Sunday is now a day to Share the Love,...
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The art of dining in France

While working as a waitress in Nice, we once had a huge lunch rush, resulting in a longer wait time for main courses than normal. (The Snug only has one chef in a teeny-tiny kitchen!) One of the tables was a group of young French professionals, who...
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Why the French don’t celebrate Thanksgiving

For starters, the food isn't anything worth being thankful for. Cranberry sauce out of can--either whole or jellied--just wouldn't cut it next to fresh confiture. Oven-warmed rolls don't stand a chance against a baguette, fresh from the boulangère....
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Lyon: more than just a place setting

Not many countries can boast a gastronomic capital. But this is France, and food is never taken lightly. Lyon, an industrial city along the Rhone, is known best for its nurturing of haute cuisine and its pork-filled bouchons. While the restaurants...
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Not always cheap, but Paris is always a good idea

Paris is always a good idea. While that was Audrey Hepburn’s opinion, I’d have to say I agree. Paris is a city that captures the heart of Francophiles and Franco-wary alike, with its iconic architecture, world-famous gastronomy and unbelievably...
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My favorite restaurants in Nice

It’s easy to be fooled—and disappointed—by restaurants in Nice. Many cater to tourists, and feature overpriced, generic dishes and unenthusiastic staff. However, there are a few gems tucked away in the less-bustling streets and squares that highlight...
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The good, bad and worst in three hostels

In the past two weeks, I’ve stayed in three different hostels. City Backpackers in Stockholm, Sweden set a new high, a standard against which all future hostels will be judged. And Oops! Hostel and Young & Happy in Paris are fighting it out for...
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Alliance Française: the best way to learn French

Learning a language isn’t easy. Even with a built-in French tutor as a mother, a few linguistic séjours under my belt and more French grammar books than I can count, I still hesitate to call myself fluent. However, I haven’t hit a situation yet that...
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Where to grab a drink in Nice

There is no shortage of places to grab a drink in Nice. Old Town is full of restaurants, cafés and bars to sip some wine, chug a beer or splurge on a cocktail. Nice doesn't have a huge club scene, but many of the bars offer live music on a daily or...
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