• Berlins and Outs

    “Maybe We’ll Spend Christmas in Berlin”

    Before E was even offered the job that brought us to Berlin, my mom and I started daydreaming about it. 2018 had just begun and I was experiencing some new year’s melancholy, and my mom commented, “maybe next year we’ll spend Christmas in Berlin!” It was a nice daydream, and I told her not to jinx it. She didn’t. Obviously. But it still felt kind of amazing when the holidays rolled around and we were actually here in Berlin. My mom came to visit for three weeks — starting in mid-December and staying through the New Year. And my brother and his partner arrived two days after Christmas and stayed…

  • Travel Tips

    Podcast Recommendations for the Holidays and Beyond

    If you’re doing any traveling this holiday season and looking for something to listen to on planes, trains, and automobiles, boy, have I got some podcast recommendations for you. As you probably know, E and I have dabbled in making our own podcast. So, it should come as no surprise that we also listen to quite a few podcasts. I give podcast recommendations to my friends and family pretty regularly, and I decided it was time to collect them all in one place. The Best and Only Holiday Podcast You Need: Hark! I can’t make a podcast list without a little nepotism. Especially this time of year. Hark! is the…

  • Feeeeelings,  Hawaiian Summer Camp,  Meta-Blogging

    A Year of Self-Actualization

    2013 didn’t suck. I mean, for God’s sake, I started the year by living in Hawai’i for two months (and it cost less than $1500 — yeah, read that post if you haven’t already) — obviously, 2013 didn’t suck. I’m writing this post from my apartment outside Boston where I live with a wonderful man who loves me and a grumpy cat who also loves me. We sent out Christmas cards that featured this photo: 2013 was not perfect. There were months when I felt unsure of myself and unhappy with myself, and I spent an inordinate amount of time in my pajamas watching tv online and avoiding people. I…

  • Tea Tuesday

    It’s beginning to look a lot like…

    Well, you know how the song goes. The tree is decorated, there’s snow on the ground, and it’s feeling pretty festive at The Beach House lately. This morning I even drank a cup of Winter Delight — the loose leaf black tea that Katie and I bought in Sarajevo last Fall. In order to best preserve their flavor, loose leaf teas should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container and kept away from light, heat, and moisture. I’m not as diligent about this as I ought to be, but I do own a number of tea tins, which are pretty as well as functional. I bought one decorated…

  • Tea Tuesday

    Tea Tuesday: Christmas Presents

    I’m the avid tea drinker in most of my friends’ and family’s lives, so tea and tea accoutrements¬† have become people’s go-to Christmas presents for me. I have no problem with this trend. My best friend visited Rhode Island this past weekend and, because I hadn’t seen her since I got back from Europe, she gave me my Christmas present then. You guys, it was so exciting. This is no ordinary tea tumbler (which is really just a fancy way of saying thermos that has a tea strainer in it). It’s lined with Yixing clay. Yixing clay is especially porous clay that retains the flavor of the tea you brew…

  • Close to Home

    This Time Last Year…

    2012 is coming to a close, so, unsurprisingly, everyone is reflecting on the past year, and hoping for good things in 2013. I can’t help but add my own musings on this last year, particularly with regard to where I’ve been. This is a travel blog after all. And I have to begin with where I spent New Year’s Eve last year–in Ecuador. On December 31st, 2011, I woke up at 5:00 am to hike Fuya Fuya, a mountain just outside of Cotacachi, Ecuador. Although the hike itself was only a few kilometers, at nearly 14,000 ft above sea level, every step was a challenge. I barely stayed up until…

  • Tea Tuesday,  The Great European Adventure

    Tea Tuesday: Advent Calendar Tea

    Merry Christmas from An Opportune Moment! Well, friends, I returned home from my European Adventure to spend Christmas with my family, but while I was still abroad I wanted some way to get in the Christmas spirit. I had planned to buy an advent calendar with chocolates behind each door, but then when I was in Sarajevo I stumbled upon a box of Advent Calendar tea. Well, my tea-loving-heart couldn’t resist, despite the fact it was a German brand of tea (Alnatura), which meant that I never knew what kind of tea I was drinking. It was like a fun, Christmas-y adventure! Did you do anything special to celebrate the…

  • The Great European Adventure

    Happy Thanksgiving from Croatia

    There was no turkey to be had in Dubrovnik, and my friend Katie is a vegetarian anyway, so we celebrated the day with a multi-course meal at a Bosnian restaurant. My meal came with a baked potato! I told Katie I was hoping to find apple pie somewhere in the city, but when I saw a dessert on the menu called Tufahije, and the description was “baked apples with walnut and chocolate filling, whipped cream,” well, I was sold. Please note the walnut brittle tucked into the whipped cream. We wrapped up our meal with tea, which came with complimentary Turkish Delight. All in all, I thought it was a…

  • The Great European Adventure

    Happy Halloween!

    We interrupt the somewhat chronological order of this blog to bring you a very special Halloween post. Now, I will admit to not being the biggest fan of this holiday. I’ve never been one for big Halloween parties, I come up with good costume ideas, but don’t execute them, and, most importantly, I miss trick or treating… So, I wasn’t too bothered by the idea of not celebrating this year. After all, I don’t really have room in my backpack to carry around a costume. But then, this past weekend (Halloweekend, if you will) I took a tour of Kutna Hora, a small city, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, about…