Tuesday, February 15, 2011


A few weeks ago, I found myself in Madrid, tagging along with an art history class as they explored the impressive galleries of the city. Between the Prado and the Reina Sophia, there were long strolls in the sun. The sun!

You see, in Luxembourg, sunshine in February is viewed as a wonderful fluke. Luckily, there have already been a few days where I've opened my eyes to blue skies and sunny weather. First, I'm surprised, then elated, and finally, I realize that I've almost forgotten about the sun. No, not in a 'what's sun?' kind of way, but in a way that I've been living in the gray for far too long that I don't expect sunny days. It's a 'where have you been all my life??' kind of reaction.

And so, Madrid was good for the soul in so many ways. Not only was there sun, but art, deep fried calamari, sangria, flamenco dancers - the list goes on. 

But you know, at the end of the day, it was good to return to Luxembourg as well. Even with its gray skies and rainy disposition, the comfort of being surrounded by languages you understand, an apartment you've made your own and everything that comes with the territory of 'home.' That's pretty good for the soul too.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Expat Book Club

Picture this: two fourteen year bookworms, sprawled out on the shores of Lake Michigan, reading for hours. This was typical Mary/Kelley behavior that summer. I was lucky enough to tag along with her family for a vacation that involved boating, sand dunes, and lots and lots of reading. I decided to tackle Daphne du Maurier's classic 'Rebecca' while my dear friend lugged around an impressively large, hard-covered book called 'The Eight.' Between our conversations about boys and books, I decided that I wanted to read this novel about chess, nuns, and historical intrigue.

And then, like most distracted teenagers, once that summer vacation ended, I promptly forgot about the book.

This Christmas, the ever wonderful Mary surprised me with my very own copy of 'The Eight,' not only bringing back memories of that blissful summer, but giving me an exciting read this past week. It was the perfect blend of action, adventure, history, love, and (I can't believe I'm saying it) math. And to make this girl appreciate math, well, that's saying something.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Please pardon my radio silence this past week. These past seven days have been, in a word, crazy.

Actually, I'm going to go ahead and use two words: crazy wonderful.

There were visitors, strolls through the old Luxembourg fortress, pretzel M&Ms all the way from the U.S. (thanks Dad!), an academic tour to Madrid, galleries filled with Goya and Velazquez, Spanish guitar and roman ruins.

These kinds of weeks make me feel a lot like this:

Now it's back to the real world (where neglected laundry needs to get done), but I know that February still has a few fun things up its sleeves. And of course, I still have a whole bag of pretzel M&Ms to keep me company (but not for long...)