New blog, new start

August 13, 2013

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It has been a wonderful past few years here on An American in Wiesbaden. I started this blog, like so many other expats, to chronicle the massive life change that is moving 5,000 miles away to make a home in a new country where you don't even speak the language. After being settled  (mostly) for almost four years and learning the language (sort of), I have realized I define myself by so much more than just being an expat. I'm a cook, a writer, an explorer, a fashion-follower, a design lover, a shoe aficionado.

So after deciding to leave this wonderful town we have called home for the past several years and move on to a new adventure in Berlin later this year, I figured the time had come to start a new blog to share all my passions: my re-designed and reinvigorated blog, Sole Satisfaction. It is now the place where I will write about not only what satisfies my soles, but my soul as well: cooking, and more importantly - eating, travel, fashion, design and living life in Europe. I hope you will continue to follow my journey to Berlin - and wherever else life takes me.

I will be leaving this blog active so that anyone seeking information about expat life or Germany or travel in general can still use it as a resource, but it will no longer be updated. I have received so many heartwarming notes from people who have thanked me for my blog and helping their transition overseas, I only hope more people will find something of value here. Thank you for reading!


A weekend wedding celebration in France

August 09, 2013

Our trip to France last month took us to Paris, through the amazing French countryside, to the Atlantic coast and back again, but what in fact brought us to one of my favorite countries: a wedding. Since we were unable to accept two amazing European wedding invitations in the last few years, we figured this was an opportunity we could not pass up. Not only were our friends getting married in France, but they were hosting the weekend's festivities at their recently purchased chateau and vineyard just outside of Bordeaux. Talk about a dream wedding scenario.

The wedding festivities, while held in France and with all services performed in French, had definite influences from this international couple: him from England, her from Romania. Even the guest list was made up of people from all over Europe, a handful of American expats and even one work colleague who traveled all the way from Russia. Let me tell you, this bunch knew how to party. Dancing had begun not only before dinner, but before the tent and dance floor were even open for the evening, with people grabbing partners and taking advantage of whatever space they could. Not to let my own heritage have too much of a bias, but Eastern Europeans might be the most exuberant and dedicated partiers I've ever met.

With one day for the civil ceremony and the other for the marriage in the church, the parties were scheduled to last all weekend. Not only was there dancing - and lots of it - but this foodie's belly was in heaven. Saturday, merely called a 'garden party', was complete with countless hors d'oeuvres, an amazing salad spread and not one, but two pigs roasting on a spit. In what I can only call the best dessert decision ever, bite-sized sweets ranging from macarons to mini eclairs to little cups of fruity, creamy heaven were set out alongside French mainstays of bread, fruit and cheese. Needless to say, after such indulgences, we were already dreaming of the following day's menu - but we were not even close to prepared. Appetizers of butter-seared foie gras on toast and creamy sweetbreads (my first ever) wrapped in flaky pastry could only be outdone by dinner's caramelized duck breast with candied citrus and chanterelles. Of course, endless bottles from the couple's own vineyard was just icing on the rose-covered, firework-adorned cake.

We called this amazing couple neighbors for an unfortunately short amount of time, but managed to spend holidays together and form a connection I only hope will last a very long time. They are truly the kind of people you feel lucky to even know. And if you happen to notice the bride's Linda Hamilton-circa-Terminator-2 biceps, that's because in addition to being a full-time lawyer - in not her native language - and now part-time wine maker, she's also an incredible table tennis champion. Seriously, this couple brings joie de vivre to a whole new level and we left humbled and inspired to live a life even half as full as theirs.