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I departed Cologne this morning, and headed down the Rhine River, passing through Bonn once again. The journey was beautiful… eventually we headed west along the Mosel tributary, passing through the wine region of the same name. On one side of the train was the river, and the other side were steep terraces of grapes [...]

Bonn, Germany


I woke up this morning really burned out on traveling. Maybe it was part loneliness, or maybe it was partly that I felt I really had seen enough of Cologne. As I sat eating breakfast in my hotel, I yearned to be in one of three specific places: my girlfriend’s couch watching Hell’s Kitchen with [...]

Cologne, Germany


On one hand, Cologne is an incredibly romantic city. Sitting by the Rhine River on a Saturday night, dining al fresco, listening to the rumble of the trains as they roll into the city across the bridge under the shadow of the darkly beautiful Dom Cathedral. On the other hand, you have countless bachelor and [...]

Amsterdam, Holland

Of all the cities in the world I’ve visited, Amsterdam surely ranks as one of my favorites. I arrived Thursday, via Brussels, and was immediately taken aback by the urban landscape. Given the lax attitudes towards pot and prostitutes, I had assumed Amsterdam would be dirty and gritty… full of young hippy wannabes and shady [...]

Brussels, Belgium

This morning I took the two hour, high speed train from Gare Paris Nord to Brussels, Belgium. I had a map of my hotel’s neighborhood, which appeared to be just outside the train station. But when I was unable to find the correct street, I went back in the station, where I could not find [...]

Champagne, France

Today I was joined by my Le Cordon Bleu friends Edgar, Cynthia, Kevin and Kevin’s mom, and we took a van tour to Champagne. The drive was about an hour and a half to the east of Paris to the city of Reims. From Reims, we wandered through the countryside and vineyards, where we were [...]

Le Cordon Bleu (Day 15)

I can’t believe I’m already at the halfway point of my course. We just completed Lesson 15 of 29 yesterday. I feel like the classes are getting a bit more manageable. My initial impressions of the chefs were that they were pretty tough. I learned that my only responses to one talking to me should [...]

Burgundy, France

On Sunday, I visited Dijon and Beaune in the Burgundy region of France. The day didn’t start too smoothly; first my Paris metro train stopped two stations short of where I needed to transfer to get to the train station, Gare de Lyon, because of construction. Then when I got to the train station via [...]

Le Cordon Bleu (Days 5-6)

Friday was day one of my “macaron” mission. I’m a huge fan of the macaroons from the organic artisanal Miette bakery in San Francisco, and I had learned from their website that the owners tried to replicate the best recipes of Parisian bakers, including Pierre Hermé. Today I was joined by several fellow culinary students, [...]

Le Cordon Bleu (Day 4)

Today was a great day. It started early with me arriving at the school at 8:00 (I always arrive at least 30 minutes and usually an hour early). We met with one of the master chefs, who took us on a short five minute walk to a nearby street market in Paris. It was an [...]