Pop-tarts, Oreos, & Beef Jerky. These little goodies are what the USA is known for outside of the USA. Oh and marshmallows. Who knew marshmallows were so American. Some grocery stores in Europe have a USA section. This is the USA section of the Carrefour close to our home in Belgium. Awesome isn’t it? Additional confession: The “American marshmallows” are often sold in packages with white and pink dyed marshmallows. Excited to find marshmallows and rice krispies in the Netherlands, I whipped up a batch of Rice Krispie treats. The result? I had Rice Krispie treats that looked like ground
Confession: Grocery shopping in Belgium is a lesson in three languages – Dutch, French, and German.
Confession: I saw this couple holding hands through a park in Gent and it made me really happy.
Thin and fragile, etched in white with a pattern of tiny edges running up and down the stem of the glass, I hold my Grandmother’s crystal in my hands. “They’re absolutely beautiful,” I tell my Grandma, “What did you say the pattern was?” “It was called Heather, by Fostoria,” she drawls into the phone, her West Texas accent is thick. “Fostoria,” I repeat, the word like air on my tongue. “Uh, huh, that’s right. I picked out the pattern – and my Mother or family would give me a plate or a champagne glass for Christmas or Mother’s Day. All
Bruges is a city that never disappoints – it’s beautiful and quaint. It’s full of chocolate shops, museums, and cute pubs to grab a Belgian beer. Or two. It is touristy, but with three kids, sometimes it’s nice to play the American tourist card (as opposed to the local-who’s-supposed-to-know-what-they’re-doing card. Just sayin’) Plus, the city has a french fry AND chocolate museum. In short, it’s perfect for the whole fam. We ventured off to Bruges just a few weeks after landing in Belgium. We’d visited the city many times before, during our previous expat experience when living in the Netherlands,
I recently made this dip for my daughter’s birthday party during our visit back to Texas. As always, it was devoured and my Canadian friend requested the recipe. As I typed it, I was having trouble converting everything to European ingredients. . . I knew I’d made it in the Netherlands. . . but where are refried beans in Belgium?! I first tried making my own refried beans (fail!). So I was just scratching my head. . . until last week. I noticed the Albert Heijn Mexican brand now has refried beans stocked. Game changer!! I bought a can and
“I have to buy new cowboy boots and a molcajete,” I tell my husband. “Boots, sure but – A what?” he shakes his head at me. We’re in San Antonio, at the Mercado just a few months before our departure for Belgium. The smell of fresh churros permeates the air. Girls in frilly colorful dresses and boys in sharp black suits decorated with silver buttons perform for an equally sweaty audience. Tejano music has attracted the audience like moths. They sit watching the show and fanning themselves in their t-shirts and shorts. During our previous expat experience, I had left
The rickety tram dings a tiny bell, and pedestrians scurry from its path. Sunlight gleams between buildings and dances off windows. People of all ages climb the ancient stairs of this number four tram, cast glimmers of smiles at each other as they pass. The sun seems to have energized the entire city, despite frozen kisses the wind pecks on our cheeks. I glance between the beauty of Antwerp, with its art deco and art nouveau architecture fanning both sides of the tram tracks, and my WhatsApp messages on my phone. I have a group of old girlfriends in the
Tulips, windmills, bicycles, and delft blue pottery – these are the icons of the Netherlands. My (then future husband) and I visited the Netherlands as a young couple over a decade ago. He was auditing a client in Rotterdam and I tagged along for the trip. As we kissed goodbye in the morning, I set-off like the fearless tourist I was. I found my way to the Rotterdam station and wandered with hesitation to a vendor. I picked out a freshly baked croissant and ordered a coffee so strong it made my eyes water. Armed with a few tourist books