Historic Route 66 starts and ends in Chicago - Find the landmark signs in the city's Loop neighborhood

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Afternoon snack times around the world - fika, goûter, merenda, la merienda and more

On a recent trip to New York City, I stopped dead in my tracks as I made my way past shop after shop and café after café on the Upper West Side. What caught my attention? One bold word hung at the top of the doorway of a café: FIKA. That’s all it took. One word... Read more »

Wearing high heels through airport security: Why you still need to take off your shoes in TSA PreCheck

It’s hard for me to suppress the laughing smile on my face whenever I walk by the huge TSA PreCheck advertisement in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The sign hangs right along the path that beckons travelers towards the TSA PreCheck line at the far end of Terminal 1. It encourages travelers to sign up for... Read more »
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Perfume in Rome: How one scent instantly transports me back to the Italian capital

Today, when I think of Rome, I think of one very distinctive, utterly forgettable scent. Not the scent of a steaming slice of pizza. Not the scent of a perfectly crafted macchiato. Not the scent of tourists traipsing over ruins. But, the scent of the perfume that wafted up the stairway of the apartment where... Read more »

Comfort foods around the world: As shared by moms from countries across the globe

Whenever I was sick as a child, my mom would make a big batch of matzo ball soup. And, she hasn’t stopped yet. I’ll never forget when I told my mom I wasn’t feeling well when I was pregnant with my first child. Hours later she was on my doorstep with a large metallic soup... Read more »

French illustrator Yann Legendre sets artistic tone for Lycée French Market: Designs 8th Poster for the Annual Holiday Market

For more than a decade, Chicagoans have started their holiday shopping à la française with a trip to the Lycée French Market. The market’s mix of high quality French goods and foods, enjoyed while listening to the sounds of French music and conversation, is what makes it one of the most unique holiday shopping experiences... Read more »
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Travel: Should you pay in the local or your home currency?

Purchasing souvenirs is always a big part of my travels. Not a day goes by that I don’t catch a glimpse of an Italian print, a Dutch magnet, a British mug and a famous French tower that, together, make up a gallery of travel experiences inside our home. And, each time I went to purchase those... Read more »

Reunited with halvah - in Amsterdam

Whenever I used to think of halvah, I envisioned blocks of vanilla, chocolate or marble sesame paste-laden desserts sold by the pound in the deli cases of the Jewish grocery stores in Chicago’s Roger Park neighborhood. Whenever we went to one, my mom would ask for a slice of the dense, chalky treat, which we’d... Read more »

Do you let your children talk on public transportation?

My family takes public transportation a lot. Commuter busses. City trains. International-bound planes. And, when we do, I let my sons speak to me. Speak to each other. Speak to friends. But, I always encourage them to do so in low voices. As any parent knows, kids are inquisitive. They want to ask a million questions.... Read more »
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Five reasons why Rome is a great city to visit with kids

Rome will always be special to me and my husband. We went there on our first international trip together as newlyweds. We went there on our last international trip before we had our first child. We went there with our two sons during our first trip to Italy as a family. Each time was simply... Read more »