Then: At 5:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, I was rattled from my sleep with an idea. The sit-up-straight-out-of-bed kind of idea. Instead of setting up shop at one French cooking school, what if I hopped around the European continent and sampled from a variety of courses in different cities and countries? That's how Culinary Hopscotch was born. Follow me on an epicurean tour of cooking schools in countries around Europe and beyond. I'll be traveling and cooking for about three months, so if you're curious about where I'm headed, just ask. Otherwise, I'll be updating my whereabouts in the Twitter section on the right. The culinary crusade starts on January 29, 2010, and I'll be doing it all in a carry-on.

Now: We live in Portland, a culinary capital in its own right. I man the stove chez nous and plan our meals weekly on a colorful pad from Anthropologie. Things have changed a bit from the old school days of Culinary Hopscotch, but it makes sense (to me) to keep it alive. Look for posts on restaurants we visit, culinary happenings in the news, what's on the menu in our kitchen, and more!

Been There, Cooked That

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Preliminary Thoughts...

Here it is: Post #1. It casually violates the spirit of things being that I'm sitting in California typing this and this blog is about my impending travels in Europe. But I've been getting a lot of questions about how I feel now that I'm leaving so soon, and I thought this might be a fun post to look back on in May when this adventure is said and done.

People have asked me if I'm nervous. I'm not. Well, to be fair, I guess I am a little nervous. But more so about spending all of my money during my first week in Paris than I am about getting sold into slavery in a former Soviet Bloc country, if that's what people are asking. I actually feel pretty prepared. I've been to quite a few of these places before, and the ones I've yet to grace my presence with have been on my wish-list for a long time. I've done my research, spent countless hours on Fodors, and I've asked a million questions that have been met with thorough answers. My spreadsheet(s) and Evernote are overflowing with information. My Blackberry will function abroad. I'm going to live to tell about this.

Some things are booked, and some things are not. That is hard for me. I'm a planner through and through, and leaving things to chance means there's still time for a minor panic attack. I'm not packed yet at eight days out (I keep getting asked that question too), but it won't be time-intensive. You'd believe me if you saw the size bag I'm taking. When I land, I know that "All Trains Go to Paris," and where to find my apartment because this stay will equal a hat-trick. And I have enough planned the first week to distract me from the fact that I'm approximately 12,260 miles away from the people (and animals) that I love back home.

Spending three+ months on the road in Europe is something I always saw on the big screen in my head, but never thought it would materialize. Work. Obligations. Bills. They have a way of rising to the top of people's lists like foam does on a cappuccino. I don't like cappuccino though. And I don't like those other things either. So, instead of daydreaming well into my 40's about how I could've, should've, and didn't, I made a choice to take the fork in the road that a lot of people wouldn't. Months have gone into the preparation of this culinary crusade, as I like to call it, and it's all coming to fruition a week from Thursday. Aiyee. I mean, yippee.

Okay, you got me...maybe I am a little nervous.


  1. Arun tipped me off to your adventure--awesome stuff!

  2. Thanks Vinod! You're the travel guru, and I pale in your shadow. But perhaps I can teach you a thing or two along the way. Thanks for following along...

  3. Good luck and I look forward to following your journey...good for you for taking this step and best of luck:-)!!!!

  4. i am so jealous! and so excited for you!

  5. Bon Voyage Kyle Exited to hear about the trip and see the pictures!
    Silvie Reynolds

  6. Have as much fun as you can for me!

  7. can't believe you are leaving so so soon!!!!! you are going to have an amazing time... i hope i can meet up with you at some point! :)