Monthly Archives: July 2011

Quebec City

One of the great solaces in my life is whenever things aren’t going as I’d like in mine I can always feel a little better thinking this world can’t be a terrible place because it’s still the one that has my favorite places in it. I might be stuck in the middle of an Ohio blizzard or on a misconnection from hell or a myriad of other things no one particularly enjoys experiencing, but at that very moment someone is making a new friend on Ko Sahn Road in Thailand, there is a gorgeous sunset over an ocean, a leopard is enjoying a nice nap in South Africa, and some astronomer on a telescope is making a new discovery.  Life might not be the best for me but it clearly is still charming in a lot of other places.

I mention this because it’s impossible for Quebec City to not strike your fancy and I’m fairly certain it will make my “list of places that are pleasant even if my current one isn’t” reverie in the future.  Just look at this place! Continue reading

The Montreal Biodome

One unusual detail about travel is I can tell you where every single summer Olympics in the past 60 years or so has taken place.  This isn’t really intentional but rather happens because an awful lot of major cities have old structures left over somewhere on the edge of town from when they hosted the Olympics, but ever since they honestly have little idea what to do with them.  As a result you have a tourist attraction where something famous did happen but is now more appropriate for filming a zombie movie. Continue reading

Good Old Montreal

Here’s an interesting detail for you: it is actually a relatively small quirk of fate that I did not grow up in Montreal.  My dad went to graduate school and even taught at McGill just before he married my mother and took another professorship at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh, and it’s always fun to think about what-might-have-beens.  In a parallel universe there is undoubtedly an Yvette who looks just like me but is Canadian, trilingual, and was not fated to a lifetime of no one being able to pronounce her name correctly.

Anyway, these thoughts have come up because I’m in Quebec this weekend as a part starve off boredom/ see a bit of my American backyard while I’m still initiative.  First was a thorough exploration of Old Montreal, and let’s just say my dad has a fair bit to answer for now leaving such a pretty place- Continue reading

Why I Love America


Wall Street, New York, New York

On the 235th anniversary of the founding of my country, I would like to say a few words about a few things big and small that I love about America.  I have been all around the world, but amazing as much of it is there is nothing like leaving your home to appreciate just what it is that makes it so wonderful. Continue reading

I Visited the Blarney Castle (but didn’t kiss the stone!)

When I visited Ireland two years ago, I shocked and confused all idle questioners by not visiting Blarney Castle. As there are only so many things to do in Ireland I did finally visit the castle, but had no interest whatsoever in kissing the stone. Why? Well firstly I already talk too much if anything, secondly if there was a place where hundreds of tourists from around the entire world put their saliva to the point where there is a damp spot on the wall would you kiss it?  Exactly.

Continue reading