Apparently, we arrived in Paris on the heels of one Mayor Daley, who was in the City of Lights checking out Velib a couple of weeks ago.

What is Velib? One of the coolest and most frustrating things that I have come across in some time...

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Apparently, we arrived in Paris on the heels of one Mayor Daley, who was in the City of Lights checking out Velib a couple of weeks ago.

What is Velib? One of the coolest and most frustrating things that I have come across in some time...

" />

Apparently, we arrived in Paris on the heels of one Mayor Daley, who was in the City of Lights checking out Velib a couple of weeks ago.

What is Velib? One of the coolest and most frustrating things that I have come across in some time...

" />
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Daley, Velib, and Me

Apparently, we arrived in Paris on the heels of one Mayor Daley, who was in the City of Lights checking out Velib a couple of weeks ago.

What is Velib? One of the coolest and most frustrating things that I have come across in some time…

How Do You Say ‘Cold’ in French?

I’m finally in Paris! We’ve rented an apartment in the Marais, which is home to lots of boutiques, nightlife spots, and restaurants. Things are great, except that I’ve contracted a cold. In French, it’s called a “rhume.” In my world, it’s a big bummer. Oh well. A tip I’ve picked up this trip: To get your bearings in Paris, everyone tells you to rent one of the bateaux mouches (fly boats) and see the city by water. I say, rent a bike instead. We rented bikes at a shop in Belleville for 2 Euros an hour and cruised across the city in an afternoon. The best part is…

A Nice Lesson Learned

We’re traveling with a pair of vegetarians.
I love them, I do. But sometimes it gets a little frustrating to do a complete menu analysis before going into a bistro. (We’ve gotten more than a few blank stares in both Italy and France while asking servers to point out vegetarian dishes.) A day or so ago, in Nice, we were hanging around the harbor and looking for a place to lunch. They stumbled upon a falafel place and got very excited…

Naked Swimming … and Cake!

Today’s my 30th birthday. That’s a milestone, right? Right! And milestones mean you get to indulge. Since I’m traveling in Europe, the word “indulge” is taking on a whole new meaning. Last night, when the clock in the central part of Nice, France, struck midnight, I announced that we were going to do something to fête the arrival of a new decade. But what would we do?

Night swimming, of course! Everybody thought it the grandest idea, until we were standing at the Mediterranean, shivering and staring at some rather ominous waves crashing in the dark. After some fussing, the boys accompanied me into the surf—for all of two minutes…

The Perfect Storm, Italy-style

A big storm is approaching Cinque Terre, the cluster of coastal Italian towns where I am, at the moment, on vacation. We gave up on kayaking pretty early in the day; the seas were too choppy. There’s not much else to do here but eat, sun, and swim, so most of the afternoon was spent sitting on big rocks, watching the storm approach, and chuckling at a group of nutty Italian fishermen who were sabotaging each other’s lines…

Finally, A Good Meal in Venice

Finally, we’ve found a decent place to eat in Venice. If you ever visit here, check out the Bar Ai Nomboli on rio terra dei nomboli.

A few other random observations:

1. The Italians really like that atrocious song "Umbrella" by, who is that, Rihanna? I’ve heard it everywhere. We were in the grocery store buying wine yesterday and some little kid pushed past me with that song playing on his cell phone! Now it’s playing in the Internet cafe. I just can’t seem to get away from it…

Table of Contents

Features Our Mississippi, by David Zivan On the western border of Illinois, a mighty river courses through the heart of the Midwest. A guide to some of the undiscovered treasures along the Father of Waters. The Divine Tragedy, by Shane Tritsch Four years ago, backed by well-heeled investors and pronouncing the death of companies like … Read more

Table of Contents

Features The Inn CrowdSummer’s here and the time is right for exploring the Midwest – so we crossed seven states and three Great Lakes to find more than two dozen places for you to stay and play. The Donby Carol FelsenthalDonald Rumsfeld (New Trier ’50) is serving his second stint as Secretary of Defense, but … Read more