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Essays, Guides, Food


Catalan Summer Solstice Festival Is Fire

Each year throughout Spain, particularly in Catalonia’s Girona Pyrenees, as the sun reaches its zenith, summer begins with a celebratory bang: the Fire Festival of Sant Joan’s Eve, claiming to eliminate evil spirits, cure disease, and cleanse souls. Rhythmic drums beat. Horns blared down the street. From our apartment’s shallow Juliet balcony in old Girona,…

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3 Southern US States, 3 Universities, 3 Styles

Join our adventure in the story links below. Discover how three college towns gave us three completely different experiences. Each campus showed us an array of southern charm and character, each with distinct qualities. The pastel-colored University of South Carolina was warm and welcoming with a personalized approach. The classically inspired University of Georgia was…

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A Whirlwind (literally) of Grandeur in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama

Our first visit to the state of Alabama started out with a bang—of lightning, that is. The whipping wind in Birmingham warned us of the brewing storm. Then, upon our arrival, Tuscaloosa greeted us with a tornado warning. That morning was relatively warm. We had just driven from the University of Georgia in Athens to…

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The Space Needle’s New Vibe

Mostly improved, but missing one thing—the restaurant The centerpiece of the 1962 World’s Fair, the futuristic Space Needle got a $100 million renovation—mostly for the better—using 176 tons of glass to achieve a lighter and brighter feel. Although, now something’s missing—actually, replaced. This time around we opted to enjoy the Space Needle from on the…

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A Gothic Treasure: The Valencia Silk Exchange, La Lonja de la Seda

Light streams between a forest of spiral stone columns. Each support twists upward, branching into a delicate web of ribbed groin vaults overhead. This airy—seemingly weightless—volume exalts Valencia’s commercial hub, unique to its time. The History of This Temple of Trade When Pere Compte (renowned master builder from Girona) began construction of this trade center…

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Streamlining Our Life: Less Things Means More Experiences

A Personal Journey—How downsizing upgraded our lives and revealed what’s really important to us, in this moment. It may seem counterintuitive, particularly for an architectural designer amid a pandemic, to sell our house and move into an apartment. But that’s exactly what we did. We let go of the “American dream.” As homeowners for the…

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Gluten-free Banana Oat Muffins

These gluten-free banana oat muffins are made with whole oats and can be made vegan. Try both the smooth blended version and the heartier whole oat version.

Coconut Thai Curry Tofu and Squash

This spicy Thai-inspired dish combines coconut milk and Thai red curry paste to create a creamy sauce for tofu and butternut squash, perfect to serve over rice.

Coffee in Italy: How Tradition Upholds Artistry and High Standards

The dapper barista steamed the milk with precision, poured the creamy froth over the shot of robust espresso in a rhythmic swaying motion, then slid the cappuccino onto the bar with a slight nod. As I sipped the luscious intensity, I tasted Italy. The day officially began. The taste lingered with both me and Aaron…

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Vatican City - museum courtyard

Travel Guide: Vatican City

The world’s smallest country is also home to the Pope. However, not only Catholics make their pilgrimage to the Vatican, but people from around the world come in droves. Vatican City is a city-state politically separate from, but geographically surrounded by the city of Rome. The Vatican’s 3 main attractions Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and…

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Travel Guide: How Florence Inspires a Higher Standard and ‘Slow Tourism’

Stunning architecture and sculpted masterpieces, natural regional food and wine—Florence is sure to delight your perspective alongside your tastebuds. No wonder it’s such a popular destination. You really can’t help but fall in love with Florence. Italian Pride and Passion: Learn about Italian quality. Florentine Beauty Abounds: Discover the hot spots. A New Look Beyond…

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