Monthly Slice: May

Hi! May went by in a blur. I wrapped up the end of the school year and Hugo and I moved up to San Francisco for the summer.

Wait, don’t you already live in San Francisco?

Nope! I go to school a few hours south of San Francisco in a small town on the coast. I’m excited to be in the city for the summer – I plan to eat my way through the neighborhoods, little by little. Leave me a note if you have any SF recommendations or favorite neighborhoods! (And if you’ve blogged about San Francisco, share the link – I’d love to read it.)

Hugo and I were very happy to have family visiting from Switzerland this month (our first visitors since we moved here!) We have met some awesome new people in San Francisco and I’ve also enjoyed reconnecting with old friends.

Our first weekend in San Francisco, we joined a group at the madness that is Bay to Breakers. It’s technically a race (across the city, from the bay to the ocean, hence the name) but it’s turned into a giant daytime party in the streets of San Francisco. Everyone dresses up in crazy costumes and walks along the race route. Some people also go naked (apparently, in San Francisco it’s okay to run around with your balls in the wind as long as you have shoes and socks on.) I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many willies flopping about in one day. (I just hope they were wearing sunscreen.)

The next week, we got to explore the East Bay, thanks to some awesome friends who showed us around. We had the best time! I can see why so many people move east out of the city.

I also started my internship downtown! I work in one of those tall buildings with complicated elevators where everyone has a badge clipped to their belt. I’m so corporate, I don’t even recognize myself. Just kidding, I’m pretty much the same except maybe squishier because there are always snacks.

In the kitchen:

I haven’t been spending much time in the kitchen lately, but I did use my favorite pancake recipe to whip up a Mother’s Day brunch (since I’ve missed the last gazillion Mother’s Days due to living on another continent.)

What I’m listening to:

Did anyone else listen to S-Town? I found it engaging, but the last episode left a lot of loose ends untied. That’s the difficulty with telling real stories – you can’t always craft a satisfying ending. Brian Reed’s artful storytelling drew me in, but I wanted more than an unresolved end.

What I’m watching:

Binging on Parks & Rec in my free time!

What I’m reading:

French and Americans: The other shore: My professor lent me this book on cultural differences (it’s also available online). I often find that discussions of cultural differences lack nuance, but the author, Pascal Baudry, digs into the psychology behind it all, and I found myself nodding my head at many of his observations. I would love to share some of my favorite bits in more detail sometime to see what you think.

Speaking of Franco-American cultural differences, I enjoyed Alison Green’s take on why Americans are always saying “how are you,” whether they want to know or not.

I loved this Modern Love column on the big change a woman made for her husband, and how it transformed her. That description doesn’t sound funny, but the column is.


I was taken off guard when a new expat blog republished several of my posts. It wasn’t entirely without warning – the site’s owner had previously contacted me about sharing them on her new site. I said I would be open to it under certain conditions, but she never confirmed that they would be met… so I was surprised to find the posts up on her site weeks later. A little communication (and the chance to do some editing!) would have been nice.

Favorite thing at Trader Joe’s:

Their honey mango cream shave. I will never go back to regular shaving cream! I used to bring it over to France.

Pinterest board of the month:

My California board! I have been pinning tons of San Francisco guides for inspiration, and I also save any other California guides I come across (I vet all the Monterey/Carmel guides to make sure they’re legit!)

Where are you spending the summer? I hope the month of June is off to a great start, wherever you are!

11 thoughts on “Monthly Slice: May

  1. Thanks for the monthly update! So exciting you’re in San Francisco; it’s been years since I’ve visited, so I could only give you the touristy things to do, but any case, I’m sure you’ll discover the off-the-beaten areas of the lovely coastal city! Very surprising to read that there’s a race-event that allows you to go in your birthday suit; I didn’t expect us Americans to be that open about it in public!

    I’m spending the summer back home (in Los Angeles) before I’m due to return to France in the fall. Enjoying it while it lasts! Have a good summer. 🙂

    1. Haha, San Francisco is really its own world – no one batted an eye at all the naked people!

      Have a great summer at home in Los Angeles! It must be nice to be home for a visit, knowing you’ll be back in France soon 🙂

  2. OMG dying at the flopping willies hahahah. OK, I’ve composed myself… let me email you about that expat blog thing.
    Enjoy San Fran. We love it there!!

  3. I don’t think I would have been able to contain myself at the sight of that number of people parading through San Francisco in their birthday suit…! (The flamingo rings look awesome though, and if was younger I would totally want one of those for my, admittedly rare, trips to the beach.) I still remember the wacky ice-cream and sorbet flavours at Humphry Slocombe, definitely a foodie highlight from my time in SF. Hope the internship’s going well!

    1. Thanks Rosie!!! I actually just walked past Humphry Slocombe the other night right after I had read your comment! I don’t think you’re on Instagram (are you?) or I would have tagged you in my Insta Stories 🙂 The flamingo rings were super awesome! There was also a girl dressed up like a peacock and the tail was rigged so that she could pull a wire and spread out the feathers!

      1. What a coincidence! I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream in my (relatively short) time on earth, and those at Humphry Slocombe are definitely memorable! I just have a personal account on Instagram, not one for the blog, so I’m not very active on it. Wow – sounds like some people put a lot of thought into their costumes. It must be quite a sight to see 🙂

  4. Hi, have you read Raymonde Carroll’s “évidences invisibles” (or “cultural misunderstandings”, the book exists in both languages)? I have read it in French and in English.

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