1. Street Performers. I've never actually lived in a city known for street performers, so maybe the likes of this guy are more common in the US than I'm aware of.... but really. How often do you see a antique square grand being played with mallets on the street??
2. You can get some awesome chocolate mousse with brandy in it from the grocery store. So yummy.
Also discovered today that there is a white wine mousse too!
3. Sidewalk cafes. Everywhere. Enough said.
The architecture isn't too bad either... :)
4. Hats. Ok, this really is not exclusive to Europe, but just a result of living in a cold climate with pedestrian culture. However! I love the hat! Not only does it keep my head warm, it hides my hair....especially convenient for morning bicycle rides to school. Did I wash it today? Did I even brush it yet? Who knows!
5. Saffron is cheap! It's still sold in very small quantities (like in the US) due to drug use, but I bought some for paella recently and instead of $14, it was 2 EUR!
6. The umbrellas. Again, probably nothing to do with Europe, but since it rains here every.single.day, a lot of people carry very cheerful, colorful umbrellas. Reds, yellows, lots of pinks, flowers, pictures. It helps brighten endlessly rainy days. I need some colorful umbrellas in my life.
7. The flowers. Even in winter, you can find flower vendors all throughout the city and they're unbelievably inexpensive. Another cheerful burst of color for dreary days. These are currently on our table:
And the things not loved
I wanted to put this in for a balanced perspective, but it's really not a very long list. We're loving where we live! Also, I couldn't bring myself to say that I dislike or hate - Those words are too strong. So, here are the things I don't love...
1. Lack of Mexican food. Is it good or bad that this tops the list?? ;) Even though I can cook, I'm struggling with tortillas due to the gluten limitation. Our homemade flour tortillas just aren't the same with GF flour, and I haven't found corn tortillas.
2. Driving. Really it's not the actual driving, it's the parking. The car is just a hassle and I far prefer to walk. Plus, our upcoming driver's license requirements are terrifying me.
3. The endless rain and general lack of sunshine. I'm hoping this is a seasonal issue that is about to improve. The past two days have been GORGEOUS, which has been lifesaving since Matthew's on a long trip. But until yesterday, it's been miserably rainy. It feels like we moved to Seattle. Perhaps colder. Thank goodness for cheerful umbrellas and flowers and cozy candles!