When a friend from middle school told me he was planning a trip to San Diego just before Christmas — and that he’d never been here before — I tried to see my city from an outsider’s perspective. What would make the biggest splash? It was more happenstance than planning that made us end up at the harbor at sunset (just after he landed! Kismet!). I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to give him to my fair city.

coffee and map

“There it is!” I shouted. I’d spotted Les Deux Garçons, MFK Fisher’s favorite Aix haunt, shortly after my contact lens debacle. Rose, Rebecca, Kathy, and I plopped down at a table in the back only to be told that if we only wanted cafe, we needed to sit at one of the front tables. Chilly in the morning air, yes, but better for people watching. There’s nothing quite so photogenic as a good cafe creme. Throw in a map, and you have an Instagram masterpiece.  

simons specialty cheese

The first thing you need to know about me is: I like cheese. I mean, I really like cheese. And I’m not talkin’ Velveeta and Kraft Singles (does anyone eat that stuff?). I have a book, in French, of the 300+ kinds of cheese in France, and yes, I intend to try them all. So it should be no surprise to you that when I visit my BFF, Rachel, in Wisconsin, cheese is always on the menu.