The official winners of the 2008 Weblog Awards were finally announced last night, and I could not be any more excited to say that MyKugelhopf is the winner for Best Travel Blog!
What a week it was…. a whole lot of fun, plenty of excitement (not to mention stress!) watching the polls, so many new blogs discovered and an overall close race up until the very end. A huge thank you to all of my readers – mille merci à tous mes lecteurs. What an honor this is.
And now it’s time to look ahead at what’s to come in 2009. I have a few very busy and exciting months planned, with lots of traveling and gastronomic adventures to look forward to, not to mention several towering piles of recipe cutouts that I am itching to try.
First stop will be the 31st annual International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Switzerland ‘s Bernese Oberland. Talk about a photographic scene – the sky filled with a rainbow of hot air balloons! A stroll through nearby Gruyère to taste a meringue (or two) topped with the region’s famous double cream will be obligatory. I can already picture the car trunk – big coolers bursting with Gruyère cheese and cream, must buys in what is Switzerland’s richest dairy district. Then it will be a list of must buys in Münich, Germany. The car ride back to Zürich, on the other hand, will be too long for the cooler, so I’ll simply fill up on dried sausages and other appetizing treats from the colorful Viktualienmarkt. Mmm, I can smell the gingerbread and already taste the zing of the mustard on my weisswurst! And oh those enormous bretzels! Gosh, will those German market vendors be confused with my (attempt at) Swiss German.
No linguistic worries at least when I head back to New York City, as well as Paris, my two other “homes.” My lists of new places to try are getting frighteningly long! Ice cream, waffle and dessert trucks in NYC, up and coming pastry chefs, chocolatiers and boulangers I have been reading about in Paris – I’ve got my work cut out for me for sure. Before the ski season flies by, you’ll be sure to see a few snowy photographs and hear about my adventures in the Alps of France, Switzerland and Austria. I’ll make sure I’m back in either Lucerne and Basel for Fasnacht, the long-awaited annual Carnival celebration. I can only wonder if it will be a 3-day equivalent of Zürich’s Techno Parade. Either way, I’ll be off again to a friend’s Serbian Wedding (Svadba) in Belgrade – he’s Austrian and she’s Serbian. What a fascinating mix of cultures – and cuisines – that will be. I still have yet to report on a friends’ wedding I attended a couple of months ago - a Portuguese and Kyrgyzstani couple. I’m just waiting on the bride’s very own recipe for Samsa (of course that means you Nazgulia!). I’ll also be spending a week discovering the beauty of Istria, Corsica. I’m ready for the authentic konobas, traditional tavernas with open-hearth fireplaces. And finally, if you have the courage, you can follow me on a European bike tour, as I train for the ZüriTriathlon this summer (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run). Nope, never did this before. It’s probably not the best idea to wear arm floats on race day, so I better start learning how to swim too. Talk about a challenge.
And this is only through June. It’s going to be one adventure after another, and I can hardly wait. So grab your passports, your cameras, your market caddies and your aprons… and be sure to check back here on the blog often!
But first tell me, what are YOUR plans for 2009? Travel plans near and far? Recipes you’re set to try in 2009? Culinary resolutions? I’d love for you to share here as well…