Despite the slightly peevish look on my face (for the record, I  look downright goofy when I smile in pictures, so I usually opt for grumpy or somber instead), this is the look of two very sleepy but happy travelers who arrived in Frankfurt, Germany a month ago.

Yes, I’ve been M.I.A. from blogging for a pretty good reason, namely that Will and I crossed the mighty Atlantic and called Europe our new home for four weeks. We were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and Will’s birthday, and to be totally honest, I still can’t believe we’re back in DFW.

I’m waking up at 4:00 a.m. and ready for bed by 8:00 p.m., but jet lag is a small price to pay for such an incredible adventure. Really, the full range of adjectives available in the English language can’t quite do the experience justice, but I’ll give it my best effort in the next few posts. We wound up seeing seven countries and The Alps from a variety of angles, so naturally there’s quite a bit to talk about.

And because I love to cook and eat, well, you know I’ll be filling you in on everything I tried along the way. Let’s just say the Banisters opted for a “no carb left behind” approach, not a surprise considering France and Italy were among our many stops.

But before I get around to mentioning all those croissants, strudels, pasta and pizza, I must make a very Texan pot of oh-so-spicy chili first. While not a leaf on the big pear tree in our front yard has succumbed to Fall just yet (you’d think it was Spring with all that green), it’s a rare rainy day here. And when it’s cloudy and drizzly and gray, there’s nothing better than flannel pajama pants and a big ol’ bowl of soup, right?