I wasn't born in Alsace, but it has called to me since my years at university. I choose the incredibly practical combination of French, German and Fine Arts as my course of study at school.
Great idea for someone living in Louisiana, right!?!
And in my course of study, I learned everything there is to know about European art and architecture and its history
BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY I studied the history, culture and literature of both France and Germany for 4 years.
In addition, I've
studied French since the 3rd grade (9 years old). And yes, it's my
favorite foreign language!
Until I discovered the German language in college with all its tongue twisting consonants and I thought I was content UNTIL I heard Alsatian for the first time...
It is the cutest sounding language EVER.
I unknowingly followed the perfect course of study for someone who is planning to move to Alsace, become a tour guide and write books about Alsace.
Little did I know at the time...
That this French guy was going to show up in the US and sweep me off my feet and take me back to France...
Where did he live? Where did he take me?
I was destined to come here and be the biggest cheerleader, fan and student (and tour guide) of the beautiful region of Alsace and I didn't even know it...
I wasn't born in Alsace. It's not in my blood...
But it's in my heart...
And I've spent the better part of a decade working with them, going out to dinner with them, celebrating holidays with them and everything in between.
I dare say I know them better than they know themselves. It's always easier to understand a culture that isn't yours. If you've ever lived in a foreign country, you know what I'm talking about.
I spend all of my time outdoors exploring Alsace to satisfy my own curiosity except when I'm going through stacks of mostly out of print and rare books looking for stories to tell about this unusual and intriquing region.
Someday I'm going to have to take a picture of my coffee table with the usual 20+ books stacked up on it! : )
My French friends tell me I'm bilingual in French (although I never feel like it's as good as it could be).
I practically never use High German (normal German language), so I'm a bit out of practice, although I still love the language!
I think the Alsatian language (and other similar dialects like in Switzerland) are the most interesting and adorable sounding languages.
Suzele (pronounced /Sooz ah lay/ ) is an Alsatian nickname similar to Suzie in English.
It was given to me by a friend when I first moved here and was just starting to learn Alsatian.
It's also the name of a well known character in Alsatian literature which I found about while talking to one of my favorite wine makers in Alsace.
He got a kick out of it. I don't think he had ever seen an American that spoke Alsatian.
I go by Suzele here on the website but you can call me either Suzele or Suzanne.
Anything BUT Suzie (you know, childhood hangups)
I guess you could just call me Alsace's biggest fan.
It's a different way of life here compared with North America...and it's wonderful!
Full of amazing flavors, beautiful sites, and so relaxing...
I'll give you a few examples...there is nothing more amazing (to me at least) than being surrounded by history on a daily basis...
I get to walk past hundreds of years of history every day!
And there's a story attached to everything...so fascinating...
for wine, the thought of buying a wine that I haven't tasted
first...well...it's just not right! And I really enjoy meeting the wine maker or his family.
And I can buy a very high quality Alsace wine for the same price that most of you in the US would pay for a mediocre wine depending on where you are...
Of course there are some expensive wines here too, but mainly because they have become well known in the US. Ironic, isn't it?
I'm spoiled for choice here...so many wine options to choose from!
Every time I go out, I always find something new and interesting that I'm dying to explore...
And don't even get me started on the rolling hills of vineyards and walking paths and tiny medieval streets!
Alsace is just flat out gorgeous and I love almost every moment of it...
Hey I have to be honest...there are a few minutes every day that I could do without...
Like getting stuck behind the grape harvest tractors in the fall. It's soooo slow...or the rush hour traffic around Strasbourg. I could do without it. Well...nothing is perfect ; )
What could I say about the food that I haven't already said...
Maybe you've noticed already that there are a lot of pages on this site dedicated to food in Alsace.
Alsace has some amazing food and restaurants.
I'm guessing if you've made it this far, you've made up your mind to visit Alsace...
And I hope I will get the opportunity to show it to you!