3 Days Left of Advent: Summers of Train Rides, of Food, of Caricatures and Family

There is a little corner in my heart I call “my happy place.” And when called upon, memories of jolly days come flooding to the surface, to rescue and lift my troubled spirit. So this morning I awoke with glorious memories: for a taste for yummy hot dog on a tick, slathered with mustard, and battered, deep fried mushrooms, zucchini and artichoke hearts. And to this I conjured memories of giant redwoods and the smell of steam train smoke, and of seeing family members’ faces sitting across from me on a moving train, basking in the same happiness, taking it all in!...more
They certainly have been wonderful days! So far, everyone we've taken, has wanted to go back ...more

Natalina and the Quest for Elevators

When we last left our heroes (Dulce and Natalina, of course), they were tucked up all comfy-like in their carseats on the long trek back from Orlando. But the whole story hadn’t been told. Little Lilly took on her travels with a new goal in mind, a goal she would never (or so it seems) let go of. Lilly is going to be the first toddler in history to ride up and down every elevator in the whole world. I know because she told me so. It came about in a simple way....more

The Art Collection on My Car Dashboard

Don’t get me wrong: I love pictures. I am, after all, married to a Norwegian Artist. How does the Norwegian Artist do it?...more

Bavarian Christmas in Washington

Why not celebrate Christmas in Bavaria without leaving the country? Christmas in old world Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington is jammed with family fun during the annual Christmas Lighting and Village of Lights festival.  ...more

What Not to Do While Traveling

On my last trip to New York City, I almost missed my plane due to stupidly going to the street to hail a cab instead of walking to a nice hotel and getting one there. When you're not used to big city lines or big city prices, you could have a big city shock while traveling if you don't do your research. ...more
I was a little disappointed this article only really talked about being overcharged twice for ...more

Holiday Visualizations

Every now and then, in mundane suburbia, something happens to remind one of the "good life." I know those of you in Los Angeles, California won't be impressed by any of this, but here in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan suburbs, the following was a big deal....more
Oh, thank you, my good friend. Those words, believe it or not, sure pack a lot of love! ...more

Epic Journey

I have never been so happy about fake fruit in a bowl in my life as I was last night. Remember last year, we ended up at a hotel after our Christmas Odyssey? A year later and we're at a hotel again. ...more


Hello to all!  Today I sit happily at my computer unencumbered with studies or other obligations.  It is such a nice feeling to be finished with school for a while, surviving yet another week of finals.  Bittersweet too.  I will most likely work with other classmates, new teachers, and many of the friends I’ve made so far are heading home if they’re not already on their way.  I wonder if we’ll meet again.  Each little passing of time is magnified here as I acknowledge its brief window in my life.  And I am thankful.  Bon voyage mes amies!...more

Barracuda on the Beach, a story and writing prompt

It may have been 20 years late and on the other side of the world, but I walked down a beach and finally found what I’d been looking for.I used to have a problem, especially with traveling. I would let my expectations soar incredibly high and then be crestfallen when the details didn’t turn out exactly as planned....more

Volunteer Crewing 101

What are the three unavoidable expenses of travel?1) Transportation2) Accommodation3) FoodNow what if, in order to not pay the first two, you were forced to spend your days in tropical splendor visiting the remote places completely inaccessible to common travelers?  Places that see, maybe, 100 'outsiders' in a year?  These are simply not places you can get to any other way but on a small sailing yacht. You don’t have to use your own boat though, you can crew for other people....more
@victorias_view Definitely! We've only sailed with people we've met a few times, and we always ...more