My Freedom, My Individuality, The Catalonia within me

When we visited Barcelona three weeks ago, my excitement was threefold: 1) I was there to celebrate my brother- and -sister-in-laws 25th wedding anniversary; 2) I was about to revisit La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, a magical place I have kept alive in my memory since my first visit 13 years ago and 3) IContinue reading “My Freedom, My Individuality, The Catalonia within me”

Family Night in Prison

If I were to tell you one of the highlights of our summer vacation was spending a night in prison, would you think I’d completely lost it? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Our vacation started out well enough. We arranged to stay at a house in Haarlem for five days and had done theContinue reading “Family Night in Prison”

Versailles in the Summertime

Versailles in the summertime–almost sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Visiting the Palace of King Louis the XIV and the world-famous gardens surrounding this majestic estate. In many ways, it was romantic. Strolling through the gardens that seem to stretch endlessly gives you a sense of royalty. You forget your sandals, striped sun dress and broad strawContinue reading “Versailles in the Summertime”

The Veluwe and other things that make my son run

The Dutch are a hardy stock not easily deterred by harsh weather. They can tolerate high winds, freezing cold and overcast skies for days on end without complaint. But there comes a time, such as the beginning of May, when they feel entitled to better weather for having endured the long, harsh winter. If by mid-May theContinue reading “The Veluwe and other things that make my son run”

Home way from home away from home

When we flew into Schiphol airport outside Amsterdam, I had a great sense of relief: Relief that the long plane ride was over, excitement to see my husband again, and the shoulder-relaxing sensation of being back home. And there I’ve said it. Home. Usually, that’s a term I reserve solely for central California, the place where I grew upContinue reading “Home way from home away from home”

Travel and the stress/chill ratio

As I prepare for my first solo trip with my son to the U.S. for a month long visit, lessons learned from our last vacation pop into mind. Below is the beginning of a blog I started after our five day May vacation: a low budget, whirlwind trip to Luxembourg, France and Belgium. Luxembourg An unscientific yet plausible way to measure your stress/chillContinue reading “Travel and the stress/chill ratio”