St. Petersburg Day 2: The Hermitage, Church on the Spilled Blood & St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St. Petersburg Day 2: The Hermitage, Church on the Spilled Blood & St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Russia | 2 Comments

It would probably take a decade to see every work of art in St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum. The collection is enormous – over three million items from throughout the world – and spans history from Ancient Egypt through the early 20th century. But it’s not just what’s inside the Hermitage that is so intriguing. The […]

St. Petersburg Day 1: Pastel Palaces, Fabulous Fountains & The River Neva

St. Petersburg Day 1: Pastel Palaces, Fabulous Fountains & The River Neva

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Russia | 2 Comments

It was the colors of St. Petersburg that surprised me the most. Palaces painted in beautiful shades of apricot, mint green and azure blue. Roofs the color of celadon. Cathedral domes bejeweled in sapphire and emerald. It was a pastel world designed to bring brightness to a land of long winters, and it was a […]

Sailing Into Stockholm: Connecting to My Roots

Sailing Into Stockholm: Connecting to My Roots

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Sweden | No Comments

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ~Søren Kierkegaard His name was Oscar Youngquist, a farmer from rural Minnesota whose parents had emigrated from an area south of Stockholm. He was the grandfather I never knew, and his branch of the family tree was a curiosity to me, much like […]

California Day Trip: On Swallows, The Surfliner & San Juan Capistrano

California Day Trip: On Swallows, The Surfliner & San Juan Capistrano

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in California | One Comment

That saying about life being as much about the journey as the destination must have been created by a passenger on the Pacific Surfliner. The Southern California Amtrak train travels a route between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, weaving its way along the coastline as it offers miles of stunning panoramic ocean views.  At […]

Notes from Home: Travel Planning 101

Notes from Home: Travel Planning 101

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Notes from Home | 2 Comments

It happened quite by accident. I was planning our family’s first vacation abroad. It was a special trip for the four of us – one week in London, one week in Paris, a birthday celebration and my first time back in London since studying there in college. With guide books and maps laid out on the […]

Shanghai Part II: Quirky Boats, Quaint Gardens & A Quest for Pearl Earrings

Shanghai Part II: Quirky Boats, Quaint Gardens & A Quest for Pearl Earrings

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in China | No Comments

They appeared like little spaceships from the future, floating along the Huangpu River, lighting the night sky. We watched in wonder and puzzlement from our table in the Crystal Symphony Dining Room. Was there a holiday we didn’t know about, or were these decked-out vessels a routine sighting on a Friday night in Shanghai? The […]