Luggage Update: Bag #4

Big Green stands empty and abandoned, while Big Red is full of my stuff and ready to serve.

I have some bad news to share about Big Green, my replacement-for-the-replacement bag that I have been using since we bought it in Vienna two months ago. Big Green is no more.  In just 8 weeks of use, it suffered multiple catastrophic structural failures that rendered it unusable. To wit: – The hard plastic shell that lines the entire suitcase was broken in at least three places. – The top handle had pulled almost completely off. When I needed to lift the bag, I had to lift with both the…

Taxis Around the World

Inoke, our cab driver in Taveuni, Fiji

Although we have been getting around with rental cars and trains in Italy, in Southeast Asia we took more cabs.  Here are some of the many cab drivers, pedicab peddlers and becak operators we have met along the way.                 Thanks for helping us get to where we needed to go, guys!

Fun Florence Street Signs


Florence: center of the Renaissance; birthplace of the Medicis, great patrons of the arts and sciences; home of Michelangelo’s David; one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You might think that with all that history and culture, it would be hard to choose our favorite thing about the city.  But if you were to ask us, the answer would be easy: the street signs. Some enterprising street artist/vandal must have been hours roaming Florence by night, retouching the city’s street signs to turn them into funny and subversive…

Votes for Vaffels in Norway

FrP may not like refugees, but they *love* waffles

When we visited Norway, we found that for the second time on our trip, we happened to be traveling in a country while it was holding its elections.  We always find it interesting to see how different societies handle the process of choosing their leaders.  The election we witnessed in Malaysia was characterized by a massive display of banners and signs all throughout the country as candidates tried to influence voters.    In Norway? Not so much.  In Norway, they do things a bit differently.  In Norway, they give you…


I miss you all!

The day we always knew would come, which sometimes felt so far away and sometimes far too soon, is almost here. We have booked our flight home (Friday, October 25th), our tenants will be gone, and our bags are always packed I guess. Are we ready? Kind of. There are so many days when I want to be home. And then we see the Pope, or find a natural hot spring, or watch Parmesan cheese get made and I think, we should stay until we’ve used every last penny. So…

Hanging With the Pope in Assisi

Our first Pope-sighting!

This is a story of how serendipity once again intervened in our trip and gave us the opportunity to see Pope Francis.  It is also the story of an actual miracle that occurred during his visit. Read on for details… Two weeks ago, we were trying to figure out where else to go for our remaining time in Italy. “Assisi is supposed to be nice,” Amber said. And so we looked into it and, sure enough, it looked nice .  And when we consulted our trusty Catholic Liturgical Calendar (never…