Week 498 – The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is one of the iconic sites in Australia. The road starts about an hour from Melbourne to the start of the road and it goes along the southern coast of Australia for about 150 miles and is similar to the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Its about 3 hours to get... Continue Reading →

Week 495 – Settling In

After a full week back in the USA visiting my parents in Branson and having our going away/Sharon retirement outing in the neighborhood, I flew back to Melbourne. A common theme was “isn’t this your 3rd or 4th going away - you keep coming back”. And I will again. Sharon comes over next week –... Continue Reading →

Week 492 – Sydney

The biggest difference between Melbourne and Sydney is that I know a lot more people in Sydney. There was a convergence of people in Sydney from my company in Asia-Pacific and I was over for some meetings and was able to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen in a while – even... Continue Reading →

Week – 490 Moving to Melbourne

Started a six month assignment in Melbourne, Australia – the assignment materialized pretty quickly and I’ll return back to my old position by the end of the year. Sharon will be joining me for a good portion for the time so it will be a good opportunity for both of us to see a part... Continue Reading →

Week 488 – Galway

Galway was our last stop – our only 2 night stop and our only city stop. But between arriving very late on Sunday and leaving first thing on Tuesday – we basically had one day – and after all the walking and driving we were ready for a chill day. Successful mobilization into the AirBNB... Continue Reading →

Week 488 – Cliffs of Moher

Our AirBNB in Limerick was a bit different – it started off with the host sending a link to go pre-pay the electricity. After I whined, he said he’d do it and I could pay later (it was 10 Euros) and sent me a code to enter into a key pad as you entered the... Continue Reading →

Week 488 – County Kerry

After leaving Blarney Castle, we drove to Killarney which is the gateway to the Ring of Kerry. “Kil” in gaelic is spelled “Cill” and means church – thus all the towns with “Kill” made sense. We did a quick walk about Killarney and then went into Killarney National Park and Ross Castle and started down... Continue Reading →

Week 481 – Barnes

I connected back through London and I had a couple of hours to kill on a Friday night below my flight back to the USA and decided to go to Barnes where we lived from 1999-2002. It was like travelling back in time - not much had changed. My last trip through was in 2017.... Continue Reading →

Week 481 – Erlangen

Another trip to another company town - Erlangen, Germany - about 30 minutes for Nurnburg. Siemens, the German counterpart to GE, moved here in 1946 from Berlin as they wanted to avoid being under Soviet control (Berlin was in East Germany, except a small section, and Erlangen was in West Germany). Siemens and a university... Continue Reading →

Week 481 – Baden

Although Baden was originally famous as a spa town, for the last 130 years it has been one of about 10 company towns globally that is the foundation of the electricity development and manufacturing.  In the US, Schenectady, NY is very similar (home of General Electric).   The original companies have broken apart into three different... Continue Reading →

Week 480 – Zurich

I had a work trip to visit some partners in Europe and had some time in Baden Switzerland and Erlangen Germany and I flew into Zurich on a Sunday morning.  I booked a “land/sea/air” tour – I didn’t realize that the land was about 10 miles of walking.  I had been in London the prior... Continue Reading →

Week 458 – Marrakesh

For the logistics to work to fly to Fes, we split the Marrakesh portion of the trip and had two different experiences. On entry to Morocco, we spent just over a day in the suburbs near the airport staying at a Marriott resort property and then after returning 4 days later we stayed in the... Continue Reading →

Week 458 – Fes

We got an AirBNB in Fes – whether an AirBNB or a hotel, everything is called a “Riad”. Our AirBNB was great – we had the whole place to ourselves. Like everywhere in Fes – small footprint (less than 400 SF) with no indication on the outside what is inside and near vertical stairs over... Continue Reading →

Week 458 – Chefchaouen

After finally making it to Fes, we had an all-day tour to Chefchaoun. Started early and it was 4 hours there and 4 hours back, with about 3-4 hours in the town. A friend of my daughter’s (a pretty serious person – not an Instafamous type) had recommended going and glad that we did. Really... Continue Reading →

Week 456 – Taipei

My first trip to Taiwan. They still had a quarantine on entry for COVID for 3 days at a hotel – I could have a long dissertation complaining about the bureaucracy of the process, but at the end of the day, I chose to go at this time, so no whining. Ended up 3 days... Continue Reading →

Week 455 – Ho Chi Min City

First trip to Asia in six years, first stop Vietnam. It was a work trip so I was pretty booked the whole time but did get out a couple of hours for some long walks. I had been to Hanoi several times and spent the first two days there, pretty much in meetings the entire... Continue Reading →

Week 436 – Tamarindo Beach

It was about a 120 miles drive from Arenal to Tamarindo Beach, took about 4 hrs with a short detour in the town in Liberia.  Not much to see there, but if you are only going to Tamarindo Beach you can fly there directly and save several hours driving.  Good beach town, more on the... Continue Reading →

Week 436 – Arenal

Didn’t do a lot of research on Arenal – just watched a youtube video on Costa Rica and decided to spend a couple of days in the mountains & rainforest to try something different.  Even picked out hotel from the video – it was a recommended place to visit because they had hot springs on... Continue Reading →

Week 387 – The Algarve

We had gone to the Algarve in winter 2017 (Week 161) and stayed in the old historical town of Lagos. This time, we stayed in two separate places as this part of the trip was less about touring and more about scouting out places we might like to live part-time in retirement (which is still... Continue Reading →

Week 387 – Porto

We had mixed views of Porto – I liked Lisbon better but acknowledge that the Praca da Riberia area by the Dom Luis bridge is the best site of both towns. Sharon and Annelise both liked Porto better. We didn’t have as much time in Porto as Lisbon either. We started our Port education in... Continue Reading →

Week 387 – Oceano Atlantico

After leaving Sintra, we headed to the coast – about 5 miles as the crow flies but a 30 minute drive down the mounting. Similar the California, a lot of microclimates – it was 95 degrees Lisbon, 85 degrees in Sintra village, and 75 degrees at the Palace at the top of the mountain –... Continue Reading →

Week 386 – Sintra

We picked up a rental car at the airport and headed out of Lisbon for a short drive to Sintra. I had been focused on the Pena National Palace and the village (which I thought was much closer to the Palace) but Annelise suggested a garden – the Gruta do Labirinto which ended up being... Continue Reading →

Week 386 & Week 485 – Lisbon

By not going to Germany, we ended up with 5 days in Lisbon. The translation of Lisbon to English is “like San Francisco but cheaper”. Very similar in that the hills are endless. A lot of time in one spot for us so after a recovery afternoon, we had a quick of the city in... Continue Reading →

Week 309 – Panama City

I had done a similar trip with a one day layover on my own back in 2014, so when the option came up to have a one day layover from San Jose on Copa Airlines, we took it. To start, we had a rough departure from San Jose – upon arrival they advised we missed... Continue Reading →

Week 309 – Jaco

We weren’t on a timetable so we stopped in several places – one was Hermosa Beach which is renowned for its volcanic black sand beaches.  We parked and had miles of beach to ourselves – it was about 95 degrees and we walked out on the beach.  It was clear why we had the beach... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Bergen to Hemsdel

Fifth Segment – Bergen to Hemsdel via Hardanger Scenic Route on Hardangerfjord and eventually Flam. The road to Flam pretty unbelievable – similar to Yosemite Valley. Near Tysse — in Frøland, Hordaland, Norway. Another near Tysse — in Frøland, Hordaland, Norway. Steinsdalsfossen - famous because you can walk behind it Steinsdalsfossen - famous because you can walk behind it... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Bergen

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway. We got there relatively early in the day and visited the historic parts of the city. Similar to Oslo, Bergen is filled with world class museum’s – we did visit the primary attraction Bryggen which was an outdoor replicate of the port from the 1600s – where we... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Odda to Bergen

Fourth segment – Odda to Bergen via Voss – crossing Hardangerfjord – widest fjord in Norway. A lot to see in this segment - but we didn't take many pictures. Long tunnels under the mountains - intersecting other tunnels with traffic circles

Week 269 – Stavanger to Odda

Third segment – Stranvger to Odda. Two major waterfalls which were on the top ten of Norway and about 10 other waterfalls that were pretty impressive. Langfossen - over 2,000 ft high but you can't see the top without a long hike  Side road — in Rullestad, Hordaland, Norway. Latefossen — in Skare, Norway. Latefossen - 1/4 mile from... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Stavanger – 17th of May

The 17th of May celebrates Norwegian Constitution Day or Syttende Mai. Starts as wholesome day with children in parades and everyone dressed formally but the day ends like Preakness midfield. Women of all ages wore the traditional wear and Sharon spoke with a lady who spent $6,000 on her dress while another wore a family... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Jorpeland to Erfjord

Second segment - Jorpeland to Erfjord and back in the afternoon then to Stavanger the next day. Here we were on the Ryfylke scenic route We did a out of the way loop early in the trip - great scenery but given all the driving we would do in the subsequent days, we saw similar... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Pulpit Rock

We originally planned two long hikes – Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen in Norwegian) and Trolltunga. Trolltunga has become more famous in recent years as social media has increased. Pulpit rock was advertised as a 6 hr round trip while Trolltunga was 10-12 hours (which I assumed we would do faster). Pulpit Rock Starting elevation - 370mTop -... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Oslo

Since we have people coming from different directions, we met at my office near Dulles and Ubered from there – once at the airport we got off to a bad start. Unexpectedly long line as Icelandic Air was changing planes (757 to 737) which caused issues as they required everyone to go to the counter... Continue Reading →

Week 269 – Norway Trip Planning

Since Alexandra and I went to Brazil shortly after her graduation (not a graduation trip, a lack of employment trip), Annelise decided she wanted a trip for graduation too. Her first choice was for her and Sharon to go to Morocco – then Alexandra and I glommed on and after some beheadings in Morocco and... Continue Reading →

Week 241 – Dubai

I hadn’t been to Dubai since 2001 - it was outrageous then - completely over the top now. So in selecting my flight option, the Emirates option provided a stop over and with two red-eye flights, a hotel night in the middle was appealing. Glad we did just for the break as well as seeing... Continue Reading →

Week 240 – Cape Point

Getting to Cape Point a little confusing – first there is end the peninsula south of Cape Town that has the mountains running along the ocean (which Table Mountain in Cape Town is the first in the series), second there is the place “where the oceans meet” at Cape of Good Hope, third – it... Continue Reading →

Week 240 – Cape Town

Arrived in Cape Town - Best 28 hour trip in economy ever - Emirates is excellent. Somehow no jet lag for either of us. While we were there with the various people we met and in preparing for the trip we learned a lot about the history / politics / race/ colonialism - it’s complicated and... Continue Reading →

Week 240 – South Africa Trip Planning

We picked South Africa for our 25th Anniversary Trip/present because it had a lot of different things to see (coast, wine country, wildlife, different cultures). We originally were planning our trip in early 2018 we had planned to go around the time of our anniversary in June, but when I contacted a friend from there, they... Continue Reading →

Week 234 – Summer in Canada

I have never understood people talking about spending summer Maine, Minnesota, Northern Michigan, and other places I have stereotyped as “not mountains/not beach/not hot”. I get it now – it is basically a warmer version of fall, clear skies, low humidity, and if you are near water, generally spectacular. Spent a lot of time in... Continue Reading →

Week 225 – Montreal

Second visit to Montreal this year and a little different when it isn’t 10 degrees and we have a local guiding us through their hometown.   As usual, most of the time is working but our hosts attempted a  “Tour De Food” night which was cut short because we were way too old to hit that... Continue Reading →

Week 221 – Calgary and Banff

Since last update, I have spent a lot of time in Ottawa and Toronto but this was my first trip to Calgary and the Canadian Rockies or as the locals call them “the Rockies”.  My time in Calgary was work-focused and meetings, so I didn’t see much of city outside the downtown core but it... Continue Reading →

Week 196-210 – Canada

Been awhile since my last update – although I contemplated retiring and trading cryptocurrencies (which wouldn’t have been the worst move) I returned to my roots at my original company.  I am working in a different industry sector so there are some differences.  Right now, my focus is on projects in Canada and I have... Continue Reading →

Week 192 – Buenos Aires

The trip to Buenos Aires starts at the Brazilian – Argentinian border town of Puerto Iguazu where we caught the bus for the scheduled 17 hour trip to Buenos Aires.  A little perspective, Rio is located at the same relative location as Havana Cuba, Iguazu Falls at Fort Lauderdale. and Buenos Aires at Charlotte.  So... Continue Reading →

Week 192 – Igauzu Falls

After we got the passport situation squared away and properly checked into the “Iguazu Eco Hostel” things dramatically improved. One of the seven natural wonders of the world.  I am lucky that right after I booked the framework of the trip I saw a post on FB with a friend at Iguazu Falls.  So we... Continue Reading →

Week 191 – Buzios

Alexandra had the idea for Buzios from her friends – I had never heard of it.  We checked on getting a tour up but none fit our schedule so we decided to rent a car and drive.  We didn’t factor in “Brazil time” on the rental car pick up but we on the road by... Continue Reading →

Week 191 Rio

Very impressive and one of my favorite cities that I have ever been too.  We stayed at the intersection of the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches…they are actually located in the near suburbs of Rio as downtown is 30 minutes away.  A concern going in was street crime, we were probably overcautious but didn’t have any... Continue Reading →

Week 184 – Leaving England

A little late on posting, but left UK at end of July and back in the USA as I have completed my assignment. A much different experience than when we moved to London in 1999 – this was more like an extended visit whereas before we were all in when we took babies and 26... Continue Reading →

Week 183 – Copenhagen

First trip to Denmark for me – was raining on landing and raining on take off 2 days later but good weather in between so we lucked out. Nice city but expensive. I accidentally got out more cash than expected at the ATM and was “worried” I’d lose money on the exchange rate swapping back... Continue Reading →

Week 181 – U2 at Twickenham

About six months ago I was looking at my email and I had an “pre-sale” announcement from the U2 fan club – summer tour and coming to a stadium about a mile from where I was staying. And Noel Gallagher was opening – so 2 of my 3 favorite bands in one spot. So bought... Continue Reading →

Week 180 – The English Rivera

The story of this week starts with the end of my last trip back to the USA – after a great time in LA for Alex graduation I got ”stuck” back in Maryland waiting for my work visa. Happy to be stuck for a few extra days and actually scheduled time out with old friends... Continue Reading →

Week 175 – Groningen and Hamburg

Another UK bank holiday weekend and since I had just been to the USA for the prior week, I decided to go see my friends from Korea who had recently moved back home to The Netherlands. They live in a town called Groningen and it was my first time in Holland outside the Rotterdam/Amsterdam corridor.... Continue Reading →

Week 172 – Saxons Vs. Vikings

Another UK bank holiday so Sharon came over for a quick weekend (remember the flight from the east coast is only 1.5 hours longer than going from DC to LA) and we didn’t really have any plans. The weather didn’t cooperate much either- light rain and in the 50’s. But as always just wandering around... Continue Reading →

Week 170 – Toledo and Madrid

I didn't realize that the UK had both Good Friday and Easter Monday as official holidays until after I had booked prior week back to USA (and doctors appts and other stuff). So I thought I ended up with an 4 day weekend and planned to meet a friend who was living in Madrid and... Continue Reading →

Week 162-165 – Move to Richmond

Moved into an apartment in Richmond for a month which worked out great for weekends and when Sharon and Annelise come over, but during most weeks it is just a longer commute as I get home late so I don't take advantage of the dining options. In the short term back to hotel as I... Continue Reading →

Week 155-156 – Hiking in Kent

Another very busy two workweeks - both professionally and personally (and not fun personally). Had one day off and found a great meetup group with professionally guided hikes. I was out to dinner at local pub when the owner asked me to speak some ladies regarding Trump. Very nice grandmothers who have their book club... Continue Reading →

Week 150 – 153 – Settling In

I have gone from an “adviser” to a full time role – the best way to quantify the change is my daily step count was 8,500 steps/day – and after 19 days straight working my step count was 2,500 steps/day. Ironically my energy level higher – so work stress can be good. Had some personal... Continue Reading →

Week 149-England Vs. Scotland

From National Gallery - looking over Trafalgar Square towards Big Ben. No more pigeons!! A more social week than I was planning – friends from Korea in town for a night, then a second night,a big soccer game, and Sharon visiting for the weekend. And the US election which generated a lot of conversation which... Continue Reading →

Week 145 – Dublin

Even though we lived in London for several years, my first trip to Ireland – I think it was because if we ever left England we wanted to go somewhere with sun. Luckily I had good weather for a quick trip to Dublin. I was inspired by some friends who recently visited and low airfare... Continue Reading →

Week 139 – Mexico City

Been awhile since I travelled outside the USA (although weekly I have gone somewhere domestically and posted a few pictures). Had a business trip to Mexico City and was able to bring Sharon along for the long Labor Day weekend, work for a week, and then and flew directly to Atlanta/Athens to see Annelise. I... Continue Reading →

Week 127 – Croatia and the Balkans

We knew we were shortcutting Croaita – but we really just scratched surface visiting Dubrovnik and could have had several more days in the area. I really should watch Game of Thrones I guess – someone commented that we should visit the Lansiters – I initially though it was a family from Kentlands who lived... Continue Reading →

Week 127 -Germany

One of the few remaining places with the wall still intact in Berlin As usual, tried to pack too many places into not enough time – but part of that was an error in planning logics. Plan was to go to German speaking countries as a substitute for Annelise not going to a 3 week... Continue Reading →

Week 121 – Iceland

Iceland & Athens – sounds much more intense than actual life. Iceland was a stopover on the way back from Europe (travel logistics below) that lowered my airfare by 50% while Athens is Athens GA. Happy to be picking up Bobo. Arrived late on Friday night from London and Sharon had flown the red-eye from... Continue Reading →

Week 120 – Germany and Poland

First sign we saw on our walk in Lubin - My host said first time he had seen it in years Again most of week was work focused, out the door at 7am (at the latest) and finishing dinner after 10pm with different hotel every night. Generally not aware you are in Europe except for... Continue Reading →

Week 119 – Wales and Devon

Back to the UK this week – took care of some medical issues and getting settled with several trips within the USA. Most of the week was with my colleagues in a conference room – of course US politics came up and luckily I could counter our situation with Brexit (Britain leaving the EU). Professionally,... Continue Reading →

Week 108 – Bali

Had never been or planned to go to Bali before – the idea was to end the trip with Sharon at tropical place. We also considered Thailand and Philippines, but had a lot of positive feedback from people who had been to Bali – mostly diving, surfing, and other watersports and I was looking forward... Continue Reading →

Week 107 – Singapore

Singapore was the second place selected for my trip – a transition place where I could get Sharon to with a business class ticket with minimal frequent flyer miles that also had direct connections to Bali. Once the Singapore flight booked for Sharon, then I worked backward for the details of my rest of trip.... Continue Reading →

Week 107 – Kuala Lumpur

The original plan was to have gone from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Min City – but I added two days in Chiang Mai to recover/regroup and when I got off the plane in a modern city with high-speed train to city and the promise of a “door-to-door” porter – I have to admit I... Continue Reading →

Week 107 – Phnom Penh

Case inside Killing Fields monument with 20,000 skulls Never had planned on visiting Phnom Penh before – only came this trip because it was “on the way”. Glad that I did as I learned much more about a terrible part of world history that happened during my lifetime and I was not aware of how... Continue Reading →

Week 106 –Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Simply incredible. Only the Pyramids had more of a wow factor than the ruins around Angkor Wat. Actually the temples near Angkor Wat were more impressive – Angkor Wat was discovered and cleaned up and maintained while the other areas were left for nature to overgrow. I had signed up to run a half-marathon here... Continue Reading →

Week 106 – Chiang Mai

Sharon and I originally planned to visit Chiang Mai in 2004 – but then the SARS breakout happened. The “vision” of Chiang Mai is a sleepy mountainside village that was the capital of a separate kingdom from Thailand until only about 80 years ago with a karmic feel and access to outdoor activities…reality is that... Continue Reading →

Weeks 103 -105 – Leaving Korea

Last update from Korea – completed my two years here and last day at work this Friday and flying out Saturday. Although work wasn’t as rewarding as I had hoped, it was an overall great experience as the Korean people were incredibly welcoming, both at work and in the community in general. It is amazing... Continue Reading →

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