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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 →

Florence, Rome, and Venice – 2011

First family vacation overseas in seven years, I'd been to Italy a couple of times for work but generally we had been very US centric in our travels. We flew into Milan and immediately drove to Florence. When renting a car I got distracted in getting a sports car versus room - so we had... Continue Reading →

French Pyrenees – 2004

We went to visit our friends from London who had moved to the country in southwest France - it was definitely off the grid but near a lot of great places to visit. We were able to see a lot of different places while we were there over a couple of weeks and it was... Continue Reading →

Monaco – 2002

Sharon came back over to London for her birthday - we had a party in Barnes then flew to Nice for the weekend. I was much colder than we were expecting for March - definitely wan't beach weather. We drove along the French Rivera to Monaco - was cloudy when we were there. I was... Continue Reading →

Budapest – 2002

I took a quick trip on my own to Budapest on a cold weekend (I think the airfare was less than $100) and on a recommendation stayed at the Hotel Gellert. The hotel was designed in an Art Nouveau style and connected to a spa. So first thing Saturday morning I headed to the Continue Reading →

Stockholm – 2001

After we decided to return to the USA in October 2001, we had a pretty tight schedule of buying a house and getting relocated back by January and the start of school. So we squeezed in one more weekend trip and choose Stockholm since we hadn't been to a Scandinavian county yet. November wasn't the... Continue Reading →

St. Petersburg – 2001

Our first and only trip to Russia (at least through 2020). Alexandra and Annelise stayed with friends so this trip was just Sharon and I. Unlike other trips where I usually seek the most inexpensive option, because I had concerns on security and there was no middle option, we stayed at the Grand Hotel Europa... Continue Reading →

Andalucía / Costa Del Sol 2001

The English discovered Costa Del Sol in the late 1950's when linguists were able to translate Costa Del Sol into "Coast of Sun" and realized that long sunny days are great break from short gray days. We went for a week during Easter Half-Term and stayed for a couple of days in a holiday resort... Continue Reading →

Amsterdam – 2001

For the February bank holiday, we took the short flight from London to Amsterdam - about the same flight duration as from Washington DC to Columbus Ohio. We stayed in the old city and the lack of GPS navigation lead to some stress points: We accidentally drove our rental car onto a bike path and... Continue Reading →

Antwerp & Bruges – 2000

My first trip to Antwerp was with Alexandra in 1999 to buy an upgraded wedding ring for Sharon (as a bribe for moving to London). Alexandra was very excited for the trip and was excellent at keeping the secret - her bribe was a trip to the zoo. It was pouring rain and I had... Continue Reading →

Vienna – 2000

My parents came to visit us in London so we were able to get away for a couple of quick weekends, first weekend to Vienna and the second weekend to Belgium. We had glorious couple of days of sunshine and visiting palaces in and out of the city. Schloss Schönbrunn Schönbrunn Palace was the main... Continue Reading →

Edinburgh – 2000

We had purchased a old car with the intent of only using on the weekends to go to the store, but we decided to take the chance on a 6 hour drive each way from London to Edinburgh. We stayed in a spare room in a house which was short bus ride to the city... Continue Reading →

Paris – 2000

My wife's sister and her family came over for spring break and we went to Paris for a couple of days then returned back to London for a couple of days. They had a 7 year old son who was as "active" as Alexandra and they made quite a team. On the way over to... Continue Reading →

Barcelona – 2000

Our first trip from London was for the first bank holiday in February 2000 for a long weekend. Short winter gray days start to run into each other and it was nice to see the sun. Don't remember much about the hotel and we focused on visiting the main tourist sites. Sagrada Família Gaudi's work... Continue Reading →

London – 1999 – 2002

I got the notice that I received an assignment in London in early August 1999  - I went over a week later and came back in mid-October to finish the move and on Annelise’s second birthday on October 20, we loaded our 27 carry on pieces on to a plane to London.   We needed 27... Continue Reading →

Prague, Salzburg, & Munich – 1999

First trip to Eastern Europe - a work friend highly recommended Prague and I was able to use some of my frequent flyer miles on British Airways from all of my India trips. We connected through London and a couple days before my trip I found that there was an executive meeting in London to... Continue Reading →

Greece – 1994

This was the 2nd leg of my first frequent flyer “score'”. I had some miles on American and somehow I got a buy-one-get-one-free promotion on TWA. I don’t remember the specifics but we flew from Washington – Rome on American, took a ferry to Greece, and then flew a local airline from Athens to Cairo... Continue Reading →

Rome and Amafi -1994

This was the 1st leg of my first frequent flyer “score'”. I had some miles on American and somehow I got a buy-one-get-one-free promotion on TWA. I don’t remember the specifics but we flew from Washington – Rome on American, took a ferry to Greece, and then flew a local airline from Athens to Cairo... Continue Reading →

Pisa, Florence, and Venice – 1992

After taking the overnight train from Paris to Zurich where we rented a car to drive to tour Northern Italy with stops in Genoa, Portofino, Pisa, Bologna, Florence, Venice and ultimately and back to Zurich where we flew home.  We drove right by Cinque Terre (hills towns) as we took the Autostrada and not the... Continue Reading →

Paris and Zurich -1992

The first of our first international trips for Sharon and I, back in 1992.  The original concept was to fly into Paris and out of Rome 17 days later and not worry about any arrangements in between.  Sharon had high school French, which was a little helpful.  I was between assignments and had already spent... Continue Reading →

Powered by

Up ↑