Where the Wild Things Are: Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh Fringe

img_4916

I have no known connection to Scotland. For all I know, my ancestry goes back to when the first humans arrived in the land that is now mainland China and settled there until 1990 when my mother boarded a plane and arrived in La Guardia, Queens in New York City with two suitcases and $300 in her pocket. My Company, on the other hand, has traced part of his lineage back to the Mackenzie clan of the western Scottish highlands. Steeped in mystery with emerald green mountains, navy oceans and lochs with an unsettling fog that moves through the land during early mornings, Scotland would be the next destination in our exploration. Continue reading “Where the Wild Things Are: Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh Fringe”

Bavaria: Pretzels, Dirndl, and Platzes

1b011927-cb58-4a5a-8b8d-29c637edb9be

No, unlike most travelers who want to see iconic German towns, we were not going to Bavaria, München (Munich) and Nuremberg to be exact, for the Bavarian Alps, famous castles, biergartens, wursts of all flavors and dirndl.As most tourism to Bavaria reaches peak hysteria in September and October for – yes, you guessed it – Oktoberfest, my Company was headed there in August for the Prometheus Conference. Now this isn’t some Greek mythology fan-club but an open sourced monitoring conference (if you’ve lost me here, don’t worry…just continue on). So the top technical brains from all over the world communed here to Germany’s industrial capital in peak heat wave weather to share knowledge and, of course, drink themselves into semi-oblivion on watered down German beers (which they make up for in size of beer). Continue reading “Bavaria: Pretzels, Dirndl, and Platzes”

Three Days in Berlin: A Lesson in Hipness

img_4619
Through the wall at the Berlin Wall Memorial, Mitte

What makes sense after spending nearly two weeks in a small Southwestern German village where every neighbor knows one another and the largest employer is the chocolate factory? Head straight to one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan, historically rich and diverse cities of course! Continue reading “Three Days in Berlin: A Lesson in Hipness”

Los Cahorros de Monachil

img_3906Is there something you’ve always been afraid of that you wish you weren’t? Some childhood irrational fear that you try, secretly, to overcome hoping that no one finds out?

Continue reading “Los Cahorros de Monachil”

Cadiz, a Fortress on the Beach

img_3706-1

Having spent most of my adult life in places within two hours of the sea, we felt the itch to head to the coast for the weekend after our beautiful time in Sevilla. We were also searching for milder temperature during the oncoming heat wave.

Continue reading “Cadiz, a Fortress on the Beach”

The Andalusian Magic of Sevilla

IMG_E3532

Note: This is the first of a multi-part series on Andalusia, a region in southern Spain.

Seville, June 24, 2018

Tonight children played, running across the plaza chasing bubbles on water reflections. As their laughter echoed, twilight settled and I was once reminded again of my favorite childhood memory— going to the city square with my dad as the sun tucked into night.  What a strange and exciting transition that was, as one by one the night lamps flickered and shone, welcoming the cool evening as the winds chased the heat away.

Continue reading “The Andalusian Magic of Sevilla”

Bologna, Italian Food Tourism

IMG_E3381
Aren’t those flowers beautiful? Oh wait, I don’t actually care. I’m more interested in those ham legs hanging from the wall below.

June 20-23, 2018.

Oh, Bologna, gastropub paradise of Italy and hidden foodie destination. Having been twice before, we almost skipped over Italy all together on our trip until we were convinced by friends from Bologna that if we like food, we should stop here. I was skeptical, and like most tourists flocking to Italy during the summer, wanted to visit the far more popular Venice or the Italian Rivera to take fabulous looking photos on the rocky beaches of Cinque Terre. Instead, the allure of the Emilia-Romana region with its tortellini in brodo, mortadella and tagliatelle alla Bolognese won (and we’re not even carb lovers!) because we have our priorities straight.

Continue reading “Bologna, Italian Food Tourism”

Santorini Escape

IMG_E2754
Quick stop on the ferry en route to Santorini from Athens. Shot on iPhone 6.

As our ferry departed Athens for Santorini, I could feel every second of hectic city life dissipate into the waves. We had a really big year, both emotionally and professionally, and I was looking forward to the future. But, before that exciting future, we had a vacation to enjoy. Every little moment.

Continue reading “Santorini Escape”

Four Nights in Athens, Greece

IMG_3339

Two countries later, I cannot stop thinking about Athens. We were told, “3 days are all you need,” and when I had suggested Greece as a vacation spot a year earlier, my Company had strongly refused. Yet after a short few days, as we woke after an evening out with new friends from across the Globe (Zambia, to be exact) and having drunk ouzo deeply into a night that turned into morning, we weren’t ready to leave.

Continue reading “Four Nights in Athens, Greece”

Norway: Legends of the Sami and a Search for a New Year

Unexpected friendships in search of the same If I could summarize the our honeymoon with just a few words, I’d say: silence, balance, loss, beauty, and awe. The minute we left Connecticut to fly to Norway, we were faced with unexpected challenges and received the equal in unexpected kindness. Upon arrival, we were constantly reminded that as […]