Best of Europe: Castle, Castle, Luge, Castle

For 21 days, Rick and I are tour members on one of his own tours: the Best of Europe. We’re trying to combine vacation with quality control and research. And it’s going great! Join us as we traipse from the Netherlands to Germany, Austria to Italy, and Switzerland to France with a terrific tour guide…

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The Best of Europe: The Netherlands

For 21 days, Rick and I are tour members on one of his own tours: the Best of Europe. We’re trying to combine vacation with quality control and research. And it’s going great! Join us as we traipse from the Netherlands to Germany, Austria to Italy, and Switzerland to France with a terrific tour guide and…

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New York, NY Part 6: Where the Past Meets the Present

Our last day in New York granted me and Rick some much-welcomed alone time; Jackie, Linda, and Caleigh had returned home, Nikki was off to Vienna, and Andy caught up on some sleep. The early morning was crisp, and our heavy coats, gloves, and hats were little match for the windy chill off the Hudson…

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New York, NY Part 5: Through the Eyes of an Artist

Looking for an opportunity to take a family trip, Rick’s niece Nicolina became one of our inspirations. Having moved to New York about 10 years ago, Nicolina has lived the life of a struggling artist in one of the world’s cultural and artistic capitals. To get by the first year, she worked at several restaurants,…

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New York, NY Part 3: NYC for the Culture Vulture

My partner Rick and I recently took trip to New York with a large part of the Steves Family: his son Andy, daughter Jackie, sister Linda, youngest niece Caleigh, and eldest niece (and amazing artist) Nicolina. Part family vacation, part art tour of Nicolina’s works, we got to know the city better than we ever…

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Dale Chihuly’s Garden and Glass Museum: Art Rivaling Nature

Imagine columns of aqua blue starfish, seashells, and kelp bulbs. Visualize ceilings of tire-sized flowers of every color hovering above you and radiating a rainbow of sunlight with your body as the canvas. Picture rowboats piled with Technicolor orbs, wispy rods and belled vessels, floating atop a sea of black glass, reflecting the surreal masterpieces…

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Being a Tourist in Your Own Town

I love Seattle, and after nearly four years of living here, it finally feels like home.  It’s a dynamite town.  It’s small yet metropolitan.  Neighborhoods like Ballard, Capitol Hill, Freemont, and Magnolia boast distinct personalities yet feel cohesively Seattle.  We have a good baseball team, a stellar soccer team, and a phenomenal football team (Go…

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A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” Seventy-two years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in response to the “dastardly” surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and speaking on behalf of himself and the people…

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Letting Fate Be Your Guide in Venice

Letting Fate Be Your Guide in Venice It’s early morning.  6:30 to be exact.  I’ve yet to take my shower, but centuries-old buildings are bathing in amber-and rose-tinted sunlight and summon me for a visit.  There’s so much to do today, and I need to maximize my time here.  Ninety minutes of Venice practically all…

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