Derry: Faith, Violence, and a Hope for Peace

Derry (Londonderry), Northern Ireland I just left Derry yesterday afternoon, well before the violence occurred late last night. My time here was spent learning about The Troubles during the last half of the 20th century. For 30 years, the tragedies of fighting, suppression, revolt, and loss multiplied. Efforts to establish peace were highlighted with the…

Read More

12 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico Part 2: From Boricua to Mofongo

After Tarzan-ing through Puerto Rico’s tropical forest, we freshened up on the ship and headed back out into the city of San Juan. We opted out of a ship excursion because we craved an authentic feel for the place. But we’d already discovered that the guidebooks we bought were lacking in any real content, context,…

Read More

Best of Europe: On the Rhine

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Right Place, Right Time: Visiting the USS Missouri

With our moving experience at the USS Arizona Memorial completed, Odile and I have just enough time for a blitz visit to the USS Missouri before scooping up her little cherubs from preschool.  As we drive onto Ford Island, the tranquil solemnity I felt on the Arizona quickly gives way to mild panic about having…

Read More

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…

Read More

Is There a Doctor in l’Hôtel?

You know that tickle-throat, on-the-verge-of-a-festering-cold feeling?  The one that tells you “If you ignore me, it can only go horribly wrong from here”?  Yeah, it sucks.  But you know what’s worse?  Ignoring it while you’re traveling abroad. Such was my lot seven weeks into a nine-week stint on the road, earlier this year.  I had…

Read More