“Dobryy den’,” I said to the Dorothy Hamill-coiffed customs agent. I was eager to practice the little Russian I knew. She must not have heard me because she didn’t respond to my greeting. “Dobryy den’,” I repeated, this time with a smile. Maybe I was pronouncing it wrong. The third time I wished her good… Continue reading Cultural Eye-candy in St. Petersburg
Leaving our ship that morning in Stockholm–and leaving 3000 tourists–Rick Steves and I found ourselves alone in the middle of a great city with only 5 hours until we needed to be back on the ship. Abba, the harbor walk, the National Gallery, Swedish meatballs…how would we pack all the experiences into our memory banks… Continue reading Scandinavian Slices of Life
In doing research for his newest guidebook, Northern European Cruise Ports, Rick Steves’ primary task is to double-check and update logistical and sightseeing information in port: how to you get from the ship terminal to the city center, what are the operating hours for TIs/museums/churches, what’s new, what’s no longer around, and how do you… Continue reading Cruising? Why?
Two days before embarking on the Princess Cruise Lines Emerald Princess, Rick Steves and I had a 36-hour mini-“vacation” in Copenhagen. I say “vacation” because even when Rick is trying to take it easy, his passion for his work tends to not stay dormant. So while this meant we would not be going at a… Continue reading 36 Hours in Copenhagen
When you think of winter, you might imagine trees enveloped in velvety white snow, marshmallows slowly dissolving in molten hot chocolate, scarves wrapped twice around the neck in defiance of the wind, or the crackle of reds, yellows, and oranges in a just-what-I-needed fireplace. Lately, when I think of winter, I picture immense convention center… Continue reading Before You Travel, Why Not Check Out a Travel Show?
As you might guess, I’m a big fan of the conveniences of modern life like electricity, running water, heat, and fly swatters, and I think whoever invented window screens is a genius. While I really enjoy running, I’d rather run on a treadmill than run outdoors so I don’t get sunburnt or rained on. And… Continue reading Losing My Outdoorsy Virginity
A half hour ride away from our ship, our skiff beached itself on the coastline of a tiny island. Today we were going tide pooling, and one by one, we abandoned our vessel to begin our hunt for coastal aquatic life. The tide was out, and usually hidden treasures glistened under the early morning sun.… Continue reading Sex and Catholic Guilt in a Tide Pool