Germany – Beer, Fingerboarding, and Food

I think I’m getting used to this! Ha!


We arrive in the Munich train station and THEN I look up how to get to our Airbnb. Cell service, like in Iceland and Switzerland, is spotty. And always very slow. I manage to get the walking directions and, with a quick bit of help from a Chilean couple drinking beer at a nearby bodega, we find our way and Check in to our room. It’s small but perfect. The bed seems comfy. Win!!

Becky and Kaitlyn are already here so we do some quick unpacking and meet them in the lobby. We then make our way to Marienplatz to meet Matt and Max and Fifi (the director of the tour Matt and Max are on).

Becky, Kaitlyn and Lane head off in one direction.  Matt, Max and I head toward the bus to a small nearby town for a friendly soccer game. While the team ‘suits up’ and warms up, Matt and I take a stroll. We pass the local brewery and stumble upon a biergarten. We stop for a  wonderful beer under the trees and catch up. After a while we head to the game. America wins!  Must be I’m good luck. Lol.

The local team hosts a dinner for everyone in their beautiful facilities that include a kitchen/bar, an indoor/outdoor space with removable/collapsible curtains, lots of tables and chairs which are mostly carried outside so we can all enjoy the beautiful weather.

The food, of course, is amazing!! Pork cutlets fried on a gas stove outside. German potato salad (OMG So Good), green salad, and other wonderful dishes.  Of course, I feel the need to try to determine the recipe for the potato salad. I speak to a grandmotherly type person. Her English is about as good as my German (which is best described as ‘none’).  I am mostly successful at figuring it out. Lol. At one point, one of the German soccer players helps translate. And what he can’t translate the cook brings to me, to show me. I taste it. It’s vinegar. Lol. Mission accomplished!!

Becky, Kaitlyn, Lane and I crash. (We now call ourselves the Tripsters. Because we are not only taking a trip together but there have been a few tripping incidents – yikes!!).

In the morning, Lane and I joined a bicycle tour of Munich. We learned a lot about the different architecture in Munich which is heavily influenced by Italian and Greek architecture because the rulers at the time liked Italian and had a brother who was the leader in Greece.

The highlights of our bike tour included the biergarten in the English Garden ( so named because it is supposed to be styled like an English Garden – meaning somewhat groomed but very natural looking. Not ‘landscaped’ per se. )

Another highlight was the river surfers also in the English Garden. I haven’t been successful posting videos here but here are some pictures.

We learned a few other things on the tour. Like bicycles have the right of way above all others in Munich, at least. I can’t confirm but it seemed the same in Berlin.  Also there is a bike lane portion of the sidewalk. Lane had to keep reminding me not to walk in it. They will RUN YOU OVER in that lane. And curse you out too. Lol. Stupid American. Yes I know. Lol.

We learned that Munich was the last city in Germany to make its universities free. Also there is only dorm space for 1 or 2% of students. The rest need to get apartments in the city which is obviously quite expensive.

We also learned  that a biergarten was created from the necessity of burying beer under a chestnut tree to keep it cold. This was needed because, at some point, it was no longer legal to brew beer in the summer because it caused too many fires. So the beer had to be preserved and people preserved it under a chestnut tree which has wide but not deep roots so was ideal for his storage. In fact, in order to call a space a biergarten you must have at least one chestnut tree.


We also learned that refrigeration was originally invented for beer! It was later that we decided to put less important things in there. Lol.

Our tour guide mentioned a cat cafe in the university area. Of course Lane wanted to go. 🙂

After the bike tour, the Tripsters head out to check out the sites. We hit the Marienplatz and Karlsplatz. Some shops where Lane bought a watch and some sunglasses.


A highlight of the day was a stop at the Fraunenkirke  – the ladies church. Where we lit a candle for Doris and Dot. Our moms who were best friends from high school and who both recently passed. We all know how happy they would be that we are continuing another generation of friendship and thrilled with this trip, specifically. We all feel them with us, every moment of this trip.


Towards evening we stopped at the Cat Cafe and saw some pretty kitties. The kids had dessert. Yes, before dinner. 😊

After that we headed back to the biergarten for a German feast. Lane and Kaitlyn both learned they like the Radler beer which is like beer mixed with lemonade. It’s a low alcohol, sweet beer created specifically for cyclists because drunk driving a bicycle is illegal in Germany.


Back home to bed. The next day we decided to head out to BMW Welt (world), which was really cool. Lots of cool cars and motorcycles. We picked up our ‘ride’ for the next few days. A BMW M series X6. 8 cylinders. WHOO hoo. Autobahn!

Becky drove us back to our apartment and we had some struggles to park the car, it being slightly larger than the average car in Europe. HA   Kaitlyn in particular had trouble getting out of the car. It was hilarious.

After that we all changed into some nicer clothes (I wore my wedges, Abby) and had dinner in the back garden of Zum Dürnbräu, which is a bit hidden in an alley not far from Marienplatz, in the direction of, and past the toy museum.

The next day we were up and out by 9 am to drive to Berlin.

The drive was great. My first experience on the Autobahn. If you’re interested check out my post on THAT. 😊



Our first day in Berlin Lane was anxious to get to the Black River Store. Which is a fingerboarding store. We got there a little early around 11 and tho it was supposed to open at 12 we ended up waiting until almost 1245. Lane will tell you it was all worth it. He spent all day there. Until nearly 6 pm.

I found a nearby cafe and spent the hours booking some train tickets for our August destinations. Once that was done I had a walkabout and found the coolest ‘restaurant row’ type of place. It was two city blocks with awnings that basically touched each other creating a continuous eating and drinking area. ALL THE FOODS. Asian. Mexican. German. Italian. More Asian. We had Asian and it was amazing. People around us asked us what we ordered because they thought it looked good.

On our way home it started to pour so we ducked into a cafe and Lane had some AMAZING apple cake . Win! Again!

The next day in Berlin we went to Checkpoint Charlie and then on a Street Art and Graffiti walking tour. Checkpoint Charlie was really interesting, in the ways people tried to escape East Germany – Some were pretty extreme!

We learned about some of the famous street artists in Berlin and the difference between graffiti and street art. Know what it is?  The purpose of the object painted. If it’s purpose is to promote the name of the artist and/or their group – its graffiti. If  the purpose is to portray a statement or something interesting/thought provoking/beautiful – it’s street art. Cool right? Here are some examples of street art that we saw:



We also learned that some street artists are paid. And one artist, who took many weeks to create some street art on some buildings in Berlin, later came back and painted over their own art in black when they heard the adjoining property had been sold and the developer was planning to enclose the artwork for only the residents of that property to see. You see, the idea of street art is that the artist believe people should not have to pay to see art. They want their work to be accessible for ALL to see, and so this developer was violating the whole reason for doing street art. SO, the artist took it away. Cool, right?

After the tour we went to a warehouse and created our own street art! It was really fun and I learned a lot about how to paint with spray paint!!

After that we walked around Berlin. Saw some bears. And the Brandenburg Gate.

We had some good Mexican food for dinner. After dinner we decided to walk home (Becky thought it didn’t look to far to the needle TV tower at Alexanderplatz, haha)   It was a nice walk. We ended up (accidentally) by the river (Spree, I think) where there were tons of chairs set up and people were sitting and having drinks and listening to music. I wanted to stop but we were just so tired and worn out from the day!! Another time, Berlin.

We took these pictures at the Checkpoint Charlie museum.

The next morning, drive to Salzburg.  Yay!!

Driving the Autobahn

 As a teen I heard about this Autobahn. Where there are no speed limits. “Sounds awesome” I thought. Well I did it. I drove it. A few times. 

First of all, let me just say, I like speed. I’m the person passing you on the parkway, the turnpike, Somers point Mays landing road, everywhere. Every time. If you’re not exceeding the speed limit and are in front of me, I’m irritated. I was stopped within the last year doing 92 on the parkway. There I said it. No I didn’t get a ticket. Lol. 

But. The Autobahn is a little scary. Even for a speed demon like myself. 

Ok, let me take a step back and set the stage. At TIMES there is no speed limit. At times there IS a limit. Sometimes it’s 80 kmh. Then 100. Then 120. All within a mile. No I’m not exaggerating. Then it’s no limit. Go as fast as you want. As fast as you think it’s safe. Great!! 180!! 200!! Then, suddenly, its back to 120. Then 100. Then 80. Again all within a mile. Even less. 

And then, even in the no speed limit zone, there’s always someone who wants to go faster thank you. And people who are going slower. People with trailers n stuff who have to go slow. And there’s still only 3 lanes. 

This is where it gets a little scary. 

There you are. Happy as a speed racer. Going 180 or even 200 in the left lane. Then, some nutball comes up behind you going like 250 and you need to GET OUT OF THE WAY FAST!! But, in the far right lane is a car with a trailer going 80. And the guy behind him wants to go 85. So the guy behind passes. In the left lane. The middle lane. He’s perfectly in his right to do so. But you are going 200 and trying to get out of the way of the guy going 250 before he rams you. So that simple lane change turns into a spectacular braking maneuver and you’re just so glad the roads are dry. 

So, in conclusion, I want to say it’s FUN TO DRIVE THE AUTOBAHN. And it’s exhilarating to go 207 kmh (my top speed) But it’s also stressful and I’m

glad we don’t do this in the US. I would not want to do this every day. Of course I could get used to it. I know. 

Some things I thought were really great: People generally do obey the speed limit. And the limits change for good reason. When there are exits the speed limit slows. This makes sense. When there are curves the speed limit is slower. On a straight away With no exits, there is no limit. When there is construction, the speed limit lowers and the lanes narrow and people generally obey the limit. All good. All this makes sense and saves lives. I give it a thumbs up overall. Good system. Maybe I shouldn’t have been doing 207. My bad. 

But it was fun!!  


FYI – I drove mostly on A9 from Munich to Berlin. Then Berlin to Salzburg. So my experience of 13 hours driving time is by no means exhaustive or expansive. Just sayin. 

Hiking, Chocolate and Knives – Switzerland

Switzerland is beautiful!! In nature and otherwise.

(Authors note: I’ve added some pics, and when I get the others organised, I may add more).

Everything here is ‘just so’. From chocolates to hiking paths, the Swiss do everything ‘right’. And by that I mean, in my fathers expression, nothing is ‘half @$$’.

We had a wonderful time staying with my dear friend Leslie. Her place is as beautiful as she is herself!

This is the view from Leslie’s porch/deck and living room/kitchen. Amazing right?

Our first day in Switzerland we headed out from the Zurich airport to Zug where Leslie picked us up. We went to the grocery store on the way home and bought some supplies. Food. Beer. Wine. At home we chilled, I took a nap (it was a 245 wake up for the flight from Iceland!! yikes!) and then we went to dinner. The town of Zug is just gorgeous. Dinner was amazing although I started to feel a little off and didn’t eat much. But the RATATOUILLE SOUP!! OMG!!


This is in the area of Zug where we had dinner

After dinner, Les took this great pic.

The next morning I was still not feeling too well. Combination of tummy issues and muscle soreness and slight fever. I ended up sleeping until noon. Oh and did I mention the small pebble that had been embedded into my foot from the hot spring swim in Iceland? Not that big of a deal – Just know that all is well now!!

Once I finally got moving, we headed into Zurich for the day. We took the bus and the train and it was lovely!

Zurich is a great city.  Beautiful, clean, vibrant ,with lots of shops and restaurants and of course a Victorinox. Yes. Swiss Army knives. We almost didn’t get Lane out of there! He got a wonderful knife. It has a cork screw. That’s all I cared about.

After that we went up to a rooftop restaurant And had a lovely drink done JUST SO. And some dumplings.

The Leslie Drink with toasted marshmallow!!

View from the rooftop terrace

Me and Leslie!!

Lane at the Swiss Army store (Victorinox)

Awesome market – the artichoke was bigger than Lane’s head! We cooked at ate some that night 🙂

(The produce in Switzerland is unique and amazing in that it’s so fresh and so tasty. Most ‘regular’ markets only offer produce that is ‘in season’ and often ‘bio’, meaning organic. In my limited experiences there, I found every bit of produce to be exceptional.

After some more walking and shopping in Zurich, I was ready to go back to the house. I still wasn’t feeling 100%. But FIRST the outdoor store. The backpack I bought before I left was just not cutting it. I was thinking to buy one with hip straps. But I ended up with one with wheels. As my carry on bag, I was putting in too many miles with that thing to keep lugging it the way I was.

On the way home, we checked out this gorgeous little chapel in Zug. Totally awesome and adorable. Check out the detail on the dark brown – it’s scalloped-shaped cedar (I think). WOW

Back at the house Les and I whipped up a quick dinner and later, Lane and Les played some mini Uno.

The next day we headed out for a nice long hike. It ended up being about 20k steps (5 hours, with some photo and breather breaks) –  almost all uphill!!  OMG. I was tired, but it was so so great!

The Swiss do a ridiculously great job at their recreational areas. The paths are cleared and not just well marked but the signs even tell you which direction to which town and how long it will take to get there. Plus, whether it’s appropriate for road bikes or mountain bikes.

LOOK at that path!

how cute is this?

There are also nice spots to take a break. A bench or two set where the view is perfect or a fire circle like this one with benches, water (yes drinkable) and a grate over the fire for cooking. Awesome. I just love this.

The hiking paths include local as well as national routes, and there are beautiful farms with the expected farm animals, and some not so expected. Cows, goats, chickens and beautiful bunny rabbits.

Some farms have added restaurants in a formal way. Other farms just put up a tent or flag to indicate that they offer basic food and drink when they are home. Still others offer overnight accommodation. As far as I can tell this might be a beautiful room in the house or a spot in the barn. Priced appropriately. 😊

Farms also sell typical wares like eggs and milk. Sometimes in a small box on the side of the road. With an honor box to leave the money.

All of this amounts to an epic hiking experience and must make it so amazing to do multi day trips. In fact, maybe that’s what Lane and I will do when we come back around to Switzerland in October!! A few days of hiking and camping ‘rough’.

After about 5 hours of uphill hiking we stopped  to eat our very Swiss picnic lunch. Nuts and berries. Cheese and bread. Pate. More cheese. And Chocolate!! Oh, and by the way, the most epic yogurt ever. Rhubarb. OMG awesome.

This is the view from the bench where we had our lunch. Awesome right?

When we were done our hike, Exhausted, we hopped a bus back to the house and enjoyed some wine on the porch. Great day!!! We slept well for sure!!

This is outside our window. WOW.

On our last day in Switzerland unfortunately it was raining quite a bit. So we headed to Lucerne to get a pic of the famous covered bridge and then went to the transport museum. Lots to see and do with trains, cars and gondolas. And a fun outdoor area to play in. Plus gelato!  Last but not least we did the Chocolate experience and learned how Chocolate is made. Free chocolate at the end didn’t hurt!! Lindt of course

Check this out – a new style of funicular. You are inside the circle, and it rotates as the angle of the incline changes, so the people – ‘you’ – stay level with the ground/gravity. These are being built on some steep Swiss Mountains. Awesome engineering right?

More pics of Lucerne.

Beautiful right?

We headed Back to the house kind of early. It’s Sunday and Les has to prep for her week and we needed to pack and get some rest to head out for Munich early the next morning.  Fortunately, knowing we are coming back we weren’t too sad to leave and we were able to leave some things behind.  Like 9 months of medications and the clothes for the Africa/SEA portion of our trip.

Ciao for now Switzerland!!  See you in a few months!!

We are on to Munich, then Berlin! In Munich, we will meet up with Becky and Kaitlyn. Becky’s mom, Dottie, was my Aunt Dot and my mom’s best friend. Becky and I continue the tradition as friends, and so do Lane and Kaitlyn! YAY. Mother-daughter trip x2!!

Glaciers, Waterfalls, and Hot Springs – Iceland

Lane and I are off to a great start.

Iceland was amazing!

Let me step back a minute though.

Packing was STRESSFUL. As expected. HA. I managed  to fit it all into a checked bag and a carry on backpack. I was pretty proud of myself. Until I got to the airport. YIKES.

As Jenni and Abs will tell you, I was kinda nervous on the way to the airport. I couldn’t even hold a conversation, hardly. I was excited too. I was overwhelmed with emotions for sure.

Once we checked in at the airport (and paid the overweight fee for the bag, because I misinterpreted the baggage limit), as we sat at the gate, I thought I would have an anxiety attack. I breathed through it and felt better once we were on the plane. I slept a couple hours of the 4.5 hour flight. Lane didn’t. 🙂 too excited.

We arrived in Iceland at 6am and cruised through passport control. I expected a separate customs inspection but there was none. YAY!  In an hour we were dropped in Reykjavik by bus to the BSI station. We locked up our luggage in a big locker and started to wander.

Unfortunately, it being about 730 am and on a Sunday, hardly anything was open. And we literally had no idea where we were going. Google maps was not working. We simply started wandering toward the big church we could see above all the buildings, which I knew to be a ‘destination’.

We managed to stumble on a convenience store and got coffee and yogurt, which came with a tiny spoon folded into the lid. Very cool. It’s the little things that excite us. 🙂

We continued to wander literally with no clue where we were going. Everything was so clean and so quiet. Danger was the furthest thing from our minds.(not intended to sound ominous, but I guess it does).

We climbed a hill with a statue. Later we found out that’s what they call that. The hill. Lol. From the top, Lane spotted a city bike rental kiosk and suggested we do that. He was tired of walking. Already. Lol.

We stumbled onto a body of water and ride around on a bike path. Found a spot with a nice slope to the water on black stone and sand and dipped our feet in the water. VERY COLD! There were tiny red bugs (or crabs?) – they freaked Lane out a little. LOL

Then we rode to the center of town and found a bakery! Thank goodness! Real food! We were lucky it had outside seating in a courtyard because we had no locks for our bikes. I found out later we needn’t have worried. People in Iceland generally don’t lock up bikes. I had eggs and bread and salad. Lane had an Icelandic donut.

From there we decided to find our apartment and when we did we learned we could check in early. WHOO hoo nap time!!

First we had to retrieve our very heavy bags from the bus station. Knowing how far it is and how heavy the bags were, we splurged on a taxi. I napped, Lane did not.

Settled, napped and out the door at 230 for a 3 pm walking tour. Lane grumbled a bit but it ended up being AWESOME. We learned so much and our guide was very amusing.  Like “Free the Nipple Day”. How Iceland became independent. And how Iceland had the first democratically-elected female national leader, from 1980 to 1996. It’s a very feminist country. And a country with no military! Iceland has universal healthcare. Also, school is free through the University level, but taxes are VERY high. 37% plus for income. and 19% for VAT, if I remember correctly. So, the locals don’t say it’s free, they say it’s ‘pre-paid’. LOL accurate I think.

After that we returned to a small flea market where Lane bought a necklace with volcano rock and we went to a restaurant the guide suggested called Tapas Barrin. We had beef, whale and kangaroo. No I’m not kidding. Don’t judge. I wanted to try them. They were all AMAZING. Beef and many many sheep (twice as many sheep as people in Iceland) are all free range in Iceland. Lane liked the beef best. Of course.

He thoroughly enjoyed it – before he fell asleep at the table, that is…. . Like 5 times. Lol.

A long walk home to bed and we crashed. And I woke up an hour later at 11 pm with the sun shining in my eyes. It never really gets dark in Iceland at this time of year and the sun hadn’t set yet. I took this pic at midnight.

Lane slept like the dead. For, like, 15 hours, lol.

The next day we needed to get to the grocery store. We had spent a TON of money on food that first day. So, off we went. It was a bit of a walk to the Bonus. That’s the less expensive grocery store.  Where a dozen eggs cost almost $7. We got enough food for a couple days for $65 or so. Much better!! NO, I’m not kidding.

On the way home I spotted a nice courtyard that was empty so I chilled there for a bit while Lane rode his skateboard.

We decided to take a hike on our own so we went home to see if we could do it that day – turns out we could not. So we hit a couple tourist spots. Top of the Hallgrímskirkja (no I don’t know how to pronounce that) Church for some pictures. And the settlement museum which was not too great. After that Lane was beat so we headed home to make dinner and turn in.

From the top of the church.

Organ pipes inside the church. The pew backs flip to allow them to view EITHER the alter OR the organ pipes. They are that impressive.

The next day was our Glacier walk tour. Getting to the bus stop by 7 am was a challenge! That’s 3 am back home and we hadn’t quite adjusted yet.

The glacier walk was great. The glaciers in Iceland are somewhat ‘black’ and dusty because of the volcanic ash. But we saw some cool ice caves and got to wear crampons and carry an ice axe, so that was cool.

After the Glacier hike we saw some waterfalls. One from the bottom (like most people do)

The next one we wanted to see from a different angle. No, really we wanted to climb the big hill (nearly vertical, I think) to the cave, and then decided to keep going.  Like we weren’t tired enough from the Glacier hike. LOL.

In the photo just above, Lane is the tiny person on the far right bottom corner. Yes, it’s THAT big. And he wasn’t even right next to it. It’s very wet, even that far back.

This is the hill to the cave.

This is inside the cave.

This is Lane at the top, above the cave.

This is the waterfall from above.

This is what feeds the waterfall.

SO much fun.

But the Glacier walk and waterfall adventure was not as great as the next day – when we made our own adventure. We decided to ‘live like a local’ and take a public bus to a small town south east of Reykjavík (Hveragerði)and find a hiking path to some natural hot springs where we can take a dip!!Ok so that trip all turned out ok but it didn’t start that way. First, buses. Which I don’t have any experience with in the US let alone Iceland. Then, can’t even begin to pronounce names of things like Hveragerði (town) and Reykjadalur Valley.

The bus station the tourist information center told us to go to wasn’t in the best part of town. But Iceland is insanely safe. Like no crime at all. The citizens kind of joke about how little the police have to do. In fact, the police in Iceland have the most popular Instagram account in Iceland!! – where it seems they sort of make fun of themselves by posting everything but policing. Like working out. Cooking. Etc. it’s a joke!

Anyway, the bus station is under construction so it was a little hard to determine where to get the bus. I erred toward the line of people. Lane thought the little hut. She was right (there, I said it). We took a short ride to the bigger and open bus station where a lovely lady sold us tickets.   But we had just missed the bus we needed that heads out of town. So we had to wait an hour. Meantime we did some people watching. We never did find out what the large group of 35 or so people were doing when they gathered, shook hands and hugged and then prayed outside the bus station. It was good fodder for the ‘theory’ game though. Reunion? AA meeting? Business Meeting? Funeral/Memorial Service?

The ride out to Hveragardi was uneventful. When we got there we knew the general direction to go but not exactly. So we wandered off. Found the hotel where we had read the hike would start but, long story short, 3+ km and a golf course detour later, we found the start of the hike. Finally. And we’re already Exhausted.

The hike was mostly uphill for 3.5 km. Torturous at times. Eventually we got to the hot springs. Some were 100 degrees Celsius. Boiling! Don’t swim there. HA. A little further up that hot water combined with a cold river and we were ready for a hot soak!! Heaven!!

The hike back was so much easier. Mostly down hill. Lane got bored and had to run up and around a few cliffs.


Within the town was this beautiful little waterfall and these beautiful flowers that were EVERYWHERE in Iceland.

We met this cat on the way. We named him Oreo.

There was crazy beautiful scenery on the hike, though it was a LOT of uphill.

Then, the HOT springs. A sign to tell you this water is boiling, don’t swim here.


We reached the area where you can swim, as (thankfully) indicated by the changing areas and ‘boardwalk’

The hot water was GLORIOUS!

This is the view from our soaking spot (one of them)

And this is Lane’s stone stacking. Pretty impressive.

We had some soup at the cafe then begged for a ride back to town where we had hot dogs and ice cream and wifi in a shell gas station while we waited an hour and a half for the next bus. Because, yes, we missed it on this side too. Lol.

Back to the apartment to pack. Up at 245 am and here we are in the airport. Ready for 🇨🇭 Switzerland!

Some other interesting photos from around Iceland/Reykjavik:


View across the lake. (not the bay, or the ocean, this is fresh/brackish)





Note: Sorry it’s been so long getting this first blog done. I have a more ‘complete’ one in the works. I should be able to get it out tomorrow. 

While waiting at the gate at the PHL airport, I had ALL THE FEELINGS. Happy, sad, excited, nervous, nauseous, etc.

The overwhelming feeling, though, was fear. I had to examine the fear. It turned out not to be fear of safety (which might be logical) but rather fear of failure. What if this whole thing is nothing but Agg? What if we hate it? All this schlepping stuff around really sucks. I’m going to get really sick of being always on the move. Being away from home. Missing my own kitchen, car, my pretty things.

As my dear friends, Abbey and Jenni, were kind enough to escort us to the airport, and they can tell you, I couldn’t even hold a conversation. I was so caught up in my thoughts.

That fear piqued at the gate.

At takeoff that fear subsided and I’ve rarely seen it since. We saw and did and ate so many interesting things in Iceland. Even the ‘normal’ stuff is novel and just different enough to be exciting. Like little spoons in the lid of a yogurt.

Yes, a bit of that fear comes back, a bit, sometimes. Like when walking uphill to the bus stop with 50kg of stuff Friday morning at 330 am. It wasn’t fun. It was agg. And sometimes at night thinking about what I haven’t yet booked, planned or considered. But as I sit at the gate, ready to take off for Switzerland –  most of those 50kg checked, I know that, so far at least, it’s worth it!!  On to the next adventure, Switzerland!!!

2 Days Till Take-off

The time has come.

I have packed and moved out of the rental house. Things are wrapping up, hopefully, on the house I own.  It’s been a lot of work. Regardless of whether I’m ready or not, it’s time to go. I set a stake in the ground and it’s here…..

It’s just a couple days until take-off.  Today has been hectic! A couple last-minute challenges (broken glasses, broken go-pro case) have made things tactically challenging – but what is really pulling me is the emotional stuff.

When I planned this trip, I was in a different place. Not close to too many people. Alienated, to a certain extent. Looking to escape, really. The last several months have been different. I have become close to so many people and I have come to enjoy life in a whole new way.

The gamut and depth of emotions I have felt this past week are like nothing I have ever experienced. Happy and Sad. Excited and Scared. Heart  SOARING. Heart ACHING. The whole world is in my future. My love, my family,  my friends and Bubba my cat, are being left behind. This is HARD. Really Really Hard. But also invigorating.

I have shed lots of tears. Songs on the radio speak to me. Constantly.

No, the bags aren’t packed. They are somewhat packed. I’m doing laundry. LOL. Who isn’t? Aren’t we always?

Saturday, I will finalize the ‘go’ and ‘not go’ stuff and get in a car to the airport.

The adventure begins.

Thank you – to my love, my family and my friends for your good wishes, your love and your support.







A question I am asked all the time!

“What are you most excited for?”

A: Well, that’s a hard one and even though I am asked this all the time my answer hasn’t changed. I am excited for all of it! There is no one thing I want to see/do/experience but in a “big picture” way of answering; I want to learn the cultures, see the people and what they do differently, and experience the things that I haven’t done before! We live our lives in a cage, not venturing beyond the walls of our own borders, metaphorically and literally. The borders of finance and home, and the political borders of our states, countries, and continents. So, I know how lucky and grateful, I am. Although, I was, and still am scared of what I will be experiencing, some say that is crazy, how could I be nervous standing at the threshold of a once-in-a-lifetime experience? To which I say, “Life itself is the experience, and I was nervous, to begin with.” Even before I learned I was going on a freaking world trip!



How do you Pack for that?

This is the next question I get after ‘where will you go’ is ‘how do you pack for that’?  And I have to admit, this one probably keeps me awake at night more than the ‘where will you go’ question. Why? As long as we are going to safe areas, the where can’t really go wrong. It’s going to be great. Now, me, without my favorite clothes, well, that could ruin everything!!

So, I have been thinking about it, and getting some crazy advice from all over the place. Wear Wool! Wear Cotton! NO Cotton! SILK!

So, today, yes 4 months in advance, I spent some time figuring out what I’m going to pack. It nets out like this:

For Europe: pretty close to my east coast clothes – jeans, pants, skirt, T’s and Tanks. Scarves. and 2 jackets. It will be very hot in some areas, so I’ll probably add a couple dresses to this group (but then what about comfortable SHOES?) UGG

Not included here are socks, underwear, workout clothes, lounging clothes , and pajamas.

For Iceland: Adding to the Europe list, will be long underwear, my fleece snowboard ‘first layer’ and some kind of top layer like my ski jacket. These, and probably some other stuff, will be shipped home after the Europe portion is done, because I figure:

The rest: Well, SE Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South and Central America and even the US will all be hot, more tropical, summer weather when we hit them, and I’m not planning as much ‘city’ time as I am in Europe. SO mostly tropical/jungle and beach wear.

THEN if we do Alaska at the end of the trip, well, I guess I will have that stuff I shipped home (from Europe) sent to me? or buy stuff.

2 pairs jeans (dark/light, skinny/boot)
black skinny jeans
light grey cammo capris (air dry-able)
black skirt
3-6 white T shirts and tank tops (I like white)
black sweater
black and white check long sleeve button down
black tank top (maybe 2 – one fitted, one flowy)
white dressy 3/4 sleeve top
Blue ‘t’ shirt
brown/taupe T shirt
black T shirt
White ‘cami’ lace top
denim jacket
multi-colored sweater/jacket
Scarves (3), great for making the same clothes look different, and also multi-purpose as they double as coverups, head-coverings (think Doha, Qatar), towels (in a pinch) and beach blankets!
2 black belts
Jewelry is TBD

hiking boots (expect to wear these the most, as we’ll be doing SO much walking)
workout sneakers
High-top vans
Berk sandals
wedge sandals
maybe add some cheap flip-flops for after europe.

After Europe:
Add some summer dresses (in fast dry, swimsuit material I think)
white ‘fishing’ shirt, for getting out of the sun and covering up.
additional non-cotton capri’s (tan?)
couple of non-cotton tank tops
(advice from REI traveller, make sure you have at least 2 full ‘air dry’ outfits, as you may not have a dryer).