A passenger with no need to navigate

sleeping in car

My husband and I have a GPS navigation system in our car for long trips. Hubby is almost always the driver. Despite our Tom Tom’s verbal instructions, my hubby still likes me to be the Tom Tom lady’s “second voice”. That certainly ensures getting to our destinations without problems, and yet it takes away some of my freedom to just be a passenger, who can stare out the window and daydream.  Continue reading

The Column of Trajan tells a long winding story

Left: My close-up photo of the Colonna Traiana frieze. Right: Stock photo of the full length column.

Located in Rome, Italy, the Colonna Traiana (Column of Trajan) commemorates the Roman emperor Trajan’s victory in the Dacian wars (101-102 and 105-106). Continue reading

Getting married abroad, in a most glorious city (Prague, Czech Republic)

Prague scene
Beautiful Prague, Czech Republic

My husband and I met each other when working for the same company in the U.S. It was an instant attraction. It wasn’t long before I officially moved in with him. After about two years together, our love grew very strong. The day then arrived when we decided to get married, which was soon followed by a request for my hand in marriage from my parents. What a sweet old-fashioned gentleman! The whole period was quite romantic. I’d share more details of that romance, but Hubby told me that some details he’d like to keep just between the two of us. I must respect that. Instead, in this post I will concentrate on just the preparations and events surrounding a marriage abroad. From this point until after the wedding, hubby will be referred to as “fiancé”. Continue reading

I saved his life at the waterfall in Ricketts Glen SP

Ricketts Glen State Park in PA-001

We walked up stairs and stairs along the many waterfalls at Ricketts Glen in Pennsylvania. My husband (then boyfriend) took photographs all along the way. He got a little too adventurous, though, at one spot, and down he fell. His body started sliding down the slimy rocks along the edge of one, but it only took me a millisecond to react. I grabbed his arm with all my might, and hoisted him back to safety. The only injury that he experienced was a dent on the hood of his camera lens.

Elemental dangers

 

Along the equator in Ecuador

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A view during a hike in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve in Ecuador.

My husband, our guide Patricio, and I walked through the brush in the drizzle to reach this spot where the sky became blue, and the sun shined.  Right here we stood near the equator, between two hemispheres. Dark hills were in the foreground, with a snow capped mountain far behind. The earth that we stood on was full of grasses and green bushes. The air that we breathed was completely clean and fresh.

Elemental observations.

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Traveling light

back page luggage 2

The first time I embarked on a long trip was between my junior and senior years at college, when I spent a summer in Poland teaching English conversation to adults. I wasn’t sure how to pack then, but being a frugal and bare bones kind of gal I decided to only bring what could fit into a forest green soft back pack and a book bag. Continue reading

If only I could go to a Czech spa right now!

Mariánské Lázně1
Mariánské Lázně in Czech Republic

In my husband’s home country of Czech Republic, if you are a bit under the weather or recuperating from a major illness, your doctor may prescribe a two to three week in-patient treatment at a spa (or lázně in Czech), which is covered by health insurance. There, patients are evaluated by a doctor specializing in balneotherapy (treating disease by baths) or physical therapy, who assembles an individual plan of procedures and treatments. Those range from drinking (the mineral waters!), bathing (not only in the mineral waters, but also in waters infused with herbs, fruit, salts, hops, malt extract, and others), wraps, massages, exercise, special diet, etc.  Continue reading

World’s smallest densely inhabited island reached by Rome’s oldest original bridge

bridge to Isola Tiburtin in Roma-001I remember that this photo was taken in late May 1998, just days after my husband and I got married. We had been weaving through the beautiful narrow streets of Rome, Italy, where we spent our honeymoon. With no particular destination in mind, exploring hand in hand, I recall almost no people in the area, except a superfluity of nuns whom we passed on the street right before. Suddenly we stumbled upon this bridge, Ponte Fabricio, which we later learned is the oldest original bridge (62 BC) in Rome. This pedestrian bridge crosses the Tiber River to Isola Tiburtin, the only island in the part of the Tiber River which runs through Rome, and the smallest densely inhabited island in the world. Again, there was no one around in the vicinity except for us. Continue reading

Brief puncture, then super inflation on a trip to Utah

Supapu Bridge in Arches National Park 1
Sapupu Bridge in Arches National Park in Utah

Have you ever arrived at a vacation destination to find it an immediate disappointment, or near one? Before the trip your excitement built up and upon arrival something put a puncture in the balloon of enthusiasm? That happened to my husband and me upon arrival in Utah for my husband’s 40th birthday vacation gift. Luckily, however, the puncture in that balloon was quickly repaired and the excitement built back up again quickly because of a very quick change in itinerary. Continue reading