Posts in Travel
I Adore French Films

Are you familiar with the concept 'leading through disruption?' A change maker for business, it's playing havoc on our quiet existence on Pioneers Lane.  Since my last post, we have decided to move to Northern Virginia, planned and hosted a weekend bash in Minnesota, and traveled to Switzerland. (photo above: Charlie Chaplin by the lake)

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Turkish Delight on a Moonlit Night

We traveled to Nepal via Istanbul in October, our first time back since 2013. Oh, how this place has changed.

The photo above is the location of one of our top five travel stories, which happened on Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Street). An unplanned moment that most can't believe we experienced.  

I will never forget Bill telling me that he couldn't wait for me to experience Istanbul. The contrasts of Istanbul are disruptive but strikingly intriguing. Palaces and mosques in random neighborhoods, stray cats wander the alleys of the most beautiful sights, and the voices of the morning prayers chant through empty pathways trimmed with the trash of the food merchant's shops of a busy yesterday.

Welcome to the Orient!

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Adventuring on a whim

When was the last time you did something spontaneous? 

One of my favorite travel memories began on a leap of faith. We had driven through Chaminox (France) several times over the years but had yet to plan a winter weekend there. With parasailing at the top of our list, we tend to call ahead, and the wind isn't cooperating, so we make alternative plans. 

On this three week stay, we were in the area and decided to plan a weekend getaway.  It was early December, so I started researching outdoor ideas. That's how I stumbled on a travel company specializing in outdoor adventures near Chamonix, Happy Tracks.

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A glimpse of our experience on the trail

Hello all,

We have been home from our trip to Nepal for a month; this hardly seems possible.  Getting to Everest Base Camp was the last physical challenge/adventure on my bucket list.  Added in the late 90's, you can imagine what it feels like to cross this off my list.  The experience has exceeded all expectations.

I was in awe every minute of every day. From simply standing in the Himalaya's, to drinking in nature's beauty, the local life, and feeling the Buddhist faith.

It's surreal to think I have been to Base Camp.  A month later its still all we talk about (at home).

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A day I will never forget

I have so many stories to share from our time in Nepal, both on and off the mountain. Meeting Sanjay and getting to visit his home is a story I have to share with you. 

After spending a long weekend in Istanbul, we had two days to explore Kathmandu before flying to Lukla and hiking up to Base Camp.  We checked into our hotel and started walking to Thamel to find a trail map of Everest, and explore the city. 

Thamel is a tourist neighborhood in Kathmandu, with narrow streets and alleys crowded with shops and people.  Described online as a ghetto and most mountaineers first stop. In my words, it felt like I was in the movie 'Mad Max'! Not just the dust, pollution, and garbage lined streets with buildings forgotten over the years.  It's a neighborhood holding on by a thread yet thriving.  People flock to Thamel, for shopping, lodging, and food.  

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Everest Base Camp: We did it!

Hello Friends,

We crossed off one of my last BIG dream adventures last month, hiking on Everest.

I have been daydreaming of Everest for twenty years.  My friend, Eleanor, inspired me to summit Kilimanjaro a few years ago and Everest seemed like a natural next adventure.  A trek to Base Camp was the thrill of the lifetime.

Every day I found myself thinking "I can't believe I'm here."  I often stopped on the trail to take in the view, the beauty of the ecosystem, so SO thankful for the experience.  

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EBC Series: Packing and the Weather

Can you believe we begin our travels to Nepal in five weeks? Thirty something days.  Soon this will be a collection of memories in which to reflect. Photos, videos clips, and stories.  

Last weekend we walked the aisles of REI, trying on hiking pants big enough for layers under while not too big that they fall off on warmer days. I have spent time researching/reading online sources to help us finalize the packing list.  

It doesn't matter if you are packing for a beach vacation or a rugged trek,weather is always a wildcard.

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EBC Series: Staying healthy on the Mountain

Hello lovely friends,

Time is passing quickly. Summer has been filled with social events, dinners, and travel. During our downtime, we hike, research, and plan for October.  Just a few people have been privy to the research and planning phase of our Everest Adventure (which started last fall) - and this weekend marks the seven week countdown!

50 days until my Dad arrives, 54 days until we leave.  We have a lot to do. 

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EBC Series: Training for Everest

Hello Friends,

I live in a hilly area, perfect for a weeknight power walk (with ten pounds in my backpack). A few days ago I was walking up a half mile hill when I passed Annie's house. Exchanging pleasantries, she asked why I was wearing a backpack and wondered why I wasn't running.  Her reaction to my explanation was priceless. I can't tell you how many people want to know why I want to hike Everest.

Why!?

It's in these moments when it's clear I'm preparing to do something few have on their bucket list. I need to come up with a clever response!

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Malmo Sweden (Nordics Part V)

Malmo is our last stop before starting our journey home.  Overwhelmed with experiences and joy from reconnecting with family, if I can be honest... we are exhausted.

I am in a new city before 9 AM, with hours to explore while Bill has a day of meetings. I haven't found Kardemmome seeds yet so this is first on my list.  You can buy the spice ground in the U.S., but most of the flavor is gone.  I remember my Grandmother baking with Kardemmome pods bought in Sweden (they resemble the vanilla bean), opening the pods to gather seeds for baking. 

After I find a market and buy a year's worth of the spice, I will explore and see as much as I can in about four hours time.

Let's recap the last few days:

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36 hours in Copenhagen (Nordics Part IV)

Copenhagen was a surprise destination, added to our itinerary when we realized we had a free day between profession commitments in Stockholm and Malmo.  SO, we decided to explore Copenhagen.  

We arrived after the sunset and a long travel day.  I don't think I mentioned that we had car trouble requiring us to find a car service station. And we had to change rooms. After settling into our new room and talking to our son, we enjoyed a meal at the hotel.

After a good nights sleep, I was up and out walking before 7 AM.  I had one day in the city and wasn't missing one minute!

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Vastervik Sweden (Nordics part III)

We have been to Switzerland, Italy, and Stockholm.  Now it's time for a road trip.  Due to a tight travel schedule (this is a business trip for Bill), we are driving from Stockholm to Vastervik and then to Copenhagen. Spending the day seeing Sweden's countryside.

Why add several hours to our road trip, to see Vastervik? Today a summer village for recreation, it was a fishing village in the early 1900's.  A Coastal town in the Archipelago that connects to the Baltic Sea.  My family calls Vastervik home.

Getting There

Packing up our car and getting settled for the two-hour drive, we will stop for lunch and explore in Vastervik.  My cousin, Paulina, was born and raised here.  She has given us a list of places that we hope to see.

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Three Days in Stockholm (Nordics Part II)

After a week in Montreux, we are off to Stockholm. The second of five cities we visited in March.

Getting to the Airport

Seldom making it to post, let me share our hectic travel day. Transport to the airport took double the time. We always take the train, but someone coordinated a car for us - the driver ended up driving on the shoulder for about half of the trip.  Weaving in and out of traffic.  Later we learned this was all due to the Geneva Auto Show.  We arrived at the airport 60 minutes before take off.

After passing through Customs, we are separated getting through Security.  Flying on a partner airline that does not recognize 'travel companion,' Bill was through security in two minutes, waiting.  It would take me at least an hour.  Then I saw several passing the line due to flights boarding, and I followed them (it was worth a try, right?).

I get through security, we rush to the gate and.... my eyes suddenly well with tears. Not for the relief of making it through the last few hours but for seeing a sea of Swedes!

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Switzerland & Italy (Nordics Part I)

Hello Friends! 

It's time for my annual spring travel to Vaud Switzerland.  

I prefer to stay in Vevey, oh how I love this sweet village, but business had us staying one village to the west.  Montreux is home to the Jazz Festival and was the host to Bill's week long conference.  I will work and explore before we travel to Sweden for the weekend.

Do you remember last fall, when I has a Julie Andrews moment? The Alps are live...  last fall I took the train to Rochers de Naye.  Enjoyed lunch, visited a botanical garden built into the mountatin, and hiked a bit.  This lovely place is just above Montreux, elevation 2000M.  I enjoyed my time up there so much that I couldn't wait to visit.  Delusions of snowshoeing quickly passed when 2.5 feet of fresh snow fell over night. 

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A Swiss Getaway

I'm back from another extended holiday in Switzerland, and boy did I have a wonderful time exploring new places.

Look closely at this photo - can you see the small lighthouse, with a bench, at the end of the pier? One morning I was sitting on the bench to watch the sunrise over the mountain top and was startled by a naked woman.  She stood up to dress after taking a swim in the lake. I'm not sure who was surprised more, me or the lady swimmer.  When I started walking back I passed the woman, in a sundress, sitting on a blanket, smoking, and talking with a friend.

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A fortnight in London

Can we time travel back a few months, to April?

We traveled to London to run a marathon.  I had just one must see on my list, touring The London Tower.

We planned our trip to arrive a week before the marathon, to adjust to the timezone, and allow time to explore the city. 

Regents Park served as our home base.  We took the red-eye from NYC to London. Bill had meetings within hours of our arrival so I grabbed my umbrella and walked every inch of Regents Park. The flowers were spectacular but expected since this is home to The Queen's Walk. It's absolutely divine.

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