world travel

italy: guidebook research 2019

Italia, Italy, 2019 guidebook research, Rick Steves

The ongoing book research saga continues, but this time with an all-new destination: Italia! That’s right… a country where I don’t speak much of the language & to places I’d never visited before. Uh-oh. My mood often ran between excited & apprehensive, so to laugh about the day’s events I tweeted once daily as I tend to do. Really anything to maintain a bit of connection with the real world. Come along as I relive those crazy two & a half weeks.

Read More »italy: guidebook research 2019

japan: friends & fun

Japan, Tokyo, sakura, cherry blossoms

Some of you might remember I have a Master’s degree in China Studies, but I’ve never been to China! I assure you that’s a long story no one wants to hear. My first trip to Asia was to Japan instead… & it couldn’t have been better.

Read More »japan: friends & fun

usa: cedar rapids

USA, Iowa, Cedar Rapids, houses

Pretty much everything about this year has been unexpected, including major health problems for both my aunt & uncle… at the same time. We’re a family of three people only, so I went in February to Cedar Rapids to help however I could. Almost 25 years had passed since I’d last visited! Normally I would have looked forward to the trip, but I was in crisis mode with very few days available. Plus a wind chill of -25°F prevented me from exploring more. About the only memories that come to mind are yummy smells from the Quaker Oats factory plus a couple of beautiful, cold weather sunsets.

Read More »usa: cedar rapids