Signage Gone Wrong

Yeah, I’m kind of a boring tourist. Something wild and crazy could be happening to the left or to the right, but I’m taking a picture of a sign because “its” (possessive) is spelled with an apostrophe. When it all comes down to it, there are aspects of life that are much more important, so […]

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Plain Etiquette — Lessons from a Wise Sky

Plane etiquette should actually be called plain etiquette. The way we treat people on planes is the way we treat people. Period. Plain and simple. Recently I’ve seen several posts and videos about passengers behaving badly on planes: people clipping their toenails, people sleeping with their bare feet stuck into the air above the person […]

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From Lake to Lake to Lake to Lake — Rafting in Mecklenburg

The day before I’m scheduled to go rafting in northern Germany, I have a fever of 102, body aches and a migraine. I had a tick vaccination, which carried with it some pretty hefty added bonuses. I certainly hope the vaccination was worth the side-effects. If I don’t see at least one tick this summer […]

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Sleepless in Seattle

Yes, a total cliché: like a picture of Mount Rainier when you come out of the elevator in the Roosevelt Hotel. But true. I’ve just returned from Seattle and now think I know why no one can sleep there. Coffee. Everyone has a cup of coffee in their hand. In Seattle you’re either on your […]

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Home is where you . . .

I’ve just returned from the US. Well, I haven’t actually just returned, but I am just now able to think. Jetlag turns me into a walking, blathering carrot. An adorable one, but still a carrot. A blathering one. And by the way this blog post has begun, I guess I’m still a bit jetlagged. So […]

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Another Chance for Usedom

Recently, I dissed the Baltic Sea. I called it a ‘make-do’ sort of vacation spot. I pooh-poohed the smoked and pickled fish thing. I did. I haven’t become a fan of smoked and/or pickled fish, but I have warmed up to Usedom. But maybe it was because Usedom warmed up too. We had mostly excellent […]

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Z is for Zillertal

Sexy CowFor the last 18 years, I’ve been hearing Germans talk about where they renew their mental strength, where they recharge their batteries. For lots of Europeans–not just Germans–the place to do this is on a beach; but for lots of others, this place is the mountains. You’re either one or the other, unless you’re […]

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I Heart Hiking

Why, you might ask, do I heart hiking so much? It’s one of my favorite things to do in the world. If I could eat, sing and write while hiking, I’d be in Heaven. Wait. I sometimes do indeed do all these things while hiking. And juggle too. Not really. But wow: I’m in Heaven. […]

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Back from Black

I have washed six loads of clothes, uploaded 799 photos, watered 47 very angry plants, restored two email accounts to working order (after Google decided that I was suspicious)–and my back is killing me. I need vacation. Already my tan is fading. As always, my students will ask me tomorrow night if I’ve been on […]

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The Best Way to See Berlin

Swans on the Spree–enjoying Berlin from the waterBerlin is a big city. There’s no way around that. Actually, there’s a perfectly wonderful way around it: the Spree. The river that curls peacefully through the city allows you the luxury of seeing the city from a swan’s point of view. Swans don’t waddle down busy streets, […]

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