other travel

road trip: more midwest

Don’t be confused. I’ve not written about the Midwest before… but our previous adventures will appear soon! For now, just know this was my fifth trip to the US with Rafa & his third time in Iowa. Our first international travel since COVID, we had to use flight vouchers that would expire soon to see my 84-year old aunt. Mission accomplished. But we drove a bit north for some sightseeing instead of going straight across Illinois. As always, Rafa & I discovered some fascinating sights along the way…

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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.

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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 Asian trip was to Japan instead… & it couldn’t have been better.

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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.

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romania: bucureşti

Romania, Bucharest, Bucureşti, Caru' cu Bere, papanaşi, dessert

I know… it’s taken forever to write this. Almost as long as it took me to get to Romania! 🙂 The country had long been on my radar, especially after watching the 1989 Revolution unfold on tv. Images of the Ceauşescus’ execution were shockingly graphic in those pre-internet days. I may have been only 19, but I wanted to know more & knew that I’d be in Romania one day.

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tel aviv: beach & bauhaus

Israel, Tel Aviv, beach promenade

As expected, Jerusalem during Shabbat was pretty much a ghost town. A couple restaurants in the First Railway Station defiantly opened, so we didn’t have to trek to the Muslim Quarter for breakfast. That morning we explored the new part of the city (the Jerusalem YMCA!) then found a sherut to Tel Aviv. On the way, Darío & I stopped for an early lunch at a sidewalk café run by American students… best salad of the entire trip.

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