Manila Storm

  As I’ve noted in previous blogs my husband and I seem to attract natural disasters; we’ve been through earthquakes and tsunamis, ridden out typhoons and hurricanes, popped into town just as volcanoes suddenly erupted. It’s possible we’re bad luck. No idea why any country still issues us travel visas. So it was unsurprising that while in Manila last month a “Super Typhoon”, Pablo, struck with devastating effect; more than 600 dead, entire villages and towns washed away. Pablo unleashed so much climatic fury that a new river was created through Manila. Adam’s mother announced that we were clearly to blame, and should leave town immediately. We did, and made ... [Read More]

Rome’s Taxis, Tourists and Tiramisu

  Emerson once admonished readers “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” The taxi driver on our first day in Rome apparently reads Emerson. During the short trek from our hotel to the Coliseum I believe he hopped three curbs, zipped along the sidewalk a half mile in a congested area and displaced several dozen startled tourists, cussing loudly at other drivers he deemed in his way. He was also terribly interested in participating in whatever conversation we tried to have, a fascinating spectacle since he spoke no English. He helped himself to my chewing gum, and ... [Read More]

Aspirations, Aviation and Auberge

  Do you have a bucket list? If not, make one. No matter how possible or impossible, expensive or cheap, practical or silly our dreams may seem, we should all have a list of aspirations and goals, things we’d like to accomplish or do before our time on this earth expires. Life is too short and lately I have been reminded how abruptly it can end. Why put off til tomorrow what can be savored today? When I was in my early twenties (not so recent a time as I would like) I added to my bucket list a visit to Italy for my 30th birthday. I was absolutely ... [Read More]

Çeşme – made for summer and spas

  February is the wrong time of the year to visit Çeşme, a small Turkish coastal town nestled on the Mediterranean Sea. And it’s not just because the temperature hovers near freezing (yes, my husband really brought me to a resort on the Med in the middle of winter.) The oddest part about visiting Çeşme (pronounced Chezmay) in February is that it’s a ghost town. Most shops are closed as many of the city’s residents are in-town only during the warmer months of April – October. During this season the town bustles to life with tourists sprawling the sandy beaches, sailing the aqua blue waters. And enjoying ... [Read More]

Religion in Turkey

A couple of years ago Joan Firstenberg wrote an intriguing article suggesting that “Americans are fickle consumers of religion”, noting that about half of Americans change their religion at some point in their life. It might rightly be said that the entire nation of Turkey is a fickle consumer of religion, having changed the state-approved deity more than a few times in its turbulent history 1700 years ago the city we now know as Istanbul was called Byzantium. At the time the locals worshiped a handful of pagan gods, but Christianity was growing in popularity, so one day during a battle General Constantine (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus ... [Read More]

Ringing in the new year Bahamian style

Adam and I  figured the Caribbean would be a grand place to celebrate our first New Years together and ring in 2011. So we left frigid Atlanta with two of Adam’s closest friends, Brian and Jim, in favor of the welcoming warmth of The Bahamas. In my head I envisioned sunbathing in the hot Caribbean sun, sipping pina coladas, and lazily watching the foamy blue waves of the ocean lapping the beach. Or perhaps romantic twilight strolls, hand-in-hand with my soon-to-be husband, along the pristine sandy shores, listening to the peaceful sounds of the sea. Perhaps I should have checked the weather forecast before fantasizing so gloriously about the trip. The Bahamas in ... [Read More]

Talking about Hong Kong

  One of my best friends, Navini, lived in Hong Kong for about 10 years, about 10 years ago. When she heard I'd be paying a visit the city she so loved, she excitedly talked to me about it for what seemed like another 10 years. My husband, Adam, having visited Hong Kong on many occasions himself, and never one to be short of words, rambled on enough about it to fill another ten. (Put the two of them nattering away in a room together and there's very little oxygen left for the rest of us.) So, once my ears stopped bleeding, I arrived in the former British colony ... [Read More]

So what’s so great about Shanghai?

I wondered this on more than one occasion last year as Adam regaled me with tales of what was obviously one of his favorite cities on earth. Adam's business took him to Asia a half-dozen times in 2010, and Shanghai was clearly his favorite spot. (I always kind of assumed it was because it was the one place on earth where he towered over everyone else!) But after reading his blogs about the strange exotic foods he ate, the glistening new skyscrapers rising to the stratosphere and the culture with which he was so clearly enamored, I was more than a little curious about why, of ... [Read More]

Beer, bashing and betrothal…

Traveling with Adam has not only proved to be full of excitement, but filled with once-in-a lifetime experiences and adventures. It's crazy but amazing to think we've already been to 6 different countries in barely 6 months. Friends often ask me which country has been my favorite and I can't give them an answer -- I love each and every one of them for the different and wonderful memories they hold. It's the equivalent of asking a parent with more than one child which child is your favorite. This blog is a brief recap of just a few of those memories. Germany holds a very special place in ... [Read More]

Drinking and driving in Germany

What came first: the Mercedes or the Autobahn? I pondered this question as I reflected on the many reasons I love Germany, especially Mercedes Benz and German beer. My father has always had an intense love for German cars, which he instilled deeply in me, so you can imagine how excited I was to actually visit the home country of the world’s best cars and beer. My excitement, like Pinocchio’s nose, only grew every time these graceful and elegant vehicles zipped past us on the Autobahn. The driver made me stop when my nose grew so long that it was poking the back of his head. I ... [Read More]