Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) fortress in Helsinki, Finland

A Finnish 4th of July

Tuula decorated their dining table with a blue table cloth and served us hot dogs and macaroni on red paper plates as Risto plunked out patriotic American songs on their … Continue Reading →


Helsinki view with cathedral

One Month To Go

Our ship cruised into the Gulf of Finland. Watching land appear on a horizon was nothing new to me, but this felt different – like waking up and realizing it’s … Continue Reading →

Live music

Cruising with the Swedes

Our cruise ship made it past the tree lush straights and inlets and out to the open sea. Donna’s beloved Finland would appear on the horizon the next morning. The … Continue Reading →


My World Was Changing

  The four of us ended up back at the dorm sitting on the ever-worn couches in the main lounge. It had been poker night on campus so drunken freshmen … Continue Reading →

Dog watching a movie

Getting off Campus

I zipped my bag closed and threw it by the door. My roommate was cool and I’d made a handful of friends, yet when Friday rolled around I yearned to … Continue Reading →

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Traveling Treats

The next morning I bee-lined to Sandy’s room to ask her about the girl I’d seen the night before. She told me her name was Donna and she lived in … Continue Reading →

Panorama of Stockholm from Beckholmen island, Sweden

A New Beginning

It was hard to believe we’d already gotten to this part of the trip. Finland.  This part of Europe is so far north the sun barely sets during the summer. … Continue Reading →


Moving On

The concept of people living under suppressed rule was fascinating to me. I wanted to take a walking tour that highlighted daily life in East Berlin under Soviet Rule. Donna … Continue Reading →

Part of Berlin Wall with graffiti and chewing gums

Forget All Your Troubles, Forget All Your Cares

People called Potsdamer Platz the Times Square of Berlin. To me it was a glorified mall, but exciting and buzzing with a big city vibe. A large crowd watched soccer … Continue Reading →

Jill and Chris

Berlin Beach Party

 A young American named Todd was the guide for our bike tour. Our group followed him though the busy streets of Berlin – over small bridges spanning the canals. “Venice … Continue Reading →