Author Archives: Mark

An Infamous Wall And Germans Baring All

After saying dag and au revoir to Belgium, we headed for Berlin where we’d rented an apartment for two weeks. Our choice to stay that long in Berlin had less to do with the city itself so much as felling the need to sit still for a bit, combined with proximity to where we were and availability/affordability of accommodations.

All told, maybe Berlin wasn’t the best choice for such a long ...continue reading

Posted in Big Cities, Europe, Germany, Sitting Still | Leave a comment

Beer, Frites, And Cobblestone Streets

brussels and ghentAfter a beautiful spring week in Paris we hopped on a bus and headed into Belgium. We arrived in Brussels to weather that was much colder and grayer than what we had in Paris and London, but even with overcast skies it didn’t take too long to see what a beautiful city Brussels is, with lots of beautiful old ...continue reading

Posted in Belgium, Big Cities, Europe, Good Eats | Leave a comment

American Tanks And The Thames’ Banks

saigon and londonWe finished off our time in Vietnam in the former South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City (though, confusingly, most people still call it Saigon and the central district is still officially called Saigon). We were somewhat surprised by how much more cosmopolitain it is than Hanoi, with modern architecture, skyscrapers, and posh shopping malls. The traffic actually ...continue reading

Posted in Asia, Big Cities, Europe, UK, Vietnam | Leave a comment

Long Hue Round

ho chi minh trail

Whew… It’s been a busy few days. I apologize in advance if this is a crazy-long post, but we just have so much to tell you!

As Pia mentioned, after Hanoi and Ha Long Bay we headed to the center of the country to the small-ish city of Hue (pronounced hway), which is just South of the DMZ (demilitarized zone that once separated North and South Vietnam). After the frenetic ...continue reading

Posted in Asia, Highlights, The Great Outdoors, Vietnam | 2 Comments

Goodnight, Japan; Good Morning, Vietnam

Well, it’s time to wrap up the Japan section of the trip. All in all, we loved Japan. It’s a beautiful country and we are so glad we went there. A month, it turns out, was a little long. By the end we were getting a little bored of shrines, temples, and Japanese shopping, and we’re really looking forward to a change of food.

We’re spoiled at home with a wide range of foods available to us, there ...continue reading

Posted in Asia, Big Cities, Japan | 6 Comments

Fish Tales and Monk-y Business

Okunoin Cemetery - Koyasan, JapanAfter three and a half weeks in Japan, I no longer have Turning Japanese in my head 24 hours a day; it’s been replaced by Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips. Oh Japanese-inspired pop ...continue reading

Posted in Asia, Big Cities, Good Eats, Japan, The Great Outdoors | Leave a comment

Vending Machines and Temperature Extremes

tokyo to takayamaWell, we’ve been in Japan for a week now, which makes seven days of having the song Turning Japanese in my head. We’re loving it here. The people are lovely, there is so much beautiful old (and old fashioned) architecture, and I find Tokyo, despite being the largest metropolitan area in the world, to be remarkably calm ...continue reading

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Holiday Celebrations and Asia Preparations

butchart gardensWell, somehow our 6 weeks in Victoria are almost done. It really doesn’t feel like we’ve been here that long, yet, at the same time, it feels like ages ago that we were living in a minivan; it’s funny how distorted our perception of time can be. It has definitely been nice being home, seeing our friends and family, having a real kitchen to cook in, some space, some consistency, ...continue reading

Posted in Planning and Preparation, Sitting Still | Leave a comment

Canucks Of The Caribbean

canucks of the caribbeanAfter a few days of theme parks (which did their best to ensure that we were sick of Christmas even earlier than usual), we got on a 7-day Caribbean cruise that we were able to book last-minute for really cheap. We were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to slow the pace down a little, get some work done, relax, etc.

We left from Port Canaveral, which is right ...continue reading

Posted in 'merica, Crazy People, Highlights, The Great Outdoors | 4 Comments

Sand, Snow, and Skyscrapers

new york skylineWe drove South-East from Boston (Bahhston) to Cape Cod (Cape Cahhd), a New England summer vacation hotspot (hahht… well, you get the picture). Despite the fact that it was pouring rain as we drove out to the cape, it was easy to see why it’s such a popular destination. The towns are all adorable, full of colonial-style buildings, artisan shops, and (at the end ...continue reading

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