great to be peter

When Peter the Great visited Versailles he thought, “I want one”. I’ve always thought the same thing.   An upside of being Tsar is that you actually can have one. When Peter returned from his 1717 stay in France, he began…

in the footsteps of tsars

Hunter couldn't wait to get to St Petersburg. He has been studying Russian history and had long dreamt of walking in footsteps of the Tsars. I'm worried I may have ruined him. He fell madly in love. Not surprisingly. The…

st. peter’s overnight ferry

21 years ago, John and I decided to take a last minute detour to St. Petersburg. The only way to get into Russia without a visa was to take a boat trip. Still is. We were booking so late there…

backpacking with hunter

Hunter worked all last summer and lived with in what I have been informed is a shockingly inadequate allowance all year in order to save enough money to backpack around Europe this summer. He and three friends had the whole…

stairmaster by the sea

Ah Valparaiso, quaint little fishing village by the sea. Or so I thought when I booked it. I don’t know how I could have been so wrong. I really need to start paying more attention to the guidebooks. We drove…

lama temple

I have discovered what Buddhists have apparently known for centuries… size does matter. On a freezing morning in my first February, with guidebook in hand, I visited the Lama Temple.  I hoped to find respite from the biting Beijing winter…

%d bloggers like this: