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Balabanova All Over

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[Brussels, Belgium, Dec 19, 2019] Armed with Rick Steves’ Belgium guidebook, I left my hotel shortly after 8 am. It was still dark – sunrise wasn’t until 8:43 am. I stopped for a coffee at the cafe right next to my hotel and headed for the European Parliament on the east side of the city, about 25 minutes away from the city center by bus. The European Union as you know it… Read More

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[Manzanita / Cannon Beach, OR, Jul 5, 2019] Trying to figure out what to do with a couple of free days in the Portland area was not hard at all. I’ve been to Portland a couple of times before, so this time I was expanding to good day trips outside of town. The Columbia River Gorge is an excellent such trip, but I had done that in the Fall of 2013. One… Read More

[Ojo Caliente / Abiquiu / Taos, Sep 1, 2018] We got up early the next day to travel about an hour to Ojo Caliente, where we’d made arrangements to tour the Ra Paulette cave at the Origin resort. This was a very unique experience I have to thank B for finding and arranging. I wasn’t familiar with Ra Paulette, but this 39-minute documentary describes his work pretty well. He started hand-carving caves… Read More

[Seattle, WA, July 22, 2018] And there it was, our last full day on this trip! It’s hard to believe we have come full circle in such a short time. We reluctantly left our cabin in the forest and headed to Seattle, WA, also known as the Emerald City. The term Emerald City came from a contest held by the Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1981. The name was selected in 1982 and… Read More

[Los Angeles, CA / Boynton Beach, FL, Dec 22-24, 2017] Last year’s holiday trip to Florida did not start as planned. We were supposed to take a red-eye on Dec 21 and make a beeline for Key West and Dry Tortugas National Park before returning to the Palm Beach area on Dec 23, in time to spend the Christmas holidays with family. Unfortunately, our flight was one of over 200 canceled (many… Read More