Luck of the Irish – Ireland

Sometimes everything goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t.  We knew going into it that the weather in Ireland in May can be unsettled. It can be a fabulously beautiful time with the most spring colors across the Emerald Isle or it can be cold, wet and miserable.  After our amazing good fortune for weather in Scotland, we were hesitant to believe that our luck could hold out.  Fortunately for us, we were blessed with extremely good weather for the entirety ofRead more

Walking 96 Miles – The West Highland Way of Scotland

As a family, we really like to walk.  We have trekked in Colca Canyon and the Inca Trail in Peru, Torres del Paine in Chile, the Mustang and Annapurna Regions of Nepal and the Routeburn of New Zealand.  Each trek was a physical challenge as well as a mental one.  Colca Canyon had a knee-crushing continuous 3,000 foot descent on day one and similar oxygen-sapping ascent on day three.  The Inca Trail taught us to be wary of steps, especiallyRead more

Understanding Oma

My mom was the eighth of nine children born and raised in Maastricht, a relatively small town (population 120,000) in the southern part of the Netherlands.  Maastricht is not just a quaint little Dutch town, it is an old town.  From early in the 1st century BC, Maastricht has had continuous settlement for  nearly 2000 years.  There are old churches from the 11th and 12th century still in use in Maastricht.  There are parts of an old bridge from theRead more

Fitting In

With few exceptions, our entire first year of travel was spent in areas where we were always easily identifiable as “foreigners” or “tourists”. You get used to it after a while. In fact it can be wonderful because there is a kind of pity given to foreigners that helps when you’re lost or clueless as to what to do in a particular situation. Except for our time in Argentina and South Africa, we have always stood out for our size,Read more

Biking the Upper Rhine

450 km of the Rhine completed, 800 km to go! Perhaps up there with hiking Colca Canyon in Peru and to the Mirador de las Torres in Chile, biking through the upper portion of the Rhine route ended up being one of the more challenging physical activities we have undertaken.  Listed as an “easy” and “suitable for families” route, we thought that it would be the perfect introduction to cycle touring.  Relatively short days of around 50 km per day andRead more