Paris was fantastic. We’ve heard and read so much about it, but it exceeded all of our expectations. It is visually stunning, its people are cool and sophisticated, and the food is sublime. We especially loved its parks – ideal for families with wild toddlers.

We’ve only had a few days there and we did all the cliche things: Eiffel tower, crepes, Notre Dame… Will definitely be back for more.

Returning to Europe

My husband is big on celebrating the birthdays, especially his own.  He starts weeks in advance and continues on for weeks after!  This year, his wish was to go to Tuscany and eat some great Italian food and drink some great Italian wine in one of the most relaxing and beautiful places on Earth.

World's Biggest Tourist Traps

Aug 25

Recently Reddit and Russian blogosphere were discussing world’s biggest tourist traps.  Rome, Athens, Venice, and Paris were topping the list.  Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Cape Code were the American cities on the list.

I haven’t been to every place on the list, but I have been to many.  And I cannot say I was utterly disappointed with any particular place.  Every really popular place will suffer from having too many tourists: smell of urine, garbage, overpriced food… But if you live like a local – off season, live in an apartment, walk around town slowly, talk to people and make friends – every place will offer its charms.

Take Hawaii, for example.  When I first got there, I thought it was very overrated – muggy, hot, crowded, terrible and expensive food.  But once I got outside of Waikiki and ended up living in Honolulu, I fell in love with the place, its people, and yes, its food.  Same could be said of Paris or Venice, or any other place.

Pizza party

It is far more difficult for me to identify a goal than to achieve it.  My habitually reckless decisions multiplied by nearly 40 year life span resulted in crossing off most of the bucket list items.  Showing Europe to parents – check.  Buying a two-story house similar to the one I grew up in –

Change of plans

So, we are returning to US a lot sooner than anticipated – at the end of next month.  A tenant renting our house was diagnosed with a terminal illness and moved out.  We bought another property which needs some work.  Life is calling us back. Instead of going through Belgium (for chocolates and beer), Tuscany,


Since sabbatical started, we were able to learn a lot more about things that are not producing money but that do make our lives richer and more interesting.  So I was excited to find out that Met has put up their entire 400k collection online.  It also posted beautiful videos by the curators, discussing their

Life is too short

Recently, several people we know through friends and family died – within a span of just two weeks.  A young man, an old man, and a middle-aged man.  A woman was diagnosed with a terminal cancer.   It brings spending time with your family in a better focus.  If we knew that our time is

Life in a slow lane

So, we’ve spent a little more than a week in Ireland.  We love it here and we live in a small village an hour out of Dublin.  I’ve e-mailed with my girlfriend back in Honolulu and she asked me if I miss work.  Hmm, I have not even thought of work at all.  Our daily