Bliss and Jude on Museum Island

Before we arrived in Berlin, we read that it had recently become the third most visited city in Europe, ahead of Rome, but still behind London and Paris.  Now having seen it, we can see why. Continue reading »

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Arriving in Ängholm

Bliss and I are both huge fans of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which, in gripping fashion, tells the story of a Scandinavian family (the Vagners) living on a small, remote, and largely uninhabited island (Hedeby), whose members have been feuding with each other for decades.

What we didn’t know, until recently, was that I am also related to a Scandinavian family (the Pippings, who are Swedish-speaking Finns) living on a small, remote, and largely uninhabited island (Ängholm, Finland), whose members have been feuding with each other for decades. Continue reading »

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Jude with his cousins Zoe and Leo

After Portland, we spent several days in the Bay Area visiting family, Bliss’ in Orinda and mine in Silicon Valley.  These were the most uneventful days of the trip to date, from a site-seeing and activity-doing perspective, but were extremely relaxing and provided a much-needed break in the action ahead of our 14-hour flight to Hong Kong.  Jude especially enjoyed meeting his Aunt Barbara and Uncle Craig and playing with his cousins Leo and Zoe.

With Bliss' Uncle Craig and Aunt Barbara

We had a lot of loose ends to tie up, and final packing to do, so having family around to help with Jude while we prepared for the international leg of the trip worked out well.  We had to convert a full rental-car’s worth of stuff into a reasonable amount of luggage to cart around Asia and Europe on planes and trains.  This took a lot of planning, rolling (see our Packing Tips post), and culling (we sent a very large box of things back home).  I was also in a mad dash to finish my 1,000-page Harry Truman biography (highly recommended) before leaving for Hong Kong, which Bliss had forbade me from bringing abroad as too big.

ALL CALIFORNIA PICTURES: here

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