A Tale of Two Cities: Hallstatt’s Doppelgänger (and Instagram) Creates Problems for Residents

About five hours away from our apartment in Pula is a small Austrian town called Hallstatt that you may or may not have heard of. But even if you haven't ( Okay, I admit, I hadn't heard of it) there are many, many people around the world who have. The village has a tiny population …

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Advent Markets in Europe: Are they worth it?

It's never too late (or early) to plan for ChristmasBefore the holiday season gets away from us completely, I'd like to share some perspective on the Christmas and Advent markets in the countries near where we live in Europe as well as the ones in Croatia themselves. As I'm sure many of you have seen, …

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

Mom’s 8Oth Birthday and The True Meaning of Celebrations Eighty Years LovedBirthdays are important events marking the ages and stages of our lives, but when you reach the beginning of your ninth decade on this planet, it truly is something to celebrate. I knew my mom was approaching her 80th birthday when we left the …

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Winter is Coming

Autumn Fare, A New Language, New FriendsThere is something so beautiful about passing by a centuries old olive grove bathed in the waning sunlight of autumn. The glow that casts a spotlight on a centuries old olive tree seems to light a fire inside my soul and make me realize that our time here on …

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Rudolf the Red Nose Entree and Crayfish in Finland

In wandering around in a grocery store in Helsinki and in talking with our Finnish ambassador in the sauna (see previous post about Finland's sauna culture), we found out some very interesting things about the Finnish cuisine. Mainly the biggest difference between us (in Southern Louisiana) and them is that they eat reindeers. And moose. …

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Naked Germans and Such

So it seems that Germans (and Europeans in general) are more comfortable with their bodies than us Americans. I make that assumption based on the observations I've made on the beaches and surrounding waters in and around our home in Croatia. And it's not Croatians for the most part, but rather the German tourists who …

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Finding Jemina in Helsinki and Meeting the Finnish Ambassador in the Sauna

A Needle in A Haystack Our visit to Helsinki started slowly last week as we had a hard time getting acclimated. Mike wasn’t feeling well and I was tired because of pre-trip insomnia, as I tend not to sleep the day before we go on a trip out of nervousness and anticipation. We got to …

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Celebrating Birthdays and Playing Mafia

"The city is sleeping," said the young Russian boy.  We all closed our eyes. As I sat around the beach blanket with six children from Russia, Italy and Croatia still dripping from the salty Adriatic Sea and playing the card game Mafia, I wondered, how did I get here? We had just been swimming off …

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