Magyar Magic

When I delved into the guidebooks to craft our Eastern European route, visions of sugar plum fairies danced through my head. Well, not fairies exactly, but castles and palaces, the refuges of storybook princes, evil stepmothers, and the occasional winged godmother. These faraway countries, for so many decades closed to Western view, held an almost…

Touched by Angels

When we set out on this trip almost nine months ago, Tom and I knew that we wanted not just to see the world but also to participate in it. By finding opportunities to help, even in small ways, we hoped to increase our family’s appreciation for what we have at home and prove to…

Happy Mothers’ Day

Once a year we set aside a day to honor or at least cook for our wives and mothers. On the road we have a way of losing track of our holidays. We remembered our birthdays because we discussed which country we where we were going to be in for each one before we left.…

Dracula Didn’t Sleep Here

On this trip we would be in the homeland of the ‘real’ Dracula (the one who inspired Bram Stoker to write his book), a medieval prince named Vlad from Translyvania who impaled thousands of his enemies at a time, and rumor has it, drank their blood (hence his name, Vlad the Impaler)…. You could see the castle through the trees, but only partially.We bought some drinks and hiked a short ways up to the entrance of the castle…. We read the information sign which told you that this castle was built as a buffer against the Ottomans, and it had changed hands many times during history and was currently owned by the people of Romania…. We made our way through the rest of the rather dry and boring castle and were on our way out when we were called over by the guard woman.

All the small things

As all of you probably who are reading this probably know that we were on Oprah, it showed about a month ago in the US. But do you know how many countries Oprah is shown in?… That doesn’t mean it shows on the same day everywhere in the world. It actually showed in Romania when we were there, we were watching the tv in our hotel room when it was on!… The next day we got an email from a Romanian woman named Corina who saw us the night before, and lived near the town we were in!

In the Footsteps of Revolution

When we traveled through Vietnam, we swam in history. We witnessed it in the landscape, sensed it in the streets, and read it in the faces of the people. What happened there was recent, a formative piece of our national consciousness, a vivid memory from Tom’s and my childhood. Romania, a surprise destination on our…

Bulgaria, Who Knew?

When we took our first pass at an itinerary last March, Tom decided he wanted to spend at least a few weeks in Eastern Europe. In our minds, the recently liberated Communist block countries would be a bargain and, as relative newcomers on the tourist track, unspoiled by tour busses and souvenir shops. Where had…