Archive for Stories

Pálinka, Paprika and a Pig in Bácsalmás, Hungary

Pálinka, Paprika and a Pig in Bácsalmás, Hungary

October 17, 2011 1 Comment

The night before the pig’s last day came cold and crisp. Gabi made sure to put extra wood in the cast iron stove of our bedroom so that we wouldn’t be cold. Before going to bed she pokes her head in to say, “By the way, wear clothes tomorrow that you don’t mind getting sprayed in blood. Good night!

Lake Nicaragua – History, Honeymoon and the Panama Canal

Lake Nicaragua – History, Honeymoon and the Panama Canal

August 29, 2011 No Comments

My fascination with the Panama Canal began sometime in 7th grade social studies with Mr. Farley.  Mr. Farley didn’t have his own teeth any longer, was hunched over and short of breath.  There was a slackness about his frame that immediately caused sympathy to see.  At least from me,  I suspect other 7th graders didn’t ...

A Love Story for a Royal Princess in London

A Love Story for a Royal Princess in London

April 28, 2011 No Comments

Grandma Josephine was a Morse code operator during World War II for the British Army. She worked tirelessly in a bunker for most of the war, but one special night, while at a dance, she fell in love with a dashing, young American soldier, Grandpa Alan.  I had always thought their story was one of the most romantic ...

To Eat or Not to Eat: Guinea Pigs in Peru

To Eat or Not to Eat: Guinea Pigs in Peru

April 26, 2011 5 Comments

Every country has something that people will quiz you on in order to judge your experience as a tourist there.  Argentina: “Is the steak really that amazing and did you learn to tango?” Spain: “Did you go to a bullfight?” Brazil: “Did you wear a thong bikini?” Spain again, “Did you go topless on the beach?”  India: ...

Falling in Love with a Gaucho in Argentina

Falling in Love with a Gaucho in Argentina

April 7, 2011 No Comments

I have always had a crush on the gauchos of Argentina.  The image of wide open Pampas, patrolled by the soulful and melancholy cowboys was alluring to me.  It was a dream of mine to go there one day.  Shortly after arriving in Buenos Aires, I booked a weekend at an estancia and was off to fulfill ...

Studying in Style at the University of Buenos Aires

Studying in Style at the University of Buenos Aires

February 10, 2011 No Comments

I was determined, upon arriving in Buenos Aires, to leave it four months later, able to comfortably claim Spanish fluency.  The only problem was figuring out how to do that.  I dreaded enrolling in the gringo, pre-packaged Spanish and Tango language mills, catering to obnoxious foreign partiers who were there ostensibly under the pretext of ...

Meeting Viking Princesses in the Peruvian Amazon

Meeting Viking Princesses in the Peruvian Amazon

January 20, 2011 6 Comments

Modern times had turned Viking princesses soft, but I didn’t know this as we approached them in the dim, cool light before dawn.

Getting Robbed by the Mustard Thieves of Buenos Aires

Getting Robbed by the Mustard Thieves of Buenos Aires

January 13, 2011 3 Comments

The infamous mustard scam flashed across my brain as I protectively swung my backpack to my hip and darted down the sidewalk taking the first right onto a side street mumbling something like “those f*ckers”. I managed to wipe away all of the applesauce with my scarf and see out of my glasses again.

Training Bulls in Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Training Bulls in Cotopaxi, Ecuador

January 5, 2011 No Comments

Somehow I’d always thought of Ecuador as lying along the fat waistband of the earth, but hadn’t imagined that it would be so high in the sky.  Since we landed in Quito we’ve been at elevation and now, as we reach our destination at the base of Cotopaxi volcano, my lungs wince at 12,000 ft. ...

Snorkeling with Anacondas in Bonito, Brazil

Snorkeling with Anacondas in Bonito, Brazil

December 9, 2010 No Comments

We’re Bonito in the interior of Brazil.  After three weeks of beaches I reluctantly decided that it was time to see a part of Brazil without sand.  I was happy to check out a new ecoregion until a nice Brazilian girl I was chatting with mentioned the “sucuri” that swallowed her dad’s fishing buddy whole ...

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Pálinka, Paprika and a Pig in Bácsalmás, Hungary

The night before the pig's last day came cold and crisp. Gabi made sure to put extra wood...

Lake Nicaragua – History, Honeymoon and the Panama Canal

My fascination with the Panama Canal began sometime in 7th grade social studies with Mr. Farley.  Mr. Farley didn’t...

A Love Story for a Royal Princess in London

Grandma Josephine was a Morse code operator during World War II for the British Army. She worked tirelessly in a bunker...

To Eat or Not to Eat: Guinea Pigs in Peru

Every country has something that people will quiz you on in order to judge your experience as a tourist there.  Argentina:...