In our culture, even in this era of extreme openness, there are still some things that we keep private. Last year when my father died, I remember asking my mother if she wanted an open casket at the funeral. And while she wanted it open, there is a feeling of vulnerability when your loved one is laid out for people to see, even if those people are friends and family.
So when you see a culture that performs its funeral rituals with complete openness, it is sobering as well as shocking. I wasn’t prepared for it and that made it more unbelievable. As it stands, I’ve thought about this funeral many times since we returned from Nepal two weeks ago.
When you become a parent, you child-proof your house, wanting to make sure your kid is kept from harm. And you make rules, hoping to keep them safe. But, our trip to Thailand made me realize, you can’t prepare for everything, nor can you even imagine all of the rules you’ll need for your children. Continue reading
In February, when we were in Asia, we came across a fruit called durian. I had never even heard of it, but we were very curious to try it since people snickered every time we asked about it. What was so funny? We soon found out… Continue reading
Greece is in a world of hurt, financially, that is.
I’ve heard that desperate times create desperate people. And the people in Greece are showing their desperation. We found this out first hand.
Acropolis, Athens, Greece
Arriving in Athens jet-lagged and exhausted, we trudged through the airport toward the train station. Boarding the train to the city, I kept thinking that something was going to go wrong….
Entertaining the Little Guy on long trips has been fairly easy. All he needs is a toy car, and he is content, playing for hours. So when Disney came out with the movie Cars 2, we bought a few of the cars, excited that he would have some new toys. And Holley Shiftwell, the sleek purple spy car, was one of his favorites. Little did I know, she would cause some major embarrassment. Continue reading
On February 14, 2012, an Iranian man threw two grenades down a busy street in Bangkok. Despite blowing off his own legs, he survived.
Streets of Bangkok
We had no idea, even though our hotel was less than five miles away.
I don’t usually read the news while on vacation. I figure it’s nice to kind of fall into a hole where reality doesn’t affect you. But what if the reality is that there’s a terrorist throwing grenades in the city you’re visiting? Shouldn’t you know about it?
Thai giant, guarding the Wat Phra Kaew temple grounds
When we told people we visited Moldova, we got blank stares. I figured that people didn’t want to appear ignorant by asking “Where is THAT?” Instead, they said nothing.
Believe me, I completely understand. I’m no geography whiz. I only found out about Moldova when Mr. Wanderlust said he wanted to go there.
So, I wasn’t surprised when no one asked where it is. I was surprised that no one asked, What’s there to see in Moldova? or Why would you go there?
Orthodox church spires in Moldova
Just so you know, there’s only one reason to go to Moldova… Continue reading