Two Days In Taipei

We only had two days in Taipei on our way to Thailand last winter.  You can read all about it on my guest post on The Mother of All Trips blog hosted by Mara Gorman.

Descending the stairs of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Descending the stairs of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

 

Big Changes in Thailand

Check out my article about revisiting Thailand after 19 years away.  It’s on Wandering Educators.

Photo by Zoey Richards!

Photo by Zoey Richards!

Memories of Thailand – Bill

Buddha2Next week my family is heading for Thailand for the Christmas holidays.  We are all very excited to be heading to a destination that combines unique culture and great people with delicious  food and tropical beaches.  This will not be my first Thai experience however, but that does not make it any less exciting.

I first went to Thailand in 1989, on my way east from traveling for several months in Nepal and India.  I was initially disappointed at how easy it was to get around.  I could jump on a water-bus on the Chao Phraya River to get to most places that I wanted to go in Bangkok.  Or catch on a cheap minibus on Khaosan Road to get to almost any place in the country that a backpacker would want to go – north, south, east, or west.  There were no people aggressively asking me for money or competitive jostling in long lines to buy tickets.  It took me several days to relax. Read more »

Family Skiing at Snoqualmie Pass

From the top of Chair 1 at Alpental.

Snoqualmie pass is the major east/west migration route through the Cascade mountain range from Seattle.  It is also the home of The Summit at Snoqualmie, an amalgam of four ski areas that each have a unique and distinctive vibe despite being commonly-owned.  There is Summit West, a perfect place for families to learn to ski.  Summit Central has the terrain park and is popular for night skiing.  Summit East (a.k.a. Hyak) is my family’s low-key favorite.  And finally there is Alpental, which has the steeper terrain and backcountry access that expert skiers love.  I’ve been skiing at Snoqualmie pass for over 20 years and have had a season pass there for the last decade.  I won’t tell you where my secret stashes of snow are located, but here are a few other things that I have learned:

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Skiing in Austria with the Family

Check out my post on We Said Go Travel!

 

Traveling Hopefully in Budejovice

 

The backstreets of České Budějovice.

In half a year of living in Vienna in 2008, we were able to take small European vacations in every direction – Ljubljana, Venice, Salzburg, Krakow, Bratislava, Budapest.  But we never went to the Czech Republic.  It was right next door and it had Prague!  Ashley had been there in the early 90s so she always lobbied to go someplace that was new to her.  Finally, four years later, she was ready for a revisit, partly because of my lobbying and partly to meet a colleague with common teaching interests.  Ashley’s colleague was not actually in Prague.  He was in České Budějovice, South Bohemia, part way between Vienna and Prague.   A quick Internet search revealed a big and beautiful old town square.  And the town’s name in German is Budweis, as in Budweiser beer.  I needed little convincing to schedule a stop there on the way to Prague. Read more »

Budweis: The Beer from Here

After over 30 years of being a consumer of beer, I have never been a fan of big American brews. I’ve given them every chance. After learning the fundamentals of beer drinking in high school in Canada, I tried all the kinds of American beer at college in central New York. There are some stories to be told about all of those years, but I’ll leave it that I was not impressed with beer south of the border. I eventually moved to the Pacific Northwest before the microbrew revolution, but didn’t care for Rainier or Olympia. I even tried making beer several times before the kids.

And just last month I was at a major league spring-training baseball game in Read more »

Wildlife, Trailers, and Camo

Zoey is right about the wildlife in Alaska, it’s right there for the viewing.  One day we’re on a tour boat out of Seward and through the fjords to the glaciers, and two days later we’re jumping off a bus in the middle of Denali National Park and climbing through the tundra.  And between them it might be easier to list the wildlife that we didn’t see. Read more »