Russia: no longer the Bad Guy?

Before our cruise ship arrived at the port of St. Petersburg in 2017, Russia had been in the American headlines for months. That wasn't unusual: its predecessor, the Soviet Union, made headlines all the time during my father's Foreign Service career promoting American democracy to stem the tide of Communism. The Russians were the Bad…

Five Tips for Surviving a Transatlantic Cruise

My husband and I are completing the first leg of our seven-week vacation: tomorrow morning, after 11 days at sea, our Holland America cruise ship finally docks at mainland Europe. France. Cherbourg. The Nieuw Statendam, which was built in Europe and traveled to Florida for her inaugural Caribbean cruise with Oprah, will have completed her…

Off to Norway …..

My parents were both half Norwegian. Mom's maternal family originally were the Kjilis, which someone at Ellis Island translated as Kelly. Dad's paternal family were the Amundsons, which someone at Ellis Island translated as Amerson.