Thursday, June 30, 2005

Quick Update

In Norway currently headed towards Stockholm tomorrow. We've got stories from Odense (Denmark), Oslo and Balestrand (Norway) to post but as with everything in Norway, internet access is expensive.

In the meantime, keep yourselves entertained in the comments section (some of you have being doing quite well in this regard) and check out pics of Oslo and the Fjords.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

FYI for folks #2

We only link a small portion of our pics in our blog entries. For family (or fanatically interested friends) who want to see more, you should be able to navigate within Flickr once you've gone to an individual photo link. You can keep hitting back/next, you could view through a slide show, or you may be able to sort by topic/tags (Amsterdam, Denmark, Belgium, etc.) to just see those photos.

Enjoy! (and keep the comments and emails coming)


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hair today, gone tomorrow

So I was getting a little weary of my hair on this trip; I'd been growing it out in various styles after the wedding. Unfortunately I was starting to look like a 70's retread and a little too hippie backpacker for my taste.

Of course, being one who isn't afraid of extremes, I now look I'm ready to report to the Danish army...

Comments (as I'm sure there will be some) are always welcome...


PS Korbel, if you're reading this I promise I'll grow it back at some point...

Welcome to Copenhagen!

We've spent a week or so here in Copenhagen visting our friends the Sarbaek/Rasmussens. Weather has been glorious so we've been able to spend the weekend doing things like playing croquet. Copenhagen has special meaning for both of us; Becca spent a semester here while at Carleton (where she lived with our friends) and this was my first foray into Europe a year and a half ago (the weather is slightly nicer this time around).

Basically, it's just been a great time to relax with friends and "family" with a little bit of sightseeing thrown in. Mostly, we've hung out in the backyard and practiced golf swings and enjoyed the view.

In other news, Monday was our wedding anniversary. Can't believe it's been a year since the big day. Despite a difficult year, we're both still very happy and looking forward to celebrating the big day for years and years to come!

We decided that instead of going out to dinner to celebrate (we'll save that for Paris or someplace like that!) we would rather cook dinner for our family here to say thanks. Good idea....not the best implementation. We have a number of really good dishes that we make (yes, really!) but we aren't quite familiar enough with the proportions and all the ingredients to do it without a recipe. So for freelancing, we thought about steak or our favorite way to do salmon, but we decided to try and recreate an absolutely yummy greek pasta we had improvised at home.

In retrospect, cooking with unfamiliar ingredients, in an unfamiliar kitchen when you'd like to make something really nice for a group of people might not be the most relaxing way to spend an anniversary. Luckily we had a plan B (and even C!) which we had to pull out when it became clear part way through that our original meal wasn't turning out the way we had expected.

In all other ways, the meal was wonderful. Good friends, a beautiful table, a delicious traditional homemade Danish cake, and a lovely portrait of us. We couldn't have asked for more.

Now, on to Odense (Hans Christian Andersen's home town) to see Becca's friend and former teammate Michael, and then up to Norway.

The fam (minus two)
The gang

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Packing Right...

So on our ride from Amsterdam to Duisburg, Germany we were sitting kitty corner from a pair of young female US backpackers. We looked above them and saw this. Needless to say we're feeling pretty good about how we packed.

Japanese pancakes?

No, they're not sushi rolled in crepes.

One of our favorite moments in Amsterdam was the long evening we spent eating at Japanese Pancake World in the Jordaan neighborhood. We found the place quite by accident, just doing what we love best: wandering down side streets and looking at local life. Our eye was caught by the nice plastic model (giving Becca a moment of nostalgia for Japan) of a luscious looking pancake. So what exactly are these pancakes? I'll quote from their website:

Japanese Pancakes, or Okonomiyaki, are savory pancakes with a variety of fresh toppings ranging from sweet corn, beef strips to king prawn. The word Okonomiyaki means 'cook as you like' which also explains the accommodating nature of these pancakes: just choose your favorite toppings and indulge
yourself in your personalized pancake, Japanese-style. Apart from the usual ingredients such as flour and egg, the pancake dough also uses pureed mountain potato. This special ingredient keeps the dough light and crispy. Shredded cabbage as well as other ingredients is then added to the dough before
being spread onto the teppan. Before being served hot off the grill, mouth-watering sauces are spread on top of the pancake ready to host the finale of dramatic "dancing" fish flakes. With plenty of vegetables and a variety of toppings, Japanese Pancakes make a complete nutritious meal. While they are
quite filling, the use of cabbage keeps the calorie surprisingly low.

Now I don't know whether that description makes your mouth water, but believe me, it should. Check out their website above for more descriptions of the different kinds of okonmiyake (there are 3 major types) and examples of the types of toppings that they offer.

We were convinced to stay and try by Mark, waiter and culinary-guide extraordinare who was very helpful at describing the items and helping us make our way through the huge menu. On a backpacker's budget splurging has to be kept to a minimum, but he helped us figure out that instead of each getting one of the more basic and smaller choices, we could split one of the more deluxe versions (we chose the one in the display case, because it included yaki soba, one of Becca's absolute favorite street foods from Japan, in the pancake) for less money.

One of the best parts of the meal is watching the pancakes being made. Joachim is the owner and chef of the restaurant. You can go up to the bar around the teppan grill and watch him as he works his artistry. (If the day isn't too warm, you can eat your meal there and watch and talk the whole time..but beware: the grill puts out a lot of heat. Or you can go up while he's cooking your food and otherwise sit outside and watch Amsterdam walk by). And they really are works of art. (I'm bummed that I didn't take any pictures of him at work) Joachim is great to talk to and a wonderful source of information on the culture around and history of okonomiyake. He went to Japan to study how to properly make them and imported all of the equipment and ingredients to make it an authentic experience.

We ended up closing down the place, and finished our delicious okonomiyake sharing a drink with Joachim and Mark at our table. It was one of our favorite nights of the trip so far.

In anybody planning on visiting Amsterdam, check the place out. It's delicious, healthy, totally different, and reasonably priced food (and for those on a budget, we shared one pancakes and were more than satisfied and didn't feel hungry again until lunch the next day) with even better company. It's the only authentic okonomiyake place in all of Europe (and I can't remember ever seeing one in the States either). Tell them you heard about it from us and that we say 'cheers and thanks for the meal'.

(For those who want to know, we ordered the Deluxe Noodle Osaka-style. It was a pancake with cabbage, egg, scallion, marinated ginger, and crispy deep-fry-bits, then with a layer of yaki soba (which has noodles, vegetables, and pork strips), then a paper thin layer of egg served with special worcester sauce, mayonnaise, aonori and dancing fish flakes. Almostimpossiblee to picture from the description, but trust us....Yummy.

Free the gnomes!

This picture says it all...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Coffee Shops and Canals

Certainly most people's first impression of Amsterdam. (Note: 'coffee shops' are what the legal marijuana shops are called) In our two days in the heart of Holland we certainly saw plenty of both. The humorous part was walking past the coffee shops that were truly coffee shops (one even going so far as to put up the sign NO DRUGS in their front window). Of course why hit the coffee shops when you can just grow it at home?

All in all a busy time in Amsterdam; despite Becca finding us a good last minute hotel price, it was still an expensive place to be (of course Scandanavia is bound to be even more expensive) so time was limited. However we made good use of our time, taking Tuesday to visit the home of my favorite football club Ajax (where we got a chance to see the stadium, tour the facilities, and shop at the store). In the afternoon we walked through the red light district and did some catching up on email.

We spent the evening walking through the Anne Frank House and taking in the exhibits, which is a must for anyone making the trip to Amsterdam. To see the tiny space that eight people lived in for over two years hiding from the Nazis during the heart of WWII is both inspiring (because they were able to survive) and heart breaking (they were found approximately seven months before the war ended with only Anne's father Otto suriving the concentration camps). All in all a very emotional and life affirming visit.

Dinner was an experience all to itself. Becca is going to write about it separately so I'll let her fill in the details. Wednesday was spent visiting the Rijksmuseum (home of many Rembrandts, Vermeers and Becca's new favorite artist Gerard ter Borch) and just walking around the Jordaan neighborhood enjoying the beautiful weather and a pint or two in one of the many open air cafes.

All in all our time in Amsterdam was enjoyable. I would liken the city to a much more cultural version of New Orleans. There are certainly plenty of people looking to party (on our walk to the hotel I thought I'd walked into a giant fraternity/sorority mixer) and people staying in the tourist center will find that. However a 5-10 minute walk away is home to a number of great neighborhoods (esp. the Jordaan), some wonderful history and a group of people who are laid back and very friendly. All in all an enjoyable experience and just about the right amount of time in town.

Now we're off to Copenhagen on this bad boy...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dateline Brugge

Just a quick note on our favorite location of the trip so far, Brugge. Located in western Belgium this Flemish (Belgian version of Dutch) speaking town is a very relaxing place to spend a few days and evidently quite popular amongst the european tourists (as seen by the huge number of them around town). We spent the night at 't Geerwijn bed and breakfast, which was nice though our top level room was very hot (not surprising given the 35 degree temp during the day). Otherwise it was a lot of wandering around the very old and scenic downtown and a very educational trip to the Straffe Hendrik brewery (where even Becca sampled the product) before heading off to Amsterdam. Brian was even able to take care of his frites fix. Overall Brugge is a wonderful place to just kick back and take an actual vacation (vs. seeing important sight after important sight). On to Amsterdam!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How not to prepare of the things we've heard from many people when we tell them about the trip is "You should write a book". We laugh and say, "maybe". Actually, we'd love to do that but it's difficult to find the right 'hook'. In preparing for this trip we made use of a just a few of the kajillion books and memoires on around the world travel that already exist.

However, a couple of days in and I've already found an area we could cover rather well. "How NOT to prepare for an overseas adventure trip." Both of us have travelled to far away places before and Becca considers herself pretty good at the whole jet lag routine. On her last couple trips to Europe she was pretty much adjusted by the second day.

This time, however, it was a whole other story. The ridiculous pace we'd been keeping for the last three weeks, coupled with the all the stress and the lack of sleep (and the inability to get any sleep on the plane this time) finally caught up with us. We tried to take a walk our first afternoon in Belgium to have the exercise and fresh air do its thing and allow us to hold out until evening to sleep. But our bodies were so wrecked that we both literally (and I do mean literally...I'm not just mis-using the term)dozed off as we were walking or standing around looking. We kept tripping because we couldn't lift our legs enough. After about 25 minutes of this we gave up and had to go back to the house and collapse into bed. We got up after 2.5 hours to have dinner and socialize a little, then crashed again for 13 hours. We felt drugged and 'off' for the next couple of days and for Brian it all culminated in a riproaring cold and fever. Luckily we were staying with the Rahirs and Anne Marie took over with all her homeopathic methods. Brian dabbed some sort of pungent oil (camphor oil, perhaps?) on his wrists (right underneath by the veins), behind his ears, on his ankles and right under his nostils. Then he got to spend 5 minutes breathing in the steam from that oil dropped in boiling water. While a little unorthodox and uncomfortable at the time, it evidently did the trick, making him feel 100x better. After another 10 hours of sleep that night he's almost back to human again.

Another chapter in the 'How not to prepare' book would be about not having surgery on both feet 8 weeks before you hope to leave on trip on foot, leaving you sore, out of shape, and overweight. Ah well, the good news is that we have walked a ton already in Brugge and Amsterdam and will continue to do so. So hopefully some of that will fix itself as we go..

More learnings on what not to do as we go.....

FYI for folks

As we're feeling out the travel/internet thing, we wanted to let people know that posting will most likely be on a weekly basis. However when we post we might be posting multiple entries so make sure and scroll down to page to see exactly what all we've been up to. In the meantime, keep the comments coming and hope all is well for folks!

No sprouts here...

Palais du Roi
Palais du Roi,
originally uploaded by beccabrian.

Brussels was our first actual sight seeing excursion. We went out on Thursday and spent the day touring Brussels. Besides being the political center of the European Union, Brussels has a number of interesting museums and centuries old architecture. Of course we didn't visit most of them, instead doing a bit of an alternative tour.

After taking a stroll around the Grand Place (the home of a number of beautiful buildings from the late 17th century) we did something a little different and visited the Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels. It was quite an entertaining experience, complete with interactive locations where you could hear different pieces being played from the instruments in front of you. Definitely an experience worth having in Brussels. Otherwise we spent the rest of the day just walking around the town (going through a number of beautiful parks) and just soaking in the mix of ancient architecture and modern business that is Brussels.

PS Apologize for the previous abbreviated post; the internet cafes in Amsterdam are not very forgiving...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Who needs an espresso machine...

...when you can have a kitchen gadget like this??

Brian enjoying the fruits of modern technology.

Wonderful friends

The emphasis on this first part of our trip has been recovering and recharging our batteries while visiting some wonderful friends.

Becca and her family lived in Louvain-la-Neuve in 1978-79 and were wonderfully lucky to wind up living next door to a 'hyper-sympa' family, the Rahirs. The eldest daughter, Maud, lived in Oregon with Becca's family for a year during highschool, and the parents Yves and Anne Marie gave us a wonderful gift by celebrating with us at our wedding last year. Maud and Albert now has 3 sons (Oscar, Igor, and Eliot) and we're in awe of the energy and patience they have. We had fun playing with the boys and were impressed with Oscar's attempts to teach Brian French. It was also very nice to catch up with Fan Fan (Anne-Francoise), Becca's partner in crime during her time living here. We were sorry to miss Thomas, but hope to find a way to catch up with him later.

It was fun to explore LLN, a town built to incorporate the univerisity into the neighborhoods and to emphasize pedestrian traffic. We learned a lot about urban planning and architecture walking around and talking about the town and Becca marvelled about how much it had grown and expanded in 25 years.

After the visit with the Rahirs, we also had an (unfortunately too short) time with Steven and Catherine and their adorable children, Sara and Nicolas. Steven was an exchange student living with close family friends of Becca's during high school and they have stayed ever since. Steven also gave us the gift of his presence at our wedding. We really felt honored to have everyone around. We really enjoyed sitting on the back patio, watching the sun set at 10 pm (??!!) and gazing out across the fields and pastures. It was wonderfully relaxing.

We feel blessed to have friends like these around the world and consider it a perfect way to start the trip before we rev up the sightseeing.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005


We're having some temporary photo issues, but we're soldiering on...

Left Portland early Tuesday, laying over in Chicago. Had a most disappointing last American meal (not that surprising in an airport, but really, is turkey meat really supposed to look like that??), and then got on the big plane. I have to admit, we were not overwhelmed by American Airlines' international service. The individual overhead lights didn't work (not just for me or us, for at least everybody in our section), the flight attendants were not the friendliest I've encountered (and yes, they could just have been having a bad day...lord knows I wouldn't want to do that job), the food was fairly inedible (which to me is unusual on international flights) and the alcohol is now $5 in coach. Ah well....they got us there safe and on time, so I guess I can't really complain.

Yves Rahir, our close family friend (and next door neighbor in 1978-79) picked us up at the airport and gave us a car tour of Brussels and Louvain-la-Neuve on the way home. After a yummy lunch we headed out to take a walk arond town, as I've always found fresh air and exercise one of the bet ways to beat jet lag and stay up until night on that first day in Europe. However, not surprisingly, being totally stressed and exhausted and sleep deprived for a week-plus prior to an trans-Atlantic flight is not the best recipe for an easy transition. We were so tired (we also weren't able to sleep on the flight for more than an hour because it was so hot (and there aren't any little individual blowers on that kind of plane)) that we actually literally were falling asleep as we were standing up and each dozed off once or twice in between steps and tripped. After 30 min or so of this, we gave up and returned to the Rahirs for a 2 hour nap. We got up and struggled through a fun family dinner (With Yves and his wife Anne-Marie, their daughter (and Becca's sister for a year in high school in Oregon) Maud, and her sons Oscar, Igor, and Eliot) and then crashed into bed at 9 o'clock, sleeping dead to the world for the next 13 hours. Let's just say we do NOT recommend our method of preparation before this trip to anyone else looking for an easy transition across 9 time zones.

More of the actual stuff we did and saw soon...

Okay... got the photo stuff figured out. Here we are about to embark on our adventure!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

And we're off!

And we're off!
And we're off!,
originally uploaded by beccabrian.
Just wanted to document the moment. Can't believe that we're actually doing it.

Monday, June 13, 2005

We're out of here! (almost)

We're ready to go!
We're ready to go!,
originally uploaded by beccabrian.

That photo says it all (check it out)....Unbelievable that we got everything organized and together and into those bags!!!

Tuesday is the big day; we leave Portland on an 8:30am flight arriving into Brussels at 8:45am local time on Wednesday.

Monday was absolute mayhem; we saw Becca’s aunt Sue off early and then proceeded to spend all day running last minute errands, dropping off the Subaru at our friend’s Cair and Luigi's horse farm (congrats again on a successful horse trial this weekend!) and basically running around in a panic all day.

The biggest disappointment of the day was the fact that we didn't get much of a chance to spend time and relax with Becca's mom. Luckily she was in the car with us as we did our best imitation of an anally organized chicken with its head cut off, so we could at least chat in between hopping in and out of the car. Our true "quality time" with her was limited to a 15 minute dinner at the local Chinese place while rushing to catch the shuttle back up to Portland. Still, Becca and she were able to take a moment to talk about how much Becca's Dad would LOVE this trip.

Brian's parents picked us up in Portland and we got to spend a little time familiarizing them with our blog before hitting the sack.

We’re both exhausted at this point; all the travel preparations have taken quite a bit out of us and led to some sleepless nights (hopefully the flight over the pond will help). That being said, we’re both excited and nervous to have the overseas portion of our adventure starting. The unknown is ahead; what it brings us we do not know but we’re ready to embrace it head on.


PS Best of luck to these guys in Omaha over the weekend.
PPS Here's another look at how not-big our packs are. This should be interesting....

What in the World…?

Mystery Picture!
Mystery Picture!,
originally uploaded by beccabrian.
First in a to-be continuing series of quasi-educational posts for the kids reading our blog:

Any guess what these are?
Hint #1: They’re usually in the water, not on land
Hint #2: You don't want to be messing with them

If you guessed this you're spot on...

Evidently this happens fairly regularly with this species. It was a first for us personally in Waldport, OR. Now we're not experts on marine biology by any means, but we can tell you that hundreds of thousands of these dead and rotting on a beach make a powerful stink. Peeee-ew

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Peace at the Beach

Davis Family
Davis Family,

I’m writing this after just getting back from a relaxing weekend with the Davis clan at the Bloomfield beach house in Waldport, OR. In between getting heckled by my parents about what we were carrying and getting sound packing advice from my brother Kevin, we were able to enjoy a glorious weekend with relaxing views, beach walks, a good old-fashioned wine sister-in-law show-down, and lots of family moments, both original and blended. All in all, just what you would want to try and recharge the batteries.

Now in Corvallis to visit Becca’s Aunt Sue, Becca’s mom and finish last minute details before heading to Portland Monday night!


Since we last wrote…

We spent two great days catching up with Becca’s brother Jon and his wife Lori during the evening while hitting glorious places such as Kinko’s and US Bank. Unfortunately we didn’t have any time to hit here. Much sushi was consumed, talk of their to-be remodeled house was had and we now know where to pick up sweet Apricot Liqueur in the Czech Republic. Thanks to both of them again for extending their usual 8pm bedtime so they could spend a little more time socializing with us :-)

We then headed out to Gresham where we got a great chance to spend an afternoon with my Grandmother Wendy, hear her globetrotting stories and admire here glorious backyard garden before heading to Casa Davis for a proper Midwestern meal and seeing Lincoln (another groomsmen and an unhealthy supporter of these guys) and his two kids.

Off to the beach for the weekend!


What made the cut…

Here’s a list of what’s in our packs for the trip. With everything in them (only excluding our sandals); Brian’s weighed in at 26 lbs; Becca’s 24 lbs. We tried our best to follow the travel credo “pack half of what you need and bring twice as much money”. I’d say we got about half the way there so I wouldn’t be surprised if this list dwindled in a few weeks.

Clothes For Each

1 Mtn Hardware Windstopper Jacket
1 Rain Shell (Mtn Hrdwre- Br, REI – Be)
1 pair hiking/walking shoes w/ Vibram soles (North Face – Br, Vasque - Be
1 pair sandals (Keen- Br, Chaco’s – Be)
5 prs socks (Ultimax/Coolmax/Smart Wool)
5 prs underwear (Ex Officio Travel)
1 long sleeve dryfit shirt
1 short sleeve dryfit shirt
1 long sleeve button up shirt (nicer travel clothes - Brian)
1 short sleeve button up shirt (nicer travel clothes - Brian)
2 knit sleeveless tops (nicer travel clothes – Becca)
1 skirt (Becca)
1 Chico’s packable top (Becca)
1 swimsuit (Becca)
1 pair shorts
1 pair pants
1 pair convertible shorts/pants (shorts double as swimsuit Brian)
1 baseball cap
1 pair running shorts/dryfit shirt to do workouts
1 pair sunglasses
1 bandana

Other Stuff for Each
1 Platypus collapsible water bottle
1 Pack towel
1 Pack washcloth (Becca)
1 Silk sleep sack
1 Ipod shuffle
1 Pack Rain cover
1 money belt
1 Passport
1 Scanrail pass
1 Eurorail pass
Credit Card
ATM Card
Passport copy

Joint Stuff
1 Digital camera (elph)
1 Journal
1 mini-notebook
Adapters for electronics
Recharger for camera battery
Recharger for IPOD
Card reader for uploading dig pics
1 mini flashlight
1 headlamp
1 leatherman tool (knife, scissors, corkscrew(!)
First Aid kit
1 Elastic Band w/ handles (for workouts)
1 document folder

2 Kelty Redwing packs (2500 W, 2650 M)
2 REI flashpack/stuff sacks (for daypacks)


Monday, June 06, 2005

Finally in Oregon!

Quite an adventurous day while traveling from SF to Corvallis. A few observations from the 9 1/2 hours on the road.

- Leaving SF after rush hour was the way to go; we took advantage of Mark and Jessica's wonderful hospitality in the morning and as a result didn't have to add to many hours in the car.

- Which is good because trouble will always come your way when you're going past a town named Weed. In our case, we got stuck behind a 12 car pileup (and an ugly one at that) which had us parked on I-5 for an hour. Not good times.

- We highly recommend eating lunch or dinner while driving the 570 miles. We obviously should have stopped here when we passed through Cottonwood and gotten our food from a good Minnesota boy (he's from Robbinsdale eerily enough). Instead we staggered into Corvallis underfed and tired.

Up to Portland tomorrow with a few days of serious work on the horizon before heading over to Walport for the weekend.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

One more leg to go...

Too many hills....
Too many hills....,
originally uploaded by beccabrian.
Spent a great weekend in San Francisco with Mark and Jessica, including prepping our taste buds for the southeast asian part of our trip at the Tao Cafe, a fantastic little neighborhood restaurant near Noe Valley (it's just one of those great authentic neighborhood joints, and yummy), and practicing for our trip by walking up and down and up and down the hills.

Tomorrow morning we head north to Oregon. We'll spend a week there visiting our brothers and sisters-in-law and moms and dad and grandmother and childhood friends. We've got about 2.5 more pages of to-dos to finish before we get on the plane and head to Brussels.

At that point these entries will become much more interesting and exotic. :-)

Wish us luck...

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Welcome to the Blog, Version 2.0

Mark the Magnificant
Mark the Magnificant,
originally uploaded by beccabrian.
You may have noticed that we have a new, improved look around here (including pictures, woo-hoo!!). This is all thanks to our friend Mark Foltz, PhD in Artificial Intelligence from MIT and currently one of the programming geniuses at Google. Mark was one of Brian's roommates at WashU and a groomsman at our wedding.

Of course, blog-fixing is hard work......

Feel free to post comments about the change or other suggestions for improvement. We might be able to find some goodies along the road to bribe him with...

West Coast, baby....

Three world travellers
Three world travellers,
originally uploaded by beccabrian.
So we finally made it to the West Coast.

The drive to Reno from Salt Lake was long and empty. Totally put the cruise control on 80, lock the steering wheel, and take a nap. Contrary to the suggestions made in the comments section of our last post, Brian did not spend all of our travelling money at the blackjack tables (though not necessarily for lack of trying ). Becca decided Reno had all of the parts of Vegas she hates and none of the parts that are nice, so she can safely cross that city off of our 'need to return to' list.

After Reno we made it across the Sierra Nevadas and landed in Sacramento to visit Lisa and Jesse. Lisa and Brian are friends from way back and we had the opportunity to help them break in their new house (congrats again!) while enjoying good food and company.

Thursday brought us to the Bay Area and Becca's extended family. It was wonderful to see Ken and Ellyn, Richard and Laura, Joanna (thanks for coming down from the city!), Susan and Craig, and family friends David and Laura (and new baby Ari...Congrats again!). The most special part of the visit though, was the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Nana, Becca's grandmother, who is a world traveller in her own right. We felt lucky to have the chance to hear her stories and hang out.

On to S.F.....