It's Been A While

(Heavy emphasis on the "H" in while.)

Turns out that I haven't been to a new country in quite some time. So to remedy that I just arrived in Stockholm, Sweden a few hours ago. I'm here to do the smart thing and take advantage of a free cruise bequeathed to me thru work after one year or employment. Yeah, I know, I've been there well over a year (and I almost lost the chance to take this cruise cause they put a time limit on it). Well, the remedy is a quick four day jaunt from Stockholm to Tallinn, Estonia then on to St. Petersburg, Russia and back to Stockholm. That'll be three new countries on my tally. . . if I had a tally.

There's Wimbledon on TV (though my Swedish is a little rusty so I'm listening to music on my cell phone instead of the Swedish Chef commentary (Bork! Bork!)), there's a relatively clean bed to sleep in and there's a new city to explore outside. And by the way right now it's only dark here from about midnight to three in the morning. Of course not all things go smoothly which is why my luggage decided to stay in London (turns out luggage really likes tennis) and I'm here with nothing but my grubby-eleven-hour-plane-ride clothes to wear out tonight. Not to fear. . . British Airways gave me a spiffy little bag of toiletries and it included a T-SHIRT! Hooray! Oh and by the way if you haven't heard about Terminal 5 in Heathrow Airport, stay as far away as possible. Take it from someone who travels a little bit these days, that terminal is the thirteenth layer of hades.

Anyway, fairly uneventful trip as usual. Just hope I get my luggage sometime tonight. Got a good cab ride from a young guy who gave me the skinny on what to do and where to go. Turns out all the guide books are right. . . go where they tell you. So I've got two days of kicking around the city and seeing what kind of trouble I can't get into and then I cruise, for the first time in my life. Oh, and for those trying to keep track of my whereabouts I head to Eemshaven, Netherlands after the cruise on July 6th. Should be there a couple weeks and then a week in Southampton, England. That's all for work on our latest ship coming out called the Equinox on the Celebrity side. Finland is calling my name in mid-August as well so there's one more country off the big board.

Alrighty, if I'm going to be in the hotel room and not outside with the pretties then I better be sleeping. Beautiful thing about midnight sun when you're on vacation. . . I can nap till ten at night and still enjoy a beer with the sunset. Stay calm, all is well.

Don't Panic.


Yosemite National Park

I haven't been to Yosemite since my older brother and I did a quick drive through two years ago when I was moving out to Florida. I did a little hiking there yesterday and decided two years is definitely too long to go in between visits.


A friend and I did about thirteen miles and thoroughly wrecked ourselves in the process. For those interested we took 4-Mile Trail from the valley floor to Glacier Point. Then we took Panorama Trail past Illouette Falls to the top of Nevada Falls and finally dropped down past Vernal Falls back to the valley floor. About six thousand vertical up and back down by the end. I won't lie, my legs were a little shaky at the end since Nevada Falls to the valley floor is a two thousand foot drop over just two and a half miles



Back Down the Valley

Above Nevada Falls

From Glacier Point