Ambling through Amsterdam

[From Beth and Mike] Today we were able to rally early for our three-hour train ride into Amsterdam. Upon arriving, we bought the kids pre-lunch snacks (see how we’re learning?) and then were able to tackle the how-to-find-street-signs and whether-to-take-the-tram-bus-metro-or-canal-bus questions without breaking into fist-a-cuffs before an official lunch. We had lunch kitty-corner from Westerkerk, […]

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Sightseeing in Helsinki/Tallinn

[From Beth] This morning in Helsinki was gorgeous. Mike and Colin headed out at about 5 am to scope out breakfast bars (dang, jet lag), and by the time the rest of us got moving, had found a nice buffet with all local, organic foods AND a gluten free toast for Jack and Saara. We […]

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Getting to know you …

[From Beth] Before the kids hit their final wall for the evening, we managed to go out for a coffee with Henna, our-soon-to-be-third-exchange student, and her parents. Saara tells us the tradition in Finland is to eat dinner at 4:30 and have a coffee and small snack later. This was late enough (6:00 pm) to […]

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132lbs and sleepless in Boise.

[from Mike] Eight hours before we leave for the airport. I’ve spent several weeks trying to figure out how to minimize our luggage, and I’ve gotten it down to eight smallish carry-on’s and one checked bag. Total weight is 132 pounds. That’s for four people, so I’m satisfied.  If we left all the gadgets (cameras, […]

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Two and a half showers

[overheard by Mike] Colin took a 90-second shower tonight.  2.5 of them, actually. Beth: “Did you use water AND soap?” Colin: “No. Just water.” Beth:”Then go back in there and wash your hair and your whole body with soap and shampoo.” Colin: Grumbling. “Okay.” 90 seconds later. “Okay, mom, I’m done.” Beth: “Did you shower again and […]

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From the North Came a Tribe, Brave and Bold

[from Beth] Mike and I were brainstorming what to take on our trip to Finland for Saara’s niece and nephew when I suggested t-shirts from our alma matter. He hesitated, then wondered aloud whether our school mascot, Joe Vandal, would somehow be offensive in a country that was once regularly invaded by marauding norsemen. So […]

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