Menu Close
Giverny
Giverny
Cadaques
Cadaques
Verona
Verona
Vienna
Vienna
Norway
Norway
Bergen
Bergen
Chicago
Chicago
Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre
Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Venice
Venice

Long commutes and strange sports

Ah, the joys of commuting! And the power of jinx! Just yesterday I had a stray thought that there had not been major transportation problems on my commute for quite a while. Lo and behold, today was a disaster. When I arrived at my train station in the morning, the…

Spring, impressionists and the map of Europe

In our many years in New Jersey, we cannot recall ever having a breakfast outside. Barbecues, parties – yes, but never a breakfast. There were several excuses for that, such as absence of a deck and complicated logistics of carrying stuff down wooden steps to the patio, but the fact…

New friends and other events

It took me a while to emerge from under the pile of emails after a protracted absence from work. But I did emerge from that battle victorious, if in desperate need of another vacation. Nice trips, I always found, have an annoying quality of appearing insufficiently long, when recalled after…

Return from Paradise

And the Spring Break holidays came to the end. We are home, in excellent spirits and feeling perfectly rested after a week in Tuscany. I am quite sure that that feeling will not survive through Wednesday… But allow me to dwell on this pleasant week, and talk about Tuscany a…

Cotswolds

I will only manage to get in a single blog entry in between two vacation trips, so I better write as much about the first one as possible before going onto the second one. So, here we go, briefly about Cotswolds… Cotswolds is an area in Middle England that has…

MVP or LVP, depending on perspective

One of the favorite types of company outings in England is The Quiz. Guys from one of my partner technology teams has invited me to theirs. They must have thought that having a Russian-American on their team would give them some competitive advantage… The quiz works very simply. There are…

Inexplicably free of charge

A funny realization has hit me a few days ago – in a certain sense, somehow, we have been living for free for quite some time. Ok, that statement is true only when applied to gas, electricity and broadband internet. And more likely than not, it will catch up with…

Revisions and social life

The car is in a driveway and has already been properly appreciated by all family members, the new TV looks great and works great, and the new food processor performs its magical duties like crazy. Things are looking up. Natasha, actually, demands a couple of corrections to the previous post.…

Acquisitions and deliveries

That hail on Sunday was a precursor to worsening weather – with the official start of the spring, the temperatures dropped to near freezing, the skies turned to mostly grey, and several short snowfalls made an appearance, melting instantly. Natasha’s dad continued his exploration of London nonetheless, only devoting more…

Return of the active weekend

It has been a while since we managed to stay active on both Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend. Winter weather is hardly conducive to outings, and you can only go on back-to-back museum trips so much. But with spring-like weather, hundreds of places that we want to visit…

Spring is in the air

It really only takes once to disrupt regularity of posts, and then it becomes very hard to get back into the habit. Or, maybe, it’s too much booze… Going out, at least, if not the booze. We were out with a friend who was on a business trip from Geneva,…

Life goes on…

Sincere apologies to my faithful readers for such a long gap in my posts. I was not in much of a mood for writing. My family in New York has suffered through an inconceivable loss, and a beautiful little girl has never got a chance to open her eyes and…

Karaoke, bikes and cars

It’s nothing short of amazing that I don’t impersonate Natasha-without-her-voice today. Try singing karaoke for a hundred songs in one sitting, and you’ll understand… We went to visit our new friends Valera and Zhanna (whose daughter is Kimmy’s classmate). There was a nice meal, highlighted by Zeppelins, traditional Lithuanian stuffed…

Bye, house!

Well, it was bound to happen and it finally did happen. Our New Jersey house is no longer ours. The process took longer that we initially hoped for, and caused us enough nerves. The house was sitting empty since October, with my parents having to periodically visit and check things…

Canaletto plus sushi and kharcho

I forgot to check with the groundhog this year. Did it see its shadow or not? To be honest, it would not make any difference. The winter never really came to England. Late fall lingered… and gradually morphed into early spring… I will be first to admit that for a…

Out and about with a mute

Next on the list – learning sign language. Natasha is definitely feeling better overall, but her regular malady befell her. She lost her voice, and even whispering hurts her vocal cords. She communicates primarily by gestures instead, which are not always easy to decipher. Conversations inevitably turn into drawn-out charades,…

Getaway to Brussels

And we are back! Another trip is in the books, not entirely a success, but still a largely positive getaway. As I might have mentioned, our choice of Brussels as the next destination was largely influenced by the fact that Eurostar – high-speed train that links London with the continent…

Certain in this world: Taxes

Days are really slowing down. Maybe it’s a function of the general decrease in our touristic activity or possibly routine is continuing to take a greater hold. It could be a function of waiting – I am in the middle of the fun period of knowing the size of my…

Snow again (brief follow-up)

As was advertised, a beautiful snowy landscape has greeted us in the morning. And as expected, even though the morning driving was not any worse than on any other day, the public transportation was badly wounded. Half of the trains were cancelled, the other half delayed. It’s a good thing…