Bye for Now, Europe!

Today’s destination – the Munich Airport!  Back where we started!

Here’s a general summary of our last two weeks. :)

Europe 2013 Road Map
Some things I’ll miss…

The countryside!!

Solar panels in the countryside!!
Church towers at the center of every town!!


The cranes!! The construction!

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A couple shots from our very long flight home…

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All the white is snow!!!

Tomorrow we return to true Daily Shorties.  Woohoo!



Henning’s cousin Garrett has followed the footsteps of his aviating parents, and is a commercial pilot!  He was gracious enough to offer us a ride to and from Petaluma, and see what it’s like to be in a tiny plane!

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Thank you Palo Alto…

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Flying over Palo Alto Airport…

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Salt Ponds…

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Shoreline Amphitheatre!

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Stanford Stadium!

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Felt Lake, which I didn’t even know existed!

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Half Moon Bay…

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Golden Gate Bridge…

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Flying over the clouds…

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Landing in Petaluma for a quick lunch with Henning’s dad Bruce and Marjorie.

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What a ride.  Thanks Garrett!!  :D



A portion of our extended family (14 total) is travelling to Europe together for a couple weeks.  This will be the first time in Europe for many of my family members, and I’m excited to get to share this experience with them.

As always, two of my favorite things about airports are art (SFO below) and people (we befriended a Californian and her daughter in Frankfurt).

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I’m in Albuquerque for the Earth USA 2011 Conference for earth architecture, engineering and construction.  The conference is held every other year, in New Mexico.  The 2007 conference was what got me excited about building with earth, and the 2009 conference involved my fateful acquaintance with Quentin Branch and Julie Szekely.  To put it shortly, this conference series changed my life.

Finally made it to the ABQ airport.

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Conference #3, on its way.

Spending the day in Zurich…

…the Zurich AIRPORT that is!

Arrived from Mumbai to Zurich 6AM (Central European Time). After being the first people through airport security for the morning, my fellow Mumbai travelers and I had the whole terminal to ourselves!

I was quite touched by the “groovy” San Francisco shoutout in the terminal.  It was nice to have thoughts of home as I drifted off to sleep in the comfy Zurich airport chairs.  :)


Trains and Planes …Berlin

Went to Berlin’s Technikmuseum to check out the trains and planes.
There’s actually way more, but we only had an hour!

Outside the Tech Museum.  It’s a plane!!!DSCN0026

Models and real trains!!!  The Technikmuseum is actually also one of Berlin’s old train stations.  Place was huge.DSCN0028

Model ships!!DSCN0038

For James: knots!!DSCN0040


The plane whose wing is on the far left, is an old crashed-and-burned war plane.  They’ve got everything!

We also went to the Berlin Tegel airport twice to get Henning exit row seats for our flight the next day.

Stacey sitting emo.DSCN0051


Stuck in Stockholm


Watching our plane arrive at the Stockholm Arlanda airport 4 hours late.
The weather around Europe has been terrible, so something like half of the flights out of Arlanda on Monday were delayed.

Here is an article about Frankfurt over the weekend, where there were so many angry passengers that they had to call in the police.   When we were there at the beginning of last week, I was already prepared to snap photos of a looming riot.  Just missed it, I guess.



A slice of ‘fashion’ that I’ve noticed in Stockholm…
I have no idea if it’s a branding thing, or a marketing thing…
People sport hanging pieces (a ghost, a heart, a poodle, etc) attached to backpacks, purses, jacket hoods, even stroller handles.  I’ve seen pink breast cancer ribbons (the shape) also.I’ll keep trying to Google it, but I don’t even know what to call it!

Back safely in Berlin, now, for the night.  Spending the rest of the week with Henning’s brother Chris in Basel, Switzerland.  Will update from there.


Berlin to Stockholm

Waking up in Berlin.  :)


The house (Christiane lives on the top floors).


The street.


At the train station, en route to the airport.



Interesting subway art…


COMPARE TO FRANKFURT AIRPORT.  So nice to not find another 2-hour security mob….!  :D


After a long wait, finally made it to Stockholm!

I thought this advert at the Stockholm Arlanda airport was cheery.  :)


After dinner and drinks with Anna-Karin, Denny, Erik and Charlotta at O’leary’s (so Swedish…).  Everyone making fun of Erik for wearing rubber shoe covers to protect his dress shoes.


A great first half-day in Stockholm!  Looking forward to the next 4.  :)


Salvador & Rio de Janeiro

Pieces of Wednesday….

– Arrived in Salvador around 6am.  Verena and I grabbed breakfast (a.k.a. mediocre salgados) at the bus station, since nothing else was open.

– After Verena hopped on her bus to Praia do Forte, I walked across the street to the big Iguatemi mall.  There were about 150 or 200 customers waiting outside the doors to be let in, and they shuffled in pretty intently to their individual stores when the clock hit 9am. 

– I wandered pretty aimlessly through the mall, and at some point was stopped by a guy who tried to ask me out for guaraná.  I graciously declined a few times, insisting that I wanted to walk around a bit more.  He was very nice and respectful. 

– Saddened that the cinema was not open this early in the morning, I grabbed a small cup of espresso (com leite) on the 3rd floor, enjoying the light from the atrium, and my first caffeine kick in almost a month.


– After the mall, I grabbed an expensive taxi (forgo-ing the bus due to my heavy luggage and municipal buses’ tiny turnstiles) to the airport.  I had a great conversation with the driver Mario in Portuguese, and felt quite proud of myself for having improved so much in just 2 weeks.


– Chilled at the airport for a few hours, reading my book.  At some point, I realized that I wanted a pin for my backpack’s travel collection.  After asking around, I found out that it’s supposedly called a boton (although I cannot find online evidence to corroborate), and that no one in the airport has one.  :(

– Arrived safely back in Rio de Janeiro and hung out with Hannah.  Had wonderful a-kilo for dinner (vegetables!), and planned our trip to Paraty!

More on that later.


Friends and Travelling

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ada Bday Table

Ada’s parents invited us all to dinner at Kokkari, an incredible Greek/Mediterranean restaurant in San Francisco.  Everything on the menu was fantastic, and we probably got to try almost half of it all, with such a large group.  I cheated on my general no-meat rule (for another post), because it really was too difficult to resist!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Halloween!  So the girls and I actually stayed over in San Francisco Saturday night, and had a lovely lunch at the Daily Grill downstairs Sunday morning.  It was…pretty incredible.


  Afterward, I joined James, Dexter and Angeles for the Halloween-themed Ghost Patrol BANG!  This was the first puzzle-solving hunt I’ve participated in in years, and it was great to 1) rejoin one of James’ teams and 2) still have the skills for puzzle-solving contribution!  Pictured above was Clue #2, which involved 2 rolls of Smarties candies with letters printed on them in food coloring!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Here starts my adventure to Brazil.  My connecting stop (between San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro) was Charlotte, NC.  The Charlotte Douglas Airport is definitely one of the best airport ambiances I’ve experienced, because its main concourse has 4 key (and relatively unique) things:
2) a real tree next to each rocking chair
3) an outlet hidden at the bottom of each tree!
4) a live piano player so you could sit and enjoy the music!

I will not forget you, Charlotte Douglas Airport.
Definitely something I will keep in mind for my future bakery/café.