A Cup of Tea

SULTANAHMET, ISTANBUL, TURKEY – I had long imagined what magic the Grand Bazaar might hold. For me, the name conjured up images of gold, rubies, scimitars, candles, silks, spices. I hoped for sandy walls, hanging rugs, warm lighting, the richness and clamor of a busy market. Sweeping past the many food stalls and trinket tables…

Stained Glass

HELENA, MONTANA, USA – We drove on icy highways past plains covered in layers of snow, tall yellow grasses peeking out, flurries making the road in front of us difficult to see. When sun shone and the skies were blue we would speed through Wyoming, marveling at the shimmering earth around us. When snow began…

What Else?

TUSCANY, ITALY – My friend in Rome would suggest visiting fantastic historical sights in and out of the city, which is how I finally made it to Tivoli, Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este. They would take me to artisan gelaterias that were too expensive to afford but had too pure of flavors not to spend…

Bliss in a Hotel

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, HONG KONG (SAR) – I had only been to Hong Kong once before and was not expecting to go this particular week. It was late September, just after we had finished all the things required of us for the new semester, but work never became less stressful. There was always something coming up,…

Isolated Familiarity

FORT LARAMIE, WYOMING, USA – I spent my days inside, researching and writing, hiding from the cold Wyoming winter. Sitting at a small bar in the kitchen, I watched families snow sledding in the park across the street, blanketed after recent flurries. We decided to spend a day at Fort Laramie, not far from our…

My Kind of Fourth

ROME, LAZIO, ITALY – A year ago I was in Rome, and had completely forgotten about the upcoming 4th of July holiday until a friend of mine back in the USA reminded me of it about a week prior to the day (no one in Italy had any idea it was approaching, naturally). Although it…

A Flower and Two Smiles

UBUD, BALI, INDONESIA – Life in Ubud was easy. I would wake in the late morning and take my notebook out to the table on my balcony, where I would write as I waited for Ketut to come up and inquire about what I wanted for breakfast. A hot thermos of tea was always kept…