Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

Here we have gathered my extended Norwegian family. My cousin Wolfgang is not in the picture, but his wife and two  German-Norwegian off-springs are. Wolfgang and my American husband were the only ones drinking beer.

We had just returned from the neighborhood pizzeria and therefore continued with wine on the balcony. It was a relatively cool evening for August anyway. I see Lena rubbing her hands for warmth in the photo. We had to get some blankets soon after. So much for hot nights in August…

We had a wonderful time seeing each other again after more than five years.


With Marianne, Kai-Espen and Lena from Bergen, Norway

On the Road in Canada – Hopewell Rocks, NB

After our short break in St. Martins, we stopped at Hopewell Rocks in the afternoon.

These rocks, often referred to as flowerpot rocks, stand between 40 – 70 feet tall. These rock formations have been caused by tidal erosion.

We got a family pass for two adults and two children for C$ 20 to get into the park. This photo was taken from above, obviously, and later we climbed down the stairs. The park ward told us there are 96 steps (round trip), which did not impress us much. We have more steps to climb up and down in our apartment building in Germany.

Hopewell Rock, Canada

Hopewell Rock, Canada

The view below is just as interesting. There are even more mushroom look-alikes along the side of the cliffs.

Hopewell Rock

Hopewell Rock

The ebb and tide leave the sea in a constant murky brown. This coloration I had only seen in floods before.

brown sea

brown sea

Here is a bit of information what makes the Fundy tides so special.

Fundy Tides

Fundy Tides

And yes, we heard of some dangerous encounters with moose on the road. Fortunately, we only heard about them and got to see the warning signs along the road. We did not spot a single one.

Moose crossing

Moose crossing

Now we are heading back to Halifax, where we originally started our road trip. We will be spending one night there before heading to Lunenburg for our final place to visit.

Sitting Next to Family on U.S. Flights

Yesterday’s New York Times edition listed the following article in its section International Traveler:

Quoting: Want to sit next to your family? You might have to pay extra

If you are flying in the United States this summer, be prepared to kiss your family goodbye at the gate. Even if they are on the same plane.

U.S. airlines are reserving more window and aisle seats for passengers who are willing to pay extra. That helps to increase revenue but makes it harder for friends and family members who do not pay the fee to sit next to each other. At the peak of the summer travel season, it might be nearly impossible.

Buying tickets two or more months in advance may help. But passengers are increasingly finding that the only way to sit next to a spouse, child or friend is to pay US$ 25 or more, each way.


Yes, there are more and more ways to charge passengers extra to cover the rising cost of fuel. But I wonder about the airlines’ safety policy of a parent having to sit next to a child during take-off and landing.

Back in 2006, on our flight to the U.S., my husband and I took the liberty to sit together with both kids sitting together in front of us. We were advised this was not possible as it went against safety regulations. Each parent had to sit with one child.

How will this fit in with the above charges? On one hand, I have to sit with my child and on the other, I have to pay extra. This would be ludicrous. Imagine a possible scuffle… just before take-off and landing.

A Good Reason to Travel

A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change.

– Katharine Butler Hathaway –

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