A Whirlwind 72 Hours in Finland

Norway, Denmark, and Sweden were all incredible countries with a lot to offer.  We decided to add one more country to top our Scandinavia trip off, and we were glad we did.  Finland was pretty amazing, and as draining as our whirlwind trip was, we felt we topped it all of on a high note.  With a limited amount of time there; we tried to cram as much as we could in a short time, but ended it on an amazing experience at one of the greatest Finnish traditions, the sauna. We were lucky enough to find a night cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki through Viking Line Cruises.  We set sail on the Gabriella Cruise ship, and got a private room (with private bathroom) for $104 total!  Our private room had 4 beds, so if you travel there with multiple people it is a steal.  Even with the 3 of […]

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Throwing Caution to the Wind When Traveling to Cuba

I like to think I take trip planning very seriously.  I have my pre-trip blog reading, my Pinterest boards, my Google Maps, and more.  I know from traveling with my girl, Rachelle, to Thailand and going with my family to Scandinavia, that my planning can get a little OCD at times.  When I was planning my trip to Cuba, it all seemed to always be falling apart. The initial plan was to go with my mom and daughter in either February or May.  That fell through, but my cousin Kathy had some free vacation days at the end of January, so we decided to go.  Timing wasn’t the best as I was just coming back from a pretty difficult trip to Chicago, I had friends moving away that I’d like to spend time with, and I had a daughter in school that I would have to have coverage for the […]

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What To Eat In Sweden

As I travel, I love to find some things that would be considered a favorite or local dish.  Some that I haven’t tried before and some that I have had but would like to try it from the source.  With Sweden, I don’t think I knew much of what they had besides Swedish meatballs from Ikea, and Swedish sticky buns that I know from Ann Sather’s in Chicago. I’ve made a list of things that a first timer in Sweden should definitely check out. Swedish meatballs We went to Östermalms Saluhall, off Östermalmstorg, is a great place to try different things.  They have isles of vendors, like a farmer’s market but with lots of food stalls to try different things.  We caught some attitude from the folks at Melanders after ordering the meatballs.  They weren’t bad, but the experience we had there makes us never want to return.  Instead, we stopped by Husman’s […]

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Stunning Stations and Efficient Train Systems in Stockholm

Taking public transportation in foreign cities can be a little scary.  Trying to find your way around in another language, a little directionless in underground tunnels, or unfamiliar with different turns the roads may take, may make this seem difficult for sure.  I was happy that basically all the public transportation we found in Scandinavia was hassle-free.  One thing that really made the whole experience even more pleasant was constantly finding really cool stations once you get to your next stop. Art can definitely lighten a mood or brighten a day, but I think I enjoyed the constant surprise of finding something new and beautiful at the end of the ride.  It was like an egg hunt in the spring, and I just wanted to find more brightly colored eggs. The stations ranged in size of the work, some were rotating and had various artists, while others were done to […]

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