European Christmas Markets – A great way to get in the holiday spirit!

The idea is being “borrowed” in the U.S. and elsewhere, but to me, the traditional Christmas Market will always be a uniquely European custom. According to my research, the Germans first came up with the idea back in the late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe, and across the former Holy Roman Empire including modern day regions of France and Switzerland. Today, virtually all large European cities – and many small ones – open Christmas Markets that last the entire month of December. Continue reading

Another emotional reunion, this time with my college pal Rob in Budapest, Hungary

In a previous life, I attended a small liberal arts college for my first two years in a small town in Ohio. There I met this guy named Rob, a fellow rower, from the Philadelphia area. We became very good friends, and let the record show that we won an awful lot of crew races together in those two years. I transferred away after two years, but we remained in contact through the rest of college and for a few years after that. A few years later, Rob got an MBA from a prestigious east coast school which led him to a program overseas in Budapest, Hungary. I knew he was there, but we sort of lost track of each other at that point.

Fast forward about 20 years. When I learn I am going to be relocating to Geneva, I double down on my efforts to locate Rob, and I manage to succeed Continue reading