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Summer steamrolled by and now I’m standing in the midst of Thanksgiving! It is truly not just a saying, that “Time flies when you’re having fun!” Especially after 30!

I did go on my annual birthday trip this summer. Meds have been working, so all has been stable enough for me to actually DO things and make plans. I do NOT appreciate the extra 10 pounds that came on with my immune suppressant! But I suppose it’s a small price to pay for LIVING.

This year, we hit the Baltics via cruise. I am not a big cruiser. The pros would be not having to change hotels for each city and dragging luggage onto ferries and trains; lower cost; food and drink readily available; transportation to the next location is automatic. Ironically, my cons are the same. I like the hecticness of running for the train, the excitement of changing hotels… hoping they have wash rags, and I love almost getting lost! But it was my travel partner’s idea to cruise, and she was right, cruising is easier.

Here are a few shots of our stops in Russia, Finland and Stockholm.

Absolutely amazing places! What we could be as a society by learning about other cultures! St. Petersburg was probably my highlight, as who gets to say they visited Russia. But as far as the grandeur and pretty photo ops, it is all limited to the center of the city and palace grounds. Most of the city is a mess… as in shambles. Finland, as well as Stockholm, was inviting and while staying true to tradition you could see their modern progression. I would love to go back to either! We also visited the Berlin Wall and a few small towns along the Baltic. So much history! Aside from the obvious history in Berlin, it was fascinating to sit and talk with locals who grew up during the era. To hear their stories, relive the time through their words, was incredible. I am so grateful for the experience!

As always, I hope that you are well or on your way to healing. Seize every moment and live your best life!