Our Sister City


Our sister city, Almogía By Woody and Rebecca Fridae (Note, for those who are following our Vietnam series, it will be posting soon. We're doing some deep dive research on it while we travel, so keep tuned!) “Sister cities,” “twin cities,” call it what you like, but Winters, California and Almogía, Spain have had a … Continue reading Our Sister City

A New Circle Begins, Part One


Some stories seem to unfold in a neat, chronological path. Others do not lend themselves to that form easily. And this is one of them. While the circle of our trip arced through Marginea passing by father's birthplace, and locating, finally, Gheorghe, Leonica, Mariaora, and Gavrila, and closed, we still had one day to return … Continue reading A New Circle Begins, Part One

Circle of Friends–Part 4: The Capital


On the road, we headed west and south from Toulcea. After a bit of GPS only guidance, I tried to find our place on the map book and eventually found it. The countryside had gently rolling hills and flat farmlands that stretched to the horizon. Farms were bigger here with fewer houses--there were times you … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 4: The Capital

Circle of Friends–Part 3: Tulchea and the Danube Delta


We arrived near dusk, partly due to the fact that Romania had  just changed to daylight saving time here, but I doubt that's what they call it.  As the sky was turning grey and the winds picked up, Rebecca and I found a small restaurant on the second floor of a row of businesses near … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 3: Tulchea and the Danube Delta

Romania’s Painful Birth of Freedom: Long Read


The will of the people was inevitable, most people told us. It was building to a flashpoint, waiting for a spark. We retraced the steps of people 29 years ago to find out what were the elements that ignited the Revolution. (Some photos from this post are from the Museum of the Revolution Decmber 16-25 … Continue reading Romania’s Painful Birth of Freedom: Long Read

Austria, Part Three: Vienna and Iulia

One delightful discovery along the way, was Iulia Pop. In planning for this trip, I had asked my sister's grandson, Drake Southwick, about people there since he had traveled to Romania about two years ago. I asked him for some contacts to help with planning our trip. One of the contacts he gave me was Iulia … Continue reading Austria, Part Three: Vienna and Iulia

Germany Part Two: Berlin

Reconstruction: "Berlin should be called the city of cranes." Rebecca From the moment we landed in Berlin, we saw very little of it because of all the construction and barriers. And if they weren't fixing something, they were fixing to celebrate something. On the advice of a stranger at Tegel Airport, we took the Express … Continue reading Germany Part Two: Berlin

Germany, Part One: Düsseldorf

First stop: Düsseldorf Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Some places we planned to visit were selected on a hunch. Düsseldorf was one of them. Back in April, I was pouring wine at the Berryessa Gap winery for a young couple I had just met, Dirk … Continue reading Germany, Part One: Düsseldorf