Day 1 Begins

After getting settled into the "Swilly Suite" and meeting up with the girls, we all decided that we should check out and meet the other guests at the Hyatt. A few lobster rolls, sparkling water—and, yes, white wine—later, it was clear that Aspen was not just going to be any old vacation; it was a […]

"Melly" does Colorado :-) JAP Style

When my husband and I were asked to go on vacation to Colorado as a guest of our good friends the Swillers, how could we say no? Last week was filled with good memories and a lot of REALITY. After landing in Denver with the guys, we still had a three hour drive to Aspen […]

Travels with Mel

Now that I have been in Scotland for a bit I have begun to notice the great shadow the infamous creator of Braveheart still casts over this hilly northern country. If you venture into any bargain store in Edinburgh or Glasgow you will find many bric-a-bracs aimed at spend-happy tourists. These items range from the […]

Minnesota: Card Carrying Member of the Mile High Club

After $761 million in public financing in the early nineties, countless broken promises to workers, unions, legislators, and the inane poke to the rectum that is the price of the Northwest SmartSnack, Minnesota’s favorite dysfunctional relationship is over. Sure, it was great to throw our international hub status in the faces of those who would […]


NORTH, SOUTH, DOWN & OUT Hello everyone, I know it has been a while since my last post, but I have been busy accruing material for this one by traveling around this fair island. This blog-entry will concentrate on my recent travels outside Edinburgh. First to the capital of the UK and home to those […]

Of Pubs and Parliament

Hello, my name is Hector E. Ramos-Ramos, and I intend here to share with you my observations, opinions, and concerns while I am abroad (primarily in Scotland), courtesy of the study abroad program at St. Paul’s own Macalester College. Although I am not originally from Minnesota, the home of Bunyan and Babe has grown on […]

What I Saw on My Summer Vacation

In celebration of thirty years of my wife’s profound ability to tolerate me, we went to France for ten days last month. We did the things we usually do when we go to interesting places. We got a very small and inexpensive hotel room (under the theory that we’re never there anyway) and spent all […]

The Voyage of the Heath Ledger

On June 17, 2006, we quietly paddled the Heath Ledger across the Canadian border. We hadn’t exactly planned to sneak into Canada. Joe and I were on a mission—to reach Hudson Bay by canoe, still hundreds of miles to the northeast—and as we approached the border we realized that interactions with government officials might endanger […]

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Learning to Speak

It’s a bit foggy aboard the Queen Mary 2 on our second day out of New York. The sky merges seamlessly with the ocean, obliterating the horizon in mushy blue-grayness. But deep inside this massive vessel—the newest, largest, fastest, and most luxurious ocean liner in the world—and behind the doors of the Illuminations auditorium, the […]

Postcards from Saudi Arabia

While Sudan and Qatar might be tougher bets, most Americans could spin a globe and pinpoint Saudi Arabia’s deserts with relative ease. Even if your geography fails you, you’ve no doubt at least heard of Saudi and perhaps recall Peter O’Toole shouting across the desert sands in Lawrence of Arabia. The average American might know […]

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