Ride the Hurtigruten for the Best Coastal Scenery in Norway

by Kat Nickola “Wait, how many steps is it to the top?” my daughter asks. “The boat captain said it’s 418,” I reply. “What’s up there?” “I’m not sure. Let’s go… Read more

Camp in a Castle

by Kat Nickola “I see it!” my son yells. He adjusts his backpack. It is full, with his sleeping bag, mat, and clothes for the night. “Where?” I ask, hustling along… Read more

Go Back in Time at the Keltenpark in Otzenhausen

by Kat Nickola I’m standing outside a Celtic longhouse watching the Celtic way to make and hold fire. Herr Klaus Zahneisen is a docent at the Keltenpark Otzenhausen. He shows us the special… Read more

Taking the Overnight Train to Sweden

by Kat Nickola My family earned some solid Tågskryt over spring break by traveling overland, via train, all the way to Stockholm. Tågskryt is the Swedish word for “train cred” or… Read more

Exploring the Grim Nuclear Bunkers of Area One

by Kat Nickola Roughly an hour south of Kaiserslautern is a fascinating remnant of the Cold War era. What had been a special weapons depot is now a site preserved in… Read more

How the Celts Left Their Mark in Rodenbach

by Kat Nickola “Mom, is that a real body?” My daughter is looking through a long glass window into the side of a coffin-like space. Inside there is a very human-looking… Read more

German High School Primer #3 – Getting School Supplies

by Kat Nickola “You got a letter from the school!” I yell. “Wow, mom.” Eyes rolling. My fourteen-year old daughter is less excited than I am. I open it. “Cool. It’s… Read more

German High School Primer #2 – Registration

by Kat Nickola As we walked into the school for the first time last summer, I was more nervous than my daughter. She had taken a year of German language… Read more

German High School Primer #1 – Types of Secondary Schools and Diplomas

by Kat Nickola This is our first year in Germany and our children are attending a local German high school. I thought I’d write about our experience as the year… Read more

What Ever Happened to the Sembach Airfield?

by Kat Nickola “It’s hard to tell there was a runway here,” my husband says over the chilly winter wind. “True. But they left a few bunkers and pavement,” I… Read more

Wandering the Kaiserslautern Wildpark

Story and Photos by Kat Nickola With winter settling in, it’s tempting to stay inside. But, part of staying healthy means getting fresh air and exercise, and Germany is a… Read more

Finding Secrets in the Soca Valley of Slovenia

Story and photos by Kat Nickola “Mom, how far do you think it goes?” my daughter asked. “Well, we passed another tunnel entrance up the road around the corner. Maybe… Read more

Racing MiG ghosts in Croatia

Story and photos by Kat Nickola “Hippie one line up and wait three two right,” my husband says from the drivers seat. I roll my eyes. Always a pilot. “Cleared… Read more

Taking a Car Ferry to (or from) Sicily is a Surprisingly Enjoyable Way to Travel

Story and photos by Kat Nickola So you want to visit Sicily? Of course you do! Roman ruins, crumbling Greek temples, good food, sunny beaches, vibrant cities, boating on the… Read more

Mallorca is Open for Business

Story and Photos by Kat Nickola As I sat for dinner on my final night in Mallorca, the server bustled over to ask – in her native English – “What… Read more

How to Take Advantage of the Plentiful Bike Trails in the Kaiserslautern Area

Story and photos by Kat Nickola “It’s freezing!” my son yelled as he dipped a toe in the wassertretbecken (water treading pool). Soon he was knee-deep in the cold clear… Read more

Why Hiking the French Alps is Fabulous, Even in Bad Weather

(Spoiler: there is food involved) Story and photos by Kat Nickola First it rained, then it snowed; my 10-year-old son dug out his layers, my teenage daughter found her waterproof… Read more