I am a one lucky lady when it comes to vacationing. My husband, excellent in so many things, also happens to be a pro when it comes to arranging vacations. We try hard to stay away from resorts and notorious "all inclusives" and tend to look for something more. Something original. Something real. The fewer T-shirt shops the better, if you know what I mean. In the early years of our marriage I participated in decision making and browsed the internet with him, looking for unique and different places to visit. I soon gave up and have then given him the full responsibility to arrange our little getaways, knowing that he will take me to places I have never heard of... Places I will never forget.

The Archipelago of Finland is, naturally, closest to my heart. That's where I grew up. Sailing in the Archipelago is where you'll find me after I retire. Nowhere else has the sky such a beautiful pale blue color. Nowhere else have I seen the wind dance on top of the waves like demons, splashing water high up in the air. And the silence, when you let the sails down and turn off the engine. Everything but sailing is pointless, said Lasse Martenson, a well respected Finnish musician and passionate sailor long time ago. Mr. Martenson composed a song Stormskars Maja which always takes me home to stormy islands and windy waters and brings the taste of salty water to my mouth.

Drake Bay, Costa Rica is a breathtaking place we visited couple of years ago. It is a wilderness camp, located at the edge of Corcovado National Park. I had never experienced a sunrise in the jungle so we decided to do an early morning hike to see how the jungle wakes up. We got up before five in the morning, hiked along a small path deep into the jungle and waited. And waited. And waited. We heard the animals moving around us and even though I was told jaguars do not harass people, I have to admit I was little nervous. And then suddenly, without warning, a blood chilling roar filled the air. It was a roar and a moan, impossible to describe. The scariest sound I have ever heard. And it seemed to come from all around us. A jaguar, I thought and tried to hide behind my husband's back. - A gigantic heard of jaguars, I whispered and tried to climb his shoulders for safety. -No, honey, he said and gently took me down -The howler monkeys are waking up.

Tulum Mexico, just 2 hours south of Cancun is what I call a place for a beach vacation. Mass tourism is fast destroying the whole Riviera Maya, but Tulum still has that small place feel. We chose to stay is a small thatched hut at the beach. No AC, no hot water and not much electricity either. A palm tree grew through out of the "bathroom", and scorpions crawled all over the place. Sea turtles come to the beach at night to lay their eggs. Heaven.
In a couple of weeks we pack our bags and head back to Fort Bragg, CA. We found the quiet little village in North California long time ago and return every couple of years. There is nothing much to do to but take long walks and enjoy the view. It doesn't sound much, but when you see the view, you'll understand.