And this one is a biggie. It all started several months ago, when my parents called me to say they has reserved a villa in Italy for a week in July and wanted everyone in the family who was able to share the rent and come there. Initially, I was hesitant, because outside of the cost of the villa itself, which was somewhat negligible, you really couldn’t pick a worse time to travel to Europe. July and August are bar none the most expensive times to fly there. A quick look at the airfares and I really just couldn’t justify it in any sensible way. Then my parents laid on the guilt about getting older, and how this might be one of our last trips together, blah, blah. And the Jewish guilt in me rose up like a wave and I agreed to figure out how to get there. I had been talking for some time with my friend and sometime client Olaf about updating his website. He is based in Hamburg and I have twice before spent time there working with him on it. Working back from the late July timeframe, I proposed being in Hamburg for a month working on his projects and some of mine, and he agreed. Originally my cousin Josh, who I do yearly trips with, had agreed to meet me in Italy. We would spend time with the family and then take a week or so to road trip in Italy and visit some friends. But alas, Josh then got a gig working in China at exactly that time and had to back out. Since he was in London working until late May, he proposed that we travel before I went to Hamburg, and looking to see something new and close to that part of Europe, we hatched a plan to see Scandinavia. So tomorrow I will head over to meet Josh, and we will spend the next two weeks traveling, and then I will head to Hamburg to work, then a month later to meet my family, then through the cheapest route I can find (probably London, Reykjavik) back to New York sometime in early August. Whew.