I am back from my trip to Northern Europe and very happy to be home. I love my family but (and how many sentences have begun this way?) The organization of seven people day in and out is exhausting. I greatly admire the parents and the guardians and the cult leaders and anyone who has to coordinate large groups because my natural reaction is the compulsion to escape and start walking and not stop walking until I'm found collapsed on a park bench by Russian authorities demanding to see my passport. This, thankfully, did not happen but I did escape when I could and those forays make for my best memories. I don't know if I was Johnny Appleseed in a former life but I get this urge to just take off on foot and keep moving. It makes me feel like I'm floating. There wasn't much of that permitted on this trip. I got to take off on my own in Helsinki and in Copenhagen. I took off with my brother in Estonia but, once again, there were seven of us and also, they keep a pretty tight reign on you in Russia. You are, in fact, not allowed to leave the ship unless you are part of an organized tour. There may be satellite tracking involved, I'm not sure. We were in Russia for three days and since it is my ancestral home I was very happy to see it and very happy to once again see home, where I'm free to keep walking.