Just back from a trip to Stockholm and Dresden. When I was in Italy, I asked myself where my career when wrong because I didn't own a villa on a lake in the mountains. Now I ask myself where I went wrong by not moving to Stockholm when I was 18. Stockholm is the land of the midnight sun and the natural blonde. Plus - not a single obese person in sight. I was the fattest person around and I'm basically 15 lbs overweight at 6'4" (and therefore not spherical like lots of americans).
In Stockholm we stayed at the Hotel Rival (www.rival.se). I cannot recommend this place highly enough. The room was great, the location was great (near a T-banna), the staff spoke perfect english and had great recommendations for dinner. Plus - the Swedish premier of "Bruno" happened in the hotel's cinema while we were there.
Dresden was much more recovered than I thought, the "Old Town" seems to be relatively up to speed, however there was clearly a few more buildings being built up.
More on this later. Right now I need to figure out exactly what happened to US Airways flight 972 from PHI to ARL.