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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Field Trips

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Signs of Summer

Personally, I’m in the midst of a number of special projects this summer, similar to mergers and acquisitions, time-consuming and not at all allowing me to move forward in other, vital areas. I barely know that it’s summer, other than my now-becoming-sporadic daily power walk. So today, I am recounting the highlights of summer and…

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Four Weeks Petya-Free

We are more than midway through and actually nearing the end of the month-long leave of absence our oldest son took from his job… and his university studies… and us. Volunteering as a camp counselor, I hear he’s heading out for whitewater rafting early in the morning. He sneaks the occasional text to us once…

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Montpelier Train Depot

It was one of those sites that just presents itself. As usual, we were on our way traveling from one place to another, when good fortune would have it, we passed a delightful stop. Not really interesting enough to make a special trip just for this, it was an aha moment when the serendipity of…

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At the Country Market

My husband grew up for a number of years in southern New Jersey. Not far away recently in nearby Pennsylvania, he could not resist the urge to travel an hour or two out of the way in order to purchase local, farm-fresh produce. Along I went, laptop serving as my mobile office. On the way,…

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Quoits, Croquet and Bocce

I am not a snob, really, I’m not. However, as summer swings into high gear, all I can picture is a gathering on the beach, men in khaki pants and white shirts, ladies in white linen tea-length-or-longer dresses and sunhats, playing lawn games. And sipping lemonade. By the seaside. On a grassy lawn. What are…

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Camp Photos from Afar

They are in staff training for the next few days before the campers arrive. Smart move. I ask Petya to send group photos. Here the tribe leaders (counselors) are in a van, smiling wildly. They look normal and happy and dynamic. “Great group!” I text enthusiastically. “They’re all awesome, just like me, hehe,” I receive…

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Desperate Mother Moments

I’m doing okay, thanks, even though my eldest son is far away. Saying goodbye at the train station at 4:00 am was challenging. But he made it to Manhattan, no problem, meeting up with his team and then heading for points north. His two tired parents, myself having slept for all of an hour or…

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My New Personal Assistant

In general, my oldest son acts as my personal assistant. He helps me in so many ways. And now, he’s taking a leave of absence from his job… and from me. Not that it was intended that way… but still…. Petya travels to the Adirondacks to be a volunteer boys’ camp counselor. He came highly…

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How to Negotiate Anything Abroad

You can do this. Doesn’t matter if you’re filthy rich and can’t be bothered, for many goods and services in the rest of the world, you are expected to negotiate and haggle the price down. Not to do so would say something of your naivete, as well as make life difficult for the next stranger…

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Americans Traveling Abroad in 2016?

I didn’t see any. Really not any at all, come to think of it. Not in Russia, not in Israel. This was early June, so maybe kids are just getting out of school. Saw a good group from a couple of American universities digging on an archaeological excavation, but beyond that— at tourist sites, at…