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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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The Beauty of a Family

There, by the side of the highway, a small drainage ditch tributary gently ran in a trickling stream with a family of swans navigating it. The intrepid father, called a cob, led the way. The mother, a pen, followed farther back, leading the babies, a flock of cygnets. Yep, that’s what you call baby swans:…

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Therapeutic Horse Petting

It had been a long day. Naturally, I was trying to cram in even more. Yet, we missed out on an event due to rush hour traffic. We’re never late, but this time we were not early. The other event reached capacity ahead of time and our family was turned away. So we did the…

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Chilly Spring Day at Chatham

On our way to points elsewhere, the family made a stop in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at an historic, Georgian-style house overlooking the Rappahannock River. Once a huge plantation with dozens of outbuildings, from dairy, to fish hatchery, to orchards, gristmill, ice house and stables, the 1,280-acre estate also utilized the services of about 100 slaves. The…

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The Road Less Traveled: Staying Home for Spring Break

Exhaustion, snow storms, the economy, or any of a number of other considerations can lead folks to stay home come spring break. I mean, if you can’t get away, you can’t. Often thought to be a vacation time for college students, many professionals and families in the Northeast and Midwest are ready to head somewhere,…

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Travels with Mama

I’m going on a roadtrip, not by myself and not with the whole family. This is where it gets tricky. This time, I’m taking the oldest (18.5) and a family friend in his early 20s. “Mama, does he know how we travel?” our other teens (18, 16.5, 14) ask. “How do we travel?” I echo…

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Comportment, Conversation and Conviviality

I believe I belong to a different era where graciousness and civility rule. The family was able to pass through Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, on our way south and partake of some of the genteel gems from a time long ago. We started with the milliner instructing us as to 18th century fashions. She told how,…

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Library of Congress Open House

Twice a year, on Presidents’ Day and Columbus Day, the Library of Congress Main Reading Room in Washington, DC, is open to the public. Having spent a lot of time researching in the stacks and study desks of this exalted institution, I took the opportunity to introduce my kids to the library, the eldest having…

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Candy Store Mafia

My husband is Sicilian, not that he can help it. He’s not dark and swarthy, more brown hair and hazel eyes, and an all-round nice guy. But stereotypes die hard, as the rest of us from Russian backgrounds understand. He walked into a candy store the other day with a couple of our kids and…

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Vocabulary for Wintertime in Russia

Ah, I recall the winter in Russia, actually, my favorite time of year there. So today, we’ll share a few Russian words about this most special season full of limited daylight, blizzard-like snow, and hot chai. When the sun rises after 9:00 in the morning, or sets around 3:00 in the afternoon, it can shock…

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Best Travel Tip for 2015

You know me: always coming and going. I saw a great tip the other day and wanted to share it with you. It’s the best, most creative tip I’ve come across in a while. This one, believe it or not, comes from DirectTV, and it’s one of their “Five Sanity-Saving Travel Tips” and it’s using…

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