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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 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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Holidays in the City

I love my city, Washington, DC. Even though we reside there half a week and love our other location, too, there’s something special about holidays in the city. Maybe I’ve been watching too many “Eloise at the Plaza” and “Home Alone 2” movies with the kids over the years…. Here we enjoy the National Christmas…

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Selfie on a Stick

Who knew? Selfie on a stick. Click stick. Never heard about it. Made Time magazine’s “Top 25 Inventions of 2014”, was on Good Morning, America, the Today Show, in the New York Post, Fashion Week Daily, and more. How did I hear about this amazing invention? Every Asian tourist in Washington, DC, had one in…

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Cultivating a Sense of Culture

Washington, DC, is no New York City in terms of theatre. However, our nation’s capital has more to offer than normally imagined. Home to the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, it’s got a few things happening. Yesterday, we took advantage of a free performance at The John F….

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