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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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How Did the Kids Fare While Home Alone?

This was the first time we left the kids for a couple of days on their own. Before, they’ve stayed with family friends, or maybe we left them for a few hours overnight, but this time, it was really two-and-a-half days. Never mind that we were sequestered on a mountain with bears and turkeys—our thoughts…

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Benedetto Has Been to the Mountain

So we are finishing up our three-day retreat, or two-and-a-half day retreat, or two evenings and one full day and one half day retreat…. You can tell that the fresh mountain air is getting to me…. We had about three hours of free time one afternoon and my husband, Benedetto, set his heart on climbing…

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Repairing to a Retreat

I am on Cloud Nine. Over the past 24 hours my spirits have been lifted. Benedetto and I have taken a couple of days, time that we normally don’t have, since we can rarely spare two hours, much less two minutes, but we have left on a retreat. Shhh… quiet… conversation… no kids… some interactive…

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A Stop at Campaign Headquarters

A funny thing happened on our way to our power walk. Petya and I got started a little later, and by nine o’clock in the morning, we found ourselves near the campaign headquarters of a certain candidate. “Let’s go inside,” I suggested. “Pick up some bumper stickers or something.” “Bumper stickers?” he laughed. “You would…

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Making a Russian Embassy Appointment

No matter what you do, or how you do it, you will soon come to the conclusion that you cannot make an appointment at your local Russian Embassy or Consulate. You might try phoning, e-mailing, even sending smoke signals, but you’re not going to get through. Ever. So, after completing my online form (in Russian…

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Bathrooms on a Dig

As the spring dig season shapes up, budding archaeologists face a variety of conditions. If you’re concerned about dirt, snakes, holes, heat or cold, archaeology might not be your thing. Should those concerns include bathroom issues, it’s really not for you. Lightbulb moment: An excavation might not be for me. A bit too late for…

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Springtime Archaeological Digs

Putting Russia on hold for the moment while the story continues to reach epic proportions, we turn our sights to… archaeological sites. Many opportunities arise as spring arrives and most likely Petya and I will head to a few for varying lengths of time. Which brings up the issue of what kind of digs are…

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Back at the Russian Embassy

Who knows if they operate like this worldwide, but the Russian Embassy in our part of the world brings rather predictable behavior to the table. Visiting them repeatedly over the past decade, I imagined that some things would change, yet instead, they remain pretty much the same. With a few minor changes. If that makes…

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Banking for the Busy

“Para Espanol?” The prompts are heard over the telephone for the umpteenth time as I begin all over again in the electronic menu. I cannot believe that the computer refuses to comprehend one- or two-word statements that I utter slowly and clearly. So I try, “Your ridiculous bank technology is messing up my life big-time…

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Women Taking Over the World: On the Back of a Napkin

Got together with my gal pals over coffee. Some of the regulars couldn’t come, allowing me time to bond with a few new friends. Absolutely amazing. What great ladies. What fabulous ideas. It’s then that we hatched our plan to take over the world on the back of a napkin. In a way, I’m joking….