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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…!

Travel

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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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Shooting the Opposition Messenger, Russian-Style

Yet another of Russian President Putin’s opponents was gunned-down over the weekend. Boris Nemtsov, 55, walking across a bridge over the Moskva River with his Ukrainian model-girlfriend, 23, near Moscow’s Kremlin. He was shot to death from a speeding car and his companion remained unharmed. She is being held as a witness. The opposition leader…

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Snow: Love It or Hate It?

What’s not to love about snow?  (Boston, don’t answer that.)  Nothing, if you’re about 10 years old. Everything is wonderful—from snowmen, snowballs, and snow angels to forts, icicles, and sledding. There’s skiing, whether downhill or cross-country. There’s snowboarding and snowmobiling. Not to mention hot chocolate, hot soup, and hot anything else whether pizza, wings, or…

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Steaming Sahleb

The mysterious hot sahleb drink is served on Middle Eastern streets throughout the freezing winter months. Often served in outdoor kiosks from large, silver, samovar urns, the drink approximates a pudding-like dessert created out of ground orchid root. You heard right. Orchid root. It’s a thick, fragrant drink that will warm you from the inside-out….

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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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Chicken Little, The Ruble is Falling

In Russia these days, the sky is falling. Yet again. I first wrote about this back in September (http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/rough-times-in-russia/), but things have gotten worse. A lot worse. It’s raining Russian rubles as the economy tanks. Yesterday, the ruble dropped to almost half of its value against the dollar since the beginning of 2014. The currency…

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The Russian Embassy: The Final Frontier

We may be nearing the end of the line. With 10-year Russian Passports in our reach, it could be that we will no longer be “living” at the Russian Embassy for our four adopted kids. Back at the end of summer, we had completed the complex paperwork to update our daughters’ passports. Now it was…

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