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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…!



Pizza in Any Form or Any Place

Our kids love pizza. I mean they loooove pizza. There’s probably not a single pizza any of them would dislike. Maybe deep-dish…. Benedetto regals them with talk of potato-and-rosemary-with-olive-oil Roman slices. I try to explain Quattro Stagione’s delights and they all understand how to eat a thin-crust pizza with knife and fork at any self-respecting…


Notebooks for Every Occasion

It appears that I have an unusual attraction for notebooks. This has existed since childhood and obviously is a sign of genius. I mean, great ideas come to us all and if we don’t write them down, how will we ever remember those flashes of brilliance or that turn of a phrase? Notepads surround me…


The Beauty of Bing

Some days, it’s simply too tempting. The computer opens to Bing and sure enough, there’s a fabulous photo just waiting to take your breath away. No fair. How can I get any work accomplished on the computer when such spectacular animal or landscape pictures stare back at me? I consider the photos to be on…


The Architect and the Archaeologist Reconnect

My husband, Benedetto, has a friend from long ago. The two of them knew each other as struggling, young professionals in Israel 40 years earlier. Both arrived as recent college graduates and were seated together one day at the long, laminated tables of the one-of-a-kind, Jerusalem Old City eatery popular among travelers of the time:…


Ashley Olsen, Amanda Knox, and Italian Incidents

For many years, my husband and I were a fixture on the Italian scene. Locals often assumed that we lived there because we popped in and out for a few-day-getaway, or work-related visits. One thing that always concerned us was the behavior of American kids abroad. Maybe university or art-school students, their risky lifestyle choices…


S’Rozhdyestvom Khristovim!

Walking through the forest, the trees appear bluish-silver-grey, punctuated by peeling birch bark white-with-flecks-of-black in the dark of a cloudy, snowy night. Lights from the dacha at last can be glimpsed as we arrive back from caroling at our neighbors’. The snow crunches beneath our feet. We are dressed in traditional clothes, kokoshniks and all,…


Una Tavola Per Due

A table for two. It’s not always easy for the two of us to get away. We’re great at the hit-and-run, under-an-hour, out-to-coffee. But a dinner out is not always possible. Until Benedetto learned that one of his favorite Italian restaurants is in town. Really Italian, as in just off the boat from Firenze (Florence)….


Visas and Social Media Screening

Ya gotta be kidding. This is ridiculous. Absolutely outrageous. Apparently the State Department has a policy of not checking social media postings such as those of San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik. Applying for a fiancee visa in 2014, she received the green light “despite what the FBI said were extensive social media messages about jihad…


Monday Mottoes – #117

Over Thanksgiving break, our college-age son visited with another friend in university. Actually, vice-versa. In other words, the friend came home from school and saw our son, who is also in school, but not away from home. Are you following this? The two of them got together, Petya driving his friend to play tennis. A…


Holiday Security Tips

The official holiday travel season is upon us in the US, ranging from Thanksgiving Week (this Thursday) through New Year’s. That’s a good 5-6 week time period when lots of families travel, schools and universities take breaks and people want to get away, once in November and again during late December to January. And now,…