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a day in Dublin

We only budgeted one day for Dublin, preferring to spend the bulk of our time, limited as it was, in the countryside instead of the city.

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stop and smell the Irish coffee

Ireland, perhaps more than any other country we have visited, teaches the casual traveler about the importance of taking things slowly. Some of the top tourist sites are memorable; many others are much less so. Ireland, however, is much more than the sum of its tourist destinations. What is truly worth seeing in Ireland is the countryside itself — the rich palette of greens that comprise the landscape, the small, colorful towns, and their residents, who are friendly almost to a fault and whose speech tends to be equally colorful.

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of castles and ancient ruins

“First time in Ireland?” asked the friendly immigration official as D presented his passport, “Well, you’re in luck. It should rain hard for the next four or five days.” So much for auspicious beginnings.

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scenic perambulations along the Irish coast

The southwest corner of Ireland is comprised of several peninsulas that jut out into the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged terrain is tempered by verdant scenery and dotted with small, colorful towns and cute seaside villages. Killarney makes a great launching point for exploring the oft-visited Ring Of Kerry, but S’s family decided to head a little further north to the Dingle Peninsula instead.

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exploring the Emerald Isle

S left Moldova without much fanfare, silently slipping out on a night flight to Dublin with Munchkin. It was the wee hours of the morning when they laid their heads down and not long after that they were up again to start the family road-trip.

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prelude to a new adventure

The trip we took to Austria a few weeks before our departure from Moldova was a fitting epilogue to our European tour. More important than the festival D attended and the stunningly beautiful Wachau Valley we visited was the opportunity to spend some time with close friends whom we might not see again for several years. In the same vein, our stopover in Ireland en route back to the United States can be accurately described as a prologue to our home leave.

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New York City snapshots

Time won’t stand still, especially when we are on vacation. It has been three weeks since S left Moldova with Munchkin, and two weeks since D followed suit. In that time, we visited Ireland, spent some time with D’s parents in Connecticut, made separate trips to New York, and are now catching up with S’s family in New England.


language explosion

One year, seven months today. And the moment we have long been awaiting appears to have finally arrived.

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a checkered past

Because of its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has changed hands about as often as the balance of power has shifted in Europe. Settled by the Greeks; occupied by nearly everyone, from the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians to the French and Venetians; ruled by Arab caliphates and the Ottoman Empire; administered by the British; and for the last 40 years divided in two, Cyprus is a microcosm of European history. It would have been a shame not to explore at least some of it.


west with the night

“Did you read Beryl Markham’s book, West With The Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer’s log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers…I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book.”

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