February 8, 2015 |
On my recent study abroad trip to Syracuse, Sicily, there were many incredible sights to see: the sparkling blue ocean that extended to the horizon, the picturesque Italian streets, and then there was me dancing shirtless with a belly dancer while my classmates cheered me on. It was our last night in Italy. We had bonded quite a bit throughout the week, and now we were forced to say goodbye to our tours of temples of Athena, puppet theaters, and the mime who cursed us out for being tourists.
February 2, 2015 |
It had been at the top of my bucket list for several years, so when circumstances made it possible for me to travel in the winter of 2014, I quickly booked my trip the preceding spring. Who could have predicted that such a brutal winter lay ahead? With one crippling winter storm after another, the obvious question posed by friends after learning of my upcoming vacation was where I was headed. More than a few brows were raised when I meekly replied, "Antarctica. " After coping with the relentless weather and five days without power in February, even I began to question the wisdom of my choice.
January 26, 2015 |
"Let's head back to Montana next summer," said my fly-fishing buddy Tom. We had spent a week the previous summer on the beautiful Madison River, and in nearby Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, with our good friend Jim. While not catching a ton of fish, we had a fly fisherman's dream week. "I'm in. Let me talk to Jim," I responded, with visions of 20-inch trout rising to my dry fly filling my head. Jim said yes immediately, and to make the idea more palatable on the home front, we decided to ask our wives to go along.
January 22, 2015 |
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI'S college basketball teams have won 999 games. His Duke teams have won four national championships, been to 11 Final Fours, won 12 ACC regular-season titles and 13 ACC Tournaments. He was also the head coach for the USA when it won two Olympic gold medals and two world championships. Two years ago, Rick Pitino called him "our John Wooden. " Coach K can get win No. 1,000 as early as Sunday against St. John's. Nobody is ever going to touch Wooden's 10 national titles because the game has changed so much from the 1960s and 1970s.
January 19, 2015 |
After years of putting off our trip to the Old Sod, my wife and I agreed that I would do all of the driving on our Ireland visit, while she would do all of the navigating - and all of the laughing at my driving. Which tells you that, in Ireland, we would rent a car. No tour bus for us; our agenda would be our own. Anywhere, any time, just get in and go. I was, however, forewarned by veteran travelers of a difference that must be experienced to be appreciated. It is the reason for my wife's laughter.
January 12, 2015 |
I woke up to the breeze sending shivers down my sweaty back. The sunbathed rock under my cheek contrasted this with a caressing warmth. Disoriented, I sat up and gazed upon the rugged terrain spread out before me. If trolls really did exist, this would undoubtedly be their domain; massive boulders littered the scrubby vegetation, extensive glaciers sucked in the feet of unsuspecting intruders and a gaping canyon made my limbs tingle even as I faced...
January 5, 2015 |
I knew about the three sisters from the letters. In 1912 my grandfather, George, left his village of Siderka (then Russia) about an hour north of Bialystok, and never returned. Throughout his life, his brothers Vladimir and Makary sent him letters. Last year my Uncle Walter gave me a box of their letters and we worked on getting them translated. I am a priest, serving the Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross in Medford, and this effort coincided with a trip our Diocesan Bishop Michael was planning to Poland for August 2014.
December 29, 2014 |
The first Christmas I spent away from home turned out to be the best day of my life. Though not with family, I went to the next best place: Bethlehem. I had been studying in Israel for five months and had been dreading this moment: How was I going to celebrate Christmas so far away from home, in a country that doesn't take the 25th of December as a national holiday? I actually had an exam scheduled for Christmas Day, but I decided to risk a poor grade and hopped on a bus to Jerusalem on Christmas Eve. The city was surprisingly calm.
December 21, 2014 |
Graffiti crawl up exterior walls like webs of ivy, bending and twisting around rows of shuttered windows. At some street corners, layers of posters pile unevenly over this graffiti like papier mâché, stitching together urban blocks. When I traveled to Greece this year, my original itinerary focused on ancient history sites: the Parthenon, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Agora. These places all tell valuable Greek stories from centuries past through classical busts, orderly columns, and symmetrical ruins.
December 15, 2014 |
I didn't have to think twice when I was offered a chance to spend a week at a French castle. What girl doesn't dream of being a princess in a castle, even if the opportunity presented itself a few decades, or more, after the first blush of youth? " Absolutement !" I shouted. "The Count," a friend of mine, invited me to the family castle, Chateau D'Avully, in the Haute-Savoie region of France, close to Switzerland. The chateau dates to the 12th century, a true medieval castle, and during excavation Roman tiles dating to 50 B.C. were found.