Taking the Voyage with ABBA

I just returned from my first trip to Europe in several years. My primary destination was Italy, but given how easy it is to “hop” around Europe fairly cheaply once you’re across the Atlantic, I decided that while I was in “the neighborhood”, I simply had to go to London to see ABBA’s innovative concert/show/spectacle, and so I planned a two night stop-over in London for that purpose.

Continue reading “Taking the Voyage with ABBA”

A Beautiful Reunion with an Old Friend: Italy

Thanks to the gigantic monkey wrench that COVID threw into all of our lives, I haven’t traveled abroad since the summer of 2019. To some, this may not seem like such a big deal, but for me, who was once described by Diletta, my former Italian teacher, as someone who “goes to Europe the way some people go to the grocery store,” this hiatus from international travel was a huge change in my life. Ambiguous and ever-changing COVID restrictions that varied from country to country, uncertainty about the economy and my own finances, and the threat of a larger war developing in Europe all made me wonder whether I would ever get back to Europe, and especially to my beloved Italy again.

Continue reading “A Beautiful Reunion with an Old Friend: Italy”

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Climbing New Hampshire’s Middle Sugarloaf Peak

Autumn. It’s that time of year again when New England achieves its highest level of “New Englandness.” The days begin to shorten, the air has a slight, but noticeable chill in the early mornings, the leaves start turning to a palette of all of my favorite shades of red, orange and yellow, and the smell of cider donuts and “pumpkin spice everything” assails the nostrils. I’ve always loved fall, and in my humble, native New Englander opinion, there is no better place to be in late September and early October.

Continue reading “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Climbing New Hampshire’s Middle Sugarloaf Peak”

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

One of my favorite songs has always been Bon Jovi’s Who Says You Can’t Go Home. I can relate to the lyrics, which talk about coming full circle in life: from wanting to break away from your hometown to explore the world, but ultimately realizing that home is where you really want or need to be. As so often happens with music, this song has taken on new significance for me over the last few months.

Continue reading “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?”

Embracing the Bomb Cyclone

Much to the chagrin of most of my friends in New England, I love a good snowstorm. Seeing those first flakes start falling from a steely sky makes me feel like a giddy 5 year old, even at the ripe old age of 63. Granted, I’m staying in a place where there’s a generator to ensure that I still have heat and lights if the power goes out, and my landlord plows out the long driveway on the property.

Continue reading “Embracing the Bomb Cyclone”

Ghosts of Christmases Past

As I’m sure is true for many of you, Christmastime has always been my favorite time of year. With my birthday in late November, the entire month between Thanksgiving and Christmas has always been one of celebrations, good food, and the company of friends and family, culminating in Christmas Eve, which to me is the most magical night of the year.

Continue reading “Ghosts of Christmases Past”