Travel

Cleaner to the Stars

It’s time to don your best apparel for holiday parties, dinners and events. And then, of course, you’ll need to have those clothes cleaned. There are countless options, but Jerry Montesano’s Shadyside Valet is a standout.

The Kindness Meter in Various Cities

by Tom Flannery
Returning home last Monday from a weekend trip to visit our newly transplanted daughter and her family in Seattle, we had a delightful conversation with our Uber driver, a native Pittsburgher, on the way back from the airport. He had recently retired from his full time job, but enjoys meeting…

Now Entering “Happy Valley”

by Barbara Eichenlaub
The Pennsylvania State University has more than 645,000 living alums. Obviously, they know about “Happy Valley,” as do the throngs who attend football games each fall. But if you’ve never visited Penn State, State College or Centre County, it’s well worth exploring, especially on a quieter, non-​football weekend.

Sail Away to Annapolis

by Marylynn Uricchio
Just about every place in Annapolis will tell you it has the best crab cakes in town, and they’re all right. The Chesapeake is famous for its blue crabs, plucked daily from the bay and served any number of ways, but always with abundance. There is so much crab in…

Boom, bust and disaster

by Barbara Eichenlaub
Located at a horseshoe bend of the Monongahela River in Washington County — the heart of today’s Rust Belt — what would become Donora, Pa.was a farming community of 12 people in 1900. Within one year, it exploded to 4,000 — as hordes of workers built and manned numerous factories. Its population topped 14,000 by 1920,…

New Zealand

Like everyone else who saw the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy, I was somewhat stunned by the dramatic beauty of New Zealand. But I’d never seriously considered visiting until Christmas 2014, when my oldest son was home from Shanghai and said, “Let’s go fly-​fishing together in New Zealand.” I’ve…

The shrine on Troy Hill

The story of how St. Anthony Chapel in Troy Hill came to house the largest collection of Christian relics outside of the Vatican begins in the 1850s with a young man from a wealthy Belgian family.

Having a great time in Beaver, Pa.

Rudyard Kipling visited Beaver, Pa, during the summer of 1889 and referred to it fondly in “Sea to Sea: Letters of Travel.” Spend a day or two there, and you’ll understand why.

Ireland: Mind Your Manors

Whether you spend the day on Dublin’s bustling Grafton Street or peering over the Cliffs of Moher, odds are good you will encounter some sort of precipitation accompanied by a chill wind and gray sky. It’s what makes stopping by the pub at the end of the day such an…

Of Irish Roads and Distant Kin

So I’m hauling eight of us — my wife Kay, her brother and his wife, her sister and her husband, and their two Irish cousins Ann and Peggy — down this dinky road in the farmland outside Galway, Ireland, in a blue beast the rental agency calls a “mini-​bus.” Peggy is riding shotgun (“Careful…

The ease and élan of Ireland

I can’t really recall why we chose Ireland for our honeymoon 27 years ago. Neither of us is Irish. Maybe it was the writers — Yeats, Wilde and Joyce. Maybe the fishing (not for my wife). It certainly wasn’t the weather or, back then, the food. My wife noted that the same…

Hiking Boots & Shamrocks

While most travelers to the west of Ireland enjoy golfing, visiting castles or fishing, my wife and I hit the hiking trails. We rewarded ourselves for all the hoofing by staying in two quaint Irish hotels with great food and above average hospitality.

Days of Wine and Music

There are few things more enjoyable during beautiful weather than sitting outside with family or friends, listening to live music while sipping on wine. Fortunately, there is a charming, local, Tuscan-​themed venue where one can do just that.

Remembering the Great One

Walking into The Clemente Museum at Engine House No. 25 in Lawrenceville, one word comes to mind: passion. The athletic passion of one of baseball’s greatest players, his passion for helping the less fortunate and making the world better for his and all children, and the passion of the man…

Giddy up, let’s go!

Horse-​drawn sleigh rides. These icons of old-​fashioned winter are lauded in carols and featured in Currier and Ives lithographs. And a great one is available just northeast of Kittanning, in Cowansville. Denise and Flavius Brinsfield grew up with a love of horses. Denise enjoyed an equine way of life, both…
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