Travel

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…

Chagrin Falls

Sometimes it’s nice to escape to a place with a slower, more relaxed pace — a quaint community that isn’t teeming with chain stores and traffic, where kids ride their bikes into town to have a cone and hang out with friends. There is a town, just this side of Cleveland, that…

Eurotrip revisited

Seven months after JFK was assassinated and four months after the Beatles played Ed Sullivan, 100,000 American students (I was one) became the first generation of middle-​class American college kids who could afford to travel to Europe. That summer of ’64, thousands of us crossed the pond thanks to larger…

Learning by the lake

The motto painted on the wall of Chautauqua Institution’s outdoor amphitheater exhorts the audience to “Share Your Light.” It’s a message that Chautauquans take seriously, returning annually to the lakeshore community to debate, learn and generally immerse themselves in ethics, arts, music and current events. But as the lakeside institution…

North by northwest

Summer has finally arrived, and there is no better time for a weekend (or mid-​week) getaway. McKean County is a few hours from Pittsburgh and a great area to explore, play, relax and have fun. Whether your interests are historic, outdoorsy, culinary or sporty, you will find no lack of…

Bon appétit!

Who wouldn’t love to spend April in Paris? However, if France isn’t in your immediate future, you can still enjoy its delectable treats right here in Pittsburgh. These three patisseries are like children; you love them all, but each has its own special talent.

The Motel Era

It was then that began our extensive travels all over the states,” said Humbert Humbert in Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, “Lolita.” “To any other type of tourist accommodation I soon grew to prefer the Functional Motel — clean, neat, safe nooks, ideal places for sleep, argument, reconciliation, insatiable illicit love.“

Autumn Weekend

There are all sorts of iconic American highways that appear in song and lore — Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway and the Blue Ridge Parkway, to name a few. But, according to National Geographic, “one of America’s most scenic drives” is right here in Pennsylvania: U.S. Route 6.

Rainy Nights in Paris

Just after midnight in Paris: The Left Bank boulevard glitters from a downpour. Street lamps, a white “HOTEL” sign at the end of the street by the Seine, a distant sing-​song police siren. It’s mostly deserted. Two young women scoot by, then four guys. A few people slump on a…

The Century Inn

The national road, America’s first federally funded road, was built from 1811 to 1834 at the urging of former President George Washington and then-​President Thomas Jefferson. It connected Cumberland, Md., and the Ohio River in Wheeling, W.Va., as a gateway to the West. The road was once a stagecoach route…
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