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 of this turn…

Additional Info

  • Issue Quarter Fall
  • Issue Year 2015
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.

Additional Info

  • Issue Quarter Winter
  • Issue Year 2016
  • Sub Heading 5,000 Christian relics draw pilgrims and visitors
  • Sidebar Sub Title St. Anthony Chapel
  • Sidebar Content Block

    1704 Harpster St.
    Pittsburgh 15212.
    (412) 2312994
    For hours and additional information, visit

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 always loved fishing,…

Additional Info

  • Issue Quarter Winter
  • Issue Year 2016
  • Sub Heading A descent to Middle Earth
  • Sidebar Title If You’re Going
  • Sidebar Content Block

    Our winter is their summer, so if you want to go this winter, it’s time to plan. Air New Zealand offers the best prices — about $1,200 (economy) from L.A. or San Francisco, and the 13-​hour nonstop was smooth, with excellent service. Nicer hotel and lodge rooms tend to fill up, but three weeks before we left, acceptable accommodations remained.

    New Zealand is known for its lamb (home to 10 times as many sheep as people), beef, dairy and fish. And you have to try at least one Marmite sandwich (like Vegemite of “Land Down Under” song fame). Domestic beers are very good, and domestic wines — red and white — are delicious, with the sauvignon blanc topping the list.

    It’s a low-​key, outdoorsy country, so take casual, comfortable clothes — no coat and tie — and good walking and hiking shoes (the country has incomparable hiking tracks). Plan on purchasing sunscreen and bug repellant when you arrive. And take your polarized sunglasses. Drink water — the sun is hot, and it’s easy to become dehydrated.

    Driving — a great way to see the spectacular and varied scenery — is on the left, and two-​lane highways are in good shape, but narrow and often without shoulder. We didn’t need a GPS.

    If you’re fishing, visit any of a variety of websites to find out what you need, including pants that keep the briars and brush off your legs and non-​felt shoes that prevent the spread of bio-​organisms. I got everything we needed at the International Angler in Crafton. I’d recommend hiring fishing guides. You can find them online for the counties you want to visit. The two we used on the South Island — Chris Bell in the Canterbury region and Tony Entwistle, an old pro and excellent teacher in the Nelson region — can be reached by email at and .

New York’s Finger Lakes region looks at first glance like a slice of Americana: small towns, white clapboard and main streets. Almost 200 years ago, however, upstate New York was a hotbed of social experimentation and religious reform.

Additional Info

  • Issue Quarter Summer
  • Issue Year 2009
  • Sub Heading Take a summer trip
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