Europe

  • Just north of Oviedo, there is a quaint town where just off the beaten path of the dusty Spanish streets is a hidden gem worth the trip.  I have marveled at the great Sagrada Familia in the diverse city of Barcelona. I have walked with the peacocks in the Alcazar of Seville. I have even seen the...

  • As I stood above the thundering waters, I wished I could fly. My mom was at the railing next to me, staring into the mist as the rain splattered upon our heads. The waving green grasses churned about us as my dad clicked pictures, and I wished with all my might to see the secrets hidden behind the...

  • Arriving at 10:00 pm anywhere can be a little unsettling. I’ve seen a total of 8 cars in 45 minutes since I got here. It’s quiet. Too quiet. Just the eerie lights that reflect off of the stagnant, black lake over the cliff remain. After miles of a dark mountain trek, the light in the darkness is...

  • Walking out of the cafe I see an elderly artist painting in the corner. I remember seeing this artist only two days ago in Babington’s Tea Room; another cafe with a rich history, found at the base of the renowned Spanish Steps. I had seen him painting there in a similar fashion, and went over to...

  • The most unexpected moments sometimes turn out to be the ones that influence you the most.  This was the force of the mighty Syntagma Square, the prominent historic area in Athens, Greece. It was my family’s second day on the trip and we were gearing up for an exciting day of sightseeing.  The...

  • If you take one look at Instagram posts under the hashtag “#vacation”, chances are you’ll see photos of people surrounded by palm trees, tanning beds, and beachside pool service in some far off tropical paradise. In my family, the idea of a vacation is different. With a history geek for a father...

  • The time is approximately 7:00 AM as I bid farewell to my grandmother inside of the Pittsburgh International Airport. While I anticipate feeling a piece of my heart being ripped out, it never takes place. Instead I am greeted with a speedy pulse and the comprehension of our parting being “hasta...

  • Venice, Italy is like no other place in all the world. Venetian beauty cascades from atop the clanging San Marco bell tower all the way down into its teaming maze of canals. Walking the narrow, twisting, cobblestone streets, I couldn’t help but stare around in silent wonder. My family, however, is...

  • During every vacation that my family takes together, I insist that we must visit various historical sites. When we travelled to France, I fought for a detour to Normandy. When in London, I dragged them around to various sites from books (221 B Baker street, being the most recognizable). Finally,...

  • There is no such thing as being over-prepared! I think to myself as I scour “Best Things to Do in Barcelona” lists, read restaurant reviews, and print tickets. My family is going to Barcelona for the first time, and my parents have left it up to me to plan our adventure. Though we still have a...

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