Thirteen steps to Europe

Up the stairs we went, settling in for our adventures.

This week, it was Romania from Transylvania to the Black Sea, followed by Zermatt in the Swiss Alps to Lake Geneva. Before that, we took the finest trains from Sofia to Istanbul, Vienna to Trieste, Pisa to Lake Garda, Athens to Thessaloniki, the Black Forest to Hannover and Barcelona to Mallorca. 

Not for real, of course — although Barcelona, Switzerland and Germany are on our wish list for … someday — but the room I once pretended was a portal to sporting events is now our passport to some of Europe’s greatest sites.

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Remembering happy days at work

I don’t know if I should start with the meeting in the Cape Cod conference room or the insomnia-induced emails that got us to that point.

Either way, I must include that Saturday afternoon, when I was interviewing for a job in a T-shirt and jeans because the offer for the interview came up while Suzi and I were house-hunting after she got a job on the Cape and therefore we were going to be moving from where we had been living outside Albany.

And while that was going on, my father-in-law poked his head in to ask if there were any restrooms in the building.

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Not so wild, not so crazy, not so bad

We were bored in the way that college kids with way too much energy way too late at night and not much going on can be, so we decided to do something about it.

Although there were more than us that could even comfortably fit into the station wagon Kit was driving, we piled in and drove to the local casino.

Not so much to gamble, mind you, but to … walk around.

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On Sunday, we wore pink

I think the last time I had worn pink was my junior prom 30 years ago, when my tux included a pink tie and cummerbund because my date wore a pink dress.

Because somewhere along the line, the old trope that “guys don’t wear pink” got stuck in my head, and so I just didn’t. Which is pretty stupid, because who cares?

And I also don’t run just for running’s sake, not because of any gender roles, but because I hate running.

So why was I at the starting line of a 5K … in a pink T-shirt?

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Food, “family,” fun and fellowship

While the children played in the living room, the six adults sat around the table for the Passover reading from the Haggadah sponsored by Maxwell House.

It’s an old family Haggadah is what I’m trying to say.

Our hosts’ older child read The Four Questions, and someone joked that if we were following it to the letter, we’d probably all be pretty hammered drinking four full glasses of wine.

I stuck to grape juice, myself. It’s really sweet. That and the mango took the edge off the bitter herbs and the horseradish.

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An ode to ice cream

The other night, my wife told me that something new was coming to town, and challenged me to guess what it was.

I didn’t have the foggiest idea, so I made a couple joking guesses — I think a baseball stadium may have been one of them — before she revealed it was an ice cream shop in a plaza on the other side of town, about 10 minutes away.

This was good news indeed.

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So this is Madison: Sometimes you have to be 6

Today wasn’t a bad day, but it was the last day before we went home from vacation and back to normal life.

And unlike Edinburgh, when we both knew it was time, I was starting to get that “blah” feeling that comes at the end of vacations.

Then we went to the pool.

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