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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Planes, trains and fears

My grandmother recently turned 87.

She has never been on an airplane, and is adamant that she never will be.

Meanwhile, her 2-year-old great-granddaughter (my cousin) just flew to Australia with her parents, the type of trip that can be daunting even for people who travel for a living.

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