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Senior Sojourn: Ye Canna Go Wrong in Springtime Dublin PDF Print E-mail

Senior Sojourn: Ye Canna Go Wrong In Springtime Dublin
We visited Dublin several years ago, and were fortunate that springtime was just emerging from rainy April into a sunny May. Our bus tour through Ireland included visiting famed landmarks and sheep farms, dinner at a private home and an evening session at a genuine Dublin pub. Then we attended a performance at the famed Abbey Theatre.

Irish public house

The play was the classic “Playboy of the Western World”, but the actors spoke in 17th Century rural Celtic, and we couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. Not incidentally, that play coined the word playboy. In 1907, author Edmund John Millington Synge, called one of his raffish characters a playboy. The word was swiped 50 years later by a guy for his girlie magazine.

Springtime in Dublin and the surrounding countryside is a treat for the eyes, with the green grass of Ireland morphing into an almost luminous emerald. Everywhere were flowers bursting out in bright reds, whites and purples all around in parks, fields, roadways and gardens.

We particularly noted the kids playing in the streets and parks. The spring colors seem to have enhanced them with brighter pink cheeks and glowing blue eyes, and sprinkled among them were boys and girls with fiery red hair. It was like being in a living postcard from 50 or a hundred years ago.

As we strolled through old Dublin town on a Sunday noontime, everyone seemed to be out on the streets and in the shops and cafes as if costumed for a permanent Easter parade. Many were emerging from churches and, unlike the declining institution of marriage in America, proving that big, happy families were still the most wonderful sight in the world.

As our tour was completed and we made our way back to the somewhat drab reality of England, we all felt the words of the old Irish song, “Galway Bay”

“And if there's to be a life in the hereafter,
And somehow I'm sure there's going to be,
I will ask my God to let me make my heaven,
In that dear land across the Irish sea.”

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Senior Travelers: Welcome Russian Springtime at White Nighs Festival PDF Print E-mail

Beginning May 1 and on through July, the former royal capital of Imperial Russia celebrates a unique annual event. Because of its location near the Arctic Circle, the spring sun shines for 20 hours a day in the beautiful old city of St. Petersburg. Nowhere else in the world can visitors attend highly professional performances of ballet, classical music, opera and military band music every evening, and then stroll the streets and enjoy the outdoor cafes under the midnight sun until the wee hours of the morning.

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Senior Sorjourn: Provence is for Lovers ... of Champagne & Art PDF Print E-mail

*Because my spouse is a connoiseur of wines, especially the expensive and extra bubbly French ones, we had to visit the famed vinyards of the Champagne District. It’s a beautiful region, because when we were there it was late June, and everything was in glorious, colorful, sweet-smelling blossom. The Champagne air is enough all by itself to cause drunken giddiness. We stayed in an old chateau that had been converted to a bed and breakfast. Where else but in Champagne would you get wine with your jambon et oeufs?

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Senior Destination: See Another Philly - Places Where Movies Were Made PDF Print E-mail

Independence Hall, Philadelphia
In publicity photos several years ago for the movie, "Annapolis", the midshipmen were all sharply lined up in front of an imposing building that resembled the Parthenon. Hmmm. In my Navy career I visited the Naval Academy many times and knew there was no such building there. Then it hit me. How could I not recognize Founder's Hall in Girard College? The school for fatherless boys in Philly had been my home from age six to 17, and I spent lots of time near or in the imposing building. The movie’s producers decided that filming at Girard in Philly was more convenient and cheaper than doing it at the real Naval Academy in Maryland.

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Senior Travel Destinations: Things To Do In Santa Barbara PDF Print E-mail

Santa Barbara is a beautiful seaside city in central California, some 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The surrounding mountains and breathtaking ocean views make the quiet, old mission town a great destination for senior visitors. Well, at least most of the year. However, senior tourists could get overwhelmed during Spring Break. The University of California, Santa Barbara, is there. Those students and thousand of others from colleges and high schools arrive from thousands of miles away to celebrate the sea, surf, sex, suds and other youthful excesses. For two weeks, the city’s population swells from about 90,000 to half a million. Check your calendar, and stay away if you don’t want to join in on Spring Break fun.

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