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March 2018

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I love to travel, and I love to bake, and when those worlds collide is when my own world feels balanced. While in Salzburg, Austria over the summer, my friend Sam and I took a class in making apple strudel, a renowned Austrian treat that might clash with visions of wiener schnitzel, and isn’t the famed sachertorte, but is important to the fabric of the country’s cuisine. The Edelweiss Cooking School is housed in a cavernous chamber, set in the Mönchsberg Mountain just outside of the Old Town. There are no markers denoting the school, so slipping into the cool…

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After the door clicks shut, it is dark, save the slit of gray light streaming in dully from the top corner of the room. This empty silo is shaped like the steeple of a church, or the hull of a boat, but jaggedly cut, and stretches 79 feet high. Between hushed footsteps and a weighted silence comes the distant sound of air swirling. It whooshes and whistles and twirls like ribbon around a spool. It makes the silence all the more noticeable and uneasy, the void oppressive and haunted. This is the Holocaust Tower, located in the zigzagging complex of…

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On the southwestern coats of Ireland lies a seaside town with a dolphin-in-residence and one set of stoplights. Dingle is unassuming on first glance, but, like a charm, it wraps you around its finger and exudes an unmistakable warmth and unique flavor. “You’ve decided to stay in the real Ireland, as we like to say,” my driver into town said, a playful crease around his eyes. Even in the darkness cloaking the views, I could make out the defined rise and fall of its rolling sentinels of shelter. I glimpsed the town and, suddenly, we were driving away, shrouded again in the…

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Cyclists near and far, beginner and intermediate, this one’s for you. I’m an amateur rider at best, having spent a summer learning how to confidently bike from my home in Everett, Massachusetts to downtown Boston in order to feel secure in cycling through Dublin for four months. When I arrived, the left lane driving and bike paths that wound in and around traffic shattered any stitch of self-assurance I’d previously had, and settled on renting bikes here and there. But I am a fervent lover of the mode, and it is probably my favorite way to see the world. Along…

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Happy spring! It is far from the season here, as we’re expecting more snow today. *face palm* I thought that I would start an Ireland series here, because I am SO excitedly returning to visit my sister, Kaylee, as she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester. We both are now honorary Champlain College students, and both Champlain Dublin alum who are going to join in the program’s 10-year anniversary celebrations in Burlington, VT early this coming June. As Ireland is on my mind nearly all the time these days, I’m here to continue to spread the love I have…

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Lin Manuel Miranda’s March Hamildrop, a collaboration with Ben Platt/Dear Evan Hansen, was released with perfect timing this morning. It comes just before the March For Our Lives this weekend, and a portion of the proceeds from the song “Found/Tonight” will support the march. And in the light of national crises we have born witness, we’ve been needing this sort of art to carry the fight forward. Like they say in the mash up, “The morning is breaking, and all is new.” The collaboration is sheer brilliance, and hopefully its reach will be tenfold. We are living at a time…

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“Yo. Want to give us a lift?” Sam directed her question at a black car that drove past us, the driver barely glancing at two very red-faced girls sweating through their dresses, sitting/leaning against uneven rocks, and balancing slices of warm cheese and meats and grapes on our laps. “This cheese is probably still good, right?” I asked, holding a slice and sniffing it as it drooped sadly over my fingers. We had only just bought it that morning, but it had been a victim of the staunch heat for probably an hour and a half by then. I ate…

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James Taylor knew what he was talking about. Except instead of sunshine and moonshine, I can see the flourishing clouds covering and uncovering the sky and feel the drunken ecstasy. The mountains are one of my favorite things in the entire world, and though Ireland isn’t mountainous, per se, the terrain is rugged and craggy and, of course, green. Strung with valleys that cater off into the distance, and sheep that dot the landscape, it is a storybook fantasy come alive. While in Galway, Sam and I booked a tour through the Connemara Valley with Viator, an eight-hour bus ride…

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One night in October or November of 2017, my best friend Sam was sleeping over and we began talking travel. I was in the hypothetical phase of a trip to Europe in the coming summer to celebrate my graduation from college, and as the thought cropped up we laughingly sighed, “What if we just go to Europe this summer?” Then we looked at each other, a serious glint in our eyes. “What if we just go to Europe this summer?” This time, planning a trip as a passably-fledged 21/22 year old adult and with my best friend was exciting. It…

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I have a note in my phone that runs three long scrolls down, filled with books I want to read. When it came to Christmas and my birthday, and I couldn’t remember exactly what every book was, I would play Title Roulette and copy and paste random titles into a new Safari page to skim the description. But some books lingered in my unconscious, and felt like love (or at least, infatuation) when I locked eyes with their title. And it was an, “Ah, yes, you. I’ve been waiting for you.” Geraldine DeRuiter’s memoir All Over the Place was that…