Christmas Vacation in Europe

My son Matthew Buie-Nervik, his bride and not quite two-year-old son spent two weeks in Europe for the Christmas holidays 2016. "We just returned the tiny Fiat rental car today," he wrote on Dec. 30. "We drove 3108 kilometers (nearly 2000 miles). France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy. A great trip." Photo essays: Paris, France. 2. Video clip... Continue Reading →

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Driving Or Being a Pedestrian in Italy: Not for the Faint-hearted, But Now It’s Hard for Foreigners to Get a License

Italians have a reputation for being crazy drivers (as do Egyptians): ignoring stop signs, terrifying pedestrians in crosswalks, disobeying speed limits. Italy is a society where "rules are an abstract concept and rarely applied," says Sylvia Poggioli of National Public Radio. She reports on her arduous experience as an American trying to get a drivers'... Continue Reading →

Thrilling Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Princess Ship

Up around 7:00 am the next morning for our 18-day cruise. Matthew left our hotel room in Chevekechia, Italy, a charming port outside Rome, to take the crew bus to the Grand Princess and begin his next eight-month contract. Alex and I walked around Chevekechia for a couple of hours, then entered the harbor area, filled out a bunch of paperwork,... Continue Reading →

Can America Match the Glory that Was Rome?

In modern Rome, I observed mostly decline, decadence, inefficiency, surliness and corruption.  Maybe I am just an arrogant American, as my own country will be hard pressed to make nearly the long-term contribution to Western if not world civilization, to art, architecture, religion, government, and cuisine -- that Rome has done over the centuries. The Roman... Continue Reading →

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