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Two Lists

November 13, 2018

The breath-holding suspense of Election Day (which still continues)  The horror of Borderline, latest of the interminable succession of mass shootings, (which never seem to stop) The strong emotions surrounding Veterans Day’s (which feel particularly upsetting this year) And the California fires so close to home (which, of course, still continue). Mrs. Penfire’s head is…

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It’s All About the View

October 8, 2018

Castel Sant’Angelo. It started out as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian. A massive cylindrical drum sitting on an equally massive stone base and topped by a golden quadriga—sculpture of a chariot pulled by four horses running abreast. Visualize a giant stone birthday cake with horses on top! To connect his future burial place with…

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Mr. and Mrs. Penfire Stop for Lunch

October 5, 2018

When we first contemplated traveling to Italy, we thought we simply didn’t know enough to be do-it-ourselves travelers. Looking back now at the itinerary, I see that the tour we nearly booked would have been a big disappointment. The tour offered only a thirty-minute “orientation walk” on the day of arrival in Rome, with the…

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The Vatican Museums – A Treasure Trove

September 16, 2018

Getting there The lovely young manager at our hotel explained how to get the bus to the Vatican. We walked the couple of blocks to Piazza Venezia, found the recommended Tabacchi (think corner convenience store), which is the place to purchase bigletti (tickets for the city’s buses) and headed for the nearby bus stop. On…

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The Vatican: Planning Ahead – A Necessity

September 8, 2018

A visit to the Vatican—mobbed, daunting, and overwhelming as it might be—is not to be missed, because, quite frankly, if you have traveled all the way to Rome and do not experience this place, you might as well have stayed home. For devout Catholics, the Vatican is a place of religious pilgrimage. For all of…

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Where have you been, Mrs. Penfire?

August 27, 2018

Earlier this summer Mrs. Penfire was truly enjoying sharing the story of her adventures in Italy with Mr. Penfire. And then: life intervened. So far, you have met only one Mrs. Penfire: the outspoken I-will-do-it-myself persona represented by the flame-defying Little Red Hen. She is often compelled to post commentary; in addition she occasionally calls…

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