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April 2012

On The Road to a Virtual Voyage!

I figured a  “Throwback Thursday” would be a most appropriate time to wax nostalgic and invite you to join me on my next virtual vacation!  This weekend I will set off on a wondrous adventure “across the pond”  touring southern England!  As if that weren’t fabulous enough, I’m traveling with my daughter Sara, just the two of us, as her graduation gift before she heads off to college next month! 

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  During my 25+ years at ABC7, many of you have watched Sara grow up over the years - here’s the nostalgic part - and during that time she has become an incredible traveler! 








She took her first cruise before she was 2 - at 4, she was climbing pyramids in Mexico!

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At 6, Sara accompanied me and my Mom on a trip to Spain - 3 generations in our mother country! At 10, Sara was sightseeing through ancient Greece; at 12 she experienced the glaciers of Alaska!

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                         Alaska july 26 to aug 5 2008 146 (2)


I took her to President Obama’s first inauguration - we explored the holy land together with members of our congregation.

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I chaperoned a high school choir trip to Ireland, and back in the states we took road trips to our national parks and the entire stretch of Rt. 66!  Sara’s 18th birthday with a destination party to the “Happiest Place on Earth!”

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I now invite you to join us on our next adventure, as I share our discoveries in London and many other historic places in the UK.  We arrive at Heathrow Airport Monday August 4th; posts on Facebook and Twitter soon to follow!  As this is an “interactive vacation,” feel free to make suggestions, ask questions or give advice - this is the first time in the UK for both of us!

 https://www.facebook.com/RozVaronABC7   https://twitter.com/rozvaronABC7 

One more thing - a heartfelt thanks to my incredibly understanding husband for giving Sara and I this special bonding time while he stays at home.  Besides, someone has to watch the dogs, right?!


Bon Voyage!




On The Road to The Life Lessons From Ireland

We learn from experience, from our children and from each other. This perfect trifecta sums up the life lessons I take with me from my Ireland adventure. Remember, I started this trip as a parent chaperone, hoping to spend time with my daughter while exploring a foreign country - I did learn quite a bit about "The Emerald Isle," for one, the official color of Ireland is "St. Patrick's Blue," not green!

The harp is the official symbol of the country (not the Guinness harp - it faces the other way)!
The striking red hair of the Irish people is attributed to the early blending of the blonde Viking men and the black haired, fair Celtic women. (Dublin was established as a Viking settlement in the 9th century!)

The city of Dublin gets its name from the Irish words "Dubh Linn" meaning "black pool," referring to the dark colored tidal pool of the nearby River Poddle, which ran under the present site if Dublin Castle (no moat jokes, please!)

My travel companions and fellow chaperones come from all walks of life - lawyers, educators, small business owners and performers.

They are single parents, blended families, modern families, all somehow making it work. They have a strength I admire, and hearts as big as the country we were visiting.

I learned the most from the students. Music is universal; they were here to share that commonality, and no matter what "drama" was going on behind the scenes (they are teens, right?!), they were amazing ambassadors, representing our city and country in a most respectable and admirable manner. Every parent would be proud.

A special thanks to Courtney for making sure I understood the following (and these were just the ones I picked up along the way - there were so many more!!)
Guess I'll TTYL cuz I'm TTTT.

A wealth of gratitude goes to Elaine H., choir director extraordinaire (and my roommate on this trip!) for organizing this amazing adventure. The incredible gift of music you have given these 40 students is priceless.

The concert at St. Patrick's Cathedral will stay with me always.



On The Road To The Treasures of Dublin

I'll admit, it was a bit of a challenge getting out of bed on day 7, the last full day of our Ireland adventure, but there was so much to do and see, I didn't want to miss a moment of it!

We began with a tour of Dublin Castle, built in 1204 to defend Medieval Dublin.

The original castle was destroyed by fire in 1684 and rebuilt in the 1700's as a Georgian style castle; with the end of British rule in 1922, the castle's control went to the new Irish Free State Government. Although it is a huge tourist attraction, it remains a working government building - much like our White House.

In the Portrait Gallery, we saw paintings of British Viceroys - some wearing pieces of Ireland's "Crowned Jewels," which were stolen from the castle in 1907 - and never found. An award is still offered for their return, and as our tour guide suggested, "Have at it!"

We saw the (very large) throne of King George IV, who at some 370 lbs. was England's second largest monarch!

St. Patrick's Hall, one of the oldest rooms in the castle, is used for presidential inaugurations.

Across the courtyard we are able to see the only remaining original Medieval structure - the Record Tower, above ground, and part of the Dublin City wall and castle moat below ground.

We are warned not to drop anything in the nasty water, and that's when the drama began...I heard a splash, saw the commotion and realized a student's shoe had fallen in the "moat" - MY daughter's shoe! With the help of our guide, a couple sympathetic mom's and a broomstick, I was able to retrieve the now disgusting shoe from the slimy water. I proceeded to tell my daughter, "Don't expect a new pair of shoes every time you drop one in a moat!"
With borrowed shoes (thanks Diane!), we continued to historic St. Patrick's Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland and the site of our final concert.

St. Patrick's was built in the 13th century and has ties to Jonathan Swift ("Gulliver's Travels") and Handel's "Messiah" (first sung in1742 at St. Pat's).

After the performance, it was a short walk to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells, a lavishly decorated manuscript of the New Testament, created by Celtic monks in the early 9th century.

We wrapped up our day with a successful shopping excursion in Dublin!

I must be the luckiest chaperone on this trip!