Touring Pittsburgh with Barbara

If I were to take you around Pittsburgh, home of the Steelers and more bridges than Venice, I would tell you, “This is a tour according to Barbara. It will lack substantial facts of the city, but it will be filled with giggles, heart-to-hearts, and silly voices.” First, you and I would ditch whatever mode of transportation we entered the city in, whether car, train, or bus. To really see a city, you must take to the streets. Shoes tied...
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The Healing Pain

Healing is pain first. If the wound is fresh, soap and water. If it is old, you must seek it and reopen it. It doesn’t feel like healing. It’s like pine prickles wedged into your skin with tear crinkles in your eyes. Maybe I don’t really want healing. I’d rather limp, achey step after achey step. There are moments when you know that you’re only standing because of crutches, but then there are years, where you didn’t even know that...
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London Dreaming

As a writer and a reader, I have always been intrigued by London. So many great authors come from there–classics, really! It would be a dream to study at Oxford, and I have friends who have. Yes, I’m jealous. [image found here] Have you ever had the opportunity to ride a red double-decker bus? Funny enough, I spotted this type of bus chilling in a Mississippi parking lot about a month ago. Who would have thought! [image found here] Did...
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Vienna’s Culture as Viewed by an American

One of the reasons that I love traveling is getting to experience other cultures. Seeing a new culture makes me view my own home culture in a new way. The American way isn’t always the best way. I didn’t expect to observe so many cultural differences while in Vienna, Austria, but I found quite a few and I want to share them with you, whether you’re headed to Austria or not! Speaking with Utensils: In Europe, eating utensils speak a...
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Visiting Vienna on a Budget

Vienna, a Mecca of culture and history, provides a day traveler with many options of things to do. A city seemingly designed for small and large budgets, kids and adults, history nuts and spontaneous shoppers. Spending money is simple, but finding quality entertainment can prove more difficult on a low budget. Upon arriving in Vienna, search out the nearest ubahn (the underground) station to purchase a 24-hour ticket. This ticket allows unlimited travel throughout Vienna on buses, ubahn, and trams....
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A Writer’s Dragons

I like writing. That’s the truth of the matter. There are many people who really don’t like writing. It’s as though someone has tied them to a chair and plans to slowly separate their fingers from their fingernails. Painful. That was never me. Words just flow together, or they used to. I don’t have writer’s block. You have to be a writer to have a block. But what is a stinking block anyway? Is it a writer just tapping their...
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Eating in Starkville, Mississippi.

A city with the name of Starkville, Mississippi, is a place you naturally want to make fun of. I know because I have. Yet, if you want a quaint destination teaming with young college life, this town is the place for you. It helps if you love Maroon and White and the Mississippi State bulldogs! I’m a girl who plans her day around meal times. I’m sure there are a few of you out there who do the same! Naturally,...
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Second Chance Roses

A dozen roses speckled with age spots and hunched about the stem; Yet, gorgeous still. They lean against the other bouquets with a price tag that has been slashed from $15 to $10. Their age not honored, rather underappreciated. They are second chance roses, not chosen by young lover or old lover. These velvety blossoms lovingly lingered over by a youngling longing for the beauty of flowers but not relishing the price of the strapping, bright-faced blooms. A rescued gift...
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Dominican Republic: Dream Achieved

Spanish-speaking cultures have always been heart-close to me. The language sounded like a floating song of legato tones sewn together—words that rustle like a new dress twirling out around your ankles. My first trip to the Dominican Republic lasted for three months. I lived with a Dominican family in the town of Jarabacoa, two hours outside of Santiago. My American roommate and I took Spanish classes during the day while working on our Spanish with our families as well. In...
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Dreaming of Vienna, Austria

I’m one of those children that has always wanted to travel. Scratch that. I wanted to live in the jungle with the cast of The Jungle Book, especially Bagheera the panther. Then I grew up. My love for history and culture and people and the arts override my Amazon woman feelings. Sure, I like the idea of being an Amazon woman, but I’d much rather read books about them (The Lost Sisterhood, anyone?). Basically, I want to see the world....
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