04 May Carry On Essentials – Don’t Get Carried Away!

We've all witnessed it: The gate agent calls Group 2. The young man (or woman) corrals their duffle bag and slings the strap diagonally across their body as the straps hold on for dear life - and subsequently make that squeaking noise that no one is able to find a solution for. Here comes the backpack - slung over the other shoulder. They're single-strappin' it like the first day of school in 1995. They don't stop there as they bend down, trying to grab their computer briefcase, as the aforementioned duffle and backpack slide from their shoulders - only to start the process over again.   We get it - you don't want the airline to lose your luggage; nor do you want to wait for you belongings at baggage claim. But remember, these are carry-ons! And regulations are pretty much the same on all airlines: one small roller bag (see airlines' specifications), one small duffle or backpack and one hand-held item (as in a small purse or table). Here's a tip to ensure that you don't lose your luggage and have room for your backpack in the overheads (best if it's a direct flight): Bring your one roller carry-on to the gate. Have the agent "gate check" your bag. They will offer to check it for free and bring it below to the luggage hold. The bag will be waiting for you upon arrival at either the gate (smaller vessels) or baggage claim...

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09 Apr Why I Applied for Dual Citizenship

Let me be the first to say that I am a proud American. I have lived here for 32 years and been though the prosperity of the Clinton administration and the subsequent disaster of the Bush administration (financially speaking). I take a rather poignant been there, done that attitude when it comes to travel and landmarks within the States. I have lived in San Francisco (twice), Washington, DC, and Tampa, FL; and I am about to relocate to the Netherlands as part of Panrimo’s plan to open a European office and continue to provide the best programs in Europe. [caption id="attachment_1704" align="alignnone" width="960"] Canal in my town of Utrecht[/caption] Before I introduce the benefits of being a dual EU/US citizen, allow me to share how I obtained my Italian citizenship (Disclaimer: This is meant for educational purposes only and not as an official authority on how to obtain citizenship. The fact that I even have to state that gives you an idea of why I am heading to Europe). Step 1: Do I qualify for Italian Citizenship? Yes. My grandfather was naturalized in the US after my father was born. Step 2: Obtain Grandfather’s Birth records from Italian Comune This was located in his birth town of Terrasini, Sicilia. Step 3: Search for Index Number of my Grandfather’s upon arrival into the USA The USCIS website allows you to look up the index number Step 4: Order Grandfather’s US Naturalization forms (certified) from USCIS Not too...

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05 Mar Baseball (and Hurling) Season is Upon Us…

[caption id="attachment_1586" align="alignnone" width="300"] Credit: FoxSports.com[/caption]   Every spring, thousands of Americans head south to Florida and Arizona to warm up. During this time, there is a a secondary factor that starts to creep into the conscious of these "snow birds" - it's Spring Training and baseball season is upon us. Baseball is America's National Pastime. Did you know that it is also the National Pastime in Cuba and Dominican Republic? And wildly popular in Venezuela, Panama, the Netherland Antilles, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and the list goes on (basically all countries represented in the World Baseball Classic).  This got me wondering: What are the declared national pastimes from around the world? Let's take a look: Bahamas: Sloop Sailing [caption id="attachment_1590" align="alignnone" width="300"] Credit: Translate.com[/caption] These vessels are single-masted boats and regattas are held yearly. The most historical race being The National Family Island Regatta. I prefer to view this regatta from the shore with a beverage made from coconut and strawberries. Brazil: Capoeira [caption id="attachment_1587" align="alignnone" width="300"] Credit: Translate.com[/caption] This Afro-Brazilian style of martial arts was developed by ancient Brazilians and follows a system similar to Karate by awarding rope belts ranging from Raw to Black. Do not be fooled by the artistry, Mestres can and will subdue you by their movements and then Wah Bam! Korea Republic: Taekwondo [caption id="attachment_1591" align="alignnone" width="300"] Credit: Translate.com[/caption] This form of martial arts combines self defense with sport. The sequence in training includes Patterns, Sparring and, well known, Breaking - where boards, bricks, tiles and...

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04 Feb As Local As It Gets – Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Ireland

I'll set the scene: Arrive on ferry boat, a green landscape that would inspire Crayola, huts with thatched roofs and smoking chimneys, a man named Thomas and a horse named Johnny, another shade of green, fences made of rock and the smell of peat in the air. You're at the edge of Ireland. Not the Cliffs of Moher - you're on the Aran Islands and you own the islands. [caption id="attachment_1451" align="alignnone" width="300"] Inis Mor Arrival (Photo Credit: D. Palazzolo)[/caption] While designing programs, it's important to experience life as a local would. While I know a local wouldn't hire a horse and carriage to cart them around; locals do have horses and they do have carriages - and what better way to see the island than to have Thomas Faherty and one of his horses (Johnny) show us around? [caption id="attachment_1452" align="alignnone" width="300"] Johnny (the horse) and his Carriage (Photo Credit: D. Palazzolo)[/caption] Hiking to the Worm Hole requires one to have a keen eye and and strong ankles. Thomas dropped my wife and I off at a starting point and said, "Follow the red arrows. Make sure not to get sucked under by the tide. I'll meet you in a couple hours for some tea." As I looked out among the field of rough terrain, trying to locate even one red arrow, I noticed that, all of a sudden, the rock stopped. There was a cliff  and then there was a limestone pool...

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