Thursday, March 5, 2020

Biennial update on my well-being and whereabouts

So, um, it looks like I haven't updated this site in a wee bit, eh? Funny how time does that! Well then, here are a few bits of news for you.

Last week I learned that I won two awards from the North American Travel Journalists Association. If you had told me 20 years ago that anyone anywhere would actually pay me real American dollars to write about traveling — perhaps the single greatest pursuit of human kind outside of love, family, and music — and that I'd actually win an award for such a thing, well... I'd have laughed you right out of the pub. And yet, here we are. Here are the winning stories:

Kid County, Ireland (Gold Winner, Family Travel category)
It’s no Orlando (and thank God for that), but Ireland doesn’t need the Disney touch to feel like a magical playground for your own little leprechauns.

Road Trip, Meet Field Trip (Honorable Mention, Family Travel category)
Sometimes the best souvenir isn’t what you buy, but what you learn.

I should probably also tell you that last June, I won a handful of awards in the National Association of Real Estate Editors' 69th annual journalism contest -- including:

But I think my favorite thing I've written in the past year was this piece — about busking in beautiful Asheville, N.C.

Blue Ridge Serenade: Asheville Makes Artsy Look Easy
There’s a lot to love about Asheville, from the local-first food scene to its Brooklyn-in-the-mountains sense of style to the warm welcome you receive in a city that loves you back. But art comes especially easy here; it’s everywhere. Music fills the bars, but also the streets, where buskers entertain tourists and lunch-hour diners. There’s art on the walls of its galleries, working studios, coffee shops, and a lot of the building exteriors, too. And in autumn, nature is doing her part, painting the surrounding mountains in Impressionistic blots of red, orange, and gold.

Finally, on another musical note, I'll be singing Irish and other tunes at the Monument Tavern in Charlestown on Saint Patrick's Day (Tuesday, March 17th) from 6pm-9pm. Come hoist a pint if you're in the area!
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