Author Archive

Meeting up with the James’ (Vi in Italy)

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

It was very exciting to surprise Alex and Luke when they arrived in Rome/Roma. Our first accommodation was a B&B in Roma – also within walking distance to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Needless to say, we explored that for two days; at the very least, it was fantastic. The most harrowing part was climbing the 430 odd steps up a very narrow spiral staircase to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica but the view was well worth the hike. The Sistine Chapel was again another sight well worth the visit. We also rode the Metro to the Spanish steps and took a tour around the Colosseum – a lot of history there. All in all, Roma is a great place to visit and I even bought a “tourist” type video.

Next, we stayed in a remote villa in Montalbino (Tuscany – County of Montespertoli – middle of Italy somewhere) – beautiful countryside but no cell phone or Internet service. On Wednesday we were off to Venice and yes, we did take a gondola ride – one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences – $100. Euros for 50 minutes or any part thereof – we only did 25 minutes because it was raining and it brought us 25 minutes closer to our parking garage.

On Friday we were off to Pisa and climbed another 300 or so steps up to the bell tower – again, well worth the hike. Saturday morning we checked out of our villa and made our way to Nice (south of France) by train. We’re staying in a very nice hostel – $25. Euro each per night – breakfast included and free 24 hour WI-FI and internet in each room as well as 10 computers in a common area. Rick has left to pick up our van rental and the rest is a mystery.

Note to Florence – we drove through/around Florence – did not do any shopping or sightseeing.

Thailand – last day for me in Paradise

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

This trip has been fantastic – it’s over all too quickly. We lucked out on the beaches of Phuket – not at all crowded where we were staying and it’s awesome how many fantastic eating places there were right on the beach. The swimming was second to none. After Phuket we went to Phi Phi Island and that was an experience in itself – absolutey no vehicles – just bicycles and carts with very narrow roadways and a b-zillion little shops every which way – I only wish I had more room in my luggage to do the shopping that I would like. Rick will probably post a picture of one of the carts when he gets a chance. The hotels don’t even lock up their front when they all go home for the evening. This is where we went snorkeling – actually it was in the same bay where “The Beach” was filmed – that was a lot of fun even though I was very nervous – but of course, it turned out to be not as scary as I had imagined – it’s all in the mind. We then moved on the Chiang Mai – from here we went to an Elephant Conservation Centre and they put on quite a good show – we also went on an elephant ride – that was an experience that I’ll always remember. The next day we went whitewater rafting – of course I didn’t want to go because I was totally PETRIFIED but anything to please my grandchildren. Luke reminded me how his dad had to force him the first time they went so, in his way (he said) he was forcing me. Once I got over the initial shock, it was quite a lot of fun!!! We’re in Bangkok now – the last leg of my journey. I can’t even imagine the word “snow” but sooner or later reality will set in.


Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Although I was extremely nervous (probably just the anticipation) I had a very uneventful flight. Everything happened exactly on schedule. I met a few people on the flights (I didn’t even chatter too much, LOL). Cathay Pacific is second to none – definitely the way to go. I thought Vancouver Airport was huge and it really is but Hong Kong’s is even larger. I actually didn’t leave the Security areas at either airport to make things easier for myself and I’m really glad I didn’t. I’m in Phuket and it is fabulous and from what I’ve heard the rest of Thailand is totally a magnificant place – can’t wait to see more of it.
Our hotel is pretty basic but just across the street from the grand Pacific Ocean and the water is fabulous as is the weather.
Hi to everyone and I’ll write again in a few of days after we get to our next town/hotel/or whatever???