Posts Categorized: Travel

May 03 2012

Ciao Italia!


So sad!

Tomorrow we leave Italy for Paris. We do not want to leave! It has been so wonderful and we have seen so much! Italy just seems to suit us. We have even said buonosera to our usual six o’clock on the dot eating time and have been eating at 8.30!

We will miss Italy so much… but we’ll be back!!

May 01 2012

Ahhh Venezia – still so beautiful!


We left Rome this morning (so sad – we had an amazing time in so many ways!) and caught the fast train to Venice. Getting off at St Lucia and hopping on the vaporetto meant that all my beautiful memories of Venice from 1999 came flooding back.

We are staying at Don Orione, a religious guesthouse right near Accademia. It is wonderful accommodation and the church attached to our building is just beautiful. We feel very lucky to stay here! Our room is sparse – no TV or radio. We have a small desk and we get breakfast in the morning. It is glorious!


It is so good to be back!

Apr 29 2012

I don’t think we can top today…

Mass at St Peter’s Basilica would be amazing at anytime. The three hours we spent in the presence of Pope Benedict this morning was absolutely overwhelming, beautiful and unforgettable. I am still in shock I think – the Mass was an Ordination Mass so to see the whole thing is something that will stay with us forever.

We got there so early we ended up in the 21st pew (!!!!!!) and on the aisle. I took a lot of photos that have to wait until we get home to share but Bill snapped this wonderful photo of our Holy Father in the recessional.


I still can’t believe it and have so much to process from the whole morning… but I just wanted to share the photo.

Apr 28 2012

Too excited to sleep!

It is nearly 11.30pm here in Rome and we are too excited to sleep!

We have to be up at 6am tomorrow because…. we are off to Mass. This is not just any Mass… Il Papa is presiding!!

I organized this a while ago but it all became very real when we walked through some special bronze doors at St Peter’s that were manned by the Swiss Guard, to pick up our tickets.

I’ve checked my purse five times tonight to make sure the tickets are still there!! Here they are –


Rome has been amazing. We love it so much! It is so much more beautiful than how I remembered it. I think experiencing this with Bill and as someone older and wiser makes such a difference. We are already planning our return!

Bill has done a couple of updates… I will do my usual full catch ups when we get home!

Apr 26 2012

All checked in!

We are on our way!

I got home from work at 12.15 and Bill had the bits of laundry done and the apartment spotless. Our car arrived at 3pm, we were in the security line at 4pm and here in the lounge by 4.30. We both love leaving super early for the airport so we can just get rid of our bags and enjoy the start of vacation.

Although, I yearn for a simpler time where staking out a charging station is not a travel priority! Here is our current set up..

Apr 25 2012

Dario e sempre in ritardo!

The title of this post refers to about the only Italian I can remember after four years of learning it. I have not had time to brush up as much as I wanted to before we leave tomorrow for Europe.. eeek! Also, I am not sure how frequent my blog updates will be while we are away… Bill is going to try and do an update a day on his blog, so we’ll see how that goes.

We are SO SO SO excited. Everything is packed and ready and Bill is already sleeping peacefully. It was easy to enjoy today after the Pies STELLAR win over Essendon. (I just had to include that somewhere!)

One problem though… I am at a loss to what our vacation theme song should be. Does anyone have any suggestions?!? Please comment if you do!!

We had a similar debate before our trip to New Orleans earlier this year.

I wanted Jambalaya by the Carpenters –

Bill wanted The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton –

We basically ended up having our own theme song each. SIGH!

I keep leaning towards Holiday Road just because it is Lindsey and every time I think of our European Vacation I think of the Griswold’s just because Bill and I ARE the Griswold’s!! This song is just US!

On the one Contiki tour I did, our tour song was Livin’ La Vida Loca. We had that blasted to us every morning at 7am. I want something not quite as in your face. I found this list but still nothing is really standing out.

Maybe a song for each city is better?

Some ideas..

Heart of Rome – Elvis

Venice Queen – RHCP (The Slane Castle concert is one of my favorite concert DVDs ever!)

I Love Paris – Frank Sinatra

Blind Eye- Hunters and Collectors (Just because this IS about London and I played this constantly while I lived there!)

And a favourite.. London Still by the Waifs –

Apr 25 2012

The Overnighters

Last weekend was somewhat somber as straight after work on Friday we headed out to Pennsylvania for Aunt Jean’s memorial service in Lancaster County.

As it was all very last minute planning, it went well with us being able to get a decent Zipcar and also accomodation without fuss.

We decided to drive there over the Verazzano Narrows bridge and through Staten Island. A first for both of us. The Verazzano is also where the start of the New York Marathon happens. Yes.. it is that huge bridge you see at the start of the race. We see the bridge every day while we have lunch at work so it was nice going a different way over something that seemed so familiar!

There was one hiccup – the traffic was really bad. I can only imagine the stress levels of the people that have to drive in it every day. I managed to snap some pics of how the bridge looks close up.

Verazzano Narrows Bridge

Verazzano Narrows Bridge

It was quite a journey of pretty much bumper to bumper traffic until we got to the Cracker Barrel in Clinton, New Jersey for dinner. We had a delicious dinner and ice cold lemonades – this is their summer special for this season – they should keep them! I could have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Cracker Barrel… I love it!

Here is the icy lemonade – it was so refreshing!

Cracker Barrel - Clinton, NJ

Every Cracker Barrel looks the same, without fail!

Cracker Barrel - Clinton, NJ

We eventually got to Lancaster at 9.30 – we were so tired! My loyalty to Marriott has paid off again as even though our reservation was made only a few days earlier, we were able to use a free bonus night to stay at the Lancaster Marriott which is close to the St James where the service was. This Marriott is stunning and was a wonderful place to stay even though it was such a quick visit. I don’t know whether it was just because we were exhausted but I had the best hotel sleep ever in the bed there. Here is how our room looked –

Marriott, Lancaster

Marriott, Lancaster

Marriott, Lancaster

Marriott, Lancaster

We opted to have a little sleep-in and get room service breakfast. Again, no complaints. We have yet to stay in a bad Marriott or have a bad experience. The breakfast was wonderful, as always.

Marriott, Lancaster

That thing that looks like brown toast on the bottom of my plate is one of the best foods I have ever eaten. I first tried Scrapple when we were in Lancaster County last year. It is basically pork leftover mush. IT IS DELICIOUS!!! I know – pork scraps.. I am easy to please but as a side to a hearty breakfast, scrapple is just amazing.

Here is how Lancaster looked from our hotel room window –

Marriott, Lancaster

Marriott, Lancaster

Penn Square –

Marriott, Lancaster

We walked to the Memorial service which was a wonderful celebration of Jean’s life and as it was in her own Parish, it was even more special. The church was beautiful inside and out. The pews had little doors and it was an intimate service and very personal. The hotel was so lovely to be able to give us a 1pm checkout. So that meant we were able to stay for a short time for the reception afterwards before running back to the hotel and changing to drive back to New York.

We stopped in at Miller’s on the way for some lunch and that was when I made an amazing discovery – real beetroot. I will talk about that more in another post! We drove about an hour out of Lancaster and made another stop at a Wegman’s supermarket. While Bill was there, I ran into the AC Moore craft store. This place is dangerous. If I lived near an AC Moore I think our place would be full with crafty bits and pieces. It is a craft supermarket! After getting some cheap cross stitch kits, we were back in the car before one more stop in New Jersey. Yes, time to see what Jersey roadside service centers are like. This one was like a trip back to 1986!

Woodrow Wilson Service Area

Woodrow Wilson Service Area

We made it home by 7 and there was no rest for us… as we had to finish getting our things ready for our European vacation!

Apr 01 2012

Excited much?

Just over 3 weeks until we leave for Europe and everything is ready to go bar putting in our planned outfits.

Just under 3 weeks to go...

We have had some really exciting trip developments that I cannot wait to share along the way. We’re talking once-in-a-lifetime status. As Bill would say, we’re totally jazzed.

Mar 04 2012

Now this is good mail…

It is not every day you get a letter postmarked from Hampton Court Palace!

Mail from...

This was our membership pack for the Historic Royal Palaces which saves us some £’s for the palaces we want to visit while we are in London. We are positively jumping out of our skin and seriously counting down to the days until our European vacation! We’re under the two month mark.. cannot wait!

Mar 01 2012

Love really is in the air…

One thing that put a smile on our faces on our flights of madness coming home was something special that Bill organized.

On the ‘From the Heart’ Qantas radio station, you can email Qantas eight weeks before your flight and get a dedication played.

So gorgeous Bill did that and got a dedication played to me. Awwwwwww!!! I’m going to mush just thinking about it now! Through the flight I kept waiting for my dedication to be played. You can hear it here –


We recorded it by using the iPhone voice memo app and holding the phone right up to the headphones.

Lisa Hensley said I was a very lucky woman… and I agree!