Archive for March, 2013

We so enjoyed our day here. Use the audio guide and allow yourself a few hours for exploration. It was far bigger than I thought it would be. You can go at night to see the key ceremony as well but you must apply in advance for tickets. That was pretty cool and is a 700 year tradition 🙂

their website:  http://www.hrp.org.uk/toweroflondon/

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“Memorable, fun and beautiful Irish day…….and I have the photos to prove it!”

My friend booked us with Celtic Compass tours and I’m really glad she did. This turned out to be such a fun, memorable day with a buffet of everything that Ireland could deliver. Stunning scenery, gorgeous animals, Irish roads, castles, ruins, crosses, the sea and more. Walter is a great guide and driver. He will also work around your interests as well so if you require anything not listed, just ask. I definitely recommend Celtic Compass Tours.

Here is their website:  http://www.celticcompasstours.com/

our photos:

 

 

 

 

 

I really enjoyed this tour. We went on the Connemare/Cong outing. The guide was funny and informative. I can’t tell you how the sight of Kylemore Abbey just stuns you. Incredibly beautiful. Our driver knew the roadside sheep as well and stops and waits patiently for them to cross the roads. There are many beautiful sights to behold on this tour. The day just goes too fast.

 

their website:  http://www.galwaytourcompany.com/gtc/daytours.jsp

 

our photos:

 

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A Beatles tour not to be missed. Is there anything better than seeing Liverpool, learning about the Beatles early history, visiting homes while listening to the tunes? I think not.

Penny Lane is in my ears and now in my eyes.

Website:  http://www.cavernclub.org/

Unfortunately, I did not get the time to write a proper trip report on Greece but instead did a travel video that I think captures the essence of Greece and our wonderful trip.

Delos is magic and has incredible history !   What a place, I am so glad that we made that a priority to visit.  At the little refreshment stand we meet a fellow who lives there.  I told him you are so lucky.  He said to me thank you really for that because my family says, “WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY STAYING THERE”?  there’s nothing around”?   He told us that’s why I love it so much and offers us to see some of his photos.  I said, “sure,”  and he brings me his camera and proceeds to show us some of the most incredible sunsets and photos of Delos that I have ever seen.

He gets a call that a group has lost their 80 year-old grandfather so he zooms off  in this tiny white truck to find him.  He says just keep the camera and when you’re done looking just give it to one of them inside.  It was getting close to the last boat leaving Delos and before you knew it he was back.  The elderly gentleman had taken an earlier boat.  Kelly and I say our goodbyes because we didn’t want to miss our boat and off we go walking while he waves.  On the walk, we come to a dead-end.  Ummm this isn’t it we realize.   In the next moment, the fellow comes around the bend in a tiny white truck with the dust blowing.  He yells, “says get in the back,”   The next thing you know we are speeding along the paths of Delos  being bounced laughing our butts off drunk from happiness.  Who would have thought we would be roaming around Delos like this?

He took us to the boat and stayed till we left.  Than he took the truck along the island following us waving till he was a tiny white dot left in Delos.  What a nice guy!  That’s Greek hospitality.

our wild ride:

This is a video I made for my trip to Sicily.   I am very happy with the results!

 

You never know what a sentence can lead to…. and I mean that on several accounts.  Way back during my ailment of I miss Italy, I had a thread “my Italian scarf intervention” little did I know at the time what some friendly posts were going to start, a ball of thread was starting to unravel and roll with red thread and soon that thread was going to start connecting us and pulling us together no matter where we actually were, friendships started brewing and really it goes back even further than that – I realize now that same ball was bouncing thru trip reports, discussions, Orvieto, Florence the beautiful, Venice, you name it— till one fine day you all wake up, see a thread about life being too short and go to Rome, so that’s what we did.

Here is the original post we saw that spurred us into action:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187791-i22-k2342544-Life_is_just_too_short_so_why_not-Rome_Lazio.html

The Traveling Scarves of Italy began…………word of warning for those who may not know me from my other reports, they can be long, personal, I don’t give a hoot about spelling and grammar I just write….. so today that’s what I’m doing, buy the ticket…take the ride 🙂

Why you have to love Italian men.

Why you have to love Italian men. More about that later and Life.

and I did…….than there was blessed Katina sitting in the land of Oz at 2 a.m. , finger on the trigger, hearts were racing, palms sweating and before you could say hop, skip and jump the tickets were bought…….I was anxious about this, did I have any business going to Rome in February?  I was going to Greece in May.  I had made a deal with myself….Italy every other year a new country in-between, well deals are made to be broken it seems, so far this is my third straight year with the affliction, I blame Michelangelo for it, I love him and Italy .

Katina says…….well I can go in February, how about February?  I stare at it SO HARD and  because of her, I pushed that button, than buttons started pushing from everywhere, some quickly, some slowly after much thought, two more from Australia, one from Ireland, one from England, one from California, one from Utah, two from New York and my tiny little state of Maryland.

Who are these scarves who went to Rome you may be thinking?  Well I’m going to tell you about them.

Katina – lives in Australia but is Greek as well, one thing I know if I ever meet him, I’m going to love her pop.  Anybody who wants’ to tell me what Greek word came from such and such came from is allright in my book !  Windex is for movies!  He is real.   Kat went to Italy with her daughter last year, they met up with Melissa,  TA’s aussie girl–Melissa and I had talked yes we are traveling together,  I believe she told Katina one day we are going to Italy with Jeannette and Katina being reserved and cautious of course thinks  I am not doing any such thing with a stranger !  Never say never ……..Katina looks like Jennifer Aniston to me, dresses in such nice fashions that she could show the Italian ladies a thing or two and that’s saying something because we all know Italian women know how to dress.   Beautiful outside…beautiful inside, that’s Katina.

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Katina 🙂

Lilly – aussie two!

We have nicknamed Luscious Lilly and she is – I am sentimental and emotional it comes with being Cancer the crab.  LL is my partner in crime in that department, we like to touch everything to really feel it, sounds cause emotion, music can make tears – not unhappy ones – the ones that mean your alive and you know you blessed and lucky to see or hear what you just witnessed.   I think booking this trip was a big emotional step for Lilly, she hasn’t traveled without her husband before Henry.  We are not just talking about a few hours flight, this is the real McCoy.  All the way around the world for some 24 hours but she did it !  She can be on the quiet side at times but when she opens her mouth watch out for the zinger because your sides will be splitting with laughter.  A dead-on sense of humor!   I won’t ever hear the words “Ciao Bella” without thinking of Lilly ….ever.

Lilly :)

Lilly 🙂

Yvonne –  aussie three

Yvonne led me to this discovery of the red thread…….she realized it and described it to me.  It hit me so strong that she was right that I even tied a small piece of red thread inside a purse on a zipper.  Me and my Yvonne (yes I have claimed her as my own)  began our red-thread in Orvieto.  We were looking to stay in the same place last year but were going at different times. Yvonne made it there first….same place, same bed, when I arrived I got angels.  Yvonne left me a note on a postcard with angels.  She told me to take care of Aramo our B&B manager and after that – our destiny was sealed and that postcard has been at my bedside ever since – even to this trip in Rome.  Yvonne “has it goinn on as I like to say.”   She is smart as a whip, stunning I say and I had to tell her, ” dear Yvonne,  I don’t know if u ever noticed but you are built like nobody’s business”  Women half your age would die for a figure like that.  How the *ell do you do it?  Seriously guys, tall, thin, legs from here to Ethiopia, dresses smart, loves my man Michelangelo.  She used to be a nurse before she retired and somehow has been given an injection from the fountain of youth.  Her whole face smiles… that is Yvonne !   And she is still there now as I write…

The Red thread from Yvonne

The Red thread from Yvonne

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Yvonne

So that’s our aussies including Melissa who couldn’t be with us.

Now we jump over to England with Julie.  She is luckiest woman alive, she can get those Ryan airfares dirt cheap and be over in Italy so fas.  Me and Julie love Italian romance and man stories.  Way back she was telling me, I’ve got some stories to you know and it starts with a smooch on a bridge in Venice.  Well after that our red thread is tied and glued. Her accent sounds just like the Beatles and I could listen to her talk forever.  I love the stories about her and her mom traveling, especially when she got her mom paranoid about the suitcase weight and her Mom wore two bras on the plane.  That is just the thing my mom would do.

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Julie talking with Yvonne in the red coat

Kathleen is from England but lives in Ireland –  I got to know her much later but better late than never.  If anyone can become a saint for the love of cats, dear Kathleen will be a saint.  She donates part of her salary to them, feeds many strays and pays to get them fixed.  She wakes at the crack of dawn to start this process.  Julie and Kathleen met in Venice so I got to know her thru Julie.  We didn’t get many days in Rome but I’m grateful for the time she could spend with us.  She’s as sweet as sugar pie !

Kathleen sitting next to Yvonne

Kathleen sitting next to Yvonne

The USA contingent – consists of some ladies who went and others who couldn’t but who were there in spirit and seeing us on a webcam by the Pantheon.  I will tell you about them next than onto Rome.  Big intro yes but it had to be done so you can understand why this trip is unique and special.

The American’s –

Ellen is from NY and we got to meet last year actually due to my trip report with me and Kelly’s mothers.  She somehow  found it and sent me a PM.  Of course I write back and to this day we have never stopped writing, thru good times and bad,  we got to meet in here in America and now in Italy.  Frank Sinatra was called “old blue eyes” so Ellen should be called  Ms. blue eyes because they are pretty and expressive.  Ellen has been to Italy many times and knows Rome very well.  She was a very good sport about seeing things she has already done before on previous trips.  She speaks Italian very well and saved us a many a time with her language skills.  She loves Italian romance as well and can tell you her own stories.

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Ellen 🙂

Trish is a retired school teacher and has a great love of Italy.  I always admire Trish’s life so much because not only does she travel there for pleasure but she also stays a good bit and goes to school learning the language.  She stays in real Italian towns.  She gets to know real Italian people and you sense that appreciation about her which is contagious.  We got to meet in orvieto last year and she introduced me to some of Orvieto’s delights as well as dinner at one of her favorite places.  Trish is very organized and saved the day a few times with advise.  I think she is home now and probably in that I’m heartsick without Italy mode.  She also drives in all countries one thing I have never been able to do.

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Trish 🙂

Laura has a great love of Venice.  She does a good bit of traveling on her own because her husband it not of fan of travel in Europe.  For the longest time, she wasn’t going because she didn’t feel it would be right to leave him when she had so much other stuff going on but somehow she got it done with a surprise hey I can come four nights.  She is the virgin and thru her you get excited remembering your first time , (heyyy not that first time)  of your first Rome.  She is excellent with the maps.  I was proud of her.  She got around better than me and I have already been there!  I know Venice has her heart but I think Rome should get a little piece of it as well.

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me and Laura

Barb – I met thru Laura, I did not get to spend a lot of time with her.  She’s a classy lady and funny too!  She has a sense of humor like Lilly.  Barb we needed more time!

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Barb blue scarf on

Jeannette –  I do not know what or why but sometimes I feel like I was just born, maybe it was because I was busy raising my two children on my own, school, suffering and heartache to ever pay attention properly but in the last ten years, especially the last five, I think life is beautiful so I am looking at the world and people with brand new eyes.  I appreciate small things, big things, birds, sounds, sights, smells, stories, history, art, my list doesn’t end and I can’t STOP traveling.  Out of all the countries I’ve been to (still lots more to go) none of them has a hold on me like Italy.  None!  Why is that?  I keep asking which makes me keep going seeking answers.  I love everything about it , the people I meet along the way and trust me I attract the good and the bizarre but I think I figured out why?  Me and puppies are just about the same.  We will charge onto something or someone happily, giddy, wanting to play and explore ALL DAY.  People sense that and get your energy.

singing………..I’m leaving on a jet plane !  next…..

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me (Jeannette)

My flight is from Baltimore to Atlanta, than Atlanta to Rome, I go down the East Coast later watch myself go right back up it on plane #2, for the price I got hey who care’s !

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