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Entries about italy

One Last Day in Italy


One thing you will find everywhere in Italy is the coffee. Apparently it will cost more to sit down to drink, some sort of tax or something, so must prefer to stand. Espresso is the drink of choice with Cappacinnio and latte in 2nd place. Little stands are everywhere and fortunately, not the big chain stores. I found a coffee drinking friend in Terri, a woman on this trip. We attempted to try the coffee from as many stands as possible.

We had some free time at night and were at the Plazza Navona. There is a fountain, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi http://www.rome.info/bernini/fountain-four-rivers with 4 figures which represent the 4 rivers of the world: Ganges, Nile, Danube and Rio de la Plata.

Terri and I sat down at a little outdoor restaurant, right on the square, and had a cappuccino. Perfect way to people watch the passer byers and the street merchants running up to the square with their products, then folding up shop and moving along quickly when the police arrive.
Kids had fun this night when they ran around exploring the areas.

We had to get up early to go to the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon.

We went 1st on a walking tour, much of where we’d walked the night before. Then ended up at the Pantheon. I didn’t realize before but Raphael was buried at the Pantheon so I ran in for a view and photo of his grave.

We picked up lunch to go but, not before picking up a specialty coffee at the Tazza D’Oro Coffee Shop. http://www.tazzadorocoffeeshop.com/en/home.html. The coffee is an iced drink, “Granita Caffe de pana”. This coffee consists of whipped cream then iced espresso then another layer of whipped cream. Terri and I looked at the glass of coffee and thought “this isn’t coffee, this is ice cream. Then one taste and we were in coffee heaven. You can only get the real Granita Caffe at the area of the Pantheon. The rest are fakes.

After a bus ride to the Vatican City Sunny decided to walk, even if it was slow. She didn’t want to miss the tour, which she would do using the wheelchair. We met our guide who told us “this is not my first rodeo”, she would have the group go at our pace. The guide took the time to explain things when there was a place for Sunny to sit, or have Sunny take a short cut where there were things that were not quite so important to see. We were able to make it thru the entire city with Sunny getting a seat along the wall of the Sistine chapel with a great view of the ceiling.
The ceiling of walls of the Sistine chapel are so amazing. There are so many imagaes pn the ceiling that no matter how much one looks there is something which is new. To think that Michelangelo was not a painter is unbelievable.

When we came out of St Peter’s Basilica Sunny was in pain. She could hardly walk but wanted to still take photos. We shot so many photos.
As she went slower and slower the rest of the group went ahead on down the hill. They could see us and see that she needed help. They told us later that they had a talk on how to get her down easily. They sent a student, Juan, and another girl to help. Juan was to carry her and carry her he did, on his back all the way down to the group. Then others put arms around her to help take the weight off while she walked. It was truly a group effort.

We made our way to the bus with a stop at a souvenir shop where I found many Ferrari items and a book of the Sistine Chapel for Sunny.
Next stop was dinner, a pizza dinner, with chicken and sautéed veges for me. This was our last dinner together, the last wine for the Red Wine Sippers in Italy.

Alas Italy was over, and without my bag.

Posted by Miss Chris 01:03 Archived in Italy Tagged travel italy rome tour vatican chapel grandkids Comments (1)

The City of Assisi

sunny 55 °F

If it is Thursday it must be Assisi. We arrived last night at the Hotel Castillo about 8:30 pm, the restaurant stayed open for us. They served us a 2-course meal: 1 pasta and 2 a meat loaf with gravy and French fries. The gravy had wheat so I was given local fresh pressed olive oil. YUM. 2 of us cannot eat gluten, the other woman can’t eat lots of other things too so it makes it easy for me.

The hotel is high on the hill of Assisi. http://www.hotelcastelloassisi.it/ I never found out if it was old or just made to look old but Assisi is old. Most of the city built in the 1200/1300’s; some older, some newer.

We were dropped off next to the old city, or I should say the new-old city, only built in the 1300’s. We had a tour guide thru the city, walking from old to older, built in BC. So much of it reminded me of Jerusalem, the arches, the stones.

We saw the tomb of St. Assisi, the churches, the small old homes, city walls. All things I’ve seen in the Middle East and China. Funny how it has so many similar qualities.

Lunch was at an outdoor café, great for people watching. A sort of caprese salad with lettuce. But they put out bottles of Balsamic vinegar and local olive oil to use. Now I’ve tried lots of Balsamic and never found anything that tasted more than vinegar. OMG I’m in heaven!!! At least Balsamic heaven. I dumped it and the olive oil on my salad. I could just have those two things and be happy.

But the gelato is so good!!! And the Cappuccino’s, OMG, they are to die for. And meringue cookies. Oh, my stomach hurts from thinking of all the food I’ve consumed! IMG_20140619_094558_057.jpg

Still no bag. I've been asured that by tomorrow we will know if I have a bag or not. If not then I guess I'll get new stuff. Oh well; I can think of worse places to shop!!!IMG_20140619_125949_925.jpgIMG_20140619_110916_098.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 14:34 Archived in Italy Tagged food travel italy europe assisi outdoors grandkids cathadrals Comments (1)

Made it to Italy

with plenty of adventures

What a long way we have come, both physically and technologically. We left home 22 hours ago and are sitting in the airport in Rome waiting for the rest of our group.

The last couple of days have been so busy, there was no time to write anything. I had some last minute work but mostly it was just last minute stuff.
I really had to pack for 2 trips, one for Italy and another for after Italy. After Italy includes possible cold weather and another month of travel. It includes concerts both dressy and casual events. In Italy I have a skirt, tees, Capri pants and levis.

So you might wonder how our flights were. Well this has been quite a journey, a real adventure so far. I actually hope that this things settle down a bit.
We got into Frankfurt and had to go thru customs, then a boarding pass control, then security. All of this in less than an hour. The security had to do a major check on Sunny, even taking off her boot. We barely made it to the gate for our flight to Rome.

As we were at the gate Sunny couldn’t find her passport. She was sure that she had handed it to me. I mostly emptied out my 2 bags and it was nowhere to be found. I literally ran to the security gates and they did a search, calling even the customs. It was nowhere. I ran the entire way back to the gate and we were the last ones on. I told Sunny that we’d have one of our German friends call and then worst case we’d get another one.
We boarded our flight and sat down, then started tearing up our bags. When I went to check the backpack front pocket Sunny remembered that she’d put the passport in the front pocket. All that running for what?

We got to Rome and someone found Sunny’s wheelchair. A passenger assistant pushed her to the baggage claim. So Sunny’s bag came but mine didn’t. I fortunately packed in my small backpack a couple of pairs of undies and a clean top. Guess I’ll be wearing jeans. I did pack my tripod in my bag so hope it arrives soon.

Once the rest of our group joins us will be off to Assisi.

I will post photos tomorrow. I’ve been up way too long to figure them out.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:48 Tagged travel italy europe airports passport granddaughter broken_foot Comments (0)

It Really is Always Something

Traveling Italy with a Broken Foot

Well it really is always something!

We were only home 2 days last week, Sat & Sun. We had inspections on Monday, babysat on Tues-Thurs, and drove to Eureka to inspect on Friday and then drove home arriving that night. We had to leave again on Monday for inspections that evening and Tues a.m. This has left little time to do much more planning. But it has given us some windshield time, I got lots of work done but then we had time to think thru some of what we need to take, starting lists of things to pack.

Our German friend, Dieter, couldn’t reach me thru email. He had to copy his email onto my facebook page with info which included where we will meet and when. I’ve had to rethink how I respond as Facebook responses are very tedious.

We had a last minute claim in Burney then had to drive all the way up to the Northern CA border. It was late we were tired, restaurants were closed and then our granddaughter called. She’d tripped on her flowing pants, bent her foot back and now couldn’t put weight on her foot. Of course, we were in and out of service so trying to determine care was difficult.

Once we arrived in Yreka we spoke with our granddaughter by phone. She was settled on the couch with ice on her foot, elevated, and had taken some Ibuprofen.

By morning the foot was no better so I called Kaiser and obtained information on what she should do. Our granddaughter made the call, set an appointment and found a friend to give her a ride. Turns out the foot had a broken bone. She will see the foot specialist tomorrow and we will find out if the foot will be cast or have a boot.IMG_20140610_181334_194.jpg

We are leaving 1 week from today so we are hoping that we can have a wheelchair in Italy in order for our granddaughter to keep up with the group. Also I’ll call United to find out how to get from one terminal to the other.

I told her that she will now get to sit while traipsing around Rome while eating gelato and chocolates, while I push the wheelchair working off my gelato and chocolates. Something is wrong with this picture!

What a week and it isn’t even ½ over.

Posted by Miss Chris 18:31 Archived in USA Tagged travel italy europe granddaughter broken_foot Comments (0)

New and Improved Europe

New Day and New Plans for Europe

Just when I started planning our Europe trip, again, I was called away but fortunately for claims nearby. Finally I’m done and back to our lives as they were months ago, at least for today.

We’ve been planning a trip to Europe for this summer, specifically to Poland and South Russia to visit the lands of Dale’s great-grandparents. We were planning to meet up with some friends in both Poland and South Russia during this trip. Alas, as life goes, our friends’ plans changed and they will not be in Europe during our dates.

I went back to our plans and we found that we’d lost interest in Poland, it doesn’t seem to be an easy country to visit and transportation isn’t easy. As for Russia, we are not thrilled with the government, visas are expensive and we must have guides. I have not had any time to research the family connections further. It has all gotten to be more effort than either of us wants to put out for a vacation so we have dumped that plan.
Back in October our granddaughter asked if I might consider going to Italy with her on a school trip thru EF. I’ve wanted to go to Italy and thought that this might be a great opportunity for the 2 of us so we signed up. I called EF and asked if we could change the dates of our travel and they said yes so our summer plans will start with Italy.

Dale and I talked and we agreed that he would join us after Italy and that we should stay in Europe until the end of July. We’d wanted to live in Europe for 4 months so this would be a good start. 2 other grandkids want to join us as well.

I had the brilliant idea that we could go to Finland and Iceland from Italy; our oldest grandson really wants to go to Finland and it was a trip we had to put off from a couple of years ago. All great plans until this week when I looked at a map. Iceland is only over 1,000 miles from Finland and a $500+ airplane ticket each. So much for Iceland!

It is time to revamp our trip.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:19 Archived in USA Tagged travel italy summer europe belgium brussels family_travel grandkids grandkids_travel Comments (0)

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