Is cruising for you?

We took our first cruise vacation in 2012. It was an exciting trip for my entire family, to mark my parents 50th wedding anniversary. The trip aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was memorable in so many ways, but we were the only ones in the family to catch the cruise bug. The appealContinue reading “Is cruising for you?”

Spain to Florida – the route of the Conquistadors

Juan Ponce de León and Christopher Columbus both sailed from Spain and discovered the Americas. It was Ponce de Leon who actually got the credit for discovering La Florida in 1516, and he named it so, because it was a great “place of flowers”. Fast forward 500+ years later, and we embarque on the sameContinue reading “Spain to Florida – the route of the Conquistadors”

Barcelona – How can I forget

Barcelona, such a beautiful horizon Barcelona like a jewel in the room If God is willing….If God is willing… We will meet again someday Friends until the end! VIVA BARCELONA! The song Freddie Mercury was supposed to sing with Monserrat Caballé at the opening of the 1992 Olympic Games kept playing in my head. TheContinue reading “Barcelona – How can I forget”

Oh Italy – You have so much to show us…

We left Tuscany on a beautify sunny morning in late October. We decided to take the scenic route back to Rome, before we left Italy the next day. After two month of visiting all of the hills and valleys of the Golden Triangle that is Pisa, Sienna and Florence we thought we had become quiteContinue reading “Oh Italy – You have so much to show us…”

« I’m toooo young to die… »

Eliza was a greeter we hired when we arrived from Rome to Florence. She arranged for our luggage to be collected from the train, and for someone to hail a taxi for us. While we waited she shared with us a lot of personal information. We told her we just needed a taxi to getContinue reading “« I’m toooo young to die… »”

When Uptown really is Up…

We were dropping off our friends at the Certaldo train station, when on our way home we noticed at the end of the street, a rail track going directly up the hill in front of us. Suddenly, it jogged my memory about something I had read, I believe in Rick Steves guide to Italy. OfContinue reading “When Uptown really is Up…”

Travel? Not without certain comforts of home

When we decided to be world bohemians for 4 months, it was clear that we nevertheless would need (want?) some comforts of home. Mindful of the bags we would be dragging our intention was to be ruthless and pack only what was absolutely necessary. In Italy especially, elevators are few, and the cobble stones streetsContinue reading “Travel? Not without certain comforts of home”

From Farm to Table

The trend in dining is – thankfully – farm to table where one prepares and eats meals using the freshest ingredients available locally, and in the season. We took to this back in 2014 when we were living briefly in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, we were surrounded by fresh seafood, and fresh produce from theContinue reading “From Farm to Table”

Head over heels for Florence

Firenze – you conquer my heart every time. The last time I saw you it was March of ’78. I was a mere girl of 15, and you won me over with your fresh strawberries at every gelateria and your magnifique paintings from Boticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo. Now, I am a mature woman of 55Continue reading “Head over heels for Florence”

Trying to be a non tourist in Venice

Italy is a relatively young country, as young as Canada actually, with the unification of all of its regions and cities finalized in 1870. I will spare you the complex historical evolution of how it came to be a nation-state, but suffice to know that prior to the unification, Italy was a collection of city-stateContinue reading “Trying to be a non tourist in Venice”

This Way Please for Time Travel

It occurred to me this week, as we contemplated structures aged roughly 1600 years and which still serve their intended purpose today, that the most stunning revelation on this trip so far is the idea that cities, inhabited by thousands, existed while our country was not yet born. It’s actually the closest thing I haveContinue reading “This Way Please for Time Travel”

Thinking of home

It’s a cold day in Iano today, well it dipped to 14C, which for early October is still fairly warm. It reminds me of home and the crisp fall air of Ontario. Some leaves are turning yellow here, and the wind and rain from yesterday has scattered some of them, but it is not likeContinue reading “Thinking of home”

Celebrating failures…

In the years leading up to my retirement, my workplace had instituted a new set of company values which counted among them, the principle of celebrating failures as well as our successes. It is generally known that from failure comes eventual success, and if one can learn from the mistake without fear of negative retaliationContinue reading “Celebrating failures…”

Is it very different where you are?

Travelling allows you to discover the way people do things in their country. As a guest in their country, it is our responsibility to respect their ways, and embrace the unfamiliarity. It is why we travel and hence the expression “When in Rome…” Take eggs for example. Here in Tuscany, we find them on storeContinue reading “Is it very different where you are?”

This too shall pass

Beyond teaching us the history of early civilisations, and developing an appreciation for the natural riches of the region and the culture of foreign lands, what do cities like Volterra bring to our modern lives? Perspective The feeling overpowers me each time I suddenly become aware of how many years have passed since the cobblesContinue reading “This too shall pass”

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