Tuesday, August 12, 2014

TRAVEL PREPARATIONS


It is getting close to countdown time - 
in a few days we will collect our tickets and itinerary, 
and begin the final packing and preparation for our trip.


My friend D made me another block for my French-themed Friendship quilt -
isn't it beautiful?
and perfectly timed...



En Route to Paris, however, we will visit Hong Kong..


and Dubai...

Have you visited either of these cities?
What was your favourite tourist activity or destination?



Of course, we have more ideas for Paris than we could possibly carry out..
but I'd love to know the best place to buy a Hermes scarf without mortgaging the house...
Any tips?





What did you enjoy the most in Venice, Padua, Florence or Rome?
I'd love to know...


You might remember that we had organised to go on our trip back in May, but medical problems intervened, forcing cancellation of flights, trains and hotel reservations.

Well, we have received good news... 
The travel insurance company has approved our claim and reimbursed our out-of-pocket costs - which amounted to several thousands of dollars.  
Thank goodness we never pay out large sums for holiday bookings, without immediately insuring against unforeseen cancellations - it pays to be cautious!
And we are smiling..


Isn't it sad news about Robin Williams?
He made us laugh until we cried, but, it seems, he was the sad clown beneath that joyful exterior...

May he Rest in Peace




XXXX






32 comments:

  1. How exciting that the trip date is nearing. I can only imagine the adventures that await. So good that money was reimbursed. How long is the trip? You are certainly covering a lot of territory. Robin Williams was one of a kind and will be missed. Loved Mrs Doubtfire and Good Morning Vietnam. Exciting days ahead for you!

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    1. We are going for a month, Sanda. Hong Kong and Dubai are short stopovers, just one day to explore and relax before the next hop. Wonderful tributes for Robin Williams today on TV

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  2. The quilt block is beautiful! You must be getting so excited. Of course, there are always so many last minute details to take care of before leaving on a holiday you are probably too busy to spend a lot of time thinking about your upcoming adventure. I always find it such a relief when they close the airplane doors and we taxi down the runway. That's the point I sit back, knowing that I have done all the prep and can look forward to what's ahead. I'm so happy for you that your insurance claim came through. :-)

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    1. Half excited, half anxious, Kristie... Yes, always a relief to finally get on the way, after trying to tie up all the details both regarding the trip, and what is left behind at home. The insurance claim took a while, but great relief when that came through also.

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  3. The excitement is mounting Patricia, and I agree what a delightful block your friend has made for you to go in your Friendship quilt.
    I have a bit of a passion for the way the Last Judgment was portrayed during the medieval period so I loved seeing Giotto's LJ in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua.

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    1. Ah, my trip highlight will be the Scrovegni Chapel, and I will make a point of noticing the Last Judgment - it is getting exciting now. I think when we get back the French quilt will be a fitting project to pick up.

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  4. The 'must see' in Paris for me is Sacré Coeur basilica - it really is so beautiful, and the view from there is amazing. But please be careful with your money, passport, credit cards, etc - there are so many pickpockets around, especially in the Metro areas, often using children as a distraction (& the children are also the pickpockets themselves, too frequently). At least, that was the case last time I was there. Keep safe, and have a wonderful time - I'd love to be with you in Italy (last time there we were in Assisi - wonderful place).

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    1. Hello Helva - we must see Sacre Coeur. Last time we just went up in the funicular, but did not go inside, and I have never found out where the artists are! I am a little concerned with the pickpockets both in Paris and Rome; hope we can manage our possessions carefully. Last time I went to Paris a woman tried to play the trick with the gold ring on me, near the Eiffel Tower. Fortunately my daughter understood what was going on, and spoke angrily to her in French :) I just stood there confused...

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  5. I'm glad all was well that ended well with your cancelled trip. Bon voyage for the next one...

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    1. Thank you Sarah Liz - and I am still sewing, last minute dress, plus alterations to some bought bits. Might be one more blog post in that!

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  6. Dear Patricia,
    I am so happy for you. Your long awaited trip is close .. I wish you a wonderful holiday. Taking in all that you can, of these wonderful countries.
    Rome is fascinating so much to see, my coin must be somewhere in the fountain. St. Peter's- words cannot describe it for me. My eldest niece lived in Rome and my daughter taught in Rome.. its a special place. Paris is to just immerse yourself in all it offers, sitting at the cafe tables and watching the wold go by.. I am not sure where you will be going ..but Portafino is just stunning . I love to travel Patricia. I am thinking of you. Your friends quilt will be awsome when finished.. Its all so exciting Patricia.. val xxxx

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    1. Thank you Val, Rome is our last city, and definitely I'll throw a coin in the fountain. We have our tickets for St Peter's already. You must know it well, with family there. I have seen pictures of beautiful Portafino, but we are not going there this time, just the main cities. Yes, it is very exciting. I am still googling Florence, trying to decide whether to buy the Florence Card! xxx

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  7. The Centro Historico in Rome is spellbinding. Having said that every little bit of Rome is a-maz-ing. Re Paris, The artist's area behind the Sacre Coeur Basilica is good but the inside of the church is special. I was lucky enough to stumble in and sit down at about five in the evening and all the Nuns came out and sang a capella. Wonderful. The steps outside have become touristy but the inside is the real deal, a sacred place. And If you are in Paris on a Sunday when most things are closed, visit the Musee Jaquemart- Andre on the Boulevard Haussman. It is a lesser known gem that is so so beautiful. It started off as a grand private house with an art collection. The cafe at the back that overlooks the little garden is good too.
    Re pickpockets, the area underneath the Eiffel Tower is pickpocket central and Rome is full of gypsies and beggars. Do not carry too much cash and only one credit card. Leave everything else locked up!
    It's all so exciting! I am happy for you and Mr C!

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    1. Can't wait to see Rome's history, Val. We will have to go again to Sacre Coeur and do it properly this time. I have not hear od Musee Jaquemart-Andre, but am writing it in my diary right now. I hope all our hotels have safes for keep our valuables, and I'll take your advice to split up the cards. Yes, very exciting, just finishing the hard bits: weather is looking cooler than I thought, might need a coat after all, especially at end of September. Getting excited now, he he.

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  8. Oh boy, the take off nears. I've been to some of the places you are going to visit but can't pick one particular thing when it comes to "Don't miss this". I just hope you see it all.

    Yes, very sad about Robin WIlliams. He was a Bay Area native and the news is filled with tributes to him. A reminder that sometimes we don't know what people are dealing with.

    Darla

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    1. I hope I see it all too, Darla! More is more, as somebody said...
      I didn't know Robin Williams was from Bay Area, and our news is also full of tributes, as well as messages of encouragement for those in trouble to contact appropriate help. The world has been shocked.

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  9. I can feel your excitement from half a world away, Patricia. I haven't been to padu, but in Venice, once I'd seen the main sights like the Doge's Palace and Saint Mark's, I most enjoyed getting away from the crowds in in the piazza and wandering the side-streets where we could sometimes be almost or completely alone. Just magical.

    In Rome I loved the classical Roman buildings, such as the Pantheon and Forum and even the Colosseum and also the Byzantine churches such as Saint John Lateran. I love Gothic too, but am not a fan of the Baroque, so Saint Peter's wasn't my favourite. I was only in Florence for a day, so can only say you mustn't miss the Duomo.

    As for Robin Williams, I was so sad to hear of his death and the reason for it. A comic genius, but a troubled one.

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    1. I like the sound of the side-streets of Venice - we would enjoy that. Thank you re Saint John Lateran - I knew it was on the list, but not away it was Byzantine, so that one's in! The Duomo is a must, but my goodness, looking at ticketing sites, quite an effort must be made to get in there :) Thank you for your lovely comment.

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  10. I am so pleased for you - as you already know! I hope that you have a great time exploring, finding things out for yourselves and making lots and lots of lovely memories of your time away. The quilt block that your friend made is beautiful!! xx

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    1. Amy, thank you, and making memories is key. I find that as the years go by, I end up with only the memories triggered by my photos, so must keep on a'clicking - to have something to look at in my old age... I know I will love the quilt, and it will be a good project on our return. xx

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  11. Have a wonderful trip, Patricia. I'll be waiting to hear all about it when you return.

    Be safe, you mean a lot to me, dear.

    love,
    ~Sheri

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    1. Thank you, Sheri. I'm hoping to post updates as we go - we'll see if that works out. Thank you for your kind wishes - I'll be glad when we get safely across the Middle East.. xx

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  12. Yes, be safe but above all, enjoy this wonderful trip you are making!
    Suzy x

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    1. Thank you dear Suzy - I just bought the Firenze Card to go to all the museums. It's really happening now!! xx

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  13. Hi Patricia! I am so excited for you. We are also going to Paris but not until October. It'll be our 2nd trip. We're only staying in Paris for 2 nights and then renting a car to drive the west coast of France. I also love Hong Kong! No particular recommendations as I loved everything. I love Florence as well! Rome...eh. For me it was too crowded and dirty. Of course it's a must visit if you're going to Italy just to see all the sites, but not my favorite. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your encouraging words! I wish I could find more time to share and update my blog!

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    1. Hi Khammany, Wow, we will miss you by a month - perhaps we will go to the same places.. I wonder how I will feel about Florence, Rome, etc. Only one way to find out... Happy sewing, and hope you keep blogging occasionally to show what you make!

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  14. Ooh have a wonderful holiday, Patricia! I'm sure you can guess what I like doing best…going on boat trips!! Paris, Venice and Florence - watery trips are possible in all of them. I must say I preferred Pisa and Lucca to Florence, but of course the art in Florence is unbelievable. Keep us posted won't you?

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    1. Ah, boat trips. I'd say the best one I ever did was on the Seine in Paris. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! There certainly will be watery trips in Venice. Florence I suspect will be an endurance test, but as the Holy Grail of Western Art, it can't be missed :) I hope to keep blogging as we go.

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  15. Happy packing Patricia and I am so happy to hear the good news about your insurance. You can really enjoy yourselves now.

    Travel safely Shell - A Darlings Nest

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    1. Thank you Shell. We will do our utmost to have maximum enjoyment! Today I will try to work out a suitable wardrobe to take...noting predicted temperatures, cultural expectations, baggage weight limitations, and my desire to match and look nice as well :)

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  16. So exciting! I adore HK, head to the mid levels for some cute boutique shopping and antiques and I love the ladies and night markets too for the hustle and bustle. I liked Rome the best, despite the touristy prices & food the history and archaeology is simply incredible. Ooh Paris will be wonderful. Have a fantastic trip
    L
    xx

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    1. Thank you Lotus, for your helpful hints and good wishes. I had to look up the mid levels, but got it now...and I'd like to see the ladies markets, if only for the name! We are looking forward to the history of Ancient Rome, having never been before. Paris is first...of course! xx
      PS Your blog makeover is gorgeous :)

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