Archive for July, 2008

Home Again

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 by Ian

Well, with the exception of Dylan’s bag being delayed until today, we’re home.  [Ed: It was delivered the next day] It was a long, hot journey, but in the end I think it was a very worth while and enjoyable trip.  Very much an experience and adventure.  For me anyway.  I can’t speak for the kids and Shelley but they seemed to find some enjoyable things.

On a side note, we also received Dylan’s diploma exam scores when we got back (we were all dreading the Math marks!) and it had been sitting in the back of everyone’s minds.  Without going into too much detail, I’m pleased to report that he passed the math course with a decent mark on the exam and aced the English exam — actually scoring 100% in one half (it’s broken into writing and comprehension) and something like 97% in the other.  It just verifies the way his brain works is more like Shelley’s and NOTHING like mine!  🙂  We’re all very pleased with his performance!

On our way back home.

Monday, July 28th, 2008 by Ian

We’ve made it back to Heathrow and are just waiting for our plane now.  It gets in around 6:30 on Monday evening (though that’ll be 1:30 our time).  It’s been fairly easy getting from Paris to London to Heathrow just a pain dragging bags around, but they’re all checked now and we board in an hour or so.

The trip has been good.  Kudos to Shelley for all the planning!  Assuming the flight gets home safely, it will have gone off without a significant hitch of any kind (Minus the bed bugs, and minus some of the tour guides). 

Personally, I think my favourite place was Rome…but I really liked a lot of the UK too.  Scotland was really good.  I’d go back there in a second!  Venice itself was nice, but WAY TOO CROWDED…and the tourguide said the numbers were WAY down from last year!  Yikes! 

Anyway — I’m going to TRY to go to work tomorrow…I’ll have to see how I deal with the jetlag, maybe a little late…I don’t know, and I’ll TRY to get a few pictures up and maybe a summary post.  We’ll see.

See you all (Type to you both!) when we’re back!!

Paris.

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 by Ian

We managed to get in and get settled in our apartment. It’ still hot, and we’re just formulating our day.  Nothing too seriously planned, maybe go down to Ile de Ville Cite…or something like that.  Where Notre Dame is.  We have to get up VERY early tomorrow for our train and tour out to Mont St. Michel…a 7:00 train!

Anyway, this keyboard stinks and I haven’t finished reading my mail yet, so that’s all for now!

Florence

Saturday, July 19th, 2008 by Ian

I’d like to report that using the train system was easy, but in another language it was a little bit difficult.  The only real hitch was that no one could tell us where to get the Eurail Passes validated (first use only), so we waited in the line we THOUGHT was the right one…an hour wait…and it DID turn out to be right.  From there, everything went all right.  Walking to the hotel from the train was very easy and short.  A very quaint little place, but clean and seemingly newly renovated.  To quote Shel: “It’s precious!”

July 18:  The first and only full day in Florence.  We got to the Accademia Museum and saw as “David” among other works.  Very cool.  Also toured the Duomo and the Uffizi Museum to see “The Birth of Venus”.  Look it up, you’ll know it.  It continues to be HOT.  30+ everyday.  Thank GOD for AC in the hotel room!  Florence is much less dense than Rome — less Vespas tearing up the sidewalk — But it DOES HAPPEN still.  Florence is actually quite small.  The “touristy” areas anyway, everything is within a 10 minute walk.  Tomorrow, we’re back on the train around noon to Venice. 

On a side note, we shipped two large-ish packages home from Liverpool and painting from Rome.  No we’ve broken down and bought another suitcase.  To hell with the £4.00 extra bag fee for our one flight in Europe!  While I’m on that note: Mother, email me.  I’m sure you’re home now.  We shipped the packages to your house because we are unsure if they will beat us home or not. Mmmm-kay?

That’s all for now.  I’ll report again from Venice as we find Internet services.  Caio!

Leaving Rome for Florence

Friday, July 18th, 2008 by Ian

We’re just waiting for the train in Rome to go to Florence.  I’ve really liked Rome, and so have the kids and Shel.  Great place.  Highly recommended.

July 17:  We did the tour of the Vatican.  3.5 hours and we felt like we missed so much.  They say if you took 3 seconds at each item on exhibit in the museums, you would be there for 12 YEARS.  I completely believe it.  It seems the way most people deal with the heat here is to go in after lunch and come out again for dinner and walking in the afternoon.  That’s what we’ve been doing.  A brief afternoon nap and then back out as it cools off.

Anyway, we have to head back to the train station.  It’s a zoo and we’re not ENTIRELY sure how long it will take to figure out where we have to go and what we have to do.  Talk to you all from Florence if we find a cafe!