Mitchell & Dee Bitting

Odyssey Trip Blogs

Mitchell & Dee Bitting

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”

― Hans Christian Andersen, "The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography"

"Our lives are not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments and places that take our breath away." ― Anonymous

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Malakoff June 3rd 2023

This morning we embarked on a kind of reconnaissance mission to locate the nearest bus stop from our cottage. Unlike previous visits, when we rented apartments close to the center of the city, this time we are staying in the southwestern outskirts of Paris (in the suburb of Malakoff). Some research revealed that there are two bus lines that would be helpful for us, both of which use the same stop, so we wanted to verify where that bus stop is located. We also needed to purchase some tickets, available from automated dispensing machines inside metro stations, which are valid for both buses and the metro (subway) lines throughout the city. In the past, buses have always been our preferred means of transportation in Paris, and even more so this year because of Dee's reduced mobility; ... read more
62, rue Vincent Moris, Malakoff
Wall mural
Lunch at Brasserie de L'Hotel de Ville

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Malakoff June 2nd 2023

Today was our first full day in Paris/Malakoff, and it would turn out to be magnifique! Both of us managed to sleep pretty well last night, considering we were in a strange, new place. We were awake by 6:00 AM, and our tentative plan was to visit the local produce market on the town square, Place du 11 Novembre, that opens for business three days each week. After Dee made eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast (and I downed several cups of Nespresso-brewed coffee!), we were ready to leave the cottage around 11:00 AM. As we were passing thru the corridor of Madame Dominique's house, which we must do to exit the property, we encountered her at the front door. When she discovered that we were heading to the market, she graciously offered to give us ... read more
Malakoff market
Fresh lettuce
Mouth-watering strawberries

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Malakoff June 1st 2023

Today we arrived in Paris for the 11th time since our first visit twenty-two years ago. Yet for us, Paris has become a never-ending story, with each visit adding a fresh chapter to that narrative. Still, even after all these years and the number of visits, you could rightly say that our sentiments are aptly expressed in the immortal words of Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman, in the film Casablanca, that "We'll always have Paris"; or those of Audrey Hepburn, in the movie Sabrina, that “Paris is always a good idea.” People have frequently asked us what is so special about Paris that makes us want to return, time and time again? Is it the centuries of history, art, culture or the French joie de vivre? Or perhaps it's the baguettes, crème brûlée--and the rest of ... read more
Garden view from our cottage
Garden view from our cottage
Garden view from our cottage

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 31st 2023

Today will be our last day in Sorrento, as we depart for Paris early tomorrow morning, when Francesco (or one of his surrogates) takes us to the airport in Napoli. Our easyJet flight from Napoli arrives at the Paris/Orly airport around noon, when a long-time friend and taxi driver, Serge Molho, will transport us to the cottage we have rented in the tiny Paris suburb of Malakoff, about 3 miles from the center of the city. By the time we depart tomorrow, we will have stayed 45 days in Sorrento, and in the same apartment on the Via degli Aranci. In all our travels over the past 20+ years, we have never remained in one location for such an extended period of time; the only time we came close was during our visit to Aix-en-Provence, where ... read more
Piazza Tasso
Neighborhood view
Neighborhood view

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 30th 2023

Yesterday morning, at around 8:30 AM, we said farewell to our dear friends Peter and Rosita, who departed for their visit to Napoli. As we waved good-bye to them from our balcony, it began to dawn upon us that we, too, would be leaving in just a few days. Whereas our friends carried with them a single suitcase and backpack, we would need several large trunks and a pack mule in order to bring home the many memories we've accumulated during our time in Sorrento. One of the items on our agenda for our last few days, apart from packing and tidying the apartment, was to say our good-byes to some of the special people with whom we've developed some rapport. So today we decided to pay a final visit to Nello and La Maison Douce ... read more
Farewell toast at La Maison Douce
The English Inn gang
A few tears of joy...

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 28th 2023

This will be our last day with friends Peter and Rosita, who depart tomorrow morning for Napoli. So today we planned to enjoy a farewell lunch together. Yesterday they had enjoyed their visit to the Marina Grande, the nearby fishing village and boat harbor by the sea on the western fringe of Sorrento. They were aware we had yet to pay a visit to Marina Grande during our days in Sorrento, so they suggested we accompany them to dine at the Trattoria Da Emilia, the seafood restaurant on the waterfront that has been a fixture since 1947. Dee and I had been to Marina Grande, and dined at the Trattoria Da Emilia, with several friends during our first visit to Sorrento back in 2016. We had wanted to pay another visit during our stay this year; ... read more
A young Sophia Loren
Trattoria Da Emilia
Lonesome seagull

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 27th 2023

Yesterday, after breakfast, our friends wanted to walk back to Marina Piccolo, the small port from where ferries dock and depart, to check schedules and prices for a ferry from Sorrento to Napoli. They will be leaving us in a few days for Napoli, where they will stay for a couple days in a B&B before returning to Germany. Instead of riding a train back to Naples, they have decided to try the ferry option, which should be far more enjoyable. Meanwhile, Dee and I decided to have lunch at the Tavern Allegra, where we had enjoyed a fabulous meal just before we left for the French Riviera a couple of weeks ago. A friend of ours in Florida had recommended this place, and had raved about its food and live entertainment by the owner’s father ... read more
Dinner at Tavern Allegra
Rosita and Peter
Grilled steak

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 25th 2023

Yesterday our very special German friends, Peter and Rosita Zue, arrived in Sorrento for their 5-day visit. They flew from Munich, their home town, to Naples; took a bus from the airport to the main train station in Naples; and then boarded a train for the hour-long ride to Sorrento. These intrepid travelers, who have far more chutzpah than we do, then walked about 1/2-mile from the Sorrento station to reach our apartment, arriving at our door around 5:30 PM. As a bit of background, we have known Peter and Rosita for a long time. Over the years, they had made many visits to Rosita’s aunt (now deceased), who resided in New Smyrna Beach. Her aunt and Dee’s mother (also deceased) were life-long friends, so we became acquainted with Peter and Rosita during their visits. We ... read more
Arrival of Peter and Rosita
Dee and Rosita
Pick your poison!

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 22nd 2023

Wet, windy and gloomy weather returned to Sorrento throughout this past weekend, leaving us confined indoors much of the time. We finally got a break yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, when the rain stayed away for awhile. So we decided to have lunch at La Maison Douce. We had not dined here since we departed Sorrento for our interlude on the French Riviera two weeks ago, so we wanted to pay our respects to Nello, our favorite head waiter and consummate schmoozer. As we've mentioned in previous blog posts, Nello is quite adept at schmoozing his guests. In fact, he's refined his technique to such a degree that he full well deserves the sobriquet of ‘Romancer of the Stone’! He now greets Dee with kisses on her cheek, and me with hugs, while cheerfully catering to our every ... read more
La Maison Douce
Sweethearts at the butcher shop
Mama mia, what a load of fries!

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 19th 2023

Today was the warmest day in Sorrento since our arrival on April 1st, as the temperature soared to 72° Fahrenheit by the time we went out for lunch, and to do some shopping in the early afternoon. This veritable heat wave, under mostly sunny skies, was a novel experience for us as we strolled along the Corso Italia with the other tourists, who were obviously enjoying the balmy weather after suffering days of torrential rain. According to several locals with whom we've spoken since our return from the French Riviera, while we were away Sorrento and the rest of the peninsula were inundated with rainfall, so much so that one day earlier this week local schools were forced to close. We had seen wet weather forecasts for southern Italy on BBC television during our stay in ... read more
Chef Sofia at work in her kitchen
Janet and Dee
Sofia's eggplant parmesan and meatballs

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