Peter & Dianne O


Peter & Dianne O

Despite a very near miss with the title of our blog being correct in 2015, our travels to Italy have morphed into 4 weeks in the USA, some 30 years after the last time we were there. We are told it has changed a bit since then. Let's see.

Oceania » Guam » Tamuning June 1st 2015

Q. How many boardings does it take to get a United Flight off the ground? A. Well in our case it was three, making for a 3 hour delay on a flight with 37 minutes air time. Suffice it to say that the “friendly skies” were rather grumpy in all quarters the day we flew from DC to Pittsburgh. And so begins the fourth (and final) quarter of our US holiday. Fortunately the delay was not enough to derail our plans for the evening which involved meeting up with friends who we had not seen in 30 years, and being whisked off by them for a quick bite to eat and then on to the stadium on the south side of Pittsburgh for the regional grand final of the schools' lacrosse competition in which their son ... read more
How Many Bridges Make a City?
Carrie Reclaimed
The Carrie Deer

See, the thing is (… an often heard sentence opening around here) – we got on a bus around 1pm up near the northern end of the Highline (watch this space over the next couple of years as it evolves into the rather upmarket sounding “Hudson Yards”) and five hours later rolled into Union Station in DC to rendezvous with some Australian friends who have recently relocated to there. After an initial catch up and a settle in it’s off up to 14thStreet NW, an area riding a significant wave of gentrification as witnessed by a diversity of ethnic eateries and trendy shops (eg Batch 13 – a store specialising in small batch distillery products) but still with enough edginess around to keep it in balance. The next morning, after a slowish start, we ... read more
Monumentally Overwhelmed
Quiet City
Time Tunnel

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan May 14th 2015

As mentioned in the previous posting there should be some talk of cultural things. However in this fast paced, time poor city of New York a posting dedicated solely to one topic, be that culture (or as is our usual want one about food) would seem time profligate indeed. And so this posting shall combine observations and experiences of both food and culture. And as luck would have it the two topics do intertwine, as exemplified by one of our very first ports of call in our neighbourhood, Katz’s Deli down on Houston Street. Renowned for its double-fisted super-sized deli sandwiches, this was the place where the infamous ‘I’ll have what she’s having” scene from the movie “When Harry Met Sally” was set. Dianne had been very keen to visit this classic deli, however once in ... read more
When DUMBO Met Dali
Classic and Modern

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan May 11th 2015

And so it begins – with, of course, the mandatory long haul flight; A380 comfort (nice), 3 hour delay leaving Sydney (not so nice), and a 9pm arrival into New York, which made the taxi ride to our East Village apartment visually spectacular as we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge to see the sparkle of this city. Based on our very positive experience with AirBnB for our 2013 Paris trip, we’ve again gone with this apartment arrangement, and find ourselves installed in a very homey place on East 6th Street which, given its proximity to two major roads – Houston and 1st Avenue – is remarkably quiet and very village like indeed, and with the added bonus of a view of the Chrysler Building. Fortified by a good night’s sleep our first task is to get out ... read more
 DUMBO - Wot, No Elephant?
Fire Escape Streetscape
Jet Lagged? Feeling Like Death?

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris » Sarcelles June 5th 2013

And so we find ourselves again in Paris, this time for only a few days and with the end of our holiday rushing rapidly towards us. The Roland Garros tennis tournament is in full swing, there is a hint of spring in the air (although we are yet to experience a 20 degree day), and a noticeable increase in the number of tourists in the street compared with 2 weeks ago when we left Paris; summer "is a comin' in". For our base we have chosen a hotel just a little to the east of Place de Bastille – it is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Hans’ apartment in Petit Musc – and in doing so have moved arrondissements from the 4th (Marias) into the 11th(Bastille-Charonne). In a Sydney context this is like going from ... read more
Regardez Le Queue!
Now this is a Book Store
Playing Silly Burghers

Europe » France » Brittany » Redon June 1st 2013

We write this entry from no fixed abode other than train seats 21&22 in Coach 19 of TGV 8612 as we are spirited across the countryside towards Paris. This journey marks the end of our time in Brittany, and brings with it an increasing awareness of the imminent end of our holiday, although we quickly dispel any such thoughts when they arise (yes, call it denial if you will). The massive sense of decompression that we experienced at Quimper in the far west of Brittany has been progressively reversed in each of our east bound staging points that bring us again closer to Paris. Our first stop was Vannes, a town of similar size to Quimper but with a very different feel. While it too had an intriguing old town centre with half-timbered houses tilting at ... read more
Ramparts of Vannes
Rock On
Dolmen in Carnac

Europe » France » Brittany » Quimper May 26th 2013

Listen – what’s that sound of gnashing metal and whining cogs. Well it could be Peter at the wheel of the rental car getting reacquainted with driving on the other side of the road (fortunately this was not the case). In reality it is the supernova shift in gear as we arrive on the train from Paris into Quimper to start our Brittany adventures. Deep breath, release slowly, and into a very much slower pace of life in this extremely cute little town with its lichen covered walls and plants sprouting from every nook and cranny. After a bit of a wait at the station for a taxi to appear (things are a bit slow here indeed) we continue the cute theme as we install ourselves in our new lodgings – the tower suite; way posh! ... read more
A River Runs Through it
Oyster Aftermath
Locronan Town Square

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris » Sarcelles May 21st 2013

As we write this posting the grey roofs and cobbled courtyard around our apartment are glistening with the gentle rain that has been falling rather persistently during the day making for a more gentle rhythm in the city. This mood has been further mellowed by the fact that is it yet another French public holiday (Pentecost) , the fourth since the beginning of May. While we have ventured out for various necessary tasks and an abortive attempt to get into L'Orangerie (wet day, public holiday, one of the few museums open on Monday all perfectly aligning to result in an hour and a half queue in the chill breeze and rain to get in … we will return another day before we leave, thanks!) we are now warmly tucked up in our apartment enjoying a nice ... read more
Tokyo Eat
Stained Glass and Strings
Blue Hour at Place du Chatelet

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Louvres May 14th 2013

And so we are well installed in our Marais apartment which we’ve found to be even more charming than in its website photos (if that is possible). Our welcome was made even warmer on the cool and drizzly Paris morning we arrived when we found that our host Hans had provided us with a most generous care package of fruit, milk, juice, brioche and jams, cheese and wine, Nespresso coffee maker plus capsules and all capped off with a miniature Eiffel Tower. The apartment absolutely ticks all the boxes – light and airy, on a quiet street, with a boulangerie a few doors down, and across from that a café (Les Temps du Cerise) with a zinc topped bar, the Seine at one end of the street, and the Rue San Antoine (with fruit shops, traiteurs, ... read more
Bienvenue a Paris
La Vue de La Rue
Boules in the Jardin du Luxembourg

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Darlinghurst May 7th 2013

For the next 4 weeks we are heading first to Paris and then to Brittany. However, before we start this journey let's wind back the clock to 2011 and a conversation we had about our trip that year..... ......."how about we spend all four weeks in Spain. Would that be alright with me” Dianne asked. Alright?? -- it would be absolutely marvellous for me!!! however I was surprised that Dianne would give up her opportunity for two weeks in France. Dianne quickly corrected me on this point – no she was not giving up France, but rather postponing it from this time; our next trip would be totally French. ..... which brings us to here and now as we prepare to set off to redress the travel imbalance. For our two weeks in Paris we have ... read more

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