Page 2 of Tammie217 Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice April 3rd 2010

We checked out of the Naples hotel at 8:15, short walk to the station for our train that left at 8:50. We had a 45 minute layover in Rome, then a 4 hour train ride to Venice. It was all problem free and we took naps and played cards, but I was still feeling a bit travel fatigued. We got out of the train, walked out of the station, and right there is the Canal Grande! That immediately banished the travel fatigue, and I said to Kimberly - “Look! We are in Venice!” She looked at me like, yeah, duh. But smiled oblgingly. We had directions to the hotel that involved crossing four bridges and following a “straight” road that was anything but straight, full of tourists, and changed names three times. Miraculously, we made it ... read more

Europe » Italy » Campania » Pompei April 2nd 2010

Friday was a magical day! The first magical thing was that Kimmy had slept for over 12 hours and woke up her a little groggy but was soon her usual cheerful energetic self. The next magic trick was that we got onto our 9am tran to Naples at 8:59. Just as we sighed into our seats, we felt the forward motion began. Phew! The tran rde was very nice - beautiful vews of the mountains, and very comfy seats. t was a high speed train ... only 1 hour 10 minutes to Naples. Not even long enough for us to fnsh our scrabble game. The only snafu of the day was when we arrived n Naples. The hotel is, as advertised, very close to the train station, but we walked right past it,then all the way ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 1st 2010

We were up and out by 7:20am, I was very proud of Kimberly. We had a pretty walk to the Vatican, the light on Rome is different at this time of day. We got to the Vatican at 7:45, and there was already a line. As we got into the line I noticed how many nuns, monks, and priests were around. Nuns from all different countries and orders. Nuns in so many different colors and styles of habits and shoes. Every combination of black and white that you can imagine, many with rather imaginative headgear. Some in very conservative beige, others in flowing ivory. One group in white with bits of brilliant blue woven in. Another group in a blue the color of this week's sky. Monks on cellphones, priests on bicycles. All coming to get ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome March 31st 2010

Today was quite an adventure! Our 9am sharp departure turned into 9:10, plus there was lots of traffic which made a few street crossings extremely difficult. So we ended up jogging the last few blocks to make it to our rondevouz for the Vatican tour. We made it, only 5 minutes late, and not (quite) the last people there. Steve got the group signed in and oriented, and distributed headsets. Then we headed off to Piazza San Pietro. We went through security then met at the base of the Obelisk. He gave us pointer for good places to stand to be able to see the Pope. Kimmy and I situated ourselves and caught what we thought was a pretty close view and turned to walk away, then realized he was coming even further into the audience, ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome March 30th 2010

I slept very well, as did Kimberly. I got about 8 hours of sleep, felt like quite a luxury. Apparently Kimmy needed more than that, however. I got up at 7:30 and took a shower and tried to get her up at 8. She came to the breakfast room, but was really dragging so I sent her back to bed. I have been having a relaxing morning, will wake her up again in a few minutes. I did not sleep all the way through the night, however . . . I woke up at 5:30am and could not get back to sleep. I came out to the common area and signed onto Facebook . . . Ann Marie was on (it was midnight for her) and we had a very fun facebook chat. She was commenting ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome March 29th 2010

Last year Ann Marie said to Kimberly, "You get to go to Europe when you turn 8." As if it's a rite of passage. I took Ann Marie to visit Aunt Shellie in Paris when she was almost 8. Initially I scoffed at Ann Marie's idea that Kimberly needed her own Eurpoean voyage, but the idea grew on me. I asked Kimberly where she wanted to go ... her first choice was Greece, but we settled on Italy. I began to research how to do this on a shoestring budget, convinced that if college students can do it, then a mother and daughter duo could. And here we are! The plane trip was free (frequent flyer miles) and we are staying in hostels, taking public transportation (no sissy taxi from the airport!) and we are eating ... read more

Wrote this part at 6am in Wilderness: I talked to the girls at midnight on the deck, and finally the clouds had completely blown away. There was a full blanket of stars! After so many cloudy nights, it was wonderful to see them. So many stars that I could not recognize any constellations due to the noise of the "extra" stars. The girls are doing fine although Kimberly does obviously miss me very much. It's now almost 6am - I woke up at 5 and couldn't get back to sleep so I came out here, back out on the deck. The sunrise is beautiful, there is a lone kayaker on the lagoon, and many different bird calls. The clouds are just plentiful enough to make a nice colorful sunrise, and the wisps of clouds look quite ... read more
LDTG on the beach
Cool Bridge
View from the bridge

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Wilderness November 10th 2009

We got up very early this morning and left Franschhoek at 8am. About 1/2 hour into our drive we (finally) met a family of baboons. We saw 8 adults and a juvenile; they were playing/foraging at the side of the road. Brian pulled over so we could take photos -- but we did not get out of the car (to avoid having our passports stolen by the baboons -- not a joke!) Later on we saw a momma with a tiny baby clinging to her back. We drove for four hours with one main stop (at the "Country Pumpkin") -- and a few shorter stops for views, gasoline, etc. The drive went by very quickly -- the scenery was absolutely magnificent. We drove on Route 60 then Route 62, through several small farming villages. The mountain ... read more
gorgeous scenery
Jacaranda Tree
vegetation becomes more arid

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Stellenbosch November 9th 2009

Today is Leslie's birthday! The reason for the trip. Or at least the impetus for the trip. Leslie wore a tiara all day and was a little unsettled that noone commented (other than the three of us.) We were allowed a rare late start to the day -- Brian was meeting us at 11:00. Last night after Elephant and Barrel, we went to Burgandy's for dessert. It was a nice place to go for dessert and coffee . . . other than "smooth operator" playing on auto-replay on the radio (we asked the waiter, who said it was an actual radio station, not a CD playing . . . perhaps the DJ fell asleep?) We had attempted to have dessert at the "famous" Ruben's. We were told at 8:30pm that all those empty tables were being ... read more
wine country
wine country

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Franschhoek November 8th 2009

Today is a chilly, rainy day. I would prefer a warm sunny day, but the rain is soothing and the day is relaxing. We grudgingly left Leuwenvoet House at 9:30 this morning, saying good-bye to Frankie (our resident cat) and the two wonderful women who were our hosts -- and who seemed to work 24 hours a day. Brian drove us to the bottom of the cable car for a view through the clouds -- a view of Cape Town and sea beyond. Suprisingly, the cable car was running despite the think tablecloth of clouds draped over Table Mountain. Even though Brian clearly thought we were crazy, we took the gondola to the top. On a nice day it is very crowded. Today it was only the four of us and a South African family, who ... read more
Frankie slept in Carrie's bed
At the top of Table Mountain
View from Elephant & Barrel

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