Answering Questions

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June 17th 2010
Published: June 18th 2010
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From the Monastery where The English Patient was filmed ;-)
Dear Blog Readers, time to answer a few questions...

1) In some of the pictures, I see "dots" on your shirts, what are they?
A) Those are the stickers that you must wear when you are on a "tour". This way the guide knows who's in their group.

2)In Barcelona, you are wearing something around your neck, what is it?
A) These are called "Whispers" and they have earpieces like on an IPOD. The leader of a tour group talks into a microphone and you can hear them. They are really great as you can wander a little way from the group to take pictures, or whatever, and still hear the leader and not get lost ;-)

3)Is it hard to get your train reservations?
A) Good question. It is sometimes hard to figure out who can help you. Not all agents speak English (in fact on our trip I would say that about 30% speak some English, 60% hardly any and 10% you are so relieved as they understand you. So knowing some Italian like, "I need a ticket to Rome", "When does the train to Venice leave?" really helps.Of course they answer you in Itaian It also helps to know the Italian words for ticket, platform, station, etc. If you're thinking of coming let me know and I'll give you a list. All the Italian books that we had were helpful but... in the end never seemed to have the phrase we needed I thank my lucky stars everyday that I lived with my Italian grandparents for 5 years when I was little, amazing how much is still stored somewhere in the brain ;-)

4) Is it hard to drive in Italy?
A) Not at do need to be able to drive a stick shift as an automatic will cost you an arm and a leg. The roads are clearly marked but get a little confusing at crossings as the signs will point to your town but sometimes it is unclear whether that means straight ahead or turn. Italians drive on the same side of the street we do... so pretty easy.

5) How were you able to pack for 10 weeks in a 21" duffle?
A) AH we get asked this all the time... I'll be glad to give you a list if you're thinking of doing it. A few hints, think BLACK, roll clothes tightly, bring "quick dry clothes", wash in hotel sinks whenever you can, don't try to be a fashionista.

Hope this helps...keep sending those questions along!!! ;-)


18th June 2010

In the interests of clarity, I'd like to fix a few errors my sister posted 1. The "dots" on the shirts: Frankly, there is just no other way to distinguish between the Zombies and the Werewolves. The dots just do the trick. 2. "Wearing something around your neck". Ever hear of a "necktie party"? I guess you didn't hear about the convictions. We'll miss you guys. 3. Is it hard to get train reservations? This is a made-up question. She posted it to brag about her abilities to get along in Italian. In, fact, I think she really does understand. Well done, Jeannie! Ciao, Baby! Pastafazool!! 4. Driving in Italy is EXACTLY as difficult as driving in California: Brakes on the left, gas on the right. Same-o, same-o. 5. Packing for 10 weeks in a duffle bag: C'MON!!! If you have any idea the cost of the trip you will know intuitively that she had to sell everything else. One thing you can say about poverty -- it's damn convenient!!! I'm starving. When are you coming home? Little Shale misses you! Love, Linda
19th June 2010

You found us out!! Hugs, me

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