A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Traveling Finally ... After a year of "any day now"

overcast

2017 wasn't a perfect year ... I had cancer and a double mastectomy with a few little complications .... In and out of the hospital ... every time we thought we could leave I would have a little set back ....

BUT that was then and this is NOW! We are leaving and traveling for two months! We are happily packing and trying to get the most variety in the smallest number of pounds. It's been a challenge ... I've carefully weighed and calculated which items are lighter ... It's all got to be carried on our backs so we've got to make some hard choices.

I'm taking 7 shirts, two pair of black pants, a pair of lightweight running shoes and a pair of Keen sandals. 1 long sleeve dressy shirt, one long skirt, 1 windbreaker, one black lightweight coat, sun/rain hat, two pair shorts, 4 undies (wash as I go), 3 pair wool socks, 3 bras, swimsuit: so far, it's about 15 pounds .... but it will get heavier. This list includes what I'll be wearing. I don't want it too heavy as I'm really not in fantastic condition .... (I sure as heck fire will be in good condition when I return.)

We always take instant coffee in "tubes" and found a pretty good Italian roast by Starbucks at Safeway. It will be about 65 cents a cup but that's are cheaper than some coffee chops. We love our coffee in the morning... Also, I'm carrying tea ... some regular and some "medicinal" types (breath easy, throat coat, gypsy cold cure, echinacea plus). We packed airborne vitamins and cold tablets. Making sure we keep healthy as we travel .... two months is a long time.

Posted by sylviandavid 17:35 Archived in USA Tagged packing lists Comments (1)

April 18 ..... only four days to go .... Yikes.

Continuing to get packed and ready.............

sunny 65 °F

My clothes are packed and my carry on is completed ..... My suitcase/backpack (it's both) weighs 20 pounds. I added a light weight sweater and swimming suit ..... preparing for cold or hot ...... The only thing not packed is a curling iron and a heating coil ... They were in the case and now: they just are gone. Gone. I've searched ..... We suspect our three year old grandson has commandeered them for his toys .... haven't uncovered them yet. I've decided I will switch to a small flat iron and it will be OK. It seemed so crucial to take the curling iron but I can't get all wrapped up in what's missing .... I just need to move on .....

My carry on day bag weighs 10 pounds. It's got my medicines, camera, travel books, journal, tiny binoculars, wet things (cosmetics,suntan lotion, shampoo) in a quart bag, plus my money belt (I'll wear this on Sunday ) Ten pounds is a lot ... we plan on tearing the books apart and tossing the pages of the places we've been to. If it is still too hard to carry I guess I'll need to sit down and drink the shampoo, conditioner and suntan lotion. Tat should lighten the load!!

So that's a total of 30 pounds. Two ways to look at it. One is YIKES .... and the other is: not too bad for two months travel ...... I'm going with the second as it feel like I've eliminated as much as I can. Other than the books, cosmetics and a few pills it appears the weight will remain about the same .... but I'll get stronger as the days go by .... guaranteed

I'll try to blog again the day before we leave .... I'll be crazy anxious then ..... so it should be interesting ..... Until then:
Happy Travels !

Posted by sylviandavid 17:45 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Tomorrow!!!! Leaping up at 3: AM ....

It's finally here .... time to go!

semi-overcast 46 °F

We went out to dinner to celebrate our daughter's dinner. She will have a birthday in a few days and we didn't want to completely miss it. I ordered a bottle of champagne ... anticipated people would share it .... but all of her friends didn't drink.... We were at the Marina restaurant. Had a great meal ... as we were getting ready to leave I saw a couple with champagne glasses .... HA! I had my daughter take the last 1/3 of a bottle to them. They were really happy to get it and came over to the table to talk to us before they left.

When we got home we started racing around copying our passports and doing last minute things around the house. We finished packing yesterday so we don't have anything to worry about there (LOL until we discover we accidentally left the kitchen sink home) ..... My suitcase/pack is 23 pounds and my carry on is a disappointing 17 pounds .... I had taken a book so David didn't have to carry so much ..... OK>>>it's been a few minutes .... I ran in and took the book out .... It weighed 1.65 pounds but somehow when I took it out the pack weighed 13 pounds ... so much better .... David and I decided we've always done fine island hopping without a book so we'll do it again.

I am trying to stay calm .... trying to not be stressed .... I finally just took my suitcase and day pack/carry on out to the van. Now I can't stress ... A bit of a relief. It's past midnight and we are leaving for the airport in just a few hours..... We fly to San Francisco out of Eureka ..... Arrive there at 7:15 AM then we are flying Air France to Paris at 3 PM .... A long wait .... with the Humboldt county weather we always book early enough so we can drive it it all goes sideways.

OK ... wish us luck ..... It will take me a few days to strengthen and carry my bag easily .... but it will come ..... I am happy, Happy, HAPPY

Posted by sylviandavid 19:39 Archived in USA Comments (1)

On our way finally. ...

Our first day ...April 22

sunny
View Europe 2018 April to May on sylviandavid's travel map.

Yippee... relaxing in the United lounge, had fruit, bagel, oatmeal for breakfast. . Later for lunch had soup and cheese... got a bloody mary (virgin) ....so much better than home...must be because I am on vacation. Our Air France flight is at 3...at two we'll go to the area.

I am soooo annoyed with Air France. ....booked window H aisle and window: and we got the middle seats.... the middle/middle! What a rip! We paid for premium economy... no sleep... vastly inferior seats....just so disappointing.... arrived in Paris exhausted ... rented a car... waited for three hours for one to become available because of the train strike. We got a cute airbnb in Versailles ..... just two blocks from it....

We walked up the street and bought food at a nearby store. We were too tired to go to a restaurant. There were two beds in the apartment. We decided to just sleep on the hide a couch downstairs. Slept good and got up early. Versailles !

Posted by sylviandavid 10:05 Archived in France Tagged versailles airfrance Comments (1)

Versailles ..... the stuff dreams are made of

Versailles all day .... arrived an hour before and left after dark ....

overcast 65 °F

And so it began, after a kind of sucky January with a big surgery, we were finally ready to adventure forth in April when the doctor released me. We booked a flight to France for Mid-April and the return was for Mid-June. After we booked our flight we decided to invite the kids to experience Greece the last week of our trip. To be honest, the entire trip was "Living the Dream." .... Our first day was Paris at Versailles. We got a cute little place that was behind a huge locked door. IMG_7187.JPG Inside was a small courtyard with several apartment doors opening into the area. The apartment had a bed up a steep flight of stairs and a bed on the lower area. We opted for the lower bed as we were pretty jet lagged and didn't want to hazard the stairs in the middle of the night. We slept pretty well and had a breakfast of some sandwiches we had purchased the night before. (It was an embarrassing dinner of soup and sandwiches. We were so jet lagged we kept falling asleep during the meal....not our first time doing that.) After the sandwich and some quick instant coffee, we dashed to Versailles.

Versailles was just a couple of blocks from our apartment. We decided to drive there as the parking on the street was an amazing 2 euro 70 per hour. We figured at that price a day parked at Versailles was likely to be cheaper. We drove into Versailles about 8 am .... parked next to the sign and took some pictures to refer back to. IMG_7179.JPG67666710-1434-11e9-b948-3d781a734a55.JPG690e71c0-1434-11e9-b948-3d781a734a55.JPG There was already a huge line formed. A guard told us that I should get in line and David should go to the side area and buy the tickets. The guard was right .... by the time the place opened the line was curving out of the gate. .... I got some shots of the golden gates and the huge halls .... I had no idea it was the tip of the ice burg ..... We spent the entire day there .... walking nine miles according to my fitbit. IMG_6849.JPGIMG_6847.JPGIMG_6848.JPGIMG_6846.JPGIMG_6851.JPGIMG_6852.JPGIMG_6853.JPG

It was amazing to see the incredible extravagance of King Louis and Marie Antoinette. ... We took a million pictures but still there was more. The castle was huge with incredible mirrored rooms, vast halls, immense chandeliers and colorful floor tiles and parquet floors. IMG_7144.JPGIMG_7145.JPGIMG_7143.JPG1984e780-7d56-11e8-b8ba-0b99d854711d.JPGIMG_6945.JPGIMG_6943.JPGIMG_6946.JPGIMG_6944.JPGIMG_6941.JPGIMG_6942.JPGIMG_6931.JPGIMG_6930.JPGIMG_6923.JPGIMG_6921.JPGIMG_6924.JPGIMG_6978.JPG We could not believe how extravagant it all was .... (did I already say that??!!) Mirrors were very unusual in 1678 and the king used them extensively in the grand room... The Hall of Mirrors... It was the premier room but our least favorite. There was salon after salon named after Greek gods. The king and queen's apartments were immense. Each had dining rooms, fireplaces with tables and chairs, beautiful carved wood and precious stones were on the mantles. There was the Hall of Mirrors, the War salon and the Peace salon. The War Salon featured dozens of immense paintings that showed France in War throughout the ages. There is even one of them assisting the United States during their fight for independence from England. IMG_7042.JPGIMG_7039.JPG The chandeliers were different in each area. Different rooms had different colors, apparently I am not royal material as I found the colors gaudy.

We had a great lunch at the Angelique restaurant in the castle. It cost 82 euros (David was very calm about that). I had smoked salmon and David had some kind of beef. The waiter fawned over us and spoiled us completely. He kept the coffee cups and water glasses filled. We saw as we left there was a small cafeteria that had great looking food that would probably be half the price. Next time although we thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

We walked out to see the grounds. It was incredibly landscaped and decorated with ponds, lakes, fountains, mazes and statues. One of the lakes had replicas of the horses in a fountain on Piazza Narvona, Italy. IMG_7092.JPGIMG_7068.JPGIMG_7067.JPGIMG_7066.JPGIMG_7065.JPGIMG_7064.JPGIMG_7069.JPGIMG_7077.JPGIMG_7074.JPGIMG_7078.JPGIMG_7075.JPGIMG_7076.JPGIMG_7093.JPG Several of the fountains had replicas ... apparently copying was alright if you were the King of France. There were several different castles on the grounds: the grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon castles were amazing. They were not as overdone as the main castle but still had some elaborate and interesting rooms. I love looking up at the ceilings to see what carvings they have ....IMG_7177.JPGIMG_7173.JPGIMG_7174.JPGIMG_7149.JPGIMG_7137.JPGIMG_7139.JPGIMG_7130.JPGIMG_7136.JPGIMG_7138.JPGIMG_7114.JPGIMG_7112.JPGIMG_7113.JPGIMG_7121.JPG7826fa80-7d56-11e8-b8ba-0b99d854711d.JPG7819db20-7d56-11e8-b8f3-11ad121bdcd8.JPGIMG_6988.JPGIMG_6992.JPGIMG_6978.JPGIMG_6925.JPGIMG_6924.JPGIMG_6920.JPGIMG_6922.JPGIMG_6923.JPGIMG_6921.JPG

We really loved the Hamlet of Marie Antoinette. It was a small village of ten houses built around lakes and streams. In the area, Marie Antoinette and her friends were said to dress as peasants and wander about pretending to be normal. The area has a mill, a pigeon area, a dairy, as well as small streams and waterfalls to amuse them. IMG_7156

IMG_7156

IMG_7159

IMG_7159

Chateau in Versailles

Chateau in Versailles

gold fish at Marie's chateau

gold fish at Marie's chateau

Koi at Marie Antionettes Chateau

Koi at Marie Antionettes Chateau

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

Versailles

There were quite a few restaurants on the grounds but in the interest of keeping going we decided to skip having any water or coffee. We really didn't see all of the grounds. One problem we had was there was no signage that showed how to get to the Chateau of Marie Antoinette. We met quite a few people who were also trying to find it as the one sign posted was actually a bit misleading. It was impossible to see this wonderful acreage in a day unless you had some kind of transportation. We were very happy to catch an odd little tram and get a ride back to the entrance at 8 or so. We spent a full 12 hours and still didn't see it all.

Posted by sylviandavid 09:07 Archived in France Tagged versailles Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 »