September - October 2017
  • Day23

    Home sweet home

    October 8, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    This morning we took the bus to the airport and boarded the plane for our return flight home. Such a long flight 9 1/2 hours to be exact ! We took the time to look over all the photos we took along the way. Seems like so long ago since we took the first ones in the Montreal airport. We saw and experienced so many amazing things along the way. We feel very fortunate that we were able to do this trip that we have been talking about for awhile now . We travelled carrying our knapsacks from city to city and found it a great way to do it. We are grateful to our daughters Kaylee and Taylor for helping us plan our itinerary, book our transportation and our places to stay. Their own personal experiences helped us a lot. Each place we stayed whether it was an Air bnb , guesthouse or hotel was unique and each host was welcoming and helpful. We were very lucky with all the places we chose. We saw some magnificent sights , monuments , churches, squares and parks . It was a fantastic trip and we have memories that we will never forget. We are happy to be home but can't wait to start thinking about our next adventure . 💕 Portugal 🇵🇹- Spain 🇪🇸- Italy 🇮🇹 2017Read more

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  • Day22

    Buanosera Venezia !

    October 7, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We actually cheated and slept in a tiny bit today. Barry was awake a few times in the night by this poor lady who has some "issues" and is known to randomly scream at all times of the day and night as per the girl who checked us in 😳. She apparently lives next door to where we are staying 😬. We took the vaporetto #1 (waterbus) from Piazza San Marco all the way along the Grand Canal to the end at Piazzale Roma . Such a great way to see Venice from the water. We walked back through the streets and alleys and along the water back to the Rialto bridge area. After lunch we walked to the point at Punta Della Dogana. We sat in the sun with our feet dangling off the wall of the canal enjoying the view. It is away from most of the tourist area so it was a really nice area just to relax and people watch. We had dinner reservations for 7:30 pm so we decided to go get a drink at an English pub across from the restaurant . Of course Barry had a Guinness in Italy. Why not 😂. While eating dinner we started talking to the couple sitting next to us from Utah. It was their last night too and we were comparing travel stories. Turns out she too counts her steps and was wearing the identical Fitbit as mine and she is an ICU nurse in paediatrics ! We chatted for a while longer over tiramisu then wished them safe travels . We decided to go for a walk to see the Rialto bridge and Venice at night and to walk off our dinner. 😊 before heading back to the hotel to get organized to leave in the morning . This will be our last time to pack up our knapsacks this trip . We will walk along the canal all the way to the bus station to get our bus to the airport and board our plane for home. Happy to be heading home to see the girls and Charlie but not looking forward to the 9 hour flight 😢😊!Read more

  • Day21

    Venice , unique , romantic and confusing

    October 6, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We said arrivederci to Roma this morning and took a 3 1/2 hour train ride into Venice. Our first sight of this city was ...wow there really are no roads , just waterways to get around ! Our hotel was a 20 minutes walk from the train station through narrow streets , alleys and over bridges. We spent the afternoon touring around the Rialto bridge , Doge's palace and watching the hundreds of gondolas taking tourists on the typical boat ride , just like you imagine when you think of Venice. We went in to St Mark's Basilica and one of the very crabby men who worked there told me I had to cover my legs because I had shorts on. With some quick thinking I wrapped my coat around my waist and did the zipper up - instant skirt to my knees lol. Problem solved ! Such a different cathedral from those in Rome. It was kept very dark and it seemed like there were no windows. Barry and I would also like to know who turned the heat off in Venice. This is the first time in 3 weeks we have had to think about pulling out our long pants. And we had jackets on during the day ! It is very chilly here 😬. We ate some dinner and picked up a few things for breakfast and called it a night. We only have one full day here tomorrow and want to be up early. 😊Read more

  • Day20

    Mama needs a new pair of shoes!!!

    October 5, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    In each of the cities we have visited, we have tried to take at least a half day and get away from the touristy parts of town and have some quieter , relaxing time. On our last day in Rome we decided to walk to Villa Borghese , a beautiful park full of fountains , monuments and paths leading forever. We sat on a park bench by a lake and listened to a man playing Italian music on his acoustic guitar. Just what we needed to take a breath from all the sightseeing we have done over the last few days. From there we headed towards the Spanish steps. We bought some lunch at the Co-op supermarket and of course a quart of Peroni to share and sat in the gorgeous sun on the steps and just people watched. That is where the mission of the shoes sort of started. Anyone who knows me , knows that I am notorious for seeing something I like in a store but always saying I'll come back later if I don't find something else I like. Well ... yesterday I saw a very cute pair of Italian leather shoes that I liked but wasn't sure about the colour. So of course I didn't get them. Today I mentioned it to Barry and he tried to remember where I had seen them over the almost 20 km we had walked around Rome yesterday lol. We back tracked all over the city , until lo and behold we found the little shoe store !!! Thank goodness for Barry and his incredible sense of direction , patience and pretty much doing anything for me , knowing how much I really wanted these shoes after all 💕💕💕 Every time i wear them I will remember our fantastic trip. I was over the moon excited and we went to have a nice cocktail beside the Trevi fountain before dinner. We are so happy we got to see the fountain at night as well. So pretty, especially holding a bag with my beloved shoes in them😂! We headed back towards our place , ate some spaghetti bolognese and are once again ready to pass out from another full day. Up early tomorrow to catch our train to Venice! 💕Read more

  • Day19

    Rome , the Eternal City ....

    October 4, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    Let me start off by saying that after today our feet are aching! We haven't used the bus or tram once while here , just walking and discovering Rome's streets. We waked about 75 minutes this morning to the Vatican City. Hard to believe it is it's own country , the smallest in the world , entirely within the city of Rome. We started our tour in the Vatican museum which is incredible. It took us about 2 hours and we didn't even stop and look at probably half of the exhibits. There is just so many collections. Once you have toured there you enter the Sistine Chapel. It is a place of silence. They ask you to stand in the middle of the room to get the best view of the masterpieces that cover the ceilings and walls . Photos are not allowed. Words cannot describe what we saw and it is a memory I will never forget. From there we lined up to go into St Peter's Basilica. Our timing was perfect. We waited about 20 min and when we looked back before we passed through the metal detectors the line was snaked around the grounds of the square. Easily a 90min to 2 hour wait in the hot sun. Inside the Basilica it will take your breath away. It is beyond words. The detail , the sculptures, the ceilings.. honestly you must see it in your lifetime. It's beyond anything I can explain or describe. Your eyes don't know where to look and there are so many alcoves and separate chapels. We lined up to pass by the bronze statue of St Peter . The right foot has been worn down by centuries of people who traditionally touch the feet of the statue. Being inside the Basilica, I have changed my mind and can say I have never been in a more beautiful place! From the Vatican we headed back to cover a few sights we hadn't seen. We went to Castel Sant Angelo , crossed the bridge and went to Piazza Navona. From there we went to see the Pantheon. It was well passed lunch time so we decided hmmm we are in Rome let's just get some gelato 🍧!😊. We stopped to briefly rest our tired feet then made our way back to our place. We took our bottle of wine from our host and headed up the spiral staircase to the rooftop patio and enjoyed the gorgeous sunset view💕. Exhausted is an understatement today. Early-ish to bed. Our last full day in Rome will be spent walking(!) areas we haven't seen yet and our plan is to end the day back at the Trevi fountain so we can experience it at night.Read more

  • Day18

    I ate me weight in buffalo mozzarella !

    October 3, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    First full day in Rome and after breakfast at our hotel we hit the streets full speed. We walked to the Coliseum. It was like walking in a regular neighbourhood then you turn the corner and there it is ! The Coliseum, no big deal 😂! We walked the 2 levels and looked at the exhibit on display. Such incredible history. So hard to believe what went on in there with the gladiator battles and the people being thrown to the beasts just for pure entertainment 😳. We saw where the lions and other animals and where the slaves and gladiators would have been held until it was their turn to be brought up by "elevators" to the main arena. From the Coliseum we visited the Forum and Palantine , more Roman history and ruins. Those grounds are so expansive it took us a few hours to see it all . From there we took a pit stop for lunch and then headed to the Trevi fountain. It's just like you see in the movies! We threw a coin over our left shoulders to hope for a return trip back some day. So many people and it really was one of those moments that you think "Wow . I am really and truly in Rome ! 💕". We then walked further to the Spanish steps and walk up to the Trinity del Monti church at the top. We visited the church , knelt and said a few prayers and went back out and sat onthe steps with the hundreds of others and people watched for awhile. We left to get back to our place and get ready for dinner. I had found a great place to go eat pizza (again !). Resto Al Grottino was about 15 minutes walk from our hotel. We got an outside table , met the owner and ordered. We had supli as a starter , it is like a deep fried rice croquette , stuffed with mozzarella and tomato sauce , omg!!! Then we ordered our pizzas. Barry tried one they are known for... bacon and thinly sliced oranges. Yes... oranges. Kind of sweet with salty mix. He love it , so different. Of course we ordered wine which by the way is almost cheaper than a bottle of water ! 😊🍷. We walked back to our place , stuffed and exhausted. So much walking today its incredible. And between the Caprese salad I had for lunch and my pizza , I think I have eaten my weight in buffalo mozzarella 😂😂. Good night ! 😘Read more

  • Day17

    Next stop Rome !

    October 2, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    Up early and Alfonso drive us all the way in to Amalfi to catch our bus to Salerno. In Salerno we got the train to Rome. So much less stressful getting out of Amalfi than trying to get there a few days ago 😊. After a 3 hour ride we arrived at Termini station. Our hotel was a 15 minute walk from the station. We are very happy that most of our places have been within walking distance. We decided to walk and see where it was even though check in wasn't until 4 pm. We found in with no problem so we walked around the neighbourhood a bit then grabbed some lunch. Pesto for Barry and lasagna for me and a Perino beer 🍻. It's an Italian beer and very good. At 4 we checked in. You have to take one of those old fashioned elevators where you open the metal gate door yourself get in and close it behind you . Kinda cool. Roberta , the property manager, checked us in. She's lovely and so welcoming. She made sure we had everything we needed , gave us some directions and resto suggestions and then we arranged to have our breakfast around 8 am. There is also a rooftop patio that we can use. You go up a wrought iron spiral staircase inside the hotel to get to it. She also left s bottle of wine in our room as a welcome gift. We will definitely enjoy it in the patio one night and take advantage of our view over Rome . We headed out to the tourist info booth back at the train station area , got some maps and realized we are within walking distance of everything !!! On the way back we grabbed some sandwiches to have in the room and decided to stay in and start fresh in the morning. We booked our tickets to the Coliseum, Forum and Palantine which we will do tomorrow. Now we are just chilling in our room with the window wide open listening to the sounds of Rome including the tram that runs right out front of our place 😂😊. We have had no problems sleeping after our very full days. Looking forward to tomorrow's adventure. Stay tuned 💕💕Read more

  • Day16

    Look up perfect in the dictionary: today

    October 1, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Change of plans today after a discussion with Katia over breakfast. Prosciutto , cheese , bread , olives , garden tomatoes , sweet croissants and lemon bread with a cappuccino never gets old. Perfect start to the day! She suggested Positano and we agreed . Getting to Amalfi and not going to Positano didn't make sense 😊. As we are eating breakfast on the terrasse we see a helicopter fly by. Katia says it's Kevin Spacey in his private helicopter as filming wrapped up yesterday. 😀. So Alfonso , Katia's papa drove us down to Amalfi to get the bus to Positano. We wandered around Positano for a little over an hour and decided enough with the shops, let's find the secluded beach just outside of Amalfi in Atrani we came across the other day. We jumped on the bus and drove back through all the crazy hair -raising hair pin turns back to Amalfi. You honestly cannot describe the utter craziness of these bus rides until you experience them yourselves 😜. This beach has azure blue water right on a cliff. It's so beautiful! We swam and sat on the beach until it was time to get back to B&B Oliva to get changed for dinner and start packing. We walked back down all those steps to go back to Il Pingouin the resto we went to last night. Tonight we got the wood fired oven pizza again. Life changing!!! The family that owns and runs it is so freaking awesome. We got pics with the parents and the friend who cooks all the pizzas ! They gave us a shot of limoncello , which Amalfi is famous for. Lemons as big as your out stretched hands!! We also noticed Alfonso come into the resto , he ordered a beer and let us know that when we were finished he was there to drive us back up to our place! These hosts are so unbelievably amazing! Where else would you find such kindness. If you saw the stairs involved in getting back to our B&b you would know why Scala translates into the word steps! When we returned we settled our bill with Katia and said ciao with pictures and hugs ! She even gave us a bottle of limoncello to bring g home. She let us know Alfonso would knock on our door at 7 and drive us into Amalfi to catch our bus ! This family is so wonderful, Barry and I are overwhelmed with their kindness 💕 We agree that Amalfi was perfectly placed in our 3 week long adventure, we slowed down our pace (slightly) and saw more country with less monuments and big city. A perfect contrast to the rest of our trip so far. Tomorrow we say goodbye to this beautiful place that will always be special in our hearts and move into our second city Italy, Roma!Read more

  • Day16

    Isle of Capri then time for pasta!

    October 1, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Capri was on our agenda today ! We had to get the ferry in Amalfi at 9:30. We went for breakfast at 8 and Katia said she would get us to the bus at 8:30. She drove at warp speed reminding us seat belts were entirely unnecessary, "no policia " here she said. We just missed the bus at that stop so she drove around slowed down at the grocery store where they sell the tickets. Asked the owner for 2 tickets , he handed them to her through the window . She said we would pay later. Took off again and headed the bus off and honked til he stopped and we ran to get on. She is literally the best host we have ever met. 💕. Got to the ferry on time and off we sailed. The coast line of Amalfi is unbelievable. We stopped briefly in Positano and headed for Capri. Capri is def for the rich and famous, mostly high end shops , Prada , Rolex, Chanel , etc.. We opted to grab a map and do one of the walking tours away from the touristy area. It took us along the coast line , passed some grottos with the most beautiful Azur water . We passed gorgeous villas and amazing landscapes. So many stairs , up and down. We are getting our workouts this vacation for sure! The ferry back was at 5pm so we got some gelato on a fresh made cone and relaxed. Once back to Amalfi we decided to head back to Scala and get dinner at the Restaurant where we got the pizza our first night. It is a family run business. What a meal!!!! Salad and grilled vegetables to start then pasta and gnocchi for dinner. We had tiramisu and a black cherry cake for dessert. The mother waits tables , the father makes the pizzas in the oven and the other family help out. When we got there the place was pretty empty but not long after it was packed . So loud and perfect 😊. We walked up and up to our place and booked our next train. To Rome. Tomorrow Katia's papa will drop us off in Ravello and we will do the walk to Minori with hopes to get to the beach. So tired. Night 😴💕🍷Read more

  • Day14

    Pictures will not capture the beauty ...

    September 29, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌫 13 °C

    We set our alarm to watch the sunrise over Scala from our bedroom window and it was beautiful! We got ready and went out to the main terrace to have breakfast. Katia was up and ready for her guests. We had bread, prosciutto and cheese with tomatoes from Katia's mama Mena's garden. The. We had a sweet croissant with jam or Nutella and a nice cappuccino and espresso. Heaven! At 10 am Katia came to get us and two other guests and drove us down to the next town of Ravello. We walked around the town and decided to do the well known walk from Ravello to Amalfi. Down narrow staircases and winding roads that took us along a scenic tour of the coast. We discovered a beach and of course we had to go down and put our feet in the crystal clear blue water! Once we made it to Amalfi we wandered around and decided to take a well deserved break and found a terrasse along the water and ordered a bottle of Chianti and some antipasto. Sooo good ! Our waitress was so funny ! We stayed a few hours longer and window shopped. Got a few beer along the way just because you can walk around with it lol 😂 . We got the bus back to Scala which only goes so far. We knew there were stairs that would take us up to our place , it was so dark and the endless stairs up pretty terrifying ! We finally came out onto a road and when we were trying to figure out which way to go a car passed then backed up and asked us if we were going to B&B Olivia , which we said yes and in Italian he said ok get in and drove us another 5 minutes straight up and dropped us off at our place. No idea who he was but he was a God send. Would have taken us another 15 min to walk and not being sure where we were going !! The people here are so friendly 😘Amalfi area is just too beautiful to describe and the pictures we take are nothing like being right here. 😊. Every time you walk around a corner or up some stairs the view is just breathtaking! Happy we have two more days here 💕🍷Read more