What Do You Do For Two Weeks in Italy?

The past two weeks feel like both a blur and a lifetime. Just over two weeks ago, we were in London, and before that, in the States. We have only really been gone for three weeks… but it just feels like ages upon ages. Part of it may be that we aren’t really planning our trip ahead of time, just the next step. It has been tough for me to not know what every step in our journey is and when it will end, but this has enabled us to ultimately have better experiences, I think, because we are more open to them. Continue reading What Do You Do For Two Weeks in Italy?

The Crazy Weather in Tuscany

We woke this morning around 7:30 am to bright sunshine and a gentle breeze. It was chilly out, especially in the shade, but the sun made up for it. It’s now 12:30 pm, and in that span of time we’ve experienced clouds, rain, thunder, lightning, and hail (for the third time this week!). It’s now overcast with light rain and a gentle breeze. The locals are telling me that this is the coldest weather in 200 years. Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of central Italy in late May.

Farewell, London!

20th of May, 2013

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Today, we decided to do the last few touristy things we wanted to do in London. We ate a decent breakfast, then bought some all-day train passes at the station near us. This would enable us to get into some of the major attractions in London at a 2-for-1 price. Our first visit was to the Tower of London! We decided to visit the Crown Jewels first as I had read in some travel blog somewhere that this is very popular and can get crowded later in the day. We headed straight towards the building that housed the jewels and waited in line just before a couple large groups of school children got in line. Score! Or so we thought. Turns out school kids don’t have the same type of appreciation for history and learning as we do, so once we were actually in, their whole goal was to glance at each item, say “ooh, ahh,” then rush on to the next one. We finally decided to just wait for all the kids to pass so we could relax a bit more. Everything was beautiful and lavish – tons of gold and jewels for everything used in ceremonies, including giant gold punch bowls that hold around 114 bottles of wine (around 22.5 gallons of wine!). That will get you a little drunk! Continue reading Farewell, London!

Tao And The Art of Furniture Sanding

Though I am writing this on the 27th of May, I have notes going back to the 19th that have not been posted. So, to get you up to date and get this travel log back on track, on May 19th, we decided to thank our host by cooking him a proper breakfast. Back bacon, which is quite different from American-style bacon, eggs, and yogurt with berries rounded out the food items and Duncan contributed by making smoothies. Everything was wonderful and helped get the day off to a nice start. Continue reading Tao And The Art of Furniture Sanding

London Calling

Our days in London have been so full of sight-seeing and recovering from sight-seeing that we missed any real-time blogging of our days. Here is my attempt to document our days…

Friday 17-May
We slept quite late… And by “we” I mean “I” slept super late. Jesse woke up around 8:30, but when I didn’t get up as well, he went back to sleep. Once we were both up, we had a very late breakfast of a Scottish “buttery,” which is exactly as its name describes. Very buttery, which means very delicious! Our host, Duncan, is from Scotland and described this pastry to us as like a croissant that has been pounded into a flat circle. It was flaky like a croissant, but with a delicious, chewy, buttery texture to it. I envision attempting to make these in the future, though I have been warned that they are time consuming and somewhat difficult. Challenge accepted!

Continue reading London Calling

Google Maps is awesome

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I’ve figured out how to upload our GPS data to Google Maps. Thus far I’ve compiled the individual legs of the journey into one map. Unfortunately, my GPS receiver froze part way through the flight from the US to the UK. Luckily, I noticed it pretty quickly and got it running again. When you check out the Where We’ve Been page, be sure to zoom in – you can see exactly where we’ve traveled.

First Day in London

Arriving at the London airport was a bit surreal. We are residents of an enormous country, and can fly/drive for many miles without hitting a border. We can live in a bubble of familiarity about our country the whole time. Setting foot onto the soil of another country (other than Canada) feels… important. Not in the sense that we have done something amazing and that we are now important (not at all), but more so that this is an important step to take for a human being on this planet – to step into another country, another culture, another way of life. England is certainly a bit less of a culture shock than most other countries, but still a place worth stepping foot in.

Continue reading First Day in London