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Is it May already??

12 May

????????????????????????????????????????Phew! I cannot believe how hectic these last couple of months have been. And as the oak trees in my street are slowly starting to shed their rusty autumn leaves and the early morning chill bite in the air gets more noticeable day by day, I realised that I have not written any posts on this blog in like forever!

I started a new job at the beginning of March and walked straight into the finalisation of the budget, followed up at a rather rapid speed by the year end. At the same time, I had to try and make sense of a very diverse group of people, some of whom have worked for the company since the landing of Noah’s Ark, or so it seems. Mix this up with some young yuppie managers who have joined from ‘the outside’ and it makes for some interesting observations…

But, so far so good. I have been thrown in the deep side, but I am still swimming and a wee little more comfortably every day. Maybe one of these days I will be able to clear my ever growing to-do list?

On top of this, my almost 16-year old ballerina has been practising ferociously for a ballet exam and a ballet concert 2 weeks later (and worn through a pair of pointe shoes in the process, which we had to buy when my new cleaning lady decided to wash the old (dirty) pair).

And my handbag (which contents would have made an identity thief smile with glee) was stolen. But, believe it or not, it was returned to me by a Good Samaritan after the thieves dumped the bag (less my brand new iPhone, of course).

I do have something fabulous to look forward to, and I am sure that will interest you a lot more than the boring coming and goings of an accountant. Blah, blah, blah…

I am taking my girls on a trip to Italy in less than 2 months’ time!

Colusseum - Rome (image: Wikipedia)

Colosseum – Rome (image: Wikipedia)

It is not a long trip, but we are planning to jam pack it with exciting memories and experiences! In brief, we are spending 3 days in Rome, 1 day in Venice and another 3 days in Florence. And I am desperately trying to eat healthy to make space for all those delicious pizzas and mouth watering pasta dishes. I am making lists of movies I want to watch with the girls to give some ‘background flavour’. Whether we will be able to fit in much lounging in front of the TV in over the next month is another question altogether, but never say I didn’t have good intentions!

But, of course, nothing worth getting excited about doesn’t come with some pain and gee wiz, what a schlep the Schengen Visa application process has turned out to be. Travelling with kids as a single parent is clearly a huge risk for the authorities that be and my ex husband wanted to know if they have asked for a DNA sample as well, after having to do an affidavit, giving me permission to take them across the border. I even had to get letters from their schools. But that is all done and dusted and I should receive the last passport in my grubby hands tomorrow.

I have downloaded apps on my phone, guide books, have done research of tours, including walking tours and even checked out car rental prices (although I am pretty sure that I do NOT want to drive around on my own in a strange country where I cannot understand the language – and on the OTHER side of the road). But I have to explore all the options, not so? I have even downloaded an app that will teach me some basic lingo to help us get around Italy. Hopefully phrases like ‘Non riesco a trovare mio marito‘ will come in handy. It means ‘I don’t know where my husband is’, which is true in any event, and could provide some fun, I think?

But no jokes, we are seriously excited.

If you have any tips or must have visits (apart from all the normal touristy attractions), please let me know. I would love to get some personal recommendations!

Now, let me go and count the sleeps….

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Family, Travel

 

Tags: , ,

13 responses to “Is it May already??

  1. Ingrid Chin

    May 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    LOVED Florence! I am a bit of a freak in that I love wandering around art galleries for hours – classical art, not this weird modern art stuff where you chuck a few bits of junk together and call it an “installation”. So anyway, if your kids have learned about the Renaissance and Michelangelo and his fellow ninja turtles, it is worth taking them to see the statue of David (at least) at the Galleria dell’Accademia. A much bigger museum housing a LOT more art work is the Uffizi but that might bore a lot of people… I lots more to say… but it’s probably too long for a comment box. Email me – I’m guessing your nampak address doesn’t work anymore!🙂

     
    • Justcallmegertie

      May 13, 2014 at 5:17 am

      Thanks Ingrid! Will def email you. And yes, they have learnt about the renaissance and art at school 😄

       
  2. Ingrid Chin

    May 12, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Oh yes, DO NOT drive in Italy unless you would like to invite more stress into your life.

     
  3. Kathryn McCullough

    May 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I know a bit about how you feel. It’s been busy for us recently, as well. Wish I had tips to offer on Italy, but, alas, I’ve not been there. And good luck to your daughter with all things ballet. Look forward to hearing more about your vacation plans in the coming days.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

     
    • Justcallmegertie

      May 13, 2014 at 5:19 am

      Thanks Kathy! Very exciting indeed. I also want to take loads of pics do will share some.

       
  4. Eha

    May 13, 2014 at 5:38 am

    How lovely to hear from you and how great to hear about your Italian sojourn with your daughters!! Do wish you had a few more days in Venice for your daughters to understand that special tempo inherent there . . . Funny year . . . I have some half a dozen friends there or about to be there this year and all have the same designations . . . well, Bologna in addition for the food and history lovers . . . am so glad for you in spite of all the hassles en route!

     
    • Justcallmegertie

      May 13, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Hi Eha! Initially Venice wasn’t in the itinerary as I didn’t think we had enough time. But my friend convinced me that we have to go at least even if only for a day, so at least they can see Venice. Enough for a return trip one say, which I have always wanted to do. So much we won’t be able to see, but that’s okay, I definitely don’t want this to be my last Italy trip 😄

       
      • Eha

        May 13, 2014 at 7:31 am

        An appetizer is just fine! Hope you have a fine day and, for goodness sake, get off St Mark’s as soon as you can: get to the markets and to small canals and small inns for a real Venetian lunch and it will be unforgettable! Shall ‘talk’ to you ere you leave🙂 !

         
      • Justcallmegertie

        May 13, 2014 at 7:54 am

        I saw this awesome walking tour of the food markets which I am planning to do on the morning before we leave to go to Florence. We can stock up on some goodies and make ourselves a fab dinner in Florence, where we have a self catering apartment. Will def chat

         
      • Eha

        May 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

        Oh! Am so pleased you are staying overnight – Methinks Venice is pretty safe at night, so just walk and walk some more after dinner: it is such a magical place! Lovely story: we took our daughters when 6 & 8, and again when about 9 & 11 – you know what – both ‘insisted’ their intended came with them and proposed whilst on a canal boat at night – nope, am not kiddin’!!!!!

         
      • Justcallmegertie

        May 13, 2014 at 8:32 am

        Fabulous! Yes, we arrive at lunch time and only leaving after lunch on second day. So thought we’d start off with a guided walking tour in afternoon, including st marks, to orientate ourselves and the rest of the time just explore. Went to murano factory myself years ago when I was expecting Bianca, so maybe try squeezing in that. And at least a gondola ride somewhere. Soooo much to do and see!

         
  5. Madoqua

    May 13, 2014 at 10:14 am

    How incredibly exciting! Looking forward to photos galore!
    Don’t be too put off by driving on the “wrong” side of the road, it’s not as difficult as it may seem🙂. Suggest you take an international drivers license and see what opportunities arise!

     
    • Justcallmegertie

      May 13, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Sounds like an idea…would prefer not to drive if i don’t have to, but like you say be prepared!

       

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