Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Revolving Door for Orphans in Florence


The revolving gate has been removed but there was a door, of sorts, which allowed a precious being to be anonymously given to the nuns operating the Hospital of The Innocents. These babies, born to families too poor to care for them or to prostitutes, were given a home in this beautiful building.
Orphanages are not unusual but the quality of construction in this one is special because  Brunelleschi, who designed the Dome for the Duomo in Florence, was the architect in charge of this building. Even more unexpectedly, the halls of the safe haven for orphans were decorated with some of the most beautiful Renaissance art.
A Mark left with baby for future identification.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Forget Travel Insurance

Phoebe has not felt well since the beginning of this trip. This morning our host insisted on taking her to the public clinic at the Red Cross located right up the street from our apartment.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Shakespeare 's Home

As has been true throughout history, it paid to be a boy because you got the bedroom with a fireplace.
This was the bedroom of William and his brothers.
Shakespeare 's father was a glove maker, one of three in Stratford-Upon-Avon. His workroom and store occupied one entire side of the house.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Cotswold Courtesies





In this part of England, the pace is slow and the people are friendly.
Cotswold literally means sheep and hill, but it also seems to mean wildflowers that appear as nosegays gracing every table in a tea room, milk bottles delivered to doorsteps at 6 in the morning, and passersby who wish you good day.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


Remember the wonderful movie Bridget Jones's Diary? This is her parents' house where she went to celebrate Christmas and met Colin Firth.  It is located in the tiny Cotswold town of Snowshill, population 170. The guide said that it looked even better when it was filmed in July and  the entire area was covered with artificial snow.

The Kindness of Strangers

Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire certainly knew what she was talking about when she said she depended on the kindness of strangers. Trying to escape from the window seat in the airplane to get to the bathroom, I wrenched my right arm so badly I couldn't move it for the rest of the flight.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Celebrating 70 Trip



I started worrying about it last spring. Right after I turned 69. The day I realized that in just 364 more days I would turn 70, a time for reflection if there ever was one. And what did I have to show for having lived so long?

It may be true that people do amazing things at all advanced ages--just consult Guinness on that--but I needed to face the fact that I had not rowed solo across the Atlantic from Scotland to America as Diana Hoff had done at 55, nor had I given birth to twins at the age of 67 like Carmela Bousada. And I'm fairly certain that, unlike Cornelius Vanderbilt, I am not going to begin buying railroads at age 70.

So, there's no record-setting for me. So far, anyway.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Freshwater Pearl Jeweler in Cozumel

Adolfo Gracia, Master Jeweler at Work on My Necklace


I wanted a freshwater pearl necklace to go with the pearl bracelet I bought last year in Santorini, Greece, so I asked the buying guide expert on the ship where to go. She suggested a big shop on the main drag in Cozumel, Mexico, and, gave me a special card, with her signature, that would entitle me to a  a 40% discount. 

That was the day I learned never to listen to the buying guide expert on a cruise ship. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Travel Book of the Week on Johnny Jet!

I am delighted that Johnny Jet, one of America's favorite travel gurus, chose the revised and updated Europe on a Dime: Five-Star Travel on a One-Star Budget as the book of the week

The book teaches you how to travel luxuriously yet frugally. You'll learn how to fly for free (or very little), buy half-price train tickets, find accommodations that rival any hotel suite for a fraction of the price, and dine like a gourmet for McDonald's prices.

You'll never take an expensive organized tour again once you know how to explore Europe frugally on your own. Read more in the sidebar on the right.

The book is available electronically and in paperback at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, July 3, 2016