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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 29, 2010

Tuesday is Gloom and Doom

So, yes, off to Perugia. After another basically sleepless night, now including (in addition to listening to the roaring wind and pouring rain) a running nose and the beginnings of the coughing spells), my phone alarm went off (the kids at dinner had shown me how to set that) and I was up and at 'em. I had pretty much packed everything the night before so got myself together and felt a little better after the morning wash, brush, etc., but things cold-wise were getting a little more serious. I went down to the station in time to catch the 8:56 train for which I had very smartly purchased my ticket the night before, so no stress there. Went to the track about 10 minutes before time and DID wonder about the maintenance car that was sitting on our track thinking if they didn't move it soon, that could be a problem. And, it was. Came an announcement - the train would be delayed by twenty five minutes. So I didn't know if I'd get my connection in Florence or not, but if I didn't, I could use the ticket for whatever train I could get. They finally did move the car, but still ended up also moving all of us to the other track which meant taking ourselves and our luggage down the stairs, under the tracks and back up the stairs. But I only had my little suitcase and tote bag with me so it wasn't too terrible. Although, if I continue to travel (and tonight that seems doubtful but tomorrow is another day), I'm going to insist that I learn to travel more lightly. It was I guess about a 3 hour trip to Florence where I had to go get my big suitcase from my hotel. And I'll tell you, as soon as I got myself to Florence, got to my Florence hotel, talked to the nice man there, I just sort of relaxed. He called the Priori for me so I could tell them I didn't know for sure when I'd get there but I would get there, then I told him I wanted to try and consolidate everything into the big suitcase I had left there and now leave the little suitcase there and that was fine with him. Got that done and decided I didn't care when I got to Perugia, I was going to get something to eat, so did that at a nice place with friendly people and then went off to the train station, where I managed to buy my ticket and get on the train without incident, all with my ever-burgeoning cold. (And my family and friends know how whiny and pitiful I am when I have a cold!)
Since I have no pictures to post today (no camera and my phone's battery had died and plus which I was on trains all day anyway), I'll just say how much I love Florence. After I got here to Perugia and ran into the various disappointments here that I've run into, I just thought, my gosh, why go anywhere but Florence. There's just something I love about being there - it's just a very mellow feeling. And the three people I've dealt with so far at the hotel there have been real nice, especially the one man that helped me today and is the one who also looked up train schedules for me before I went to Riomaggiore. He told me today after the person at the Priori Hotel here in Perugia couldn't understand me over the phone that he couldn't understand that because he thought my English was "perfect". I didn't know exactly what he meant cause, of course, it's what I SPEAK, but he said, no, sometimes if people were from Texas or the south, he had a little bit of a hard time understanding them but mine was "perfect". Not often you get told something you do is perfect so that was sweet. I told him my mother would have been very proud to hear him say that. :)

So, anyway, Perugia. I got here I think around 4:30 or so and took a taxi to the hotel cause I just wasn't up to figuring out buses and walking one more inch with my suitcase pulled behind me. The hotel is an honest to goodness hotel (not just one floor in a multi-story building) so that was kind of a nice change and the man behind the desk seemed quite jovial and friendly so that was nice. I told him I'd be back in a bit with a few questions and came upstairs and totally unpacked which was also nice because I like having things out of the suitcase and hadn't done that so far. The shower doesn't look very promising but I can live with that. So I went downstairs to ask my questions and some other guy was there who, to me, seems basically like a well, you know. Not nice. At first I thought it was just my questions bugging him, but everyone who came to the desk seemed to bug him. So I went out about my business of finding something to eat (feed a cold, starve a fever) and got some throat lozenges at a farmacia. Walked around just a little cause, guess what? After arriving to beautiful sunshine, I found when I went out that the clouds and chilly weather had followed me down here. Another disappointment. Went back to the hotel and jovial man was back, so I asked him about the internet (the first man said "yes, we have it - you can use it wherever you want" when I first asked him about it. So when I came down after unpacking I had said to him "I tried getting on line in my room like you said and it didn't work so can I bring it down later and have you show me how to get on". "Oh, no - you can't get internet in your room - you could use this computer here if you have to but no..." So as I said, I asked jovial man because the thing is, I knew I couldn't do it in my room - I had asked about that in a long-ago e-mail and the answer was no. But I had read somewhere about this hotel that you could get internet access in their meeting rooms and that's what I was trying to ask rude man about. So jovial man told me yes, they had meeting rooms, but no they don't yet have wireless for everyone. So I'm thinking it just may not be possible to post pictures to my blog which made me come up and cry for a little bit but that's probably mostly because I'm feeling really puny from the cold.

And I know this isn't a fun post, but the thing is, it IS my journal and I have to vent a little so if you've read this far, please accept my apologies for such a dreary report. We can all only hope tomorrow is better although I'm beginning to think things won't get better til I'm back in Florence where it's obvious I belong! :)

There is an internet point close to here but you have to use their computers, so that doesn't help with the pictures. But at least if I can ever be there when there's an available computer (doubtful) I'll be able to check e-mails, send e-mails, look up possible Wi-Fi sites, etc. Right now, I'm just feeling kind of flummoxed and quite sorry for myself. In Riomaggiore, I used a WiFi "hot spot" so I could use my own netbook. Of course, in Florence, I could use my netbook in my room any time I wanted to (see what I mean about Florence?)

I'll be taking pictures with my phone tomorrow (if I get out of bed) and it may be that I can hook my phone into an Internet Point computer just like I hook it into my own. We shall see...

OMG, I just realized as I got ready to close this down, I can't type my messages on my netbook like I just now did and then upload them to my blog cause I can't get on-line ANYWHERE with my netbook. So I would have to sit at the Internet Point place and type and upload pictures - the whole bit. There IS a hotel here that has Wi-Fi and I had thought I'd use that as a last resort, but it turns out it's at the bottom of the town, I'm at the top and it was a 10E taxi ride to get up here this afternoon.

Right now, I am well and truly frustrated. And I know, I know, I didn't come to Italy to blog but gee whiz, it's not nearly as much fun to do all this travel if you can't share it. And you can't share it when you get home, cause everyone says "how was your trip?" and you say "GREAT" and they say "oh, good - you'll have to tell me all about it sometime" and by then, even if you ever did sit them down and "tell them all about it" you'd forget half of it!

Okay, Okay, it's later now and once again, I have hopefully triumphed over incredible odds. It dawned on me after the venting (see? It's a good thing to do) that I can buy a memory stick, transfer my typed files and edited photos to it, and stick it in the computer at the internet point place. I checked on that tonight when I went back for the THIRD time so I'm hopeful it will work with no further glitches. And, the third time was the charm, there was an empty computer so I got on line and had BUNCHES of e-mails from all sorts of people and, as always, now don't feel quite so all alone. No pictures, as I said, but I will start using my phone tomorrow. They won't be as good, but they'll be different from most anything we see in the states! :)

So, if you've read this far, please accept my apologies for such a dismal (but upbeat at the end, right?) post.  Tomorrow's will be better.


January said...

*pat pat pat* There, there, Mama. For goodness' sake drink some orange juice or something sometime and give yourself a chance to rest! If I could fix you a Suzie-egg get it to you instantly, I would :)
Lots of hugs for you!

jfalls said...

There, there. My poor, dear friend. I'd give you a hug and share a good cry if I were there. But you are being very brave and I am so impressed with your resolve! You are truly the unsinkable "Mary Lynne"! :)

Get you some vitamin C - drink orange juice, something! But - far better to at least experience Italy with a cold than not to experience it at all.

So give yourself a break, pat yourself on the back and get back out there!

Love ya,


Christopher said...

Stay Calm and Carry On, right? :)
Glad it all worked out in the end... kudos for remembering the memory stick approach! Glad things seemed to have turned a corner from the low point of breaking your camera... And I hope you begin to feel better, too!

vrmichie said...

Read Mon & Tues on Wed and here it is Thurs and I'm the first to comment so I guess everyone is worn out from a long read or so sad for your trials & tribulations that the don't know what to say or sending you private emails (I hope the later). Anyway, I'm sure glad you stuck it out with Claudio and I printed out the mushroom section because it sounds so simple and so good. Mine won't be so good because I won't have fresh porcinis or fresh pasta and I won't use enough oil & butter. Well, geez, there goes that good idea. I hope you're on the recovery side of your cold -- you do get the doozies and it's too bad that it's making you wish you'd stayed in Florence. But you'll just have to press forward because your fans are counting on you!! Hope the memory stick idea works and hope you're reading this at the end of a wonderful day. xxoo
PS Oh dear. Just realized maybe getting online is the reason you don't have comments. Well, you do seem to be mastering the train system.

Hi! said...

It was such a boon to get all the e-mails in response to my whiny Tuesday, that I'm posting the shy ones here:

I'm so sorry it has been such a lousy couple of days. You are doing incredibly well, considering the pitfalls you have faced. The camera is a disappointment, but you have the i-phone. But I hate that you are sick. And there is nothing like being sick and alone. So, know that I am sending you an e-hug right now! ;)

The cooking class sounds like a blast. I might not have eaten any of it - way too healthy. But the actual preparation sounds like such fun.

Try to rest and get to feeling better. Love ya!


I'm so sorry about your camera, Mary Lynne, but you still are able to achieve well-composed pics with your telephone. Will you buy a new camera somewhere?
I love your photos, but I find your descriptions fascinating and my mind fills in the pictures. I hope your health improves - keep feeding that cold with the wonderful Italian food! Please know that we, out here, are with you in your travels, so you are not alone!
Your California friend, Marlene

I have not read Tuesday's post, but the others are fantastic. I wish I could walk along the sea; it is magnificent!!
Take care and ENJOY!!


A big thank you to all of you for the moral support! :)

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