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Detailed Plans or Open to Adventure?

When you go on a trip, do you pre-plan every detail in advance, or do you leave the schedule wide-open and make it up as you go?

We’ve tried it both ways, and have actually settled on more of a blended approach!

We nearly missed out completely on getting to tour the Vatican when we were in Rome because, it turned out, most of the best tours were actually booked up weeks in advance. (Cue slight moment of pending disappointment…) But, it worked out in the end! A little extra digging, and we discovered there was a well-reviewed early-morning tour by the same outfit that had two openings on the day after we arrived in Rome. It wasn’t the first one we would have picked since it started at 7 am, and we aren’t early birds, but we were SO glad once we got started! Getting in an hour before it opened to all visitors turned out to be amazing. So much room, and not too hot…yet! By noon, when the tour ended, the crowds were crushing, and the heat was oppressive. So, that one worked out really well!

01-Early Morning Vatican 02-Vatican Before the Crowds 03-So Much Space in the Vatican 04-And Now the Crowds Join Us 05-Vatican was Packed 06-Vatican Crowds Were Amazing
Nobody here but us and the pigeons! Vatican at 6:30 am.
An empty stairway just outside the Sistine Chapel, early in the morning.
Another quiet hallway, with only our small tour group there to look around.
Vatican now intensely crowded!
A big open space in the Vatican that is now filled with people!
St. Peter's Cathedral filled with visitors!

Another tour we wanted to do didn’t turn out so well. In fact, it didn’t happen at all. I have always had a fascination with Pompeii, and really wanted to make a day trip out of Rome to go down and visit it. We even booked it with one outfit online, but something went very awry with it, and it never actually got set up. We had to apply to get a refund on our credit card, even…which we did get, thankfully. In the end, we had a wonderful time in Rome for the week, but never made it to Pompeii.

Guess what? I’m now campaigning for a return to Italy, only to focus more on the Naples/Pompeii/Amalfi Coast area! That would be quite alright. 🙂

Our recent trip to Maui? We didn’t plan a single thing other than our condo, car rental, and our first night’s dinner out. And, you know, it turned out well. We rested. We watched the thunderstorms (two days of them!). We went for long walks on the beach. We went to the Sugar Museum on one of the really stormy days. We walked all over Old Lahaina and had lunch on the beach on one of the nice days. We left without going whale watching other than from the shore (yes, we saw them, several times!), or trying stand-up paddling (on my bucket list), or snorkelling, or driving to Hana (still haven’t done that, even after four trips to Maui, go figure) — all things we imagined we’d do this trip but didn’t arrange in advance, so they didn’t happen. But we rested. Which we needed.

Our next trip, to South Carolina and Florida? We’re going to go see my brother and my nephew, whom I have not seen in many, many years! And Jeff found a seriously cool event with one of the now-retired guys in charge of countless spaceship launches, so we’ve already got tickets for that event at the Kennedy Space Centre. I can’t wait!

But now I’m wondering: should we pre-plan the rest of our time there, or leave the rest open? Want to get the maximum mileage out of our trip as it’s intended to be a discovery trip versus a rest-and-recovery trip, but sometimes the best discoveries happen at the last minute, and we’ve learned there’s a lot to be said for flexibility. On the other hand, doing it that way sometimes means missing out altogether…

What would you do?

ea/

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Home now for as long as we were away!

Time flies and you're the pilot

CREDIT: lovethispic.com

My goodness, how does time fly so fast?

As of today, we’ve been back home for as long as we were away.

Once the rainy season starts, we’re looking forward to going through all our photos, videos, and notes, and enjoying the chance to relive the adventure all over again.

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A Grand Adventure

Nine weeks, hundreds of thousands of steps, millions of stairs, and billions of calories later, we are now resting in the Air Canada lounge, awaiting our flight home.

Home, sweet home!

It’s been a grand adventure on so many levels, and it’s hard to believe it’s over already. Family, friends, new people, sights, adventures, theatre, music, shopping, and so much more… it’s all been fantastic! (Well, except maybe for the one place we stayed in that was populated with dinosaur-sized dust bunnies who were crawling around the place, but at least it was well-located…)

See you soon!

🙂

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Where’s my cardigan?!?

After a wonderful but excruciatingly hot week in Rome (36-39C every day…locals say it’s unusually crazy-hot for them, too), we’ve landed in the bracing, refreshing 14C air of beautiful Dublin.

We can’t say the change is unwelcome.

But we do need our sweaters now! They haven’t seen the light of day since May 23, our second day in Lisbon.

Unthinkable to wear them yesterday, they sure feel good, now. 😎

(EA: Might have to pick up a few more colours. They don’t take up much room, do they? 😉)

 

 

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Hot, hot, hot…

We arrived in amazing Rome today, and I promptly started melting into a puddle. Laid down for a nap, was out for three hours, woke up still melting!

I think I get the point of siestas now, big time. Whewf!

This evening, Jeff messaged our host about a fan, and we discovered he’d forgotten to tell us about his A/C unit!

Hallelujah!

…Hope it works…

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