Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day Fifteen

Got up and showered and visited with Qamar a while. We talked about his job with Novel and what he does. Sounds like it would be a great job to have ;). Wonder if I could talk Butch into moving overseas? Yeah probably not ;)

I got to the train just a few minutes before it arrived and transferred without issues. I LOVE first class as its all business
men and women and not crowded :)
Oh look found a picture of Berry hanging in Wendy's car as we drive around town. It was nice to see parts of town that are "normal" gives perspective to the Amsterdam life ;).
Berry was now my only travel companion for train so he kept me on track for what station to get off on ;)

He likes the top of the double dockers as well ;)

The train we too went right to the airport which was handy!

We thought for a while we would get two seats so we could spread out. No such luck however our travel partner was nice. His name was Jason from Alabama. He works with pneumatic type tooling and such for cars and aircraft plants. Should have written down his company to see if our work has those type tools. Would have been an interesting coincidence. He had been in France for work. Yeah. How would THAT be? Nice. I think he said the town was Nor or Noc. Hum horrible memorie!
So that and an 8+ hour flight and I'm back in the USA... Sigh. It was a FUN trip.
Can't wait to do something similar with Angela in four years. Until then we may have to get with the Rieblings for the Greek island vacation we talked about :)

Day Fourteen

Staying with the Riebling family yesterday and today had been good. Good to sit and chat and watch the girls get reacquainted. I'm sad that I'm leaving Liz for three weeks but I know she'll have a good time
I got up and for dressed early this morning. I'm not used to SUNNY rooms and their house is very nice with a lot of skylights and big windows. It's a large house by Europe standards - has three beds and a bath in the second floor there is a three step bump on each of the levels as well so two bedrooms on one side then a three step bump and the other two and a bath. The toilets are separate from the bath all together. Different rooms all together so that's something new for me.
The main floor has the living kitchen and dining room and WC then a three step bump for a bedroom and a shower room.
Downstairs they have a full basement with TV and Bar an laundry area so a large house. Oh and a one car garage as well.
To me the neighborhoods here are more utilitarian and like our neighborhoods at home. They do have a cute little downtown.
Liz was able to make a half day of school with Clair yesterday and it's good we were coming in early as they had planned for Liz to go to school with them on friday BUT no school. So Liz got to see the school and meet a few of their friends.
These clouds are zooming by.... Im in pants and a light jacket. Yes a very different experience from the first part of the trip!
Some of the country
The train
Oh and wifi on this train too :)
And I'm finally on the double deck trains for commuters. :)

Caught up with Wendy over a nice lunch at La Place at the mall near their house then spent the day laughing and catching up. We walked to their local market as well. While there it was sunny, then cloudy then it rained. I'm telling you. If you don't like the weather in Rotterdam, wait. Minute, It will change!

Oh I did take a picture on this outing. Gotta love his hair :)
I'm telling you Dutch are funny.
We stayed up fairly late for me on this trip and went to bed at 11pm. We did, however, fi f a more convenient route for me to take to the airport in the morning. ;)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day Thirteen.

Our breakfast from the train along with a hot chocolate and a coffee.
There is a horrible bread and a horrible soft cheese in there as well :op. ha! The muffin and OJ was good enough!
After a HUGE language gap and everyone starting to ramble on to me in German. Ha! And me with not even enough combat knowledge of German to be of any help.
Ah well. Then we got to the Dusseldorph stop and could not find the Herzogenrath stop anywhere. Scary! So I finally asked a nice woman who looked up the train info and pointed us to the right track and train. After that it was easy to match up our times and train numbers to the correct train/track number. after that it was a breeze to figure out where we needed to be.

Liz and I waited at the bottom of the train station for Mrs Riebling. Due to a snafu of the first train in missed our first connection and caught the next putting us in conflict with school. We didn't have to wait long.
Leo - love Leo and Leo loves Berry!!
Happy girls!!
Girls watching Dr Who!
And with that I went to take a shower :) now I'm sitting in their cute backyard enjoying a nice cool day and a lot of birds chirping. :)

Day twelve.

Packed up and ready to GO. We had to wait for the taxi for about 15 minutes. The good news? We waited in the lobby ten hiked out. He was waiting at the gate when we got there. AND he was 18€ not the 23€ the metered taxi was. Even better :). I was concerned as I didn't see a meter when we got in so asked how much. He complained (rightly so) that he had provided the rate sheets to the lodge however they don't post it and everyone asks him "how much". Well - would you?? Got to the train station and only had a few minute wait. (less than 15). Off To Munich via Venice. Seems weird, but OK.

Berry waiting outside the Venice station. Since we had an hour and a half we walked out and got some lunch to go. Sandwiches and waters. And a pistachio cookie for me :) as its SUPER hot here right now we also got our final gellatos :)
Looking out from Venice as The train starts out
Looking back at Venice
Little island almost to the mainland

And we're off. I don't have pictures on the phone of the countryside. And I know now I have failed Liz. I told her "this is where Hedi lived" to which I was greeted with "who is Hedi". Sad day for me!!

On the other side of the mountains from Verona we hit rain... Lots of rain. We're still 2 he's from Munich so we could go right out of it fast enough.
Snow covered Alps in the far background.
Finally into our night train in Munich. After a few hours wait and a horrible headache for me ... Altitude changes and/or weather changes. Hard to tell. Add that to the smokers in Germany and I was in some pain. So drugs and Burger King for dinner. Sad, but true.

The good news is the headache went away. :)

Our train to Dusseldorph.
Elizabeth in the top bunk... There was a reservation for the middle bunk as well....I had the bottom bunk. We got settled in and turned out the lights. 

We rocked and rolled all night long!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day Eleven

Doesn't seem like 11 days... Then other days it really feels like ELEVEN days. Ha! The biggest difference the last two days have is that there is a car. A car makes all the difference in the world. If you want to go somewhere you aren't packed In with 100 other hot bodies on a warm day. You're able to come and go and adjust your temperature as you like it...not just pray the metro will start up for a breeze.

So anyway. We went to the post office and found as a retiree we can only mail 1lb packages. Really? That's the weight of the freaking BOX. Sigh. Best laid plans and all. She'll have to get the Rieblings to use their status to mail stuff home.

So. We went To lunch with Denise instead! We had a nice lunch at the Italian Mensa and talked and caught up. I got a picture of us together at the 31OSS offices as she still works for them. It was so good to see her!

After lunch we drove north to Udine... Following signs ro the hospital. That was interesting. We go to the original entrance... Even to the old building.... To the third floor. Neonatal wasn't there anymore. They moved two years prior. I knew we should have gone when Liz was 13! Ha. She didn't get to see the old rooms. Or the visiting peoples viewing areas... The new area is very modern and doesn't have the viewing anymore which makes me sad.

The secretary was so happy to see her and meet her and guess who's the director now? Dr Cartarrosi. The same dr as when she was there years ago! There was also. Female dr there when we were as we'll and she took a liking to Liz and took her back to see the babies :)

I got a photo of Liz with them both and will email the photo to them when I get home. Again on the camera not the phone so I can't post it just yet.

Then the long drive back and I knew where I was in time to side track to the old homestead as I didn't get a picture with Liz in it because the family who lives there was home for lunch when we were there last :o/. Hard to take a picture of their porch when they are home. Ha!

Then we filled the gas tank for tomorrow. It was at 3/4 full still. The cost? €32. Sigh. Expensive trip BUT it only happens once to take your daughter back to her old stomping grounds. Right?? Now that was a trip to Barcis and Udine. So really good length trips in there..self justifying. Can you tell? Ha!

Tomorrow is get up and return rental car and hike off base. Yuck! Catch a cab and head to the train station for the next leg of this trip. :o)

oh I do have a few pictures!
The rental.

Can you see who's gonna drive? 
Too tall for this car! The rear view was blocking part of my line of sight so I kept ducking to see. And Liz doesn't say "smile" she just clicks away and moves on ... In telling you no one will believe I was in this trip.
Road to Udine looks a bit different. Lots more stores along the way and only two suspected hookers.
Gas prices...look good until you figure in the euro and that it's in liters. Sigh.
This is what we did when we got "home"
And after and hour or so chilling in the room after a lot of driving/riding we went to dinner.
We went to what used to be the Spaghetti House now known as ? Hum. I don't recall...and after all our travels were taking less and less photos. Sigh sorry folks!!
I did take pictures of the LAST Italian sunset. Makes me sad!
Goodnight Italy! Tomorrow hiking out the gate to catch a taxi to the train station. Off to Venice and on ward to Verona then on to Munich. Catch an overnight to Duessledorph then on to the Rieblings.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day Ten

Ahhhhh awake
Look you can see mezzo monte (so?)
Our picture match this trip is Barcis. It was very pretty at this time of year.
Liz was hungry (no breakfast as usual :/ ). It worked to our advantage this time as there was a cute little place at the top of the hill in downtown Barcis that had sandwiches.
Liz's chicken looked hot but it wasn't spicy at all.
They even had KitKat gelato. :)
After I finished lunch I went to the potty only to discover a relic of MY past! A "bomb drop" toilet. I thought they would all be gone. Not so!!
We went by the old apartment. Nothing new there. They have roll out shades is about the only difference. I don't even think I took a picture. Mostly because there were people home and it IS street level. ;) awkward!!
I got lost then figured out where I was... There was an accident on the way to the house on the little back roads. Better them than me!!
A trip to the BX for things I'm running out of .. And all is well with the world.
Back on the road to the clinic. The bowling alley is still the same. The BX looks so tiny (old one) yes, I know it WAS tiny..... However reality is jarring at times. The old commissary is something else and rebuilt. Burger King is gone. The hospital/clinic is triple in size and beautiful!! We went in and talked with the red cross woman she was sweet and from Udine. She gave us directions to Policlinico (and I forgot its full name was San Georgio) it's really a homely building...but it has memories for me... No pictures again mostly because it's not a pretty building.
Then off to figure out our way back to base with a stop at Ovvios (Italian IKEA) and the supermercatto next door... Bought some olives - yum!
Back to the room to chill for a minute and then off to dinner ... Looking for recommendations...
Tried to find the please on Marsure. Didn't go far Enough I'm sure but it was far enough... Ended up back at San Georgios.
Finally a real Capricciosa! Loved every bite! Liz had diavola. She enjoyed the bites she stole from me in Venice ;)
It's now 8:30 and I think we're done :)
Oh and I'm driving a stick for the first time in 10 years. Hard to readjust! Stalled a few times... Oops! It's a little Pugeut (sp?)
I'll try and remember to take a picture of it.
It's what they consider a full size. Yeah right. It costs like a full size. Yikes. Oh well it's only for two days the were back on the road again Ido need to get a little more cash However. We have one more taxi ride to the train station and a few more meals on the road.... An the party is winding down. Udine is on the agenda tomorrow. Then our journey will be complete for this portion.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day Nine

Ah... There they are!!
I walked to the shopper and ran into huge swarms of gnats. GAG! I was wearing a light green shirt that was. Covered in black spots. Ewh!! So tomorrow is a car... Them seeing what we can see around here. I think well do the near things tomorrow and the far stuff Wednesday...I think I'll feel more comfortable with the bigger towns after being closer first..

Day Nine

Ok. Up at normal time. Off to price the steam punk masks. They were €125 OUCH. Yeah. They were not purchased!
I personally liked this one
Bear likes this one
While we were waiting there I saw this sign. Cracks me up
Then off to the train to catch ours to Pordenone. we had to wait. But but that was Ok.

Once we got to base we had to hike to the Mountain View Lodge. Not bad but no trees so quite sunny and warm. Right now were doing laundry and settling in for a bit. I think well get our rental car tomorrow. Well then drive to the clinic to get directions to Policlinico and the Udine hospital. Well also go to Barcis too... It's the one photo match I brought.
Well go by our old apartment as well :)
Our hazy view if the mountains
Living room with kitchenette
7pm... Now what?