Flight Diary Stats

My Flightdiary.net profile

29 March 2015

Flying Nightmare

I am one of those people who have a very low tolerance for smells…  it all just stinks to me.

I think this would kill me!



Despite his best efforts, I still managed to get the envelopes done today.

2015 03 29

26 March 2015

Weather Horoscope

At this point, this is more horoscope than forecast…


Compared to Tuesday’s “guess”, the sun is coming out…  but it’s getting colder. The historical average encourages me – let’s see what tomorrow’s prediction brings.

24 March 2015

Feel like shitting your pants???

I will not apologize for swearing… in this case it 100% accurate!!!!



Rain, Rain, Go away!

Here I go! Time to start obsessing over the weather forecast!

Based on this, I think I will bring my heavy red rain slicker!


Gare Montparnasse - Simone 1

21 March 2015

Amazing Images!

I’ve considered and nixed this destination over and over and over again!

One of these days I’ll make it over, I don’t doubt it – but seeing it like this would be really neat!!

Here’s an interesting article about the latest “super tide”, apparently a phenomenon that happens every 18 years.

Note for when it’s time to start planning vacations for 2033!


So True!

Saw this on Facebook, it reminds me of the first shower in every new hotel!


16 March 2015

Are you a Traveller or a Tourist?

Well, according to this article, it would seems I am just a tourist and not a traveller.

Fine by me!!!!!!!!!  I really don’t have a problem with that.

Lump me in with the hoards of people of who gawk at all the must-sees with a check-list and guidebook in hand….  I can take it!


15 March 2015

How to Avoid Pickpockets in Europe

imageYou can never be too careful!!!

How many incidents have I dodge without knowing? 

Off the top of my head, occurrences in Rome and Amsterdam spring to mind but there must have been more near misses….

This interesting article provides good tips. Worth reading!

I like Rick Steves’ approach!

1 March 2015

2016 Fantasies

Well, it’s finally March! Thank God! After the coldest February on record, I’m so ready for spring!!Spring to me is the kickoff of travel season, my vacations start feeling closer – more real. 

This feeling of vacations looming also triggers my itch to plan for NEXT year! In a way this is nothing new, so many ideas are simmering on the back burner, but every now and then one starts to bubble up and becomes more of a possibility instead of just a fantasy.

My husband is sort of the same, he’s a cycling fan so spring for him is the kickoff of cycling season; watching the teams cycle through all the beautiful European scenery get his vacation juices flowing. Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España etc he’s into it all.

So when his vacation juices and my bubbling back burner ideas intersect, it’s a good time to make plans! (By plans I mean: agreeing on a destination, but not actually booking anything)

The latest seed that germinated into a full fledged future vacation idea was “Sicily & Rome”. The dates and details have not been decided, but this one is high on the list for 2016.

Yesterday, we sort of ‘solidified’ another idea that’s been brewing for a while: Benelux… but without the lux. We did Benelux in 2008 so by 2016 I think a redo would be fun – but I’d like to see different cities this time too.

Last time we had 2 home bases (Amsterdam and Brussels) and visited Antwerp, Bruges and Maastricht and Luxembourg City.

Benelux 2008

This time, we want to include Rotterdam, Ghent, Liège, and maybe even The Hague from Rotterdam depending on logistics. Keep Antwerp and Bruges. Dump Maastricht and Luxembourg (It wasn’t that great the first time). As for Amsterdam, I LOVE it, but was there not that long ago and I would prefer to keep room in the itinerary for new cities. 

A home base in Brussels again just makes sense… and there are a few Citadines there too!

Benelux 2016

So…. let’s see!!  Will it happen???

23 February 2015

I’d love to have a bunch of Dronies!!!


Forget Selfies, Dronies Are The New Must-Take Travel Photo

Now I have to do all my vacations over again!!!  How cool would my pictures have been if they were Dronies!!!

It’s not impossible, drones are becoming cheaper and easier to operate; I still consider dragging the gear around as prohibitive, but one day it’ll happen!

13 February 2015

Best. Idea. Ever. … … … seriously.

Check out this fellow traveller’s EPICALLY good idea for displaying vacation pictures!!!

He’s a freaking genius.

Lee-Reid Family Travels & Photo Blog

7 February 2015

Trip Advisor Travel Map

For ages I have had trouble pinning cities on my Travel Map – I FINALY found this explanation:


That’s really stupid. It takes all the fun out of having a Travel Map!  Sad smile


Always feels good to get a good deal!

Remember this? When I almost died of sticker shock checking the train prices from Paris to Lyon… about 75€ per person each way!!!

Even since that shock, I’ve been leery about train travel in France! So expensive!!!

But really, I should have put it all in better perspective -the distance between Paris and Lyon is 465km, not close! So I can’t expect the price to be low.


I just bought our train tickets online for Lyon to Avignon and back with the TGV (about 230km each way), and paid 60€ total for 2 people!!  Such a great deal!… I’m feeling good.


I hope I remember to check the price on the day so I can compare and see just how good this good deal is!  I doubt very much it will be 15€ each way per person.


23 January 2015

The Final Step Done!

The last thing left to do for our 2015 vacations was to book the hotels for our France trip and it’s now done! YEAH!

Now comes the fun stuff: Street View! and how to get to the hotel from the train station and airport etc… all that researchy type stuff I love.

The first hotel in Lyon is Citadines again just like I said I would do! Honestly, I didn’t even shop around. The price was cheap so I pounced; we know what to expect from this chain so as long as the price was good it was a no brainer.

I had 2 locations to chose from, and I picked the one closest to the train station.

Getting to the train station from the airport is (as in all European cities) effortless. An express tram leaves every 15 minutes and is only 4 stops. 


I figure since we’ll be doing some day trips while based in Lyon (to Dijon and Grenoble) and we’ll eventually be moving on to Avignon by train this hotel location made the most sense. It’s a very short walk.


To get to the old town it’s about a 30 minute walk or about 2–3 metro stops. Easy!

The neighbourhood looks nice too – and the restaurant next door tempts me already!! Can’t wait to check it out in person!!



The next place was going to be either Arles or Avignon because we plan to visit both places and they’re only about 40km apart. I settled on Avignon because one of our day trips from this home base will be to the Pont du Gard and that’s departing from Avignon.

So, we’ve now got two nights reserved in the heart of the city at the Regina Hotel.


We’ve seen it, undoubtedly since it’s on the main drag, when we were in Avignon in 2010 and I think I have a picture of it.

Here it is in Street View:



And here is my picture… I am almost positive this is it on the right by the “HOTEL” sign. The balconies look the same to me.

Around Avignon 16

The last hotel is nothing special – it’s at the airport in Lyon: NH Lyon Airport.

We don’t know what time we’ll leave Avignon the day before, but the idea so far is to arrive back in Lyon and leave the bags at the train station, enjoy the last hours of our vacation, have a nice meal, then off to the airport hotel and fly home the next morning.

Now I have to see if buying our train ticket to and from Avignon from Lyon in advance is worth while.

To be continued!

22 January 2015

The Internet is Creepy

Just booked my first of 3 hotels for Lyon (Citadines again, very happy) then seconds later on Facebook what do you think I see in the adverts?


16 December 2014

Memorable Meals: Z

When updating our Alphabet City Game spread sheet, I had an idea: What was my favourite meal in each of those places? So, I gave my self a challenge to come up with them.

Not that I meant to leave you dangling (as if!) my Z cities are: Zagreb, Zurich and Zermatt.

Well Zermatt wins – that’s easy because it involed cheese!

I have a no-resto-repeat rule on vacation, but this only applies to the current vacation. We’re allowed to go back on subsequent vacations and that’s what we did here in 2006 and 2011

Restaurant Whymper-Stube http://www.whymper-stube.ch/restaurant.html

It was not only memorable because of the cheese, but because of the owner’s name which just happens to figure prominently in my family tree. I got a kick when I saw it on the menu! I wonder just how we are related?

(I look a little stunned in this shot! LOL!! it always makes me laugh when I see it)

Restaurant Whymper-Stube Simone 

In 2006 when we discovered the restaurant, we could not dig in and pig out like we wanted to because my husband was under the weather and I was… let’s just say… unable to ingest more solids until “things got moving again”.  Ahem. We had a nice meal, but vowed to come back someday and enjoy a proper meal!  And we did!

Rainy Day in 2006:

Whymperstube 1

Sunny Day in 2011:

Restaurant Whymper-Stube 1

Very friendly service, good food, nice atmosphere…  touristy, but the entire town is! Smile

7 December 2014

Cat Food Fiasco

Back from a lovely weekend in Boston.

We didn’t take that many pictures; we have a ton from our 2012 visit and it was raining on Saturday so I just added the few new ones to the already quite complete 2012 album.

The most infuriating experience of our little get away was coming home: we were refused entry back into Canada….  because we had too much CAT FOOD!

Yup, seems that is a no-no and we didn’t know.  We bought 4 big bags (20 pound bags) of Iams dry cat food in Burlington saving about 30 dollars compared to what we’d pay at home…  only to be turned back once we got to the border.

They told us to drive back to Burlington to return the food which meant driving an extra 80 miles / 130km.  Instead we drove to Swanton which is only 6 miles / 10km from the border, and “donated” the bags to a total stranger who knew someone who has a cat.

Ok, the law is the law and rules are rules, I understand. I respect that these are people who are just doing their job, but is there NO discretion in the enforcement? It’s CAT FOOD for crying out loud!!!! Give me a warning or charge me a fine or at worse confiscate the bags…  but to deny entry??

Extra frustrating because the last time we bought cat food on the way home from New York City, the bags were in the back seat of the car in full view and we were just waved through!!!

Well it’s done now and we are home- I just hope someone in Swanton Vermont is thanking their lucky stars, blown away that 115$ of cat food just fell in their lap!


30 November 2014

I’ve been shopping!

YEAH!  A new book!  So exciting!! 

It’s been 2 years since the last time I added one to the “collection”.


28 November 2014

Memorable Meals: X and Y

When updating our Alphabet City Game spread sheet, I had an idea: What was my favourite meal in each of those places? So, I gave my self a challenge to come up with them.

I have no X or Y cities.

I am confident I will get a Y eventually, we’re going to London next spring so maybe this will motivate us to do a day trip to York!

The X cities will be a lot harder…  unless we visit mainland China!

Memorable Meals: W

When updating our Alphabet City Game spread sheet, I had an idea: What was my favourite meal in each of those places? So, I gave my self a challenge to come up with them.

According to the spread sheet, my W-cities are: Warsaw, Windsor, Wroclaw, Waterford and Würzburg.

This is an another easy one: Würzburg

Alte Mainmühle http://www.alte-mainmuehle.de/

Lunch - Alte Mainmühle 7

It’s in the old town of Würzburg on the old bridge, and at cocktail hour the bridge is full of people having drinks and enjoying the views – it’s a terrific atmosphere!!!

Alte Mainbrücke 7

Alte Mainbrücke 2

Alte Mainbrücke 4

The restaurant serves drinks out of their little “kisok”… with a 10€ deposit on the glass.

Lunch - Alte Mainmühle 1

We met up with our Chicago friends here too, a great place!

Alte Mainbrücke 12 - Simone Frank Barb Larry

Alte Mainbrücke 14 - Frank Larry Barb

The restaurant has a double decker-terrace and while it was a little cold to be outside, we were ok with our coats on.

Lunch - Alte Mainmühle 2

Lunch - Alte Mainmühle 3 - Simone

We had a very odd cheesy entree. NO clue what was in it; it tasted like part brie, part Velveeta, part KD powder… perhaps it was once alive and that’s why they had to kill it with breadsticks? 

Lunch - Alte Mainmühle 8 - App

For the main meal, my husband had trout and to this day raves about how great it was. I had sausages and they were AWFUL! They tasted like they were boiled in sugar.  BLEH!  I should have had the trout too!

Lunch - Alte Mainmühle 10 - Simone's too sweet lunch

But the beautiful views of the bridge and the fortress while sitting on the terrace overruled the strange food and made it a memorable meal.

Alte Mainbrücke & Festung Marienberg 3

22 November 2014

Memorable Meals: V

When updating our Alphabet City Game spread sheet, I had an idea: What was my favourite meal in each of those places? So, I gave my self a challenge to come up with them.

According to the spread sheet, my V-cities are: Valencia, Venice, Vienna, Versailles, Verona

Immediately when listing those cities, three TERRIBLE meals sprang into my mind.

Gnocchi in Vienna that was really just flavoured mashed potatoes, Pizza in Venice that was like plastic cheese on ketchup on cardboard, and the winner? Verona.

Memorable for it’s disgustingness. It was so bad I did not even bother to remember the restaurant's name.

Really, I ask you: Is this pasta with pesto or did someone just vomit on my plate?

Yucky Pasta at ... Simone's Meal

Memorable Meals: U

When updating our Alphabet City Game spread sheet, I had an idea: What was my favourite meal in each of those places? So, I gave my self a challenge to come up with them.

This one is easy because I only have 1 U-City: Ulm.

Ulm was a fun day because we finally climbed The Münster (Cathedral). We first noticed it in 2008 from the train on our way to Stuttgart and said we HAD to visit it one day - 5 years later, here we were!

It is so unbelievably big, it takes your breath away! IT'S MASSIVE!! It’s the world's tallest steeple - 161.5 meters high (the viewing platform is 143m up), that's 768 steps!


After this, we were ready for a good lunch. Originally we wanted to go to a Biergarten we spotted while admiring the city from the steeple, but on the way we got side tracked when we saw a restaurant that had a nice terrace along the river (The Danube).

Michealangelo http://www.michelangelo-ulm.de/

It does not really look like it’s by the water from this angle:

Lunch Michealangelo 1

But from the vantage point of the terrace, you can see the river. I think I look tired in this picture… I was probably just hungry and fed-up after that climb and wanted to eat!

Lunch Michealangelo 3 - Simone

The pasta was memorable not because of the taste, but because of the texture. I have never had fettuccine with bumps on it! It looked like a disease!

Lunch Michealangelo 5 - Simone's Meal

You can just barely see it in the picture and I could not find a better one on line - I googled “Textured Pasta” “Pasta with Bumps” “Pasta with Dots”.   no luck.

Lunch Michealangelo 5 - Simone's Meal

I presume that it’s textured like that to grip the sauce better, clever.