A family member got some bad news, that their health is about to take a step down and down. There really will not be any stopping, just continuing side affects on and on. So I had to take a break from blogging to mentally deal with that. Family, even in their epic insanity, is still family.
I should be back now with regular updates about sunny Cyprus, starting with some rare photos! As you know, if you follow this blog that I finally went on my honeymoon. It was delayed originally to deal with Cypriot immigration who broke several international rules in regards to my case. I understand why they did it but not why I was singled out for no reason. Then came a MUCH needed trip home to Canada to recharge after that fun fest. Now we’ve been able to go and enjoy ourselves in beautiful Italy! Such a perfect place and yet not even remotely our first choice.
You see first we wanted Egypt, then their revolution kicked off and then we wanted Damascus but Syria had a civil war and then we wanted Greece and the economic freak show started. So Italy was not even close to being our prime pick. However….I don’t think anything could have matched it, I mean the trip was fantastic.
Due to distance, Italy is only four hours away by flying out of Larnaca so it was a perfect distance to travel. I had sneakily arranged for a luxury car and driver to pick us up from the airport in Bologna as a surprise to my husband. Our theme for this part of the trip was Luxury so it fit in quite well and for 50 euros it wasn’t a hard sell to me at least. The hotel in Bologna was beautiful! Close by the train station (less than a 1 minute walk away) but you didn’t hear a thing. The rooms were colourful (ours was a bright red), had nice showers, good breakfast service and lovely views. I’d happily stay at the Una Hotel again!
We took a Trenitalia across to Florence, which only took 35 minutes and oh boy first class is actually first class there. They bring a car by during lunch hour with wine/food if you need it at no extra charge. Would have loved more of a view but you do travel largely through a tunnel so you miss out on the mountain range that divides the region.
And our hotel in Florence…I could have died happy there! I had arranged for some champagne to be in our room for when we turned up. The hotel added some lovely strawberries for free and they were happily nommed upon I can tell you that much. The room was just so nice, I’d easily call it classic Italian in style with the artwork of the renaissance on the walls and the nice crisp look of the furniture. And that view! We were staying at one of the two hotels that border the old city center of Florence. So we get a nice big courtyard, a fantastic view of the doumo and the Santa Maria Novella is right in full view. We most definitely enjoyed some champagne there just soaking it in.
Did some walking around, not much though as the next day was our major tour (ended up doing SEVEN hours of walking on that tour) so just saw a few close by sights and found ourselves a nice place to have dinner. Had my first risotto there! Food wise, there were a few firsts like having tuna tar tar for example. I loved every bit of it. Saw so much, ate so much and my brain was happy to continue to the UK to take a breather.
Unfortunately my luggage went awol once again due to a bloody London airport. I am never connecting through any London airport if I can help it ever again. This is not the first time a London airport has misplaced my luggage, though this is the first time another North American was on the flight and HER luggage was awol as well. Her boyfriend had no issue getting his but her and mine luggage never made it out of London and to Newcastle Upon Tyne. Targeted? Probably. Paranoid gits.
So I was in a much colder country, in sandals and lacking anything warm! Luckily my husband had bought me a lamb skin coat while in Italy and I had the foresight that it would be a good idea not to keep it in my luggage. We got in quite late as well so we had to rush to get me some underwear socks and flat shoes so I didn’t freeze and had something considered clean to wear. Since we were also not staying just in Newcastle I was slightly concerned about getting my clothing period.
We had hired a car and did the epicly long drive all the way down to Great Yarmouth, which wasn’t as bad of a drive as my husband warned me about. Growing up in Ontario…you kind’ve get used to massively long trips if you want to go anywhere. We stayed there for five days, saw the sights as while I knew him when he lived there it was online so I never got to see where he grew up or went to school. We met up with an old friend of his, a current friend of mine and had a lovely lunch out. My luggage finally made an appearance at FOUR pm…now if you’ve ever been in a hotel you know check out is generally at noon. So we killed time at the Pub on the Prom. I was annoyed but I wanted my clothing and more importantly my damn phone charger.
It arrived and off we went to Nottingham for 2 days (stopped off at Cambridge enroute for dinner and a little sight seeing there too) where we visited a close friend of mine and her boyfriend. Wish I had more time available for them but unfortunately we also needed to drive north back to Newcastle. Before that though, managed to eat at a Jamie Oliver does Italian restaurant and I am sad to say it but his chefs shame the Italian one that made my risotto! I’ve never had such a nice tasting meal in my life. Mmmm!
Stayed with some old uni friends of my husbands once we got to Newcastle, didn’t really do sight seeing as I’ve spent 2 1/2 months in that area a few years before. Managed to find a replacement laptop for old Besse who wasn’t quite up to gaming hard core any more. Bought my first ever non-HP laptop, have to say it hasn’t disappointed me yet either. Samsung makes good tech I have to say. The husband even found the drives he wanted to put into the media server (three three terabyte drives) so we made that PC worlds employee’s day that’s for sure.
Got to the airport and returned the hire car only to find out………..four hour delay on our flight! Urgh. We bummed around the airport for a while, got some shopping and discovered the UK needs a bit of a slap. They have ‘deals’ if you play out to international locations but not within the EU so my husband was unable to buy the special gin he had his eye on. Why do airport deals if you restrict them to non-eu travel destinations? Especially if you’re flying out of Newcastle.
You’d think the trip ended there but oh no, it continues! We called Avis to verify someone would be in despite our now late arrival. They assured us not an issue, we’ll have someone at the desk they said. So we get in and their awol too, not even a sign saying call this number. We tried calling over and over, got fed up and got quotes from those actually at their damn desks. Got a very nice car from Budget instead.
And that was the long awaited honeymoon!