Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Airline Tickets Booked!

Yeah! I guess that means I am actually going, eh? I fly June 28th to Barcelona. I counted. 90 days. Oh baby, I got lots to do.... but what a wonderful feeling to have a date to circle on the calendar....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Obsolute technology lives on

This is a really interesting piece: Are We Losing Our Memory? or The Museum of Obsolete Technology.

Busses that make you look twice

I'd like to have one of these make me smile each time it went by... even cooler to ride on. Check out the other cool pics of painted busses, lots of suprises.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

October in Berlin!

I have a lovely apartment to myself in Berlin for the month of October. As its the off season, I have been able to negotiate an affordable rate, and I get to do some of it as a barter. I've asked if there is any interest in some of the doodles I will surely do on the road, which I could frame and leave behind.... I look forward to the response on that! Oh, and I was telling someone at work about my plans yesterday, and they said, "Germany, during Oktoberfest?!"... LOL... more of a coincidence than by plan, but that's pretty cool.

Reflections on Juggling

I was looking for an image of jugglers tonight - I've been thinking I am juggling a lot of balls of late - and I stumbed across this sculpture. They are from an artist called STEFFI GREENBAUM and I found them here.

  • I am awed by howe energized I am by planning this trip and changing my life
  • Today I remembered that I am not cut out to be a corporate girl, 9-5 is not my thing
  • Giving stuff away feels good
  • I am heartened by how positively gleeful and appreciative the regular homeless guy by IGA is when I buy him chocolate
  • I am plotting Berlin and Athens, which first... ?
  • How convenient that I had a travel book on my shelf, called Seasons of Rome, and that it starts in the fall on September 4th... I will be arriving on September 4rd, so it was soooo coool to learn about what is on the minds of locals at that time of year
  • My purple hair needs some refreshing...

That's it for now...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cheap travel in Europe

I'd heard Ryanair was cheap, but, wow:

  • Paris to Barcelona: .79 Euros + fees = 23.91 Euros
  • Paris to Rome: 4.79 Euros + fees = 27.91 Euros
That's $39-46 CAD. I will intentionally take the train sometimes, but this blows me away and will definitely be used from time to time... I can handle being treated like cattle for such short trips. (note to self: bring change to pee)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pondering Foreign Flings

Now here's good inspiration for my travels ahead, 7 Reasons to Have a Foreign Fling. Yes!! what a great way to learn the language... ;-)

Cheap, dreamy spot in Algarve, Portugal - maybe?

No specific plans yet, but am thinking I really should go stay at this place at some point. For $50 Euros/night a full studio apartment, with a hammock on the balcony, swimming pools, gee, there's your value.... And, yes, if you read this, and steal away my spot, you will be forgiven...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Rome in September!

Well, I have found my spot for September, sharing an apartment with an Italian woman who has also lived in Chicago. I get my own bedroom with a king sized bed, couch, desk, private bathroom and balcony. It is located in 'an upscale and elegant neighborhood of Rome', the Financial District, or EUR. She tells me it is a safe area, where locals (and international professionals as well) live, work and have fun.

So... I am set for July (Barcelona), August (Paris) and September (Rome), so I am good through the busy season. Fall will unfold, and I'm already thinking about where to go that's warm in the winter...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

I will see the Tour de France first hand!!!

I can't believe my luck! The Tour de France is going through Barcelona this year, and it is when I am there!!!! This is so totally awesome. I am a serious couch-potato fan. Stage 6 ends in Barcelona on July 9th, and Stage 7 leaves Barcelona leaves on July 10th. Soooooooooo cool! I was looking up the schedule and route map to see if I could travel to one of the stages, but they are bringing it to me!! I'll just have to take the subway and then walk somewhere.... I wonder if I'll see Bobke around town? and I wonder if he will have hair again?

Random reflections

Random thoughts from a week like no other:
  • I walk past my bookshelf tonight and find this title staring out at me: Barcelona, by Robert Hughes. I just LOVE how my bookshelf does that. Probably picked it up a few years ago second hand and never read it. Sweet!!
  • Why is pizza delivered cold a bad thing, and cold pizza in the morning is one of the most wonderful things in the world?
  • They jacked up one of the cranes at the construction site across the street - damn, I missed it! I wanted to watch so I could see how they did it.
  • I wonder if the crane operators like moving porta-potties around just for fun, or if there is some logical reason for relocating them every day this week.
  • I giggled loudly once as the guy attaching the chain around a porta-pottie took a moment to check there was no one inside, just before they lifted it up. good lord, i hope they never forget.
  • 7 days ago Europe was a vague idea, and today I have 2 months accomodation booked in 2 of the most fabulous cities in the world (Barcelona and Paris)
  • I was exhausted at the start of the week, and energized at the end
  • I love the sun, and can't believe it will really snow tomorrow
  • I loved hearing the honking of Canada Geese and they flew by my apartment tonight
  • I love google, I refound my fav cleaning lady, I need a rescue! help arrives tomorrow... I shall work on my laptop while the cleaning demons whirl around me

Friday, March 06, 2009

Paris in August!!!

Wow, wow, wow! I just got this wonderful Paris apartment for the month of August. And I'm delighted with the rate I was able to get. A friend recently told me that August in Paris is very special, as with the heat the locals clear out, there are less tourists, and the turn the banks of the Seine into a 24 hour beach that is very cool.

I can hardly believe how well this is coming together. OK, June - here, there, who knows. July - Barcelona, August - Paris, September and beyond, who knows....

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Walking distance to Coliseum... ***swoon***

OK, this is a long shot, but I am swooning for this FABULOUS PLACE in Rome. I've made an offer for a 3 month stay in the off season and am waiting to hear just how negotiable the rate really is.... If not, it is fun to dream and just put stuff out to the universe...

Noted added later: eventually heard back from the guy, it's not available, but am happy as I've landed another Rome spot I am very happy with!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Barcelona in July

How exciting! I have just fired off an email to book a great place in Barcelona for the month of July. It's a room in an apartment shared with a woman who does this regularly. There is a roof-top deck! And it sounds awesome. Will cost me about the same as a month's rent here. I'm excited to hear back that I got it, and to get the deposit paid. Sweet!!
Update: got it!! Just have to wire the deposit. And the cat's name is Mickey...

Cheap sleeps Paris?

I was scoping out cheap places to stay in Paris, and found an ad for what seemed to be an affordable and modest little studio, sounded interesting until I read this: "There is a 'bombsite' (i.e. 'hole-in-the-ground' style) toilet down the hall. This is a turn-off for many people." Um, yeah, right....

It's interesting exploring options.... maybe rent an apartment, or a sublet, or an apartment share / spare room arrangement, housesitting possibilities... what am I missing?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sleep and other things

***The cartoon above is cut off in this view - click it to see they guy who answered **
Reflections today:
  • A couple nights of not going to bed until 3 or 4 am are catching up with me, sleep please!
  • This weekend I was listening to the stereo that I traded on Craigslist for a suitcase
  • I realized I really am going to do this Europe thing
  • Today my car for a 1 hr errand was a Toyota Matrix (cost under $5 from CAN), I like driving this one, other than the fact it looks stationwagony
  • Fixed up my bank account about an hour before my rent would have bounced
  • Amused that I got a big cheque in the mail that I forgot I was getting, sweet
  • Almost at the end of my portable sketchbook, and just remembered I bought a couple neat cheap ones from the Met in NYC - nice red cover
  • Oh, yeah, NYC, wasn't that a month ago... I should unpack sometime soon...