The Year of the Oyster

On the half shell beats silk, linen or pearls.

It would appear we are in the right place to celebrate our 12th anniversary – hopefully oysters will be on the menu tonight.

July 21st is National Ice Cream Day. It is also National Junk Food Day? I’m not sure I see the co-relation. One is the source of all necessary food groups – the other … meh!

New Travels with Sidd

Well Sidd is on the road again – and where Sidd goes so go we!  I realize that I’ve been away from the blogging scene for some time now and a few people have even suggested that I have been missed.  Well okay two people showed a mild interest in to why I have not been clogging the net with my thoughts, feelings and, particularly, information on the Hounds from Hell.   So as we begin another adventure with Sidd I thought I’d pick up my pen – well actually open the laptop – as I sit here in Trudeau Airport and in some way chronicle of trip.
In the next 26 days Sidd, and Laurent and I as his faithful porters, will be using bus, plane, ship and train to celebrate 35 years together.  No not 35 years with Sidd – 35 years with Laurent.  
It all started back in August – no not the 35 years with Laurent that started in November 1978 – when I received an e-mail offering a wonderful deal on an 11 day cruise from Rome to Seville.  I mean it was one of those opportunities you just couldn’t pass up – no not the 35 years with Laurent, well okay that but I’m talking about the cruise here.    And that was the kernel of the trip – 11 days on the Azamara Quest; but of course since it started in Rome and I hadn’t been back in two years it only made sense to arrive a few days early – get over jet lag, stop of in a few familiar places, see a few exhibitions and, more importantly, see as many of our dear friends as we can.  And it turns out the last direct flight from Montreal to Rome was scheduled for today.  So the trip was extended to 17 days.
Sidd, ignoring the bad weather on the Greyhound trip from Ottawa to Dorval.

The cruise ends in Seville – and though we had spent time in Madrid and Barcelona, Andalusia has been sadly missing from our travel diaries.  And while we’re in that area it would be criminal to miss Granada and the Alhambra.  Make that 23 days!
Sidd and food – something new – well he’s never eaten at Dorval Airport.
Getting back to Canada was the next goal and if you’re travelling on airline passes the most frequently flights are out of London.  How to get to London from Granada – well the Man in Seat61 suggested train – and I’m a sucker for trains.  Particularly when its an overnight hotel train where you have a dining car and a comfortable cabin – which would get us to Paris.  These days with the Eurostar it’s only a hop skip and a jump to London and a short visit with friends before heading back to the New World.  Ergo 26 days – god and the Air Canada flight loads willing.
So here we are waiting for the Air Transat plane to board after a bus ride from Ottawa – that’s two modes off the list.   Though I can’t promise that I’ll be recording our every move or Sidd’s every adventure I cover as much as I can – just to prove that I can still clog up the net with blogging.

October 26 – 1861:  The Pony Express officially ceases operations.

Trente Anni Fa

That, my friends, is Italian for 30 years ago – and here we are today celebrating in Arachova on Mont Parnassus in Greece. Who would have thought that one drink would have lead to all this. The past 30 years have been many things but the one thing they have never been is dull.

When I met Laurent in November of 1978 he was in his last year at University and our first trip together was to celebrate his graduation – London in 1979. We saw the sights, went to the theatre and, with our dear friend Ryan, went to the opera at Glyndebourne in tuxedoed splendor. Little did I know that was just the start of our wanderings around the world.

When Laurent joined the foreign service in 1983 we knew that it would mean living apart but we decided that because I worked for an airline we could handle it. And handle it we did for almost half of those 30 – I’ve always wondered out loud if maybe that’s why its lasted that long. First it was Mexico City, then Cairo, next came Chicago followed by Amman, Warsaw, Beijing and now Rome. There were periods back home in Ottawa every couple of years and then it would be back to commuting.

It hasn’t always been easy for either one of us. Many times birthdays and anniversaries have been celebrated apart – though never Christmas; sometimes we were not there to support each other in times of family deaths or times of illness; back before computers communication could often be difficult because of cost and time zones; and each time we started living together again there were periods of adjustment – which became harder as we both grew older. And there were times when we both wondered how it was all going to turn out. But it looks like it has and we’ll keep each other for another year.

At diner tonight – being Greece there will be roast lamb I would think – we’ll raise a glass to the past thirty years to all the places we’ve been, people we’ve come to know and love, things we’ve gone through and hope we’re granted a few more years of the same.

Happy Anniversary P. from P.

23 novembre – San Colombano

The Navel of the World!

That’s where we going for our 30th anniversary – who says we don’t know how to celebrate in style???

Okay I should clarify – Laurent is scheduled to work in Athens the last week of November. Because our anniversary is the weekend before we decided to leave a few days early and celebrate in Greece. Yeah so what’s that got to do with navels? you ask. We’re going to head up to Arachova, a charming hillside town on Mont Parnassus near Delphi.

Clear now? No?

Okay, well according to the ancient Greeks, Zeus sent two sacred eagles from the ends of the earth to find the centre of the world. The eagles met over Delphi and it was declared the omphalos or “navel of the world.”

With the help of my friend Yannis we found Xenonas Iresioni, a lovely guest house in Arachova. We’ve booked a room with a fireplace because by November there should be snow on the ground and skiing season will have started. Skiing in Greece? Yes it appears that Arachova is a popular ski destination for upwardly mobile – and mobile equipped – young Athenians. According to my friend Parsi we can expect to see all the smart set with their SUVs converging on the ski slopes. That really won’t bother us as neither one of us skis – but they’d better leave room at the bar cause we both can do apres-ski very well thank you!

09 ottobre – San Donnino di Fidenza