Tag Archives: International Travel

From 2018 into 2019 – An Australian Adventure: A quick overview.

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This year, and last year, we went to Australia.  It was over Christmas and New Years, so I can say that.

It’s the tradition now, right?  The Lydecker clan converges from across the globe in one location, all flying in for a few weeks of adventure, excitement, and family togetherness during Christmas and New Year.  We couldn’t break tradition now, could we?

Of course not.

But, the last few years had involved quite a bit of unpleasant travel for Henry and Leah – long flights, cold weather, and did I mention long and unpleasant flights?  They’d banked more than enough suffering to deserve a respite, and so the quorum decided that we’d all fly to them this year – Christmas in the land down under!

Before getting into the specifics of the adventures, here’s a quick overview of our itinerary, and a few of the exceptional photos that we were able to take…

22-Dec = Fly to Sydney
24-Dec through 25-Dec = Sydney, visiting with everyone and staying at Sydney AirBnB #1
26-Dec = Travel to Cairns
27-Dec through 29-Dec = Fitzroy Island, Northern Australia
30-Dec = Travel back to Sydney
31-Dec through 05-Jan = Exploring Sydney and maybe even the Blue Mountains
06-Jan = Fly to Portland

 

Christmas in Italy – Overarching summary post

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Christmas in Italy – Overarching summary post

In keeping with the tradition of adventure, Sarah and I went on a big trip for Christmas and New Years!

This year, we met up with Sarah’s family in Italy, traveling to Rome and Florence; not quite a perfect midpoint for everyone, but it was close enough. And, also, you know. Rome. Florence. Amazing!

 

The main idea was that we’d spend about a week in each, exploring and visiting all the sights. There were a few overarching goals that we’d all put together, but honestly it was primarily a “we’ll all meet up, and plan as we go” sort of situation – especially since Bill (Sarah’s Dad) had actually lived in Italy before, and he had a pretty good idea of where we should go and what we should do.

Sarah and I would be the first in country, landing in Rome and taking a taxi to meet up with the representative for the AirBnB that Henry and Leah had booked. We’d spend just under a week exploring Rome and spending Christmas there – making sure to enjoy the culture, shopping, and of course the food, as much as possible.

 

We’d then all jump on a train, and zip Northward through Italy, until we got to Florence. The whole group would stick together on that trip, since the train would only be a few hours… making it a bit simpler and easier to check into the Florence AirBnB.

Florence was about the same as Rome, in that we had a list of various places we all wanted to see, but didn’t have an hour-by-hour plan set out. We’d play it by ear, and explore the land of the Medici’s as it came… continuing to eat as much delicious food and gelato as we could get our hands on.

Not the most detailed, as plans go. That was fine by us, though – Life had been busy for everyone, and the thought of being able to relax, eat, explore, and take in the culture was exactly what we all needed.

To give a summary of the specifics:

  • Thursday, 21-Dec: Arrival, and initial exploration of Rome. Bill and Greta arrive later in the evening.
  • Friday, 22-Dec: Wander around a bit, meet Henry and Leah after their flight lands, and see the Pantheon while exploring and tasting some deliciousness.
  • Saturday, 23-Dec: Visit the Vatican!
  • Sunday, 24-Dec: Sunrise yoga, followed by some cycling and trips to the Trevi Fountain, the Altar of the Fatherland, and the Great Synagogue of Rome.
  • Monday, 25-Dec: Christmas Day! Exploring some of the basilicas of Rome, and I take a short walk to see the Arch of Drusus.
  • Tuesday, 26-Dec: Colosseum and Forum day, followed by heading out to a rather fancy dinner on the town.
  • Wednesday, 27-Dec: A train ride, and a rain ride through Ostia Antica, an amazing open-air ruin. Then, once we’re home, Sarah and I cook up a glorious Roman-style dinner!
  • Thursday, 28-Dec: Our last day in Rome; we do some shopping, then take the train up to Florence! Once there, we settle into the AirBnB, and go out on the town to an amazing trattoria. Possibly the best food of the trip to-date.
  • Friday, 29-Dec: Our first full day in Florence, so we explore the Uffizi, a huge and famous art museum. Afterward, we enjoy another dinner on the town at a small place that Sarah’s Aunt recommended.
  • Saturday, 30-Dec: Explore Florence; we see the DaVinci museum (one of them, at least), have amazingly gloriously decadent paninis, and see the Accademia art gallery (the home of David).
  • Sunday, 31-Dec: A rest day, which is a bit bittersweet, but completely needed. We do explore a fair bit, but the main adventures of the day are an amazing lunch out, and a glorious home-cooked dinner. And, of course, New Years Eve!
  • Monday, 01-Jan: Second rest day, spent wandering and exploring little squares and shops near the house.
  • Tuesday, 02-Jan: We explore La Duomo, do some shopping, and have the famous Florentine meal – Steak Florentine!
  • Wednesday, 03-Jan: A sad day, our last day. We make it count, though, by visiting churches, an abbey, and the Gallileo museum. Sarah and I take a bit of time to walk around on our own as well, to enjoy the last few sights of the city.
  • Thursday, 04-Jan: VERY early morning, followed by a rather intense (but pleasant) amount of travel.