Monday, May 31, 2010

5 weeks 6 days to go...and I am dreaming...

Today I am dreaming about the 3 months that I won't be waking up and getting the kids ready for school and dropping them off at school in the cold. And surprisingly, I am actually looking forward to it (if you know me at all you would be surprised too).
I am especially looking forward to getting up early and taking Iain and the kids for a walk along the Arno River (lungarno) every morning before all the other tourists are filling the streets. I will of course be seeing it for the first time as well. We will probably get lost in the labyrinth of alleyways and narrow streets. The Ponte Vecchio (bridge with shops on it and houses) is near the top of my list to walk on while the shops are open and closed.
I look forward to eating (mangiare) alot of fantastic food and walking alot of it off along the cobblestone streets, the stairs in the Duomo might get used alot for exercise. We have promised the kids that they can have a gelato everyday while we are out exploring the city (citta). And a promise to Iain is that He can have a coffee (un caffe)while we are out . You should hear him practising his Italian "Vorrei un caffe con latte e zucchero, per favore" (I would like a coffee with milk and sugar please). This phrase is very important for him.
I am actually looking forward to not being able to watch tv (tivu-not spelling but pronunciation)in English, so I probably won't be watching much at all. This again, if you know me, you find this pretty hard to believe.
Another aspect of being in Florence (Firenze) in July it is Summer (estate) and boy are we all looking forward to that.
Watch for more on this tomorrow.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

6 weeks and 2 days til take off.

So as many of you know the Hardy family is going to live in Florence for 3 months.
But did I tell you that on our way to Florence we will spend 1 night at the gorgeous Jawadene Resort in KL Malaysia and also 3 nights in London. 
We will have to revisit Jawadene one day for a week if it is nice because it will only cost us $60 for the night.
As for visiting London again, we will have to rethink our budget, although we are staying on a golf course near Gatwick Airport for only $350 for the 3 nights.  We will have to travel back and forth to the city by train and hopefully get a cheap family train pass.
Well I have been a bit slack lately teaching the boys the Italian that I know, so will definitely have to get back into that quickly.  Daily lessons me thinks.
I have had the pleasure of chatting to the owner of the apartment we are staying in, She would like me to cook and Australian meal for her one day... Can we get frozen meat pies over there??  Just kidding.
And get this, she told me she was not a good cook when I asked her to return the favour with an Italian meal...hahahahaha.
Another new bit of information is that I have reserved a nice small apartment for us in Paris near the Moulin Rouge and Montmarte, hopefully we will be able to park the rental car there or somewhere close by.  I have been told that parking in Paris is hard.  But we decided we would take a day driving from Florence to Paris to see the sights zoom by.  The Europeans think we are crazy driving that distance in one day, but I keep explaining that we do long drives like that all of the time here in Australia. The drive will be about 11 hours, so like driving from Brisbane to Sydney (Easy).
When the apartment is booked in Paris I will post its location and some photos for you all to enjoy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

7 weeks now... looking for places in Paris and car hire.

The weeks are flying and we are getting ready for our adventure.
I have been getting in contact with many apartment owners in Paris, especially the Montemarte district as it is a bit cheaper than the other areas. 
I am really looking forward to the drive from Florence to Paris, we may stop in at Monaco because Iain would love to see the Ferrarris or we could go through Switzerland, we will decide at the time.
Did you know that in Europe if you want to hire a car you can get a manual Ford Fiesta for around 300euros ($500) per week , if you are like me and would like an automatic the same car is 800euros.  Well I don't know about you but I think I will just let Iain do the driving in the manual.  I am not willing to pay almost 3 times the amount for renting a car.
Anyway more on this tomorrow.

Friday, May 14, 2010

8 weeks and counting...

We are getting closer and closer to our departure date.
The kids are getting so excited ( about missing school for 3 months, but they will be doing literacy and maths while away).
Iain is feeling a little anxious about leaving his job and going away for 3 months and not having a job when we return. But he is also very excited about not working for a while and having a rest. I am confident that he will find a better job when we return or be able to slip back into his current position.
I on the other hand am a little worried about my business Curiouser & Curiouser while I am away. I have an advertisement coming out in the next Peppermint magazine (with thanks to that should generate business for me. I will be taking orders and posting them out until the end of June. Then any orders made from then will not me posted until the end of October 2010. I will be making an Announcement on all of my websites about this.
However, I am excited about sourcing lots of fabrics, lace, buttons and other interesting bibs and bobs for the business (and for my crafty friends). So it is technically a "working holiday" too. ;-)