Monthly Archives: September 2014

Joyce on board

On the ship –beautiful, vast, elegant. Good weather.  Love to all.

photo 1-1photo 2-1

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Foreign Money ExchangeNow is a good time to exchange dollars for euros, apparently, and it will get even better.  Last year we paid about $1.80 for every euro; this year the rate fell to $1.27 on Friday, and this morning it’s $1.268.  Some banks are predicting parity, something we haven’t seen in quite a few years.  On Saturday we got a pretty good rate from a money-changer in downtown Miami – $1.28 – with no extra fees.  The place is seriously scuffed up and seedy, but we escaped with our lives and a bundle of euros at at a rate we liked.

I didn’t notice until yesterday:  In addition to being slightly different sizes, each euro denomination is a different color.  Sally pointed this out to me in the back seat as Bonell’s truck careened homeward.  The 5-euro note is grey, the 10 is red, the 20 is blue, the 50 is orange, the 100 is green, the 200 is yellow and the 500 is purple (not that we have a lot of those).  Also, there is a different architectural period illustrated on the back of each denomination.  The 10-euro note pictures the Romanesque period, the 20-euro represents the Gothic era, the 50 pictures Renaissance architecture, and the 100-euro represents Baroque and Roccoco architecture.  It’s pretty money.

There is no 1-euro bill.

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Joyce makes trouble in Bryant Park

Emails today . . .
Robin,Bryant Park Carousel
Went into Manhattan this afternoon, walked around Times Square and over to Bryant Park (They have the neatest carrousel, with a wooden cat figure–so of course, I rode it –thus encouraged,other adults also rode–I’m a troublemaker).Met an English couple ( his wife rode), they are also going on the QM. Dinner was Indian food delivered to my room–good chicken korma–too tired to go out. Tomorrow, the ship.
Wonderful – sounds like fun!  I’m glad you’re meeting others on your ship.  It’ll make your voyage more interesting.  Keep us posted, and keep on having a good time.  Bonell, Sally, Nancy, Jim and I went out to Villa Italia for pizza (except I had veal parm).  Tomorrow we’re going to get euros for ourselves, and to pay Giada the rest of the money for the villa when we arrive.  Sally and I stripped our bank account yesterday, and we believe we’ll have some money left over for Tuscan groceries after paying Giada.

Bon voyage!!


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The adventure begins

Countdown, eight days.

Does everyone have their gear together? Cameras, laptops, electronic readers, hair dryers and flatirons, extra batteries, chargers?  Are your papers in order? Passport, international driver’s license, insurance documents, car rental papers, credit cards, ATM cards?  Have you bought any euros you want to take with you?

If you have to order anything on line, this is the last possible minute.

Get your hair cut now – you don’t want to look skinned next Friday.  Make sure the right amount of money is in the right bank account.

Anyone would know we’re aged travelers.  I was about to say well-seasoned, but that would imply more experience than we all have.  I think aged is the right word.  We think and re-think everything, and then re-re-think it until we feel some modicum of preparedness – and how well we all know we really can’t prepare for what life dishes us, especially when traveling.  Staying loose is the key.  Go with the flow.  Travel is supposed to shake us up, take us way out of our comfort zone.  If we’re going to be prepared for all contingencies, we might as well stay home.

The first of us left today.  Joyce is at this moment traveling by train overnight from Miami to New York where she will board a ship bound for England, then go by Chunnel to Paris, on to Milan, then down to Siena.  We will have arrived in Florence on the previous day and hopefully made our way to our villa outside Siena, and we’ll pick her up at the Siena train station.

Bon voyage, Joycie, and God speed.

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