Tourists again

29 Aug
29 August 2017. One of our favorite things about living in Roma was telling people we lived there. When we traveled we felt just a little Continental. We could take a trip with minimal planning: except for needing cat sitters, we could be quite extemporaneous. Trains were easy and we didn’t obsess over packing perhaps because we were so at home in Europe.
We loved being able to go to Tuscany for the weekend or to stay for an entire week somewhere because we weren’t in a rush. We loved vacationing as Italians do, passing a summer month in the cool beauty of the Dolomites.
Now we will be American Tourists again. We’re going back!
One of our dreams for life-after-Roma has been to return and do long trips with long stays throughout Europe. We will go back to favorite places and visit some new-to-us places. Cat-and-house sitters are lined up for September and October. (Read about our sitters, Dan & Tracy, at their blog, The Money Smart Nomad.
This time it feels like mounting an expedition. We’ve never done a two-month trip before. We are committed to packing light: the same amount of stuff for 2 months as for a week, 21-inch-roll-aboard plus a day pack. And we will experience temps (based on averages) as warm as 73F/23C and as cool as 43F/6C. A packing challenge, for certain.
Where will we be?
Amsterdam, Munich, Ortisei, Venezia, Assisi, Roma (naturally), Paris, and London. We plan to fan out on day trips in many places.
Amsterdam: We have five full days and figure we will spend three in the city and take a couple of day trips, perhaps Leiden, Delft, Hoorn, and Enkhuizen. We are staying in Haarlem.
Munich: Only two nights to break up the trip to Ortisei. I was there when I was 19 and most of my memories revolve around beer gardens. We plan on a private tour to see some city highlights.
Venezia: We know the city well after eight (or is it nine?) visits and will have five full days this time. What new experiences should we add?   I am thinking of  Bassano del Grappa and maybe Chioggia.
Assisi: We visited Umbria in 2011 and want to revisit some favorites (Spello), do some hiking, and see some new towns (Norcia perhaps). We will be here for five nights, four full days, and have a full day of travel (naturally by train) between Venice and Assisi.
Roma: Planning to reconnect with the city, friends, and favorite restaurants.
With our three stops in Italy, we will overdose on the Italian food (pizza!) we’ve missed so much.
Paris: We’ve been five times for 2-to-7-night visits in the past 2 1/2 years, but the only forays beyond central Paris have been to Versailles and Giverny. I am thinking about Chartres this time. We’ll have 7 nights, 6 full days. (Never enough.)
London: Wrapping up with two weeks in London, we are staying in Westminster. We love just walking around London and will try to hit sights and sites we missed on our last three trips but we also want to do some day trips. Bletchley Park is on the list, and maybe Bath and Stonehenge with Canterbury and Dover in mind as well.
I will try to be a good little blogger and post regularly. General travel insights and experiences at, pizza eating at, and hiking (Assisi, Ortisei) at If you are not signed up for all three, consider giving me a follow on them.
“See” you from the continent!



30 Responses to “Tourists again”

  1. Kathy August 30, 2017 at 18:22 #

    What an exciting trip you have planned!! I look forward to reading all about it! I am always looking for ideas for our next European adventure.


    • Laurel Barton August 30, 2017 at 18:34 #

      Thank you! We will be hitting some new-to-us spots. Always nice to have a mix of the familiar and new so we discover new favorites.


  2. Lori Veloski August 30, 2017 at 06:31 #

    Can’t wait to read your posts from your trip. I didn’t know there was good hiking near Assisi. What are your thoughts as to why the euro is so strong against the dollar right now? Disappointing…



    • Laurel Barton August 30, 2017 at 09:54 #

      I am no economist, but $1.19 this AM, while disappointing compared to 2015 and 2016, is far better than the $1.48 we encountered in 2010 and the $1.36 when we moved to Roma in 2012. We will make the best of it!


  3. Dan Kellermeyer August 29, 2017 at 19:24 #

    We are looking forward to keeping tabs on you just as you will be keeping tabs on us and Janie! 🙂


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 19:30 #

      It is a good exchange! Travel safely and see you on Saturday!


  4. Marcia August 29, 2017 at 18:47 #

    And who is watching Janie?


    • Laurel Barton August 30, 2017 at 05:54 #

      Hi Marcia. Dan and Tracy, mentioned above with a link to their blog, Sitters on Tour.


  5. Ken August 29, 2017 at 16:48 #

    It’s wonderful to hear that you’re heading back to Europe again, and especially for two months. I’ve done a few two month trips and always found that was about my limit. At the end of that time, I was thinking, “it’s time to go home”.
    Have a glass (or three) of Vino for me in Italy. I won’t be able to get back there this year, and I’m missing it already. Given my unfortunate adventure last year in Italy, I decided to travel a bit closer to home this year, and will be visiting the Maritimes in September (which has been on my bucket list for a long time). I’ll be taking a tour so will probably cover lots of ground.
    It’s interesting to hear that you’ll be visiting Bletchley Park. I’ve long been fascinated by the Enigma story and it took me the better part of a day to see everything. Be sure to allow lots of time as it’s a large site and there’s LOTS to see. Pay special attention to Hut 6, which was the domain of Gordon Welchman, one of the lesser known heroes of BP. The National Museum of Computing is nearby, but I never made it there as there’s so much to see at BP.
    I hope you have an incredible trip, and that it’s everything you’ve anticipated!


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 18:42 #

      Thanks, Ken! Appreciate the advice. The Maritimes should be great. I have had that area of your beautiful country in mind, as well. Someday….


  6. Grier August 29, 2017 at 12:15 #

    What a fantastic trip! I’ll look forward to your posts. Enjoy every minute!


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 12:19 #

      Grazie, Grier! So nice to know I still have readers out there after my hiatus!


  7. Jill Waldron August 29, 2017 at 11:13 #

    What an incredible adventure you have ahead of you! I’ll be traveling iwith you in spirit! Thank you in advance for sharing the sights, sounds and foods along the way!! Travel Safe!


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 12:19 #

      Thank you, Jill! We need to see you guys now that we are back in Oregon! Perhaps in the spring. In the meantime, stay in touch while we travel. I promise to, too.


  8. Maarja August 29, 2017 at 10:12 #

    I can hardly wait to read what you write! I’ll be traveling with you vicariously as I get my new hip into touring shape for this spring! Bon voyage!


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 12:18 #

      WIshing you an easy recovery and so happy to hear from you and JC! Baci!


  9. Nigel Austin-Weeks August 29, 2017 at 09:53 #

    wow. just wow. maybe retirement isn’t such a bad idea after all. wow.


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 12:17 #

      It is working out rather well. We seem to have time for everything we want to do without those pesky schedules!


  10. Veronica Molony August 29, 2017 at 09:22 #

    Sounds fabulous…enjoy yourselves especially that pizza that you both so enjoy.


  11. Catherine P Rich August 29, 2017 at 08:56 #

    I am so excited for your travels. I will live through them as well as many others. I can’t wait to plan a trip of my own next year. It won’t be extensive like yours, but it will be great fun. I am so very happy for you both! And quite envious, but in such a delicious way.


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 12:13 #

      Thank you dear Catherine! I hope you will be inspired for your trip. The Amsterdam stop is new for us, and I was inspired by hearing you speak of it so fondly.


  12. Bill Walls August 29, 2017 at 08:34 #

    Sounds exciting. Enjoy and keep us posted!


  13. Jean Claude Paris August 29, 2017 at 08:31 #

    Great news and thank you for the update; we will be travelling with you and Maarja is jealous, stuck home after a hip replacement surgery. All is healing well but its is …taking time and requires rest; two things my beloved wife has problems with!!! Hope to see you upon your return to share memories.
    Best GianClaudio


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 12:15 #

      Oh my! Hip replacement! Our son broke his hip last spring and had a plate and screws put in. He was not very good at the resting either, but he is doing well. I am certain Maarja will bounce back and we will see you when we return! Un bacione a tutti e due!


  14. mvaden1948 August 29, 2017 at 08:28 #

    Good for you! I’m going to enjoy living vicariously through your adventures. Do not forget to have at least one meal at Trattoria da Johnny while in Venezia! My friend Max and I were just reminiscing about it this last weekend.
    Buon Viaggio!


    • Laurel Barton August 29, 2017 at 12:16 #

      Thanks to you, Trattoria da Johnny is on our list! Will let you know! Hope you are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mvaden1948 September 1, 2017 at 08:29 #

        Not doing as well as I would like but working on it. Cancer and its aftermath are a *itch.

        Here is Jonny’s(I really need to remember how he spells his name) website: lots of food pics.

        Liked by 1 person


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