A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: dondahan

Lessons Learned while traveling with mom and daughter

We arrived home safely in Germany and have had a chance to reflect on the trip - Just a couple of points I'd like to share.
1. Ensure everyone travelling in the car knows the route, is familiar with the map and can articlulate directions in a pinch. Our downtown Zurich GPS directed detour at rush hour could have been avoided if we had a good map with an experienced navigator. Driving is not fun otherwise.
2. Windy Italien mountain roads are fun to drive on - it would have been more fun in a sports car, rather than the Hyundi. Scaring mom and Brenna and almost making them sick also added interest.
3. Mom's new friend is lemoncielo (an Italien liquor). Unfortunately it didn't like mom.
4. Brenna can't act innocent when she is in fact guilty. We stopped at the beach in Bonosollo for a couple hours. We tried to purchase a train ticket to Cinque Terre but the ticket machine was broken, the ticket and tourist offices were closed, so we had to get on the train without tickets for a couple stops. She acted so guilty it was hilarious, particularly when we decided to get off when the conductor began checking tickets. Fortunately we were able to purchase a return ticket.
5. Make sure to alot time to actually do the blog - relax, relax, relax.

Posted by dondahan 10:29 Comments (0)

Final day by nanny

June 21st


Breakfast was served at 9:00am, we said our farewells and headed down the hill from Casa Kiwi one last time. Our time in Italy was amazing and Casa Kiwi was played a big role on our stay. Located at the end of a winding road at the very top of a hill, we had an amazing view of the mountains and the sea. It was so quit and peaceful, that we sat out on the veranda until we almost fell asleep each night.

Our plan was to head to Milano and hit the outlet mall,but by the time we entered our destination in the GPS, we had already passed our target and the GPS directed us turn around, and we elected not too. By the time we found another mall, we were in Switzerland! We stopped at a place called "Fox City". It has designer stuff (we are talkimg Prada) where everything started at $200.00 on sale. Far out of my budget. We looked around and had then had an overpriced lunch ($40 Swiss Frank) for a salad, a small slice of lasagna, a sausage w ff, 2 teas and a coke. The teas were Nestea at $4.50. We had to pay $0.60 for each packet of ketchup which are free in the U.S. I didn't realize that we had to pay, so I just picked up two packages. Donda told me that I stole them.....so I went back to find the server and pay $1.20 franks. She was surprised that I came back!

So , back on the road again. The GPS managed to take us to downtown Zurich which was really pretty cool. The Swiss must quit work early because downtown wasn't that packed. We spent more time going through tunnels than driving on roads that had views. One tunnel was 17 km long, the thought of someone having an accident was horrifying! But the part we could see was amazing. The lakes are extremely blue and there are waterfalls everywhere. We drove though Como, where we saw a tall man with graying hair on a boat, we are sure it was George Clooney! It is an amazing area, no wonder he purchased a villa there. We tried to find it, but he must have the Address blocked on google.

It did not rain the entire time we were gone, but the moment we crossed into Germany we experienced our first rain storm. Welcome back to Germany!

Posted by dondahan 14:21 Archived in Switzerland Tagged day final Comments (0)

Day 6 -My birthday by Nanny

Gianni's recommendations


We started my birthday celebration off at breakfast prepared by Gianni at casa kiwi. It was Wonderful as always. Birthday toasts all around. Then we headed off to a beach that Gianni said was very quiet with wonderful water in Bobasssola. We drove to sestri levante and took the train. Before we boarded the train, brenna asked me to go with her to the bathroom......it was co-Ed. And it didn't have stools, only a hole in the floor where you are supposed to straddle with your feet in the little forms. uGH! I decided to wait . There was no one one the train and it arrived on time and delivered us in the heart of town where the beach was located. We followed Gianni's instructions to a secluded part od the beach that was not packed with people. Brenna and I ventured into the clear calm water to hunt for shells, but there weren't any.....only rocks......beautiful rocks! We selected some special turquoise ones to make the trip home with us. I had my first encounter with a topless bather. Some people should know better and this woman obviously didn't.

After our swim we met up with Donda at a cafe and had lunch. This time it was not only delicious, it was inexpensive.....we loved it. After lunch, we took the train to the next village and did some sight seeing before we headed back to Sestri Levantre for dinner at Dela Vela (another recommendation from Gianni). We me up with Hannis and Britta, the German couple who is staying at our B&B and they joined us for dinner. I had grilled fish.....it came as a whole fish.....Hannis showed me how to filet it. All of our meals were great, and the total cost for all five of us was less than our meal for 3 in Venice. We had a lovely evening. A perfect birthday!

Posted by dondahan 14:36 Comments (0)

Venice and our hotel

Teenage Daughter

At our "Villa" - Oh and a receptionist that wore a bright blue thong under a white skirt.... come on... really?! the manager was a complete jerk and very rude, i didnt like him at all. The room was also simple and not worth it. When we finally got to go out onto the island nanny almost had a heart attack being packed into a bus with 50+ people on it and then shuffled onto a watertaxi with about 100+ people. haha she was freaking out and then couldnt get over the fact that there was no safety orientation... oh nanny... When we got to Venice i was actually kinda disappointed. the streets were gross and i still have no idea where the dogs do their..business. The theatre masks are completely over priced when you know that there is no way they will ever run out of them. and i realized while we were walking through small corridors through the city that if something happened and the city flooded... we would die.. there no way our of it!! we stopped and had dinner and mom ordered a glass of wine which the bar tender came back with a BOTTLE for her.. she drank the whole thing with nanny.. then we went for a walk and nanny picked up a gondolier to take us on a night time gondola ride.. it was funny watching nanny try to get INTO the boat.. and the OUT of the boat.. hahahaha mom and i were laughing. Then we finally went back to the villa like sardines again and got to our un air conditioned bug filled gross room where nanny and i listened to cats fighting outside while mom took a shower.

Posted by dondahan 10:45 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Beautiful Portofino Italy

Day 5 by Nanny

sunny 32 °C

We started our day with breakfast at the B&B. Gianni prepares and serves everything. We had fresh baked breads, cold meats and cheeses along with yogurt and cereal. Then we headed out for Portofino, taking the coastal highway. Again, the towns run into each other – non- stop. We were planning on stopping a beach, but the Italian beaches are packed with people and cabanas. Neither Brenna nor I were interested in sharing our experience with hundreds of other tourists…..we want something a little more secluded. Portofino is a beautiful seaside village that is being loved to death by tourists, but I have to admit that there weren’t as many people as there might have been and the restaurants were virtually empty. Our main destination was the Brown Castle started in 1025 and finished in 1600. It was converted to a residential home after world war II and sold to Portofino in 1970’s. It has beautiful gardens and a very long hike to reach it. Between the hike to the castle and the footpath from Portofino to Paraggi, I was exhausted, hot and drained. On the way back to the B&B, we stopped in Rapello so Donda and Brenna could buy a snorkel mask. I decided to buy ice cream and wait on them. One scoop of was E6.00……Yesterday when we stopped for ice cream, we paid E6 for two servings with two scoops. …..they say this region is the play ground of the rich and famous. Boy do they get gouged!

Posted by dondahan 10:41 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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