Italian Adventure part 2

The restaurant had a classic Italian feel about it, we were seated in groups of six, which was great as it was a chance to get to know others that were on the tour. (Please read part 1) I met yet another lady travelling on her own, she was from the Netherlands. It was so empowering to see so many female travellers striding out on their very own adventure. Plus the pizza was amazing! I forget the name of the restaurant, it was near Naples.

After we were all fed and had our energy levels revamped we were back on the coach for the next part of the tour, onto Pompeii!

We met a lovely strong lady at Pompeii, she was Italian to the core, she was to be our tour guide, she provided a lot of information as we explored. Walking into Pompeii stirred up so much emotion for me, it almost brought me to tears, it was a dream come true as I have always wanted to visit. To think that the volcano I had hiked up in the morning caused so much death and devastation was true irony. It is a huge city, and to do it justice you would need at least 3 days to see it all. Below are some of the pictures from Pompeii.

( All pictures belong to me)

If you get the chance to visit, it will be an amazing experience!

Thank you for sharing this adventure with me!

Italian Adventure part 1

If there is something you have always wanted to do, somewhere you have always wanted to go but have made excuses as to why you can not do the things that you desire, maybe you have told yourself that you do not deserve it. I am here to, say STOP right there! Go and be a little bit selfish, visit that place, experience the dream! I did and it was one of the best decisions ever!

My dream was to travel, on my own, with no one to answer to, to experience a sense of freedom that I had not experienced in a very long time. To  decide what I wanted to and where I wanted to go. So the research began, I googled a few places of interest to me, I had always fancied Italy, the beautiful buildings the amazing history. I booked the flights and apartment for two nights. Now, what was I going to do there? Thankfully I came across this wonderful tour company, Dark Rome tours also known as City Wonders. They had so many different packages at great prices too, I went for the Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii tour, somewhere I had always wanted to go. I started to get excited!

As the days counted down until my flight I was busy explaining to my little boy that mummy was going on a little adventure, he was excited for me, but said he would miss me. I ensured him that I would ring him when I was able to. This made him happy. The main reasons for wanting this time by myself, was to be able to get my head around the last few years previous, a lot had happened, ( I am writing about these experiences in another post) my head had been all over the place. I needed more than ever some self reflection time.

Adventure day arrived, I was all packed, I took a backpack as I was only going to be staying for two nights, it took two trains and a tram to get to the airport. My sense of direction at the best of times is awful so this was an achievement to make it onto the plane! I went with Easy Jet for the first time, they were great! The flight was very chilled out and relaxing and I arrived at Fiumicino airport about 45 minutes from Rome. I now needed to find where I was staying, I got into a taxi with a very young Italian driver, I was in for a shock! Shouting at other drivers, numerous beeping and weaving in and out of the traffic, I needed a stiff drink!! There was somewhat of a language barrier also but thankfully I made it to my apartment….what an apartment!

(All pictures belong to me)

I was met by a lovely Italian lady, she showed me around and made me feel very welcome. I dumped my bag after she had gone, the I decided to go and have a look around the area, I was in a place called Fumicino surrounded by a lovely beach and restaurants that served mainly fish. My first meal was a fish risotto, which was okay but nothing to write home about. I was feeling giddy and excited as the tour I had booked for the next day, a full day of adventure awaited me! One problem…how was I going to get myself to the meeting place which was in Rome? The lady that owned the apartment came to my rescue, She organised everything for me, her friend was a taxi driver so she booked him for me, for both journeys to and from Rome. I was saved and very grateful indeed.

Next morning, up early coffee, quick bite to eat and straight outside to wait for my taxi. The taxi driver spoke great English and to my surprise he drove very safely, after my first experience this was very refreshing. He was great company, the drive was very scenic, lots of historical views. When we arrived in Rome he pointed out the meeting place and handed me his card, he told me one of his colleagues would be picking me up at the agreed time later on that day.

As I got closer to the meeting place I could see many people arriving, there were a few different tours leaving from the same place. Now to figure out which tour I belonged to? Looking for an indication as to where my leader was, I realised that he had not arrived yet, so I began to talk to other people, I met a lovely gent and his best friend, he was disabled, he was helping and encouraging him to keep going and take plenty of rest. They were from America. I met another American young lady and she like myself was travelling alone, we discussed all the benefits that we had found travelling like we were and she agreed that it was a great sense of freedom! The meeting place below:

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( I own this picture)

Finally, our guide arrived and checked us in and took us to the awaiting coach. We were off! The first stop was Vesuvius, the guide was amazing! He had a wealth of knowledge and clearly loved his job, passionate, funny, with quirky stories that kept us entertained on the long journey to Vesuvius. We were to hike up to the top and then back down again, it was such a hot day with clear skies, he kept pushing the importance of drinking water, I had never drunk so much water in my life! We were told that the coach driver was an expert at driving up Versuvius, I remember thinking…he has got to be joking?? No, he was not, we made sharp bends and steep hills, he made it look easy! What surprised me the most was actually how many people had made their homes on the volcano, shops too! We arrived and the hike began, water in hand I set of, there were three shops to look out for on the way, when you get to the third you are almost at the top! It was so hot, a major trek too. I powered along excited to get to the top. When I got to the top this is what I saw:

Naples from the top of Vesuvius and the crater ( I own these pictures)

Then we had to come back down, to the meeting spot, this was fun as it was downhill all the way…weee! Then it was time head on to lunch at a fancy Italian restaurant. The tour guide had taken our orders on the way to Vesuvius. Pizza! All the way. At the bottom I met yet another lone woman traveller, I was sensing a theme now! As long as you know the risks then go for it!!

What an achievement, I set out to do something different and quite challenging, I did it!

Please look out for part 2 this will be about the fancy restaurant, Pompeii and my experience there. Thank you for reading part 1 I hope you enjoyed it. Go and live your dream! But then come back and read my blog. I will be posting a new blog every few days.

The Summer of 2012

Illness, friendship and Wales part 1

I wanted to write about a magical time in my life over a few blog posts ( there is quite a lot to say! ) it was a time that I do not regret one bit. I had the most adventurous amazing year ever!

I had decided that I was ready to start dating again after being on my own with my then two children, bringing them up and making sure they were happy. It was now my time. I had been on a dating website and had made a few male friends on there that I would chat to occasionally. One of them came from Wales and we became chess buddies. When the evening came we would meet up online and have a game or two. However, he had a temper, he could not handle losing! He would get drunk and be a little bit of a stalker. He was lovely when he had not had a drink.

So we had decided to meet, It was decided that I would travel to Wales to see him. However,  I got ill a few months before and had to spend some time in hospital, my gall bladder was full of stones and shredded…it bloody hurt….I have not felt pain like it, it was definitely worse than child birth. I was in hospital for about a week while they treated the inflammation, this is when I had my first experience of morphine…wow the most amazing pain easing medication ever! I met a wonderful lady at the hospital she had had a major procedure, we were both put on the same medication, Tramadol, the thing about Tramadol is that it is very trippy, it was the strangest medication I have ever been on. The lady and I would fall asleep at the same time and always wake up with a jolt at the same time, I hated it! My mind would do strange things such as, link two objects from every day life and mould them together to form a new object, for example, a dog and a cup ( it was the strangest dog I had ever seen!) The lady would tell me about her strange dreams whilst being on this medication. We would laugh about it later,  Hey I had found my Tramadol buddy! I hope she is doing well today.

The nurses put me on a fat free diet, I had to lose about 2-3 stone before they would consider me to undergo the operation to remove my offending gall bladder. My diet consisted of fruit, vegetables, potatoes, beans and fat free yogurt. I felt amazing! So well in myself, it was the best I have ever felt in years. Yes, I was ill and in pain, but this illness gave me a new perspective on life and a spring in my step, I was determined to set goals for the year, that can be met, to go to places I have always wanted to visit, to look after myself better, to invest in myself in the most positive way. Not to let negativity in or to be drained by energy vampires. I was going to get better and run my life my way. I did! I made a goal list, it went something like this:

  • To be happy
  • To visit new places
  • To lose weight
  • Have new experiences
  • Meet someone special

I All my goals as you will find out in this and future posts, were well and truly met! It was a revelation.

Doing the diet had some pros and cons, the pros were losing three stones in three months which was a huge bonus, as previously mentioned I felt fantastic. However, I felt so restricted with what I ate which was frustrating at times. I had to give up a lot of foods that I had enjoyed eating, chocolate, chips, sugar, pizza which I missed for a time, but the great feeling I had clearly made it worth while.

When I was in hospital the guy from Wales would message me every day to make sure I was okay. Through the first visit into hospital and when I had my operation. It was comforting. I remember feeling excited and it got me through the experience. I am a very positive person, I will always remember going into the room where they put you to sleep with a massive smile on my face telling them just get on with it! The nurses giggled as it was a first for them. I figured what will be will be. I remember waking up in a private room with a very bust lip, twice the normal size, I guess that was when the stuck the tube down my throat! I had to stay a few days in hospital as some of my bodily functions had refused to wake up from the anaesthetic. I should have been able to go home on the same day of the procedure. Finally my body started to wake up and do what it should be doing ( I had a sleepy bladder ) I was sent home to recover with a bag of pain relief.

While recovering I was making plans to go to Wales, this happened around six weeks later. The meeting went as well as it could, Wales is a beautiful place, we went to the zoo which was fun but he was nothing like I had imagined, he was very quite and hid his personality from me, it was quite odd really. At the end of the day we said goodbye and I went home. We did not keep in touch for very long afterwards. He was not the one for me. However, new experiences…check and Visiting new places…check. Looking back now it was great that he had seen me through a tough time, this is online dating for you, you have no real idea if there is chemistry between someone that you are chatting to, until you meet. I took a real chance, it was a risk.

All I can say is that you own your experiences and they all contribute to who you are. There is more to come about 2012 in future posts so please look out for part 2. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Borgia

Spoilers – Yes

Rating – 9/10

I first came across Borgia (not to be confused with The Borgias) about 6 months ago, I just love history and I did not quite know what to expect with this series. I had just finished watching Medici Masters of Florence and loved it! ( I will be giving my personal review about Medici soon) I am currently watching Borgia for the second time at the moment with my partner, it took some serious persuading for him to watch it with me. He is enjoying the series too.

It is a series full of sex, naked bodies, blood, guts, death, disease, triumph, bad language, defeat, more sex, infidelity, incest and some serious dodgy dealings! The show is rated an 18.

Borgia is based on actual historical events, some are so outrageous that google comes into play quite a bit, as you may find yourself googling the characters and learning more about them. I certainly did! It was quite satisfying!

The show is about the trials and tribulations of the Borgia family, if you can get past the rather corny opening credits then you are in for treat! After watching the all of the episodes, I enjoyed watching how Cesare rose to power using his sense of genius and craziness, watching him grow into himself as a man and a leader was awe inspiring, I found myself quoting him around the house when I had finished an episode ” I am Cesare Borgia!” he was certainly a very colourful fellow and depicted amazingly well by Mark Rider, with whom you see rather a lot of! You see rather a lot of most of the cast members to be honest….anyway I found it interesting how the Borgia family would do anything to stay on top, the Pope wormed his way into power and did his upmost to stay there using any means necessary. They wanted to rule all the Papal states, starting wars with neighbouring Italian states to get what they want.

I do not want to give too much away, however this series is a must if you are into history. I just loved it!

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I will post another one very soon!

Intentions

This is my first post! I feel quite excited about this new journey I have found myself on. If you have landed here on my very new blog then welcome one and all and thank you for coming. I hope you will enjoy the ride as much as I intend to! A little about me, I am a mother of three children eldest is 20 and youngest is 4 with an 18 year old in the middle. I love being a mum. After a fun filled day doing mum stuff,  I like nothing more than to snuggle down with Netflix (as many of you do! My guilty pleasure for sure). I enjoy writing so much and expressing myself, then I thought to myself, hey write about the shows I love! So I will! I will write about those I enjoy and highly rate and those that make me cringe.

I intend this blog to be an open and honest account of what I have been watching,  I will be ready to review the show to the best of my ability! Please be aware there maybe spoilers! I will rate the show and indicate if there are spoilers, I would not want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment. So sit back and enjoy my first review. I will post it as soon as I can!

After much thought I have decided to mix my blog up a bit, I would it to have a personal tone, so I guess that it will be a blog within a blog if you like. You will be able to find my reviews and also other subjects close to my heart, that I choose to write about.