Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A delightful turn of events...

While I was journaling this morning I got this very exciting message from JennyLee...

I found a place! I'm staying in an apartment that overlooks the Trevi Fountain. It was reasonably priced and looks comfortable. If you are you are interested you are more than welcome to stay with me.   Here's a link to see the apartment:   http://mobile.vrbo.com/239729#_propertyDetails_0

I have so much to do to get ready but I'm so excited I'm having a hard time getting anything done.

Talk to you soon,

So after much corresponding today with the owner of the apartment and JennyLee - we are sharing a small apartment over looking the Trevi Fountain.  I am rather excited about joining up with Jennylee which means we are 20 mins away from Renee and Lorraine and we can all meet up for supper on Saturday night and Jenny and I can get back safely.  We have been warned against walking alone in the evenings.  It also means we can all travel up to Orvieto together on the Sunday.
I have been overwhelmed with excitement about our trip today.  I think Jenny's excitement this morning was contagious.  Too excited for words!!!

Views from the Apartment

More steps...

Today I not only paid the balance of my course {yipppppeeeee} but I also booked my local flights to catch my connecting flights in Johannesburg.  I don't have much left to do on my list.  I need to do a packing run and I would also like to book my tourist tickets into the Vatican City and other popular sites.  I am also starting to work through my expenses list - things I know I have to pay for before I get there.  For example I know how much it costs to get from the Airport to Orvieto and back, how much my accommodation is going to cost etc.  So that way I will have a better idea of how much Euro's I will need.  Other than that, I think I am done with my "check list".  I can't think of anything else to do.  I just trust I have done everything that I need to but right now it feels right and good.  Again - I seriously can't believe how incredibly wonderful everything has gone!  I am totally overwhelmed by this goodness today!

Beautiful delightful colors of love...

I headed off to my local art shop today to collect my art supplies as per Misty's list.  I would love to say I walked away with a warm and fuzzy feeling from buying such beautiful art supplies but it was rather expensive and I left the store feeling a little gutted than elated.  I love buying beautiful supplies but buying imported goods always comes at a price for us.  But that being said I am super excited I have just about everything I need.  The only thing I didn't have much luck finding, was the paper I need but I will keep trying to find the right one.  Now this is ready to be packed.  Yippee! 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Baby steps...

So where do I stand right now....

I paid my 2nd 40% of my course last night so now I have a small amount outstanding, which I will pay on Saturday.  Then all my committments are paid up.  It's so exciting.  I have booked all my extra days accommodation and I also picked up my travel credit card last week {it's actually a Master Card Debit Card - so NO DEBT}.  I got  my Art Supplies list last week which I will also sort out this weekend.  Which is so exciting.  Nothing get's me more excited that buying art supplies, especially having to.  I am such a girl! I don't have much left to organise now... I still can't believe how smoothly it's all gone.  This is what I still have on the list.

1.  Have to book my JHB leg flight return.  {this weekend}
2.  Have to pick up my art supplies.  {this weekend} Yippeeee
3.  Final small payment. {this weekend}
4.  Book some tickets into museums before I leave {this weekend}
5.  Start mapping out my routes {this weekend}
6.  Try a packing run to see that my backage is good enough.  {next week or so}
7.  Forex. {during the next month}

We have less than 6 weeks to go and boy I am seriously starting to count down.  I am still amazed at the miracle of this trip.  I can't explain it.  Not even a little bit!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

What to do after Orvieto??

I have 4 extra days in Italy after Orvieto and I have been trying to play the ball late with booking my accommodation before I head home because I have been undecided about what to do and where to go.  It has kind of got me thinking...  Do I stay in Orvieto a little bit {base} or do I head straight back into Rome.  The latter idea hasn't completely grabbed me.  Not only is Rome expensive and there are saftey concerns.  I haven't been sure if I want to rush off anywhere.  The idea of being slow and chilled and slowly ambling around Orvieto and discovering Umbria has been rather appealing to me esp. after a long flight, two busy days in Rome and a week long involved course in Orvieto, I might just want to ease into the next few days and be still, quiet and just take it all in, esp the beautiful Autumn days.  I contacted Bill and Kristi about staying on in Orvieto {feels so safe} and move around from there.  And this idea has got me rather excited.  They gave me some great tips about day-tripping to Cortona and Siena {Tuscany} from Orvieto.  I will spend my last day in Rome before I head back to the airport.  Next step is to start working out and mapping out my itinerary, timetable and routes and start looking at booking online entry tickets to the sights etc.
Seven weeks away and counting...

Siena, Italy

Cortona, Italy

My 2nd Italy purchase...

I have been on the look out for a little day pack for when I am flying, on the train and day tripping.  I want my hands to be free and I don't want to worry about handbags and the safety around that when I am in Rome and on the train etc.  This is a small pack but will hold my waterbottle and snacks, maps and jackets etc. and it fits rather comfortably in every regard.  I also knew I wanted a lovely bright colour.  Nothing better than RED to make this girl happy.  The great thing about this little inexpensive purchase is that I will be able to use this pack for trail running and day trekking when I get home.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Visa is in...

Can you believe it..... After just 1 day - my visa has come through.  When I got the email today, I thought maybe there was a problem and that's why it's come back so soon.  But to my surprise, all was good and perfect and my passport has been stamped.  In a nutshell... I am going to Italy!!!!!