Vicarious Travel Log #1: July 17 – 19, 2010

Last Saturday, my parents closed up their house and got on a plane for EuropeThey won’t be back for 5 months.  I know – whoa! right?  Actually, relatively speaking 5 months is a short trip for them.  Most of the extensive traveling they‘ve done has been in 11 – 12 month periods.  Also, for most of it, I’ve gone with them.  The other big difference this time is that they left my brother and I at home.  Jerks.

Lex & Josh

I know, how could they leave all this cuteness behind? J/K parents.

My father, as a university prof, takes a sabbatical every 7 years, and my parents have always taken advantage of this opportunity to whisk us off to some foreign locale.  I think this was a pretty good plan on their part.  Or at least now I do.  I had a different opinion at the ages of 6 and 13, but I’ve grown to see the wisdom in the intervening years.

This time, Mom & Dad (Maureen & Michael for you non-offspring types) are making the rounds in Europe: Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, and this morning they emailed me to let me know they’re headed to Belgium tomorrow.  I tried to convince my mom to let me set her up with her very own travel-blog, but we compromised with this – she’ll be emailing me updates over the next several months, and I’ll be posting them here, in a T-Lex Vicarious Travel Log series.  I can’t pretend I’m not greedy for the content.  Also now you’ll all understand where I get my rapier wit.

So without further ado, I’m handing over the reigns to Mom/Maureen:

July 17, 2010. Guelph, Ontario.


Our flight didn’t leave until 8:05 pm but Red Car insisted on picking us up at 3:30 pm. We spent the morning doing last minute things like garbage and draping the rest of the furniture in old sheets and tablecloths. The house looks as if it is inhabited by colourful ghosts. It will surely confuse any thieves who peek in the windows about our presence.

The Red Car driver was an Indy driver manqué (Sorry no accent, this keyboard has no number pad and that is the only way I do accents. Wait a minute, the accent has miraculously appeared on this new laptop!) and got us to the airport in record time. The wait was long but punctuated by an amusing AirCanada staff member who, in an East Indian accent modified by some Caribbean island, made the passengers on a flight to London, Heathrow respect the boarding by row process by yelling insults and threats at the people who tried to board out of turn. She was not really mean but she did get herself into an “if, then” statement that promised some kind of severe retribution for those who didn’t obey the rules. (After they had all boarded, in the right order, I went to the desk to tell her that I wanted her to board any flight I ever take. You could hear her laugh all over the airport and when she went off duty, she made a point of waving good bye to me. She was NOT on duty when we finally boarded.)

The flight to Munich was uneventful though the fact that a band from Paris, Ontario, was giddily boarded with us first gave me pause. They were in fact very well behaved and we even got some sleep over the Atlantic.

Munich’s airport is one we know quite well. It has some lovely outdoor space that is easily accessible so we went out for a coffee and some fresh quite cool air, stored our extra suitcases, strolled around, looked in the shops, ate some lunch then found a space where we took a little nap. The flight from Munich to Venice is just under an hour so we were very soon in much more hot and steamy conditions. We took a water bus into San Marco and transferred right away to the water bus for the island where the conference is being held. It was nice to see the trip out a window at ground/sea level but it was over an hour and it was quite hot lugging around the luggage that came with us.

July 18, 2010. San Servolo, Venice.

San Servolo

Though we hadn’t been to bed, it was by now the next day. Our room on the island is really a residence room but much nicer and cleaner than most residences I have seen AND it is airconditioned. We cooled down, showered and changed and went off in search of food. There is a cafeteria service for residents so the food is not great so far but it is OK. We sat by a semi-circular window that looked right out onto the water. This island is entirely the conference/university. Many of the buildings, like the restaurant, are right on the water. It may have been a monastery at some point. I should really look it up. After dinner we walked around the whole island (It isn’t very big.) It was very quiet. I am sure all the young people had taken off for Venice proper for a wilder time that we wanted. The light of the setting sun on the buildings of Lido which is directly opposite was magical. Tonight (That is tomorrow night which is what it is for the jet-lagged. ) I will be prepared with my camera.

July 19, 2010. San Servolo, Venice.

San Servolo

This morning we awoke to an even warmer sunny day. Though I am blaming my confusing time reference on jet-lag, we are really not too bad. We got up at 8:00 am local time and had breakfast and attended the morning sessions of the CES/IFO conference. I went too since our friend Arthur Robson was the keynote speaker and because I actually like this Economics stuff but the morning was sufficient for me. Michael has gone off to the afternoon session and I am sitting in air conditioned comfort writing about our trip. My next task is to figure out how to contact my brother to see if he can bring my laptop’s cord with him when he and Laura come on August 5. My laptop is unused to travelling so it carelessly forgot its cord when I packed it up. All our music is on my laptop so if Michael doesn’t want to listen to me sing for five months he had better help me work this little conundrum out.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned for the next installment.  Also feel free to leave comments here if you like – they will reach her, promise, and we luurrrve the traffic.


Check out the next chapter of their European adventure here.

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  1. Posted July 27, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Super! Quelle belle façon de nous tenir au courant de vos déplacements. Merci!


  2. Posted July 27, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Nice! I’m always happy to live vicariously through someone else’s travels!

    Venice is so beautiful, can’t wait to see pics. :)

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Vicarious Travel Log #2: July 19 – 25, 2010 on July 28, 2010 at 8:51 am

    [...] posting up on T-Lex while they wander around Europe.  If you missed part one, you can check it out here.  For now I’m pilfering the illustrative photographs from the interwebs (you can see the [...]

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