Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Extraordinary Jolly Christmas sale

Well, Christmas is only 3 months away so here we go:
Like other years, we are having another "Extraordinary Jolly Christmas Sale". This will take place on December 11th from 9.30 am to 3 pm
It will be at the Zion Church Cultural Centre

1650 Finch Avenue East
(on the north side of Finch Avenue East, one block east of Don Mills Road OR two blocks west of the DVP/404)
Stay tuned!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wandering in Rome

On our last day in Rome, we decided to "wander" and shop a little. We saw some very Italian scenes. Went to Piazza Navona, found gemstone stores  and enjoyed some VIP pizza. Zoe fell in love with Prada shoes!
What a trip and what a city. I will go back....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More Italy

Man, slow as molasses, this update, isn't it. yet I would like to complete it as it will help me remember later on. I am planning to make a photo book so this will come in handy!
We had booked tickets to see the Coliseum to avoid possible line-ups, which was well worth it as there was a like 4 hours long! It was hot and a lot of walking but so interesting and so amazing yet again. There was an exhibit about the life of gladiators. What a gruesome thing. I cannot imaging sitting there watching people get killed and beaten up. And it was very popular for very long. Bizarre really!
We took time to, following our visit to the Coliseum, to wander at length through the ruins of Ancient Rome. We saw if from the "outside" in the evening, but to see it up close was spectacular.
And in the evening, we went to see an Opera!! It was in an old church but so well worth it. (even though it was so hot in the church, without any air-conditioning or airflow... My favourite is Turandot by Puccini and this performance we saw was a "compilation of different opera segments. Guess what they sang?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 3

On the third day in Rome we toured around a bit. We started out at the Spanish steps and walked from there to a little market with old prints and books. Pricey but just amazing old beauties! From there we walked over to the Pantheon where there was a free concert. A nice surprise. Piazza Navona is near by and it is just a great neighbourhood. Notice the Papal hat and the keys to heaven?
In the afternoon we went to the ancient baths. This is a very large complex that was used to relax and meet people and socialize. Kind of like the modern day spa! It was hot and throughout Rome there are fountains that are clean and great if you want to quench your thirst with some cold water. After a little rest we took the bus to the part of town called Ancient Rome. Ruins that are 5 to 6000 year old. Unbelievable. They surround Piazza Venezia , a central square in Rome where one can spend hours! Another wonderful day!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Post vacation stress disorder

Have you heard of this phenomenon? It is very common and if you have been away on a long vacation, it can be quite severe.... I have a good case of it! It is tough after a great time to get right back to work. I am having trouble really picking it up again. What to do but just diving in?!
The pictures do give me a lot of pleasure and I am happy to share my adventures with you.
The second day in Italy we went to Vatican City. Wow, what a highlight that was. It is truly stunning and we wandered through the museum, then the basilica, and then went to the top of the Cupola. The key picture is so funny. I don't think the guard had ever had anyone ask if she could take a picture. Which one is for the pope's apartment you think?  Check out the little dimensional piece. Isn't it stunning? The room with all the maps of the world painted instead of printed was so impressive. And what about the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, no pictures allowed....  Michelangelo was actually more a sculpturor than a painter and didn't want to paint the chapel. He spent years lying on his back. Can you imagine?! I love this sculpture. Aren't the Swiss Guards interesting? 
The papal graves and the tomb of St peter underneath the basilica was very interesting. Ara, here is the grave of Pope John Paul! (again, no pictures allowed, you'll have to say a prayer for me so I don't go to hell!) We walked out through the St Peter's square across the bridge of angels. Completely exhausted we did what all of you would do. That's right, not going  back to the apartment but walk some more....We ended up on the Spanish steps and then cris-crossed town to see the Colliseum by night. Not enough hours in the day, so much to see and experience.


Sunday, September 12, 2010


From Holland we travelled on to Rome. We had booked an apartment close to the Colliseum and were able to walk just about anywhere. On the first day we scouted out the neighbourhood and visited several most amazing churches. It is an amazing site to see all these beautiful historical buildings. They are very strict about dress code and in several we were asked to cover up. Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore was 3 minutes from our apartment. As you can see taking confession is hard work!
Basilica di San  Giovanni in Laterna was not far by bus. From there we wandered over to the area of the Colliseum. So much history and so much beauty. Most of the time we were just in awe with everything we saw. The rest we were busy eating pizza and pasta. and drinking sangria. All this walking does make you tired.....