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Report 926: My Dream Trip To Italy and France

By BGE from Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada, Spring 2005

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Page 37 of 38: Odds 'n Sods

photo by BGE

Metro sign in Paris

What do I value most of all about being in my own country, now that I'm back in it?

* seeing the coastline of Canada passing underneath the plane as we fly over Gander, Newfoundland

* seeing the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes from this altitude

* the feeling of familiarity... using Canadian money again, listening to CBC and CTV, reading newspapers with Canadian news on the front page, hearing Peter Mansbridge's dulcet tones again, Tim Horton's!

* the "knowing" that I'm home

What will I remember most from this last 5 weeks?

* my daughter's wonderful generosity in making it possible for me to take this trip

* the blessing of spending an incredible amount of time with my son

* the incredible kindness and generosity of all the people who helped me along the way... people like Lorenzo, the Cafe Principe owners, the guy at the Internet Spot in Florence, my doorman at the apartment in Florence, Alessandra, Angie, Judy, Karen, Lauren, Mario...

* the amazing information and assistance from the members of Slowtrav, and how their advice and support helped me prepare for my first solo trip to Italy and France

* the moment I first saw Michelangelo's 'Holy Family' in the Uffizi Gallery

* tasting white truffles for the first time!

* the evening vespers in the chapel at San Miniato

* my first glimpse of the Grand Lady, Chartres Cathedral

* walking the labyrinth... twice!

* the tour guide with the Donald Trump hair!

* the phenomenal transportation system in France

* seeing the Eiffel Tower from the air when I was arriving in Paris

* shopping in the markets of Florence and Paris

* the incredible orderliness of Paris

* delectable sables with hazelnuts and orange peel from the patissiere on my street in Paris

* finding the perfect leather jacket in Florence at Maria Vittoria

This trip was made on the wings of others holding me up and helping me to fly on my own. For that, I am forever grateful.

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