Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wonderings on Wanderings: Planning our First Trip of the Year: Italy, Spain, and France!

Palazzo Catalani
Planning a trip is always the first fun, especially since this is a brand new phase of our travels. First, it is in Europe. We had been traveling on the North American continent and last year we began our European trips around my daughter’s wedding in a Scottish castle. Second, it will be using our Diamond Resorts membership. We had been traveling around North America in an RV.  What a big difference it will be!

Our flight out of Phoenix lands us first in Dubai. A son of a BFF lives there. He will pick us up from the Dubai International Airport and bring us to the Dubai Mall which features a lot of attractions, including  the Dubai Fountain, Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Ice Rink, the gateway to the tallest building in the world, and the SEGA Republic theme park. Then we take our night’s rest at the Premier Inn right in front of the airport for our next morning’s flight to Rome.

We also stay overnight in Rome. Bill and I have both been to Rome before, but separately. This time we would like to visit together the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and, hopefully, the Vatican! Then we move to the Palazzo de Catalani in Soriano nel Cimino rated 4.5 stars by Tripadvisor for our first week in a Diamond Resort Hotel. Just look at how magnificent atop the hill the Palazzo is! From that base, we will explore the surrounding areas such as Viterbo, Florence and Pompeii. It is not yet sure, but Bill’s daughter Suzanne and her family may join us in this Italian sojourn!

After Italy we fly to Malaga, Spain and meet my two oldest grandchildren, Krishna, on vacation from her work in Salon Nesou in Santa Monica, California, and Yeye, on spring break from her first year of studies at Seattle Central Community College. We will be staying for a week at the Royal Oasis Club at Benal Beach, another Diamond Resorts Hotel, rated 3.5 stars by Tripadvisor. It is described as a water-based resort so the two young ladies will have lots of fun. From this base we intend to explore the Spanish cities of Malaga, Granada, and Sevilla, and, hopefully, ride the ferry for a day trip to Morocco!

From Spain we fly to Mougins, France. Originally, my youngest daughter April and her husband Clint were going to join us but, since we found out that she is two months pregnant with her first baby, she will take it easy and just stay home in London. This will be a one-week stay at Le Club Mougins on the French Riviera; another Diamond Hotel property rated 4.5 stars by TripAdvisor. From this base, we intend to see Mougins, Cimiez, Nice, and Cannes. Whoever is available of our friends Jure and Katrina from Slovenia may join us.

From France, our stop over on the way back to the USA is London. April has since relocated to this city from Newcastle in Northern England. We will stay overnight at their new flat and I will see, first-hand, April’s new bump who, when he/she is born in September, will become my seventh grandchild!  When we get back to Phoenix, it will be April and, hopefully, not yet that hot! After the first fun of planning and the second fun of the trip itself, I will have a lot of fun writing about all it all for you!