Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bummer - European Travel Has Not Dropped in Price

Even though the Euro has fallen relative to the dollar, I just read (in USA Today) that European trips have not fallen in price.  How can that be?  Our currency is stronger than theirs. 

Normally, I travel (everywhere) in the off season.  Well, I haven't taken many trips lately because my husband has had three surgeries, my dog has had one, and my dog needs another one.  Not only does this type of thing cut into travel time, these surgeries cost a tremendous amount of money.  Yes, we love our dog, but you wouldn't believe how much money we're spending on him.  He has something like hip dysplasia and they need to break both back legs and reset them.  It's not like he's an old pup...he's two-years old.

Anyway, I travel during the off season because:
  • It's cheaper.
  • There are less tourists.
But, why aren't vacations to Europe getting cheaper?  In theory, we should all be flocking to the continent to get the biggest bang for our buck. Here are the reasons according to USA Today:
  • The Euro hasn't dropped enough to make Americans change their plans.
  • Airfare is at a 10-year high.
  • Summer hotel rates haven't fallen, even in financially strapped countries like Ireland, Italy and Spain.  (Well, you can get cheaper rates in Greece, but no one wants to go to a country with riots.)
Also, everyone with big bucks seems to be going to London for QE's Diamond Jubilee and for the Olympics..so the mucky-mucks are probably adding a quick jaunt to the continent via the chunnel to their itineraries.  Hey, I love a good party as much as the next guy or girl, but what's more important: the Queen or my dog?

So, this year, my husband and I are seeing the good ole USA in our Chevrolet (actually, it's a Toyota, but you know what I mean).  We have visited relatives in Ottawa (not technically the USA, but close) and New Hampshire.  And, if you're thinking about tootling about in either of these areas, I will be adding articles about Ottawa and NH when I get a chance.  Look for them on Boomerinas.com.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Finally Found the Song

When we were leaving Venice a few years ago on a repositioning cruise, our ship played a song over the intercom and it's been rattling around in the back of my brain all that time.  I knew the music was from an opera.  I knew it was a well-known and well-loved song, but I couldn't place it.

And, while I grew up hearing a few recordings of classical music: Carmen, The Nutcracker Suite, a bit of Tchaikovsky, as well as those wonderful classics used in cartoons because they were in the public domain.  (You do know that Bugs Bunny used to sing things like Figaro because the songs were free...sort of like finding a great photo on Creative Commons.) 

Anyway, I was raised by barbarians.  I never went to the opera.  I never watched polo.  I never played golf or tennis.  I was raised as an upper-middle-class barbarian.  And, that is why I couldn't remember the name of the song that I heard as I left Venice.  I remember being out on the promenade deck watching Italy fade away, and I was crying because I wasn't ready to leave.  We were only in Venice for three or four days...and it wasn't enough time. 

And...the...memory...has...been...haunting me all this time.

So...the song I had been searching for was O Mio Babbino Caro from the Puccini opera Gianni Schicchi. I had never heard of Gianni Schicchi.  And, that's probably why my searches were futile.  Also, I seem to recall that the version played on the ship was sung by a man, so I was looking for something sung by Pavarotti.

At last...the title is in my grasp...it's like finding the car keys you lost last year.  It's one less thing I have to look for.  And, listening to the song reminds me of Venice and the fabulous white sun hat with a black band that I bought at a boutique on the Piazza San Marco.

Funny Mother's Day Quotes

I'm not very good at being all sentimental, but a good laugh is as good as it gets:

"I'm a mother with two small children, so I don't take as much crap as I used to."
Pamela Anderson

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch."
Jack Nicholson

"A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car for ever after."
Peter De Vries

"As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied."
Oscar Wilde