Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's a white world

Snow was predicted for today and we have a couple of inches. It always looks nice when the snow first falls, although I suspect we will tire of it quickly, especially with the subzero temperatures that should arrive overnight. I found that I can add posts directly from the site while on the iPhone if I use the HTML function but I can't add pictures from my phone. I guess Peter's exercise will be shoveling.

We also have to make more arrangements for our trip. I guess that will mean calling the bank so we can actually buy plane tickets. How much fun is that? I am looking forward to seeing the Charles the Bold exhibit in Bruges and just spending some time there. I hope we will be able to go to Ghent to see the altarpiece. I wanted to go back to Colmar too, but that won't work out. In the meantime I have been told to send in our registration for the course in Venice. So it looks like a Belgian-Italian trip this year.

Judy said she and John should be home when we come to Philadelphia. Again, I am waiting to hear from Cathy. But it looks as if early September will work if we can get there before Hilde and Steve leave for their western adventure. Lots of travel again this year. Hard to believe we can manage it in this economy.

Lunch with Barbara was good. It was nice to get together and the food at Houlihan's is predictable but ok. Driving to get to campus to pick her up, then to the restaurant, then back to campus to drop her off, then home was not fun. It was still snowing then and very slippery. Now the sun is out but it is supposed to be very windy and we are expecting lows around -6 with a wind chill of -30 and a high tomorrow of -2. Unfortunately we can't stay in tomorrow because Leslie is coming to clean and Peter has an MRI at 12:15. I also have a meeting tomorrow night. We need to get HEET to put in the gas tank and gas too.

I have also been working more on fixing up the blog. Now I am working on getting the pictures so that they don't show up as a cluttered mess. I still don't know enough about HTML but I have learned more than I wanted to about making all this stuff work.

Today I spent a huge amount of money and committed more. I sent off the check (through the bank check system) for the barge trip and got our plane tickets. That meant calling the credit union to have my debit card limit temporarily raised. While I was doing that, the tickets I planned to get through Orbitz disappeared and a new search only brought up more expensive ones. I switched to Travelocity and got a slightly cheaper ticket than the original ones. We were going to fly SwissAir but Iberia was suddenly cheaper. Madrid has a nice airport so I don't mind. Unfortunately the flight home is earlier on Iberia than on SwissAir which means leaving Venice very early in the morning to get to the airport.

I also booked the hotel in Bruges, for which I just got confirmation, and an apartment in Venice. It costs almost as much for two weeks as the one we had for five weeks last summer. Five weeks is considered long-term and two weeks is just regular vacation rates. Still, it is nice to have all of that settled. The hotel in Bruges even offers free bicycle use if you want it. We are hoping to take a day trip to Ghent while we are there to see the Van Eyck altarpiece. We won't be able to get to Colmar on this trip to see the Isenheim altarpiece that we missed on the cruise.

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