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TomAz
08-07-2007, 06:08 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v703/TomAz/London-Paris-Italy020.jpg

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breakjaw
08-07-2007, 06:10 AM
Those pictures are great,Tom!

Courtney
08-07-2007, 06:24 AM
Geez, that's a lot of stops to cover! How long were you there for?

Also nice photos. I like how things get progressively sunnier. Also I hope you saw some good art. And ate some good food. And maybe even heard some good music.

TomAz
08-07-2007, 06:31 AM
two weeks. yeah we were on the go a lot, but it was fun. Except for the lost luggage part. that'll be a separate post, that story.

I went to the Sistine Chapel, I think that qualifies as good art. Also the Musee Rodin in Paris (pic #4 above) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (last pic). The Guggenheim has my favorite Magritte painting, "The Empire of Light", and I didn't even know it was there, that was a fun surprise.

not much music. an opera singer on the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence. various accordians scattered about.

Courtney
08-07-2007, 06:38 AM
two weeks. yeah we were on the go a lot, but it was fun. Except for the lost luggage part. that'll be a separate post, that story.

Oh no :( That can do a good job of derailing a vacation, especially if you're on the move a lot. At least it looks like you were in London first which negates any sort of communication issues.


I went to the Sistine Chapel, I think that qualifies as good art. Also the Musee Rodin in Paris (pic #4 above) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (last pic). The Guggenheim has my favorite Magritte painting, "The Empire of Light", and I didn't even know it was there, that was a fun surprise.

Yeah maybe the Sistine Chapel might qualify. Heh. Have you seen MoMA's version of that Magritte painting in New York? I don't think it's nearly as good as the Venice version.

Shyeviolett
08-07-2007, 07:13 AM
Annnnnddddd I'm jealous.

psychic friend
08-07-2007, 07:16 AM
beautiful pics tom..!

Hannahrain
08-07-2007, 07:17 AM
Hey Tom. Welcome back.


beautiful pics tom..

Seconded.

captncrzy
08-07-2007, 07:22 AM
Next time take your freaking laptop. We were very lonely without you.

Hannahrain
08-07-2007, 07:23 AM
"Excuse me, family. I have to go talk to my internet friends."

luckyface
08-07-2007, 07:26 AM
Awesome.

Did it smell like BO everywhere you went?

TomAz
08-07-2007, 07:35 AM
Lost Luggage story: condensed version

July 25, arrive Gatwick, no bags. Not too surprised because we had a tight connection coming over. I figured the bags would show up on the next day's flight. I fill out the form, give the hotel name and address in London, and leave.

July 26, call US Air in the states, they don't know where the bags are, they say PHX doesn't have them, CLT (where we connected) doesn't have them, LGW doesn't have them. Since they don't know where they are, the bags are not coming on that evening's flight from CLT. I tell them I am leaving for Paris on July 27 and give them the name/address of the hotel there. We spent the afternoon in a really crappy London department store (Primark) buying a few cheap things to tide us over til the bags arrive. also we get a few toiletries.

July 27, we go to Paris, meanwhile our bags show up at Gatwick. Great, they've found them, now all they have to do is get them to us. Right? sure. I call US Air that night and they say the bags are at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and that I needed to call baggage there the next morning to arrange delivery. Meanwhile, we call a friend back home and she goes to our house and boxes up some clothes and ships them to us in Rome, our next destination.

July 28, talk to Florian at US Air baggage at CDG, he's never heard of me and doesn't know what I'm talking about. I call US Air in the States, they call Florian and get him on the job. Florian does some research and tells me that the bags were sent from Gatwick to Amsterdam on British Air, and then from Amsterdam to CDG on KLM. Air France handles KLM's baggage in Paris and Air France doesn't know where our bags are. He says he'll keep researching, and he takes the name/address of our hotel in Rome.

July 29, Florian (or anybody) doesn't answer the phone at CDG baggage. we go to Rome that evening. Arrive at the hotel in Rome and am given a fax (in Italian) at check in. I ask the concierge to tell me what it says and he says "were you expecting a package? I will call UPS for you in the morning".

July 30, the concierge says the box is stuck in Italian Customs in Treviso (way up in the north of Italy) and that they have questions on its contents. This despite the fact that there is an itemized list of the contents on the outside of the box with an estimated value. I have to fax them my passport #, social security #, and a note saying what's in there, why it is being sent to me, and estimated value. Later that day they say they need 65 euros in import duty to release the box. Meanwhile, no word from Florian at CDG about our bags.

July 31, I get an email on my blackberry from someone with Air France in Strasbourg. (I have never been to Strasbourg). She says they have one of our bags in lost and found there, and she would like to know where to forward it to me. I tell her we are in Rome and are headed to Florence the next day, could she please send it there? She says yes, I send her the name/address of the hotel in Florence, and she tells me it will be there by noon on August 1. Meanwhile the other 3 bags are still missing and US Air doesn't know where they are. The box our friend shipped us, however, does show up at the hotel, miracle of miracles.

August 1, no bags arrive in Florence.

August 2, I skip the afternoon sightseeing (miss the Uffizi) and go out to the airport in Florence to look in lost and found for our missing bag. After some talking and cajoling they let me in to look at what they have, but I do not recognize any of the bags as ours. At this point I just give up on ever getting any of them back. Later back in town we did a little shopping at a department store and got some things.

Aug 3 and 4, we enjoy Venice and I don't bother calling about the bags, by this time it's too late to be of any use.

August 5, returning to the states, connecting in Philadelphia, I have a message on my phone from US Air baggage in Phoenix that they have one of our bags. I call them, tell them my story, they say they only have the one bag, they can deliver it when I get home or I can pick it up at the airport in PHX that evening. I tell them I'll pick it up when I get in. Late that evening, around midnight, we finally land in PHX, exhausted, and I go to lost luggage and tell them I am there to pick up the bag they called me about. They look at me like I'm crazy, they don't know what I'm talking about. We poke around a bit and can't find any bag. we go home empty handed.

Aug 6, 7:30 am, I get a call from US Air Baggage in PHX asking where they can deliver the lost bag to. I give them my home address, they say it will be there by noon. And, much to my surprise, it actually shows up at my door about 11:30. Wrapped in tape that says "Aeroporto di Firenze". Fortunately it was my wife's suitcase, which probably had the most valuable stuff in it.

The other three bags are still missing. US Air still doesn't know where they are. Time to treat them as gone for good and file a claim for compensation.

downingthief
08-07-2007, 07:51 AM
Wow, Tom...Glad you at least got to enjoy yourself after that.

And, welcome back!

TomAz
08-07-2007, 07:52 AM
Yeah maybe the Sistine Chapel might qualify. Heh. Have you seen MoMA's version of that Magritte painting in New York? I don't think it's nearly as good as the Venice version.

right, I like #1 better than #2. Not sure why. the leaves are darker or something, it looks creepier while #2 doesn't have the same impact.

Also, I forgot to mention, I saw the David in Florence. the real one and the copy, both.


"Excuse me, family. I have to go talk to my internet friends."

I did actually bring my laptop, but limited my time on it for work stuff, which I tried to keep to a minimum.


Awesome.

Did it smell like BO everywhere you went?

Yeah. mine.

J~$$$
08-07-2007, 07:56 AM
I bet you fight right in with the parisians.

Tylerdurden31
08-07-2007, 08:00 AM
you spent your vacation in a british airways bubble?

Hannahrain
08-07-2007, 08:02 AM
you spent your vacation in a british airways bubble?

If he was inside it, how could he take a picture of it?

mountmccabe
08-07-2007, 08:03 AM
That story rules, Tom. I mean, not so fun for you but at least you had something to share with the rest of us that didn't get to go to the awesome places you visited and took great pictures of.

Yay.

bballarl
08-07-2007, 08:04 AM
Je suis la jeu (sp?) fille.

Yes, that's French they're speaking and no, these children aren't French: They're American! And they learned their amazing new language through Muzzy!

Hannahrain
08-07-2007, 08:07 AM
I had Spanish Muzzy when I was a kid. It works. I can still translate the tapes. Someone who had a kid was visiting once and wanted to watch them, but I could only find the spanish ones so I had to sit there and tell them what everyone was saying.

bartelby
08-07-2007, 08:08 AM
Great pics Tom..and shitty deal about the bags, but what can ya do eh?

Anyways, was curious as to your opinion of Venice? I was there 4 years ago and found it cool, in that its about as unique a place as one can find, but overall very dirty and run down.

amyzzz
08-07-2007, 08:08 AM
Nice pics. I hope you had fun despite the baggage fiasco.

bballarl
08-07-2007, 08:09 AM
That's cool. I took Spanish from 7th grade to my Junior year of HS. I get hit by sudden urges to continue learning it and become fluent, but I really don't want to do it in a setting where I will be graded. Did you take other classes in addition to listening to Muzzy?

Hannahrain
08-07-2007, 08:14 AM
Not until Middle school, but every time I take a class or something, I pick it back up pretty quickly. I'm thinking about maybe taking a conversational Spanish class at the community college here. I'd really like to be able to use it. And it's fake school. No grades. I think I'm actually going to take standup there too, and auto repair. Even though I don't drive. It's just something I'd like to know how to do.




So Tom. Tom's thread about Tom. Let's talk about Tom.

PassiveTheory
08-07-2007, 08:15 AM
Hey Tom, while in Paris, did you make the trip up to Montmartre to see the Dali Museum? It's always one of my favorite things about Paris. That and taking boat rides all along La Seine.

bballarl
08-07-2007, 08:16 AM
Tom: Did you encounter any celebrities in London like Stefinitely Maybe does?

Hannahrain
08-07-2007, 08:17 AM
Tom: Did you encounter Stefinitely Maybe in London like celebrities do?

TomAz
08-07-2007, 08:18 AM
Great pics Tom..and shitty deal about the bags, but what can ya do eh?

Anyways, was curious as to your opinion of Venice? I was there 4 years ago and found it cool, in that its about as unique a place as one can find, but overall very dirty and run down.

I loved Venice, it was my favorite of the whole trip. I had heard that it was dirty and smelly but did not find it that way in the least. I was surprised. maybe they've been trying to clean the place up? I dunno.

kreutz2112
08-07-2007, 08:18 AM
welcome back tom. Hannah = funny

TomAz
08-07-2007, 08:21 AM
Tom: Did you encounter any celebrities in London like Stefinitely Maybe does?

no.. but oh! I forgot.. we saw Mary Kate and Ashley in Paris. we were doing one of those tourist open air tour bus things, which the kids really liked. We were stopped at a light and across the way by one of the bridges over the Seine there was a small crowd gathered there.. I could see it was set up for a photo shoot. then we passed by and I saw that it was the Olsen twins. that was kinda weird. boy are they skinny.



also in Paris we ran into some friends from PHX. that was really weird. had no idea they were there, we just saw them walking down the street. that may have been the weirdest thing ever.

TomAz
08-07-2007, 08:23 AM
Hey Tom, while in Paris, did you make the trip up to Montmartre to see the Dali Museum? It's always one of my favorite things about Paris. That and taking boat rides all along La Seine.

We went to Montmartre but didn't go to the Dali museum. Montmartre is so cool though.

bartelby
08-07-2007, 08:27 AM
I loved Venice, it was my favorite of the whole trip. I had heard that it was dirty and smelly but did not find it that way in the least. I was surprised. maybe they've been trying to clean the place up? I dunno.

Good to hear - it is too beautiful and unique of a place to let slip...

amyzzz
08-07-2007, 08:27 AM
I just realized Tom actually mentioned his wife in this thread. I have never ever seen him do that before.

disgustipated
08-07-2007, 08:28 AM
also in Paris we ran into some friends from PHX. that was really weird. had no idea they were there, we just saw them walking down the street. that may have been the weirdest thing ever.

that would be very weird indeed.

kimery08
08-07-2007, 08:41 AM
i love your vacation.

CuervoPH
08-07-2007, 08:49 AM
Thank you for the report and the pictures. You've definitely convinced me that the one night I spent in Paris wasn't enough. I'm jealous of everything except the luggage troubles and sorry you missed the Uffizzi. Have you been there before?

As much as I want to see some of the other places you mentioned, at this point I want to get back to Florence more than anything. That is what I'm shooting for next Summer.

Tylerdurden31
08-07-2007, 08:52 AM
If he was inside it, how could he take a picture of it?

you've won this round Hannah....but it's not over by a long shot!!

JustSteve
08-07-2007, 09:28 AM
also in Paris we ran into some friends from PHX. that was really weird. had no idea they were there, we just saw them walking down the street. that may have been the weirdest thing ever.

i had an experience like that while backpacking through europe for 3 months back in '02. i was on a river cruise on the danube in budapest and heard a couple mention living in lake forest here in cali. i live in newport so i struck up a conversation with them, turns out they are neighbors of a good friend of mine. random.

JustSteve
08-07-2007, 09:30 AM
Good to hear - it is too beautiful and unique of a place to let slip...

i stopped by there and ended up staying about 36 hours during a trip to europe, that was all that was really needed to take in the city. i wish i would have spent some time on a couple of the other islands in the area, but venice was pretty expensive.

fatbastard
08-07-2007, 09:31 AM
What did you eat Tom?

mob roulette
08-07-2007, 09:32 AM
Hey Tom. Welcome back. So hey, did they seem to make a big deal over the new Harry Potter book over there? Or are they sick of the whole thing already? I am wondering if this is purely an American phenomenon at this point. Thanks.

TomAz
08-07-2007, 09:44 AM
in London they have Potter fever as bad if not worse than here. lots of the buses had ads for the movie. the book was everywhere. Interestinly the cover art in europe is different than in the US, Harry looks more macho and less of a wimp over there.

in Paris at the airport a German girl saw my older daughter reading book 7 and approached her and they started talking about all things Potter. the girl said she couldn't wait til book 7 came out in German translation.

and I saw the book for sale -- in English -- all over Italy.

so yeah I think it's pretty popular there.

disgustipated
08-07-2007, 09:46 AM
Eat any off-the-wall foods? ala Anthony Bordain.

TomAz
08-07-2007, 09:56 AM
What did you eat Tom?


Eat any off-the-wall foods? ala Anthony Bordain.

nothing terribly bizarre, no. Moules frites in Paris. grilled sardines in venice. Pasta in squid ink also in venice.

miscorrections
08-07-2007, 12:18 PM
i've done the squid ink pasta in venice too, thought overall it was a letdown as far as interesting foods go. how did you feel about it?

chairmenmeow47
08-07-2007, 12:23 PM
looks beautiful! i'm so jealous!

and it's weird running into people you know in places you wouldn't expect. i'm facinated with stories like that. in fact, i'm starting a thread about it...

mob roulette
08-07-2007, 12:34 PM
I missed Tom very much. I am not ashamed to say that. Also, I wish Jack and York would post more too. We are sorely lacking in dynamic, relevant political/sociological discussions lately.

disgustipated
08-07-2007, 12:36 PM
I think york is busy on the ACL board..at least I see him often.

TomAz
08-07-2007, 01:25 PM
i've done the squid ink pasta in venice too, thought overall it was a letdown as far as interesting foods go. how did you feel about it?

it was ok. nothing special.

captncrzy
08-07-2007, 02:28 PM
Tom check your PM

crazzz2007
08-07-2007, 02:39 PM
I went to the Sistine Chapel, I think that qualifies as good art. Also the Musee Rodin in Paris (pic #4 above) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (last pic).

did you go to Musee d'Orsay?? it is amazing.

TomAz
08-07-2007, 02:52 PM
I did not go to the Musee d'Orsay. Three times in Paris now, all three times intending to go, and I've not made it. We were going to go our last day, this past trip, and in fact had gotten within a block of it when we decided to have lunch and watch the end of the Tour de France instead.

I will admit now to a bit of heresy, though: other than Van Gogh, I'm not big on impressionism. Cezanne, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas.. meh. Dunno why, well yes I guess I do, but I much prefer stuff that came before or after.

marooko
08-07-2007, 03:47 PM
hope you had a good time Tom. your pictures seem to hint that you have a pretty awesome camera and a good eye for pictures.

didnt read this entire thread so sorry if im asking what was already asked but, did you go to or have you ever been to ireland?

TomAz
08-21-2007, 07:02 AM
Lost Luggage story: condensed version

...

The other three bags are still missing. US Air still doesn't know where they are. Time to treat them as gone for good and file a claim for compensation.

Update for those curious, or who like train wrecks..

as noted in the original post, Bag #1 showed up the day after we got home. Aug 6.

Bag #2 (mine) showed up later that same week, Aug 10. All they did was call me and say "we have your bag, where should it be delivered".

Bag #3 (older daughter's) showed up the following week, on Aug 15.

and I just now got a call from baggage handling at Charles de Gaulle in Paris, saying they have Bag #4 (younger daughter's) and will send it over tonight.

meanwhile I have filed a claim with US Air for over $2000 in expenses incurred because of the lost bags (not the bags themselves). We'll see how that goes. They did send us some travel vouchers, give them that.

Courtney
08-21-2007, 07:09 AM
:(

I read this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/travel/19pracbags.html?ex=1345089600&en=30712cc870dd8f52&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink) in last weekend's Sunday Times and thought of your situation.

TomAz
08-21-2007, 07:14 AM
Yeah, that article certainly rings true for me.

also, marookoo, I have never been to Ireland, but it is 'on the list'.

My camera is nothing fancy, it's just this:
http://www.ishoppe.com.au/store/images/specs/dsc/a620/a620-front.jpg

marooko
08-21-2007, 07:32 AM
Yeah, that article certainly rings true for me.

also, marookoo, I have never been to Ireland, but it is 'on the list'.

My camera is nothing fancy, it's just this:
http://www.ishoppe.com.au/store/images/specs/dsc/a620/a620-front.jpg

well its nicer than mine and you have a good eye for photos and/or your wife does.

i think we're gonna try to go to ireland in 08'. then im going with my dad to ecuador in 09'. we're, talking about it but it depends on whether or not we move. might be 09' and 10' respectively if we move.

Stefinitely Maybe
08-21-2007, 07:34 AM
Nice pics and story Tom - I hope you enjoyed London.

Harry Potter is huge here yeah.

It's funny you call Primark "crappy"; check this out: http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2050989,00.html (http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2050989,00.html)

I lost my bags when I flew to LA a couple of years ago, cause of a tight connection in Atlanta. Luckily I only had to wait 48 hours to have them delivered to me, but it still sucked not having my own clothes or toiletries for two days.

TomAz
08-21-2007, 07:36 AM
Nice pics and story Tom - I hope you enjoyed London.

Harry Potter is huge here yeah.

It's funny you call Primark "crappy"; check this out: http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2050989,00.html (http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2050989,00.html)

I lost my bags when I flew to LA a couple of years ago, cause of a tight connection in Atlanta. Luckily I only had to wait 48 hours to have them delivered to me, but it still sucked not having my own clothes or toiletries for two days.

Yes, that's the Primark we were in. The paper sacks, while perhaps environmentally friendly, do not fare well in the rain. I know this from personal experience. Fortunately, Selfridge's is just down the street.

atom heart
08-21-2007, 07:46 AM
According to an eerily specific marketing analysis of people that have my last name I would shop at Sainsburys. Though that's just a grocery store.