Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hidden Treasures: Avanti

I'm naturally drawn to films that feature Italy, but I stumbled on the 1972 "Avanti" entirely by accident. In this delightful Billy Wilder farce, Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills are thrown in unusual circumstances when they travel to Ischia to claim their parents' remains. While Walter Armbruster (Lemmon) can't quite imagine that his father had the kind of adventures in Italy that he never had at home, Pamela (Mills) is ready to embrace the spirit of the South in every aspect.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When It Comes to Travel, No Excuse Is Too Small

I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that traveled. So that my dad could work on his German and Spanish, we spent summers in Europe, Mexico, and even South America. I can still remember when we flew to London. It was my first big trip, and I was excited to see Big Ben from the airplane. When we finally reached our hotel, I was quite disappointed when Mom wanted to take a nap instead of exploring the city right away! This is me outside Buckingham Palace quite a few years later.

To this day I spend most of my free time traveling. (Being a teacher helps a lot.) When I'm not actually on the road, I'm usually planning a trip or preparing for one. For my blog I'll add any useful advice or tidbits that I come across.

My most useful advice for this month is to pay attention to Rick Steves and his website, ricksteves.com. Rick has spent lots of summers traveling through Europe and has really good advice about it. His guide books offer updated information, his shows air on PBS, and he even has a splendid line of luggage. I just ordered the tote bag and backpack in "merlot." They're strong bags that are lightweight--perfect for someone who doesn't want to be weighted down.

For lots of travel pictures as well as information on my other projects, please visit my regular website at http://www.dr-ransdell.com/.

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