Saturday, May 31, 2014

An Easy Week

Other than a hair appointment late afternoon on Wednesday, I had free time Tuesday AND Wednesday.   I cleaned out some drawers, tried on all my jeans and slacks and threw some of them out, paid the bills, did the laundry, checked on baggage sizes and fees on KLM in preparation for our August trip,  etc.  

 I was hosting Shanghai on Thursday so I prepared my tables and made key lime tartletts for dessert.  A few flicks of the Swiffer, some vacuuming and I was ready.  My new motto is "A woman with a spotless house has a cleaning lady or too much time on her hands."  Right now I have neither.

I had absolutely lousy cards, didn't see a wild card until hand 5 and didn't get down 3 times.  Needless to say, I lost.  And this group is high stakes - five bucks!

We had leftover tortellini soup so dinner was not any work.  It was great waking up Friday with so many projects done, laundry done, house clean and we were going out for dinner!  We had changed our tickets for Gypsy and were having dinner before at our favorite Italian place not far from the theater.  Four couples met and we had to wait a bit for a table but we were finished in time with no hurrying.  Everyone must have been very hungry and really liked the food because I saw few leftovers on any of the plates.

Gypsy was great.  The gal playing Rose had a big, booming voice and did a superb job.  The sequence where the strippers are instructing Louise in "you gotta have a gimmick" was hilarious!  I think our whole group really enjoyed the production.  We have July tickets for Greater Tuna that I will give to Gerre and she can invite someone while we are gone.

Today is a baby shower for the daughter-in-law of my friend.  Five of us will ride together to the other side of town for the afternoon festivities.  That means no church tonight so we will go in the morning.  

I am trying to wrap up loose ends before we leave.  With three trips in such quick succession, a little groundwork is in order.  For our first trip, we have to be prepared with our punch list for the trailer, have our clothes ready for the wedding and plan our route.  We have several places to go while there and the six weeks will pass quickly.

We will be home about two weeks before each of us pack 16 days of clothes into a suitcase and carry-on.  Passports have been renewed, we need proof of $40,000 in medical insurance besides Medicare (which doesn't pay overseas) to enter the Czeck Republic, etc.  The hard part is that the euro is not used in the six countries we are going to, each has its own currency.  Figuring values and not getting cheated changing money takes some doing.  I also have to notify all our credit card companies.

When we return we have three weeks before we fly to Los Angeles to board a Norwegian cruise ship for another 16 days to visit another four countries.  They probably all have their own money too!  At least I am familiar with pesos.  I will investigate Costa Rica, Columbia and Panama to see what their currency is.  So much info to gather.

 I wanted to mention how much we enjoyed Monument Men when we watched it this week.  We knew it was about finding and returning lost art from WWII.  Imagine our interest when we learned the two main focuses were the Altarpiece at Ghent and the Michaelangelo sculpture of Madonna and Child.  We have seen both!   I don't recall being told they were stolen and returned.  

I knew one panel of the alterpiece had been destroyed and replaced but that apparently had nothing to do with it being stolen.  I kept expecting them not to have the last panel.  When they found it all, I googled it and put together what I knew previously and then had just learned.

We did know the sculpture was the only one done by Michaelangelo residing outside Italy.  It is in Bruegge, Belgium.  The Italians tried to get it returned but the paperwork of its purchase was still in the city archives.  I don't recall them mentioning it being stolen and returned during the war.  Of course the movie had scenes in Paris too where we were two years ago and loved it.

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