Final Blog From Italia

October 23, 2013

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Milan, where the sky is normally foggy and overcast, greeted us with clean air and sunshine. About 10 days a year you can see the alps that surround the north of Milan and today was one of those days.

The train trip from Venice to Milan was a little bit of fun. First the station staff refused to help get Beth on board because we didn’t give them 24 hours notice. So Lyndal had a little bit to say to them. According to Lyndal, her language was appropriate. When the train inspector rang them to find out what happened, the staff suggested that Lyndal had told them to “go forth and do things” so they refused to help. Now I know Lyndal’s Italian needs a lot of work and I don’t think she even knows any Italian swear words!

So after lifting Beth and wheelchair up the three stairs into the train, we eventually settled down for the ride. It was my birthday and I was given some Kit Kats so we shared them out. Unfortunately, Beth’s piece decided to go straight down and choked her. After much spluttering and back slapping all was well and we settled down for the journey. Jack fell asleep and about half an hour out of Milan woke up and loudly announced – “I have no food!”

So to Milan and back to our home at The Hub Hotel. The kids and I went swimming whilst the others packed, repacked, worried about weight, repacked …   The pool and spa were great and I figured we could pack tomorrow! In the lobby of the hotel was this English guy we met 2 weeks ago. His name is Jay and he is a manager with an oil company working on a project in Italy. 2 weeks ago he went to the doctor and ended up in hospital with pneumonia and only just got out. We celebrated our last night of the trip with mocktails (and real ones) and my birthday with limoncello. Den Den, Illaria, Sylvia and Dario (from Atlha) and Jay joined us for dinner and drinks and a massive and very noisy game of spoons. It was a fun night for the last night before the big trip home.

Up early and off to the airport for that long haul. Watched 4 movies to Singapore and mostly slept from Singapore to Melbourne – sort of sleep anyway. Home sweet home – unfortunately Jack and I had these replica musket pistols seized by customs and we were very late coming out.

So another trip down and I’d like to say thank-you to my travelling family. It felt like our group was just that, a big family – everyone got on well (most of the time) and just joined in the spirit of whatever was happening. Not keen on the 3 wives though – one is more than enough! So to Campbell, Isaac, Ebony, Bethany, Katie, Jack, Alanna, Lyndal, Shelley and Kimberley thanks for making the trip a lot of fun and embracing the experience for what it is. Thanks to Bailey House – you were great travelling companions and thanks to Altha for the amazing hospitality and spoiling us for the trip.

Special mention to Katie, whose commitment and hard work in recording and digitalising the trip was appreciated by so many people.

Bye til next time.

Fred Brumhead

to read all Fred’s and Katie’s blogs from the trip go to

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