Rare Disease Day February 28th 2017

This post is not about our travels, it’s about Rare Disease Day.  Every where world-wide February 28th is for bringing recognition to Rare Diseases.  I know I am early with this post but I thought I would get this out there now.

I am the baby of the family the 4th child.  So as the gene malformation was with me my sisters and brother will not have this disease.

I have 2 rare disease and will give you a bit of an insight into these two.  The first is Tuberous Sclerosis. I had no idea I had this disease until the birth of my second child.  She was diagnosed first when she was about 9-12 months old.  When I went back to my Kidney specialist when she was 1 and I told him about her diagnosis he advised me that’s what I had also.  When I was pregnant with her, they discovered I had very large kidneys and I had a biopsy at 3 months to rule out cancer.  Lucky for me it wasn’t cancer so I didn’t have to think about what I would have to do with my unborn child. No idea why they didn’t discover the large kidneys when i was pregnant with my first child.  The reason they are large as they are riddled with Angiomyolipomas – AML’s.  Bit like those sponges with the holes.  All those holes are my aml’s.  A lot of people have them removed, however as I have lots they are unable to do this.

I have yearly blood tests and scans to ensure my kidneys are functioning at the right levels.

So hopefully by now you are asking so what is this disease called Tuberous Sclerosis.  It affects everyone so differently.  I have Angiomyolipomas (AMLs) on my kidneys and liver. I have a heart murmur. Although not every doctor has been able to “hear” it.  I have all the skin signs and symptoms.

Hypomelanotic macules (White spots) – These are more obvious when I tan.  I have one “white leg” and one brown leg.

Facial Angiofibromas – When i was 6 I had several removed from my face.  If you look very closely you can still the scars.  They thought back then it was cancer.  I have no recollection  of the actual operation but do remember showing off my scars as a child. I also have them on my nose and chin.  However, there is a new cream that is working wonders with the red raised bumps.

Shagreen Patch – I always told others that this was my birth mark!

Nail Lesions – my fingers and toes are riddled with these.

I have a few lesions on the back of my eyes.  They don’t seem to have any affect on my eyesight.  I do wear glasses, however I think that might be an age thing. my youngest has been affected more than me.  She is intellectually disabled, has seizures , has autism, and now lives in a wonderful group home.

Here is a link to find out more about Tuberous Sclerosis.

https://tsa.org.au/information/

4 years ago a friend who was trying to find out what was going on with her lungs, suggested I should have a high frequency ct scan.  One of the conditions that she found was linked with Tuberous Sclerosis.  I went to my doctor and asked for this scan, thinking the whole time I don’t have this disease and wouldn’t someone have checked me anyway.  Seeing I have TS!   Went into my drs office and was shocked to hear him say you have Lymphangioleiomyomatosis or Lam for short.

What is Lam you ask?  Here is the link to the Australian Lam organisation.

http://lamaustralia.org.au/what-is-lam/

 

I started getting “asthma” when my girls were little.  Initially diagnosed with bronchitis, and was given a”puffer” when it was bad.  I would have a year where I would be really sick with chest infections and that would then go into pneumonia. Then I would have a few years where I would be ok.  Finally a few years ago a doctor advised that I indeed had asthma and would have to ensure I took a preventative every morning, and have on hand my puffers for when it got bad.  I will be honest I was a bit slack in all of this.

Since my diagnoses I take my preventative every morning.  2 years ago I was so sick with chest infections and again it developed into pneumonia my dr was going to admit me into hospital for IV treatment with antibiotics.  I see a Lam lung clinic at our Alfred Hospital twice a year and I had an appointment while I was taking the antiobiotics.  She was wonderful and put me on steroids and stronger antibiotics.  This helped kick it out of my system.  The specialist also emailed my dr to advise that if I ever have a chest infection again that I have to be treated as if I have pneumonia straight away.  I have antibiotics and steroids on hand just in case.  Two weeks ago, probably a weather induced asthma, I was pretty bad so I went onto the steriods to help with my breathing.

At the Lam clinic, I have my lungs tested, usually a blood test to see how much oxygen  is pulsating through my blood.

When I travel, I always ensure I have steroids and antibiotics with me.  Plus several puffers, better to be safe than sorry.

 

I am very lucky with both my rare diseases, that both are mild.  Some ladies that have Lam have to have a transplant and some don’t even get that chance.  It affects women in their child-bearing years, yet its often not diagnosed until we are in our 40’s and 50’s.  I have the  TS/Lam and there is also Sporadic Lam.  Mine is heredity so I am getting my daughter with TS checked for Lam.  Sporadic Lam is not inherited and often progresses rapidly to the point of either death or a transplant.

Thanks for reading this post today.  I hope you have learnt just a little bit about these 2 rare diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

Whats in the suitcase?

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Hello everyone, hope your well today.  It’s a bit warm here in Australia, we are expecting 41 deg cel today, so I am already under the air-conditioner . Turned it on at 8am!

I forgot to mention that I also had in my backpack a hooded raincoat, that I had folded neatly at the bottom of the main part of my backpack.

 

Now to the suitcase!

I had changed my diet to help my auto immune conditions and I had gone down a couple of dress sizes.  So I had to go shopping for new clothes.  I normally hate shopping, it fills me with dread.  I did a lot of research into what others had found worked best while traveling.

So I started the shopping at the end of summer sales.  I purchased some nice black culottes x 2 for a bargain of $10 each.  A couple of lovely tops, also only $10.  Bargains!  I thought these would be good for the evening on the cruise.  A nice pair of sandals, black pants and top and a scarf.  These worked really well.  They rolled well also.  Once on the ship I hung everything up in the wardrobe.

What was I going to wear during the day on the tours and busses.  I am not a “dress” person.  Paula loves skirts and that’s what she had.  Easy care clothes are the best! Both Muriel and Paula had easy care.  I had to get mine.

I found a blogger that traveled with bamboo clothes, so I did some more research and found a store in Albury New South Wales, the Ecco Store.  They had a lot of clothes that were 90% bamboo.   So I purchased 4 t/shirts, Red, Pink, Black and White and 3 pairs of their bamboo beach pants in black, navy blue and latte (love coffee haha) I also bought a pair of the shorts and took them, but never wore them.

It said on the website that they were antibacterial and easy care!Great for travelling!
No need to iron!

What  excited me was the claim “no need to iron”.  I hate ironing with a passion and if I can find easy care clothes I’m there!  On the cruise if we wanted anything ironed then we had to send to the laundry.

The pants and tops were amazing.  Even on hot days they kept me cool.  Since then I have worn them on cold days and yes they keep you warm as well.  Very impressed!  So comfortable, I have to look down to make sure I have them on. lol

I had several scarfs, they take up very little room and can make an outfit dressy or casual. Plus, if you spill food it 99% falls onto the scarf.  Easy to wash, easy to dry! They are great to wrap over the shoulders if it’s a bit cool.  For the times it might rain, drape over the hair!  Love scarfs. Oh and they are small so you can fold neatly into your bag.  Versatile!

I also took a couple of cardigans, one blue and one white.  Next trip I will just take one as most of the time in the evening we are on board the cruise ship and it’s not needed.

I did throw in at the last-minute a couple of other tops for either evening or day, however even though I wore them they were really not needed.

I also had a microfiber towel, purchased from Katmandu Stores here in Australia. Bargain, it’s normally $30, I got it for $15.

A pair of pink converse for the day for the rain days or the days where there is lots of walking.  Pair of sandals for the hot days and no rain.  1 pair of dress thongs for the evenings.  I did buy a pair of sketches for the plane but I didn’t like them and wont take them again. Actually the new puppy has made sure I wont be lol.

I also packed a cross body bag.  I had read enough to know that in some areas its wise to keep your bag close to you and a backpack just doesn’t allow this. I put my makeup in the bag and filled it with socks and undies.

I weighed the suitcase it was around 11 kg.  Coming home it was about 16 kilos .  We are only allowed 20 kilos on the cruise. Although the plane we were allowed 35 kg.

Oh a pair of summer  pyjamas.  I also took shampoo and conditioner and body wash in small containers.  A bar of soap to wash the clothes.

Breakdown is a bit like this.

3 x T-shirts – bamboo  (1 was in the backpack for emergency)

3 x trousers – bamboo beach pants

1 x bamboo shorts (not worn)

2 x cullotes

2 x dressy tops

1 pair of pink converse low tops

1 pair of sandals – Tao Brand

1 pair of dressy thongs

1 pair of summer pj’s

4 pairs of socks

Several pairs of underwear and bras.

1 cross body bag. – this was big enough to put my camera, lens, phone, extra camera battery and chip, wallet and numerous other things us women tend to carry around. Plus my puffer and some pain killers.

Several scarfs all different colours and styles

Makeup bag – Lipstick, face powder, extra hand cream.

3 extra summer tops (not needed)

2 cardigans – 1 white and 1 blue

1  lacy black long sleeve blouse –

1 microfiber towel – large

1 pair of bathers

 

Im pretty sure thats it.

Next trip will be less.

Coming soon some hints and tips.

Those that travel, what do you take.   What are you must have’s?  

Just for a bit of information it reached 41 deg celcius  here where I live. Tomorrow will be the same.  Good on ya summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Packing my back pack!

Packing my back pack was so much harder than the suitcase.  I had my passport and travel papers in the nice wallet the Tour Company sent.  A small clear zip lock bag with my moisturizer and lip balm, and I also had some face wipes.

My phone and its charger.,  travel plug, the charger for my camera.  The camera I kept in its camera case for the flight.  Backpack on back and camera bag over the shoulder.

One tip was to pack a change of underwear in case of delays.  I had undies and a clean top which I packed in a zip lock bag. Zip lock bags are the best!  This came in handy on the return journey in Singapore when the flight was delayed for hours.

I had a couple of magazines to read on the bus to the airport. 2.5 hours is a long time to be glancing out the window and the seats are too uncomfortable on the bus to have a sleep. Plus I caught that bus before 7am in the dark.  So at least an hour of staring out into the darkness.

Bottle of water until I went through customs.

All of that doesnt sound too bad does it? Wait for it, there’s more to come!

 

Then I had my medications for all my chronic illness’.  The zip lock bag for them was  huge.

Paula had her medications as well as some anti diarrhea medication.  Which came in handy on our last morning in Paris.

Those of you have chronic health conditions would totally understand why most of my bag was filled with my precious drugs.

My normal everyday medication – Thyroid medication for my Hashimoto Thyroid disease  blood pressure medication, pain medication for Rheumatoid arthritis and Fibromyalgia.   medication for my Meniers disease.  I take two types over the counter and prescribed pain medication. Then as I have a lung condition my dr organized prescriptions to be made up a week before flying.  These included:

Antibiotics x 3 – just in case of getting sick with a lung infection

Prednisolonen – in case my asthma is really bad

Valium – I suffer with anxiety and flying makes it so much worse.  It also affects my breathing and my asthma can flare.

Disprin – disovable aspirin in case I get my headaches.  (My neurologist said this was the best thing to stop a headache in its tracks.

Paula had the gastro stop and the one to help you go.  (we used the gastro stop on our last morning in Paris after the rich food we ate.

So by the time I put all of this in the backpack it was full!  It wasnt a huge backpac I might add  just one of those that tour companies give you.

 

The Longest Flight Home

During the night both Paula and I started feeling sick, in truth we both were feeling crap not long after dinner.  We thought it could have been the wine.  House wine can be like that sometimes.  Then it started.  The pains, the frequent trips to the bathroom.  Lucky Paula had some over the counter meds to help with this.  Little sleep, taking it in turns running to the bathroom.  In the morning, we rang Muriel room and asked her how she was.  The only thing the 3 of us had in common was the wine.  Muriel was ok.  So what did we have in common then.  The Bone Marrow!  Argh! how could something so good be so bad for you?  Too much perhaps we should have shared and not been piggies.

When was this medication going to stop the frequent trips to the bathroom?  We had a long flight ahead. 3 hours wait at Charles De Gaulle airport.   12-15 hours to Singapore, couple of hours layover, then I would have about 8 hours to Melbourne and Paula and Muriel would have roughly 3-4.  I was staying overnight in Melbourne as I live in the country and my flight wasn’t due to land until 8pm.  Last train home leaves at 6.22pm.

We had packed the night before, so we could lay in bed a bit longer.  Shower, then down to breakfast.  All that food and I couldn’t face any of it.  Nice cup of peppermint tea, pot actually.  Hope that helps the stomach.  Muriel was ok, so she ate some food.

At 8am we were called, our taxi was here to take us to the airport.  Paula and I just wanted to go back to bed.  I think the medication was starting to work.  Our tummies were still jiggling and making noises, but the frequent trips to the bathroom was beginning to slow down.

Arrive at the airport,  I am sorry to say I do not find it a very useable and friendly airport.  It felt like a prison, it looked all grey and ugly.  Lets hope its better inside.

Lining up to check in was crazy.  There was a huge group of travelers who were heading back to Singapore.  They thought it was ok to wander off and just leave all their suitcases in the line.  Luckey one of the ladies checking everyone in saw this and waved though of us who were behind the large line up of trolleys, cases, young children and elderly relatives.  Yes they left them so the “adults ” could wander.  No photos as I was feeling crook still.

Finally our bags are checked in.  Paula had to unpack her bag and take out her broken i pad and have it in her cabin baggage.  So we went to find our way to get through passport check in.  The walking elevators are crazy, and up and down you go.  Up so high and a bit scary. Had I been feeling a little less seedy I would have filmed it.

Then we finally get to where we line up to check in for passports etc.  The line up was long, it seemed there was no air-conditioning in the place.  Hot, standing in lines that seemed to not move.  Reason why?  Only one person was on the passport stand.  Two lines, ours wasnt moving, the other line priority   I think.  Not sure.  I think it felt like hours standing in that line up.  It could have been because we were not well, dehydrated.  No use having a bottle of water on us as it would be taken off us through the check in.  Had we known it was going to take so long we could have finished it before the check in.

Then the line up began to move – the other 3 windows were now working.  Checking through was easy, then the bag check, easy.  Once through, we saw that the cafes were not open yet.  So found some seats, plugged in the phone and did a bit of Facebook. Once the shop opened, we went and got coffee/tea and something light to eat.  Paula and I were starting to feel a bit more human and hungry.

Our flight was called and we decided to wait to board, no use standing in another line that wasn’t moving.  A quick trip to the bathroom for each of us.

Once on board, we settled in for the long trip to Singapore.  Muriel by the window, Paula in the middle and I was on the aisle.  We were looking forward to a meal on the flight and lots of water , movies and sleep.  The flight attendants went through the safety briefing and the captain told us it should be a fairly good flight to Singapore.

The plane begins to taxi along to where it would take off.  As it was a jumbo that took a while.  Then it just sat, we waited for take off.  Nothing.  Finally the captain spoke said there was a problem with the steering and we would be heading back to the gate so it could be fixed. He said they were just waiting for the tow truck.  An hour went by, then he comes on the speaker and announces that the first tow truck had broken down and they were waiting for another tow truck.  Oh my goodness , really!  However, we were pleased the steering issue had been picked up before we were in the air.

Finally we are towed back to the gate.  We were told we had to stay in our seats, however the flight attendants would be able to bring us some food and water.  Food???  Salty Peanuts, yes you heard, Peanuts, most airlines have banned peanuts due to the allergy reactions.  I have an allergy to them so I asked for something else.  They brought salty chips.  A small cup of water was provided.  We ate those chips and nuts and sculled our water, all 3 of us.  I actually got two packets of chips, my sisters only received 1 small packet of nuts each.  If i remember I think I shared mine 🙂  Then they began bringing the sandwiches etc.  I am also gluten-free, so none of those were any good for me.  After 3 hours, we were finally told we could get up from our seats and go to the toilets.  Long line ups again.  The flight attendants seemed to disappear.  I think they went into their sleeping cabins underneath us.  Perhaps in case the passengers revolted!  The toilets were a bit scary by now.  They never went in and cleaned them.  It was like they only know how to look after us when we are in the air.  When the plane is sitting on the tarmac, they seemed to have no service skills. People were going down to their food area and getting snacks etc. This was evident when we were finally in the air, as the person in front of us was vegetarian and they had handed out those meals to anyone.  So he had nothing to eat.

We heard from the captain again after 3 hours, that they had to get a part for the steering and fix that and once that was done we could depart.  After nearly 6 hours on the tarmac, he finally advised that we would be leaving.  By that time we knew we had already missed our connecting flights. We would worry about that once we arrived in Singapore.

After an hour in the air, the flight attendants came around with the food.  I am fish free as well and they knew this long before I even left Australia.  The meal was placed in front of me with the sticker fish free food.  Someone got it wrong.  Staring at me was an ugly piece of salmon for the entrée!  By this time I was fed up, I was tired, dehydrated, in the 6 hours we were only supplied with 2 small cups of water!  I yelled, yes I did the unthinkable of yelling on a plane.  They came back, as I had a special meal mine was handed out first.  They removed the plate offending salmon.  The heated meal well it was disgusting, overheated.  yes they would have started heating up the food before we had even taken off.  Even my sisters meal was disgusting.  We asked for more water and finally was given some more.  All snacks had been eaten  in the 6 hours on the tarmac so food was scarce. I had taken some of my medication that would help me sleep, so was hoping that a boring movie and the pills I could sleep the rest of the way to Singapore!

The captain’s voice booms over the speakers, “Due to our delay in Paris, and occupational health and safety, the flight attendants have gone over their 20 hours they are allowed so we will be making a quick stop in Kuala Lumpur!  We were what the heck.  I think a few swear words were said. What they couldn’t go the extra 1.5 hours to  Singapore.  It’s not like they did anything on this flight.  We had to practically beg to get a cup of water.

So we land in Kuala Lumpur.  We wondered how long this will take.  The captain said quick stop. New attendants boarded, the others left the flight.  1.5 hours later, we finally take off.  New crew just sat in the seats and did nothing.

Finally we land in Singapore.  We were guided to a desk where we were given taxi vouchers and new flight details.  Yes we had missed our connections to Melbourne and Perth. We were given details of a hotel where we could have a shower and a meal.  So the 3 of us head out to the taxi rank and get in a taxi.  Our hotel was at least 30 mins away.  We were given a room then told the kitchen closes at 4, so to eat a meal we needed to head to the restaurant.

As the hotel was 30 mins away from the airport, that left Paula and Muriel only 1.5 hours and some of that time was in the restaurant.

Over a meal we sat at a table with 2 others who were on our flight.  My sisters would be going back to Changi Airport long before me. So the girls said I could share the taxi back with them.

A few hugs and goodbyes to my sisters, they were on their way back to the airport.

A quick shower, always pays to have a change of underwear in the cabin bag.  I laid on the bed with my feet on the pillows.  Sitting for so long with no water or 3 cups of water in the whole time  my feet had blown up.

I think I even managed to sleep.

At 6pm I met the girls in the foyer of the hotel while we waited for a taxi to take us back to the airport. A nice cup of tea, which the girls bought for me.  Finally our flight was called.  We all hoped that our flight  home would be smooth sailing.

Boarded the flight and found I was sitting in the middle seat. The lady  on the aisle said her flight had been delayed from Heathrow England.  Technical  issues also. Her feet were also blown up like balloons.  We had a laugh a good chat a lovely meal and watched some movies.

My flight was originally to have arrived in Melbourne at 8pm on the Thursday night.  After all the delays and horror service I arrived at 7.30 am.  Going through customs was easy and quick.  Walked out got my bag, on the bus to the city.  My hotel was opposite where the busses come in from the airport.

My checkout was supposed to be 11 am, but a friend had called  the day before and explained about the delay so they had given me till noon.

Up to my room, quick shower a cuppa, and a few social media tweets to let everyone know I was safe.  Had a sleep.  Then went out had something to eat, got my ticket for my train trip home.

By 4pm I was home and by 4.30 in bed.

Bit sad to end a holiday, a fantastic holiday with a horror flight.

*we have sent letters of complaint to the airline but nothing has come of it.*  Our next trip will be with another  airline .

At no time were we upset with the delay due to the problem with the steering, however the service with the flight attendants and the extra delay in having to stop in Kuala Lumpur were the issues.”

 

Next post will be some hints and tips with what worked for us.

 

Last Night in Paris

 

Before we left to visit Parc Monceau, we had spoken with the desk at the hotel for suggestions on somewhere to eat.  They suggested La Mascotte and said it wasnt too far from the Parc.  They showed us on the map how to get there.  So once we left the Parc we made our way to the restaurant.  As we walked up the street this photo below shows what we could see.

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Arc De Triomphe

It was less than 5 minutes away from our Hotel!  All that time we had been going right and right ( which now is wrong) which would take 10-15 minutes to get to the Champs-Élysées  and this was right around the corner so to speak!

So anyone reading this if you get up to the Arc De Triomphe you can visit the Parc Monceau also.  Wow what a treat!

As we wandered up the street we passed an Embassy and this was parked out the front.

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Red Car!

 

I had to take a picture of the Red Car!

We found the street the restaurant was in so of course we turned left.  Walked up a bit and there was nothing, no bistro’s or restaurants or cafes.  So we turned around and went back up the street.

 

As we walked up the street, Paula shrieked “there is my tea shop”.  It was closed, it was probably closer to 8pm.  Typical we find the tea shop right around from the Hotel.  You say we could have used google!  Paula’s I pad wasn’t working, Muriels internet hadnt worked the whole time we were away and I just didnt think of it.  Thats the brain fog settling in.

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Mariage Frères

I also had to take a picture of the shop just to prove we at least found it!  260 Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Paris 8e   If anyone is interested.

There were so many bistro’s and Restaurants in this part of the street.  Indian, Italian, French you name it was covered.  We walked along a little bit and found two Bistros right next to each other. One was La Mascotte   La Mascotte – at 270 Rue du Faulbourg Saint-Honore 8E.  We thought we better go in as the desk clerk had made the trouble of booking our table.

The waiter was very pleasant, the prices were not like they are on the Champs Elyses.  It wasnt cheap, but the prices were not inflated for the tourists.  We found out a few things on our last day.  In Paris/France and probably Europe, they serve you wine by the glass, the bottle or “une carafe”   Our waiter finally explained what no one had before.  So we ordered a “une carafe” I think it was enough for 2 glasses each for Paula and I, or half glasses and a wee bit for Muriel to toast our last night in Paris.

On the menu I can only remember what we had for entrée, Paula and I ordered Cooked marrow bones.  Muriel may remember what she had, but for the life of me I can not remember. Out it came, 3 very large marrow bones each!  Had we asked we could have got away with 1 between the 2 of us.

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Yummy Marrow Bones

Like little pigs we ate the lot.  Had I have been at home I would have just picked them up and sucked the marrow out.

Then we had our mains.  Paula had fish, Muriel had steak and I had a burger, which all came with chips.  I didn’t eat my bun, and it was a minced burger, and cooked rare. It was delicious.

Muriel then had dessert. I know because I have a photo of it!  It was pink and looked very cold 🙂

We finished our wine, it was nothing to rave about.  Paid our bill and decided that we  would walk  further down the street a bit more , then we crossed over and walked back up the street.   None of   us wanted to get back to the hotel as it meant our time in Paris and Europe would be over.

This is when we saw the sad part of Paris.  In many doorways there were the homeless setting up their beds to sleep until the morning.  Its happening all over the world, walk around Melbourne or visit Central Railway Station in Sydney and there are the homeless.

I lost count of the times we kept saying why didn’t we just come this way when we first arrived in Paris.  It actually was lucky for us with the shops being closed, we would probably been over the limit in our bags for the trip home!  So we window shopped.  Much cheaper.

I love the flower stalls everywhere in Paris, just so beautiful.  This was one on our way back to our Hotel.

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Florist

We made our way back to the hotel past the Embassy, and turned right on the opposite side of the Parc Monceau.  It was getting dark and as I turned to take another picture I saw this.  I then crossed the street and took some more pictures up close.

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Whenever you see the sun reflected in the window of a building it is an angel

We then turned and made our way back to our hotel.  It had been an amazing 2 weeks.  We had seen so much in so little time.  We had literally walked nearly all of Paris. Tomorrow we were leaving for the airport at 8am so we had to be up very early.  Our flight was due to leave at 12 Noon.

More on the evening/night and our flight in our next post!

 

3 Sisters Abroad

3 Sisters Abroad - Me (black hat), Paula, Muriel

#3 Sisters Abroad.

I was turning the big 60 last year and my sisters thought a trip over to Europe would be the way to celebrate it.  They left it up to me to which one we did.  So then the confusion started. Do we do a cruise, a train trip or a bus trip or combine them. I was on the internet looking at trips, cruise’s.  The house was filled with travel brochures and any spare time I had would be reading them, marking them and then charging my mind.  By the time I had made my mind up (and that can be hard to do), we were then booked on a cruise that would leave Basel in Switzerland and head up the Rhine to Amsterdam. This cruise was for 7 days and 3 days in Paris.  It was decided that we would stay another couple of days in Paris and stay a night in Zürich on the way to our cruise.

Just before the bookings closed I asked my long time friend Lyn to join us.  Lyn was also turning 60 so it would have been a huge celebration.  She jumped at the chance.  The two of us talked every day on Facebook about what we were taking, buying etc.  So excited.

Unfortunately 7 weeks before we were due to fly my dear friend had a freak accident that ended with broken leg foot etc with plates and several screws.

First Tip: Always make sure you have travel insurance.

We 3 chatted on the phone regularly  sent emails on  what were we going to pack so we could  share the load.

I hadn’t traveled since 1999, when I went to the States for 4 weeks. Before that I had been to Thailand a lifetime ago and Great Britain back when I was 16. My 2 older sisters have traveled a bit more than me.  My sister Paula had been to Europe many times and the last time to Paris was only 4 years ago. Muriel the eldest, has been to Egypt, Hawaii , London, Paris and Singapore.

3 Sisters. would we fight, argue, or just enjoy the time together .  Who are we?

Muriel, the eldest, a widow, a teacher, mother of 3 children, several grandchildren and great grand children. Loves to dance and sing and plays the piano.

Paula, married and still in love with her hubby Mike,  mother of 3 children, 2 grandchildren. Loves to travel, garden and my co partner with the wine.

Bree – me,   single (divorced but it was a long time ago) Mother of 2 children.  Loves to read, dance, walk the dogs, Tai Chi and help Paula finish the bottle of wine. Travel, my heart now wants to travel and travel I will.  I also have 2 Rare Diseases, Tuberous Sclerosis and Lymphangioleiomyomatosis – Lam Lung Disease , Hashimotos Thyroid Disease, Meniers Disease, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, high blood pressure, Anxiety .  I think that’s it.

This blog is about our Trip to Europe, the funny bits, the not so funny and the wonderful places and things we saw and did.  The people we met on the trip, the long-lasting friendships

There will be some tips on what to take, what to leave at home.

What worked and what didn’t work for us.

 

 

 

 

Traveling when having a chronic Illness

Hi everyone, as I am a member of the Chronic Illness Bloggers I thought I would share a blog link for you all to have a look at.  https://mymigrainelife.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/how-to-travel-with-a-chronic-illness/

When you have a chronic illness, traveling can be scary sometimes.  I know that it takes a lot of being prepared, taking lots of medications with you, lists of these medications signed off by your doctors.  These all need to be with you in your hand luggage.  A lot of countries wont even allow you to have Panadol unless prescribed by your doctor.

Always get your doctor to do a letter of your conditions/diseases and what drugs even down to Panadol on the letter.  Have several copies just in case.

 

Thanks so much for your time

Bree the youngest of the 3 sisters 🙂

 

 

 

One Lovely Blog Award and the Liebster Award

I have been awarded 2 wonderful awards in the past week.  I am being a bit naughty and combining them both.   Those that I nominate you can choose to do both, one or none!  I like these awards as it gives me  a chance to say thank you for reading my blog.  So a huge THANK YOU to you all!  If I haven’t put your blog in the nominees you can still do the awards.  I love reading your blogs.  So keep writing all of you! Yes you!

I have been awarded  The “One Lovely Blog ” Award by the lovely Jen at  https://spoonfulsofglitter.blog  Jen gives  a spoonful of glitter with a touch of love on her blog.  Please check out her blog you wont be disappointed.

 

Rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate at most 15 other people
  • Tell your nominees the good news.

Seven Facts about Me

1  I am the youngest of four, 2 older sisters (they are part of this blog) and an older brother.

2. I was born Perth Western Australia.

3. As a child growing up in Perth we had so much freedom.  Not like it is now.  The boy up the road and I used to go to the swamp most days and catch Tadpoles.  There would have been snakes there, but we never saw one!  We played cricket in the street.

4 I have managed a cafe then  a restaurant, in Toowoomba Queensland.

5 I went to England when I was 16 with my Mum, this was eons ago.  The planes were not like they are now.  We stopped in India, however we were not allowed off the plane due to a cholera outbreak.  We were visiting Paula my sister.

6 I love to watch on TV : Miss Fisher Murder Mystery, Dr Blake Mysteries, Mike and Molly, House Husbands.  Cooking shows, House Shows. Game shows, lets face it I am a TV addict.

7  I love animals, I have 2 dogs right now. Sally 3 and Betty (my housemates dog ) but she is mine 🙂 is 7 months old.  As a child we had lots of cats, dogs, chickens, Kangaroo. Yes a Kangaroo.  Oh and my tadpoles that I caught.



The Liebster Award 

I was nominated by https://audreysimplicity.com, and I thank you very much.  Please go and have a look at Audrey’s blog, a travel and lifestyle writer. Again you will not be dissapointed.

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

These are my questions from Audrey along with my answers.

What is the story behind your blog’s name?

We are 3 sisters Muriel, the eldest, Paula then Me Bree.  We were on our fist trip overseas together and we decided we would write about it.

Why did you start blogging?

On the cruise even from the first day the other passengers acted strange to us.  Not sure what was going on their heads as to who we were.  We don’t look-alike!  So we started making a plan of being famous and I said…Lets blog about it.  So we did!

What, according to you, is the best thing about blogging? 

Writing, I love to write. Also reading and cyber meeting others who love to blog.

What is/are your goal(s) for 2017?

Goals.  Not sure I actually never thought till this question was asked.  I suppose to be as well as I can. Enjoy life.

Where are you from and what is the most common Stereotype or misconception about your home/town/state/country.

I was born in Perth Western Australia, however right now I am living in country Victoria.  In a town called Shepparton.  It’s about 2 hours drive from Melbourne.  Biggest misconception is that kangaroos hop down our streets. They don’t!

What kind of traveler are you – spontaneous or planner?

I would love to be spontaneous however I have dogs to think of.  It’s not like Europe where you can take your pets with you to most places. Plus I have a few chronic illness that sometimes get in the way of life.  Good planning and I can achieve it.

Share your worst travel experience ever!

It would have to be the very long delay at Charles De Gaulle Airport last year.  6 hours sitting on the tarmac with little water.  There was a steering problem with the plane.  That wasnt the issue, it was the bad service and no water and bad food was the problem.

What is one important lesson you have learnt in your travels?

Have fun!

 

 

My nominees are: …drum roll

 

https://thisdarlingadventure.travel.blog

https://milliemondays.wordpress.com

https://mylittleleoblog.wordpress.com

https://chronicallygratefuldebla.com

https://alifelessinvisible.com

https://gardeniatrails.wordpress.com

 

Now for your questions.

1  What inspired you to blog?

2 Where did your blog name come from?

3 Whats your favorite food of all time.

4. If you won a million dollars what would you do? Spend it, travel, save?

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

6. If you were granted 3 wishes what would they be?

 

Please also check out the nominees, they are all different and special to me.  I hope they will be for you also.

 

Bree

3 sisters abroad.

 

 

Always pays to enter competitions!

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Mystery/Crime/Thriller  Novels all Aussie Authors

 

Always pays to enter a competition!  My books arrived today.  I won them in a competition run by Reading,Writing & Riesling blog.  All Aussie Authors, crime/thriller/mystery.  Right up my alley.

 

Guest Review: Bay of Shadows Samantha Wood – from Reading Writing and Riesling

Brenda is very impressed with this debut novel. The Bay of Shadows Samantha Wood Smashwords/Amazon ISBN: 9780995442108/ASIN: B01NCI60OZ Description: How far would you go for love? In a rambling house in a small Australian beach town, Elena Jameson is recovering from her recent divorce. To her delight, she is given the opportunity to foster […]

via Guest Review: Bay Of Shadows – Samantha Wood — Reading, Writing and Riesling

Blogger Recognition Awards

Hello everyone, hope your well on this Wednesday.  Yes for most of you we are a day ahead here in Australia.  So I could tell your fortunes if you want!

I have been nominated by the wonderful https://thisdarlingadventure.travel.blog/blog/ Please pop over to her blog you will be pleasantly surprised!  Thank you so much for the nomination xx

 

 

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If you want to be involved in the Blogger Recognition Award these are the very easy and simple rules:

  • thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give the award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created

 

How 3 Sisters Abroad  Started

The 3 of us were starting out on a cruise up the Rhine.  We had boarded in Basel with 3 others.  The rest of the clients/people on the cruise had already been together for 11 days. So they knew each other and I suppose they felt like we were interlopers.  The 3 of us really do not look much like each other. So the questions started, who were we, etc.  It felt like someone would ask the questions then go off and talk about us.  The other 3 who arrived the same time as us also felt that they were not very friendly to them either.  So we 3 decided no matter what we were going to have a fabulous time, dance the nights away and keep on smiling.  We would sit in the evening with a few drinks and laugh about how one day those very people who snubbed us would find that we are famous.  I blurted out that I would write a blog about it.  I had never ventured into blogging before but why not.  We would talk about who would  star as us in the film that would eventually be a big block office after the top-selling novel from the blog. So this is the blog and one day we will be famous.  We live in hope and we dream big!

Tips to bloggers

Keep on writing, no matter what you write about let it be something you love.

Be passionate.

These are the blogs that I am nominating today.  Please do yourself a favor and go and visit these wonderful inspirational blogs.  You will be pleasantly surprised and you may find some new blogs to follow.  If you’re not on the list you can still do this.  Its fun, you find other blogs and you also get new followers yourself.

 

https://dacsmommy.wordpress.com

https://mylittleleoblog.wordpress.com

https://sparklingpoems.wordpress.com

http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net

https://foxonanisland.com

 

https://invisibleillnessesblog.wordpress.com

http://theunicornwife.net

https://teaandtales1.wordpress.com

https://simplysimplymeblog.wordpress.com

 

Packing for a River Cruise In Europe Part 1

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chocolates on our pillows 

Before the 3 of us travelled,  we were in constant contact with each other.  What are you taking, packing, bags, how many tops, makeup were the constant questions?  I was also in constant contact with Lyn my friend who I have known since grade 1  was also coming. Till 7 weeks before we were leaving, the poor thing had the most freakish accident and basically shattered her leg in several places. The blog would have been called a different name.  3 +1, 4 up to no good!

We looked  at so many  travel blogs .  Niki at Styling you http://www.stylingyou.com.au and also https://unefemme.net.  Paula put me onto these two blogs.  I am amazed how they can travel with just a cabin bag.  I think I take too many things 🙂

We learnt about capsule packing.  Looked at blogs that showed several different ways to pack. I remember the few nights before we flew that I stayed up late (I’m not really a night owl) and watched this blog on so many different ways to pack.  Pack hand luggage, small bag for the cabin.  Pack your large bag.  I never realized there are so many ways to pack.

Then the question was to roll or to fold your clothes.  Do you fold or roll clothes?

Muriel has always been a roller.  I have been a folder.  Paula, what were you again?  I decided I would do both, fold and roll.  Both came out the same in the end!

What items we took that  could have  been left at home or not purchased.  What have you packed that next time you won’t bother to take?

As we were staying in 5 star hotels in Zürich and Paris and on board a cruise ship, a lot of toiletries really were not needed.  Things like Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash and Soap.  These are always provided.  On the cruise our room was serviced twice a day. So if you happen to use all the e.g. Body Wash during the day, it will be replenished on the evening room service.  Yes they  also fold down the bed and put a little chocolate on your pillow, and replenish your water bottles in the room. Unless you have an allergy leave all those things at home.  Trust me 5 star over in Europe is good. The body wash at the Paris hotel was sensual.  You can laugh I even brought some home as I loved it that much.  Silly me though I brought home an already opened one.  So it leaked but that’s ok I had put it in a zip lock bag.

Yes take a couple of zip lock bags, you never know if you need them and they don’t take up space and no weight in them.

Both Paula and Muriel took some Febreze  http://www.febreze.com/en-us in a small container.  This was very useful for freshening up our clothes.  We would come back to our rooms and hang our clothes up and spray.  Then we could get another day out of them.  We also took each a microbe towel, one of those you get from http://www.kathmandu.com.au.  It was great you wash your clothes then roll them in the towel and hang them up to dry.  The microbe towel dries very quickly too.

One of the things I learnt on packing is pack your shoes on the end where the wheels are.  Weight distribution.  who knew that 🙂  Especially if you’re doing a lot of walking with your bag.

Months before traveling I had all the clothes sorted and hanging in one section of my wardrobe.  Speaking to Paula she had done the same except she was wearing all of her clothes before we left.  My clothes were all new as I had gone down a couple of dress sizes and so I made do with the old till we left Australia.

With the new rules for liquids on the flights, I only took some moisturizer and lip balm on the plane.  I still put them into the regulation clear bag.  The only time I had to take them out and put them in a bag provided by the airport was in Paris.

 

I will post what was in my backpack on another post. (medical supplies)  And another post on what I actually took in my suitcase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been a bit slack in responding to this nomination.  First I had to learn how to put tags in a post, thank you to those who helped me. 🙂   If i have not done it correctly well that’s life 🙂 Then my lap top of only 18 months decided to not want to play the game.  Finally my mac arrived and we are rearing to go.

I wish to thank https://curlygirlabroad.wordpress.com for my first nomination.

Sunshine Blogger Award 

Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you.

Answer 11 questions from the person that nominated you.

Nominate other bloggers and ask them 11 questions.

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Sunshine Blogger Award
  1. What inspired your blog’s name.  We are 3 sisters and we were abroad on our first holiday together.  I just said one night I will blog about our trip, 3 sisters abroad came alive.
  2. How long have you been blogging?  I started towards the end of August 2016, about 5 mths.
  3. What makes you smile?  My dogs, family and friends, good food, funny TV shows and movies.
  4. Do you think you are making the most out of life right now? I am happy with my lot right now so I suppose the answer is yes for now.
  5. Do you think you’re a young or old soul?  I think I am an old soul, its like  I have been here before.
  6. Which music style do you favor the most?  I like anything except rap.  I love songs you can sing along to.
  7. Have you ever been read by a palm reader?  Yes I have I also did a bit of palm reading myself.  Tarot cards etc, crystal ball… However, now I take the principal that we have many paths that we can walk down. At the end of the day  they all meet at the same point. (I learnt that through Tai Chi)
  8. What hobby do you love to do? Blogging, reading, watching Tv while blogging.Tai Chi .walking my dogs. Window shopping (its cheaper)
  9. What is your least favorite food?  Eggplant, I hate it!
  10. Where is your favorite place in the world?  I have fallen in love with France, well Europe exactly.
  11. Do you have a favorite scent?  my sister Paula brought an original 4711 perfume when in Cologne Germany and there were 5 little bottles in the packet.  I purchased one of them and I love it.

 

I also wish to thank https://wordscantfathom.wordpress.com for my second nomination. The Blogger Recognition award.

RULES :

 

  1. THANK THE BLOGGER WHO NOMINATED YOU AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THEIR BLOG.
  2. WRITE A POST TO SHOW YOUR AWARD.
  3. GIVE A BRIEF STORY OF HOW YOUR BLOG STARTED.
  4. GIVE TWO PIECES OF ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS.
  5. SELECT 15 OTHER BLOGGERS YOU WANT TO GIVE THIS AWARD TO.
  6. COMMENT ON EACH BLOG AND LET THEM KNOW YOU HAVE NOMINATED THEM & PROVIDE THE LINK TO THE POST YOU CREATED

 

This blog started when my 3 sisters and I were on an overseas trip.  We joked about becoming famous as some of the other passengers were a bit toffy nose lol.  So the blog came about, a novel has been started.  Perhaps a movie in the makings.  I live to dream!

The two pieces of advice I can give are keep blogging and writing from the heart.  Make sure your having fun.

I also want to take a moment and thank everyone who takes the time to read the posts, comment or like them.  Everyone who follows this blog, your all deserving of these nominations.  So even if your name is not below you can still do this.  Every day I am inspired by the poetry, the stories, the real life stories.

https://feetonthemap.com

https://mylittleleoblog.wordpress.com

https://thisdarlingadventure.travel.blog

https://avocadosucker.wordpress.com

https://sparklingpoems.wordpress.com

https://foxonanisland.com

http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net

https://alanagabo.wordpress.com

https://shivashishspeaks.wordpress.com

https://myblogcherry.wordpress.com

https://indiablue.co.uk

https://dacsmommy.wordpress.com

https://wordscantfathom.wordpress.com

https://thedutchbaker.wordpress.com

https://milliemondays.wordpress.com