Thursday, June 30, 2011


Our hotel room looked out over a courtyard or alley...depending which way you looked.

Fabulous first night's meal...after a long flight made even longer it was good to eat decent food.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pet Friendly Hotel Chains

Here are just some of the pet friendly hotel chains. There are others...have you stayed in any of them?

The Kimpton Group, offers "HosPETality," with 11 of their properties having a Director of Pet Relations, a canine ambassador who gives you a wagging welcome. No fees and no weight limits.

“Loews Loves Pets”, offering a welcome package that includes a pet bowl, dog tag, and treats. Loews has also partnered with Banfield Pet Hospital to offer furry guests a complimentary examination and a 15% discount on services during their stay. There is a $25 fee.

The exclusive Mandarin Oriental group, known for the ultimate in Asian-inspired luxury and stellar service, extends their welcome to your whole furry family, although fees and weight limits vary at each hotel’s discretion. A $100 fee is charged.

All W Hotels in North America welcome four-legged guests with a custom W pet bed and food bowls with mat in their guestroom, as well as a welcome amenity package that includes a W pet tag, treats, and waste disposal bags. There is a $25 fee.

Some Ritz-Carlton Hotels accept pets and pamper them with services ranging from a loaner Burberry raincoat to certified canine massage therapists to treats, toys, loaner beds and bowls. The usual charge is between $125 and $250 non refundable pet fee.

Photographer William Wegman’s famous Weimaraners are the "spokesdogs" for Hilton’s pet program, and Wegman designed the in-room Crypton Clean Pet Pillow. Also included in Fido’s room are two dog bowls and a place mat, and at check-in your furry friend will get his or her own travel tote with organic treats, bio-degradable waste bags, and a travel-sized bottle of deodorizing disinfectant. There is a $75 charge.

For a stylish stay on a modest budget, Hotel Indigo is a great choice for four-legged travelers. All of the hotels are pet friendly, and while fees and weight limits vary (some do not charge a pet fee and weight limits are set by each individual hotel), expect some amenities like dog treats and water bowls. The Atlanta and San Diego hotels even host a weekly Canine Cocktails "Yappy Hour", and have canine ambassadors in residence.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ceilings in Italy

From gold to mosaics to glass...ceilings in Italian churches are spectacular.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Travel Websites

Recently I learned about two websites which will be useful in traveling. shows a map of the US with flight delay information. It is not specific to your airline or flight number. But it does show cities where flight delays are occurring. This could be useful if you have connecting flights or are wondering where weather is hindering flights. is a Seattle based company that offers deals on European vacations, packages, etc. This is definitely worth checking out the next time you are looking at a trip to Europe. Friends have used this site and love their customer service.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Terraces Lunch

Just the beginning...

Dessert was a hit...fresh strawberries, cream scones

Apricots found their way into our salad course...yum

Friday, June 17, 2011

Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecciho over the Arno River in Florence.

At a street market...

Duomo architecture...