Friday, May 27, 2016

Pope Francis was just a few feet from us

Today, Greta and I are in Monte Carlo. As our ship tour guide put it in one of his discussions about the ports we visit, “If you go ashore in Monte Carlo, you will get an appreciation of how really poor you are.” He was right, there is immense wealth in Monte Carlo.

Monaco on Grand Prix race day

                                  Our seats at the race. On Friday, it is free to get in. We sat in row one

                                        Red Bull pit crew later in the day after the race

This is our last newsletter (from Europe that is). We fly home next Thursday.

Churning out newsletters from Europe has been a challenge, particularly from Italy and from the cruise ship. The place we stayed in Italy had no wi-fi so we walked a mile to our train station, took a train to another city, and walked a quarter mile to a wi-fi place.

We have not used the ship’s wi-fi at all. The reception is lousy and the cost is over $1 per minute. So to send email while cruising, we take the laptop into the cities we visit and try to locate a wi-fi café while having a beverage or even lunch. Often the reception is iffy in those places as well, and the networks are not secure.

Today’s newsletter, covers a variety of subjects, but none are in depth. So excuse the brevity, and we’ll try to get back on track next Friday.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our visit this past Wednesday to Rome. The port of Rome is a little over an hour train ride from the center of Rome. We had only one mission, to attend the Pope’s Wednesday outdoor service that an estimated 300,000 attend. It wasn’t as if we could just walk across the street to get there.

From the ship, we took two local buses to get to the Rome port of Civitavecchia's train station, and then an hour train ride into Rome. Travel tip we discovered: If your destination is to go the the Vatican and St. Peter's, instead of taking the train all the way into the Rome Central train station, get off a couple of stations before at the St. Peter's station. From there, it is only a half mile walk or even less. Still, the security to get into the square is very strict, so be prepared for a delay when going there. 

For more details, you can read about our day there in the Travel After blog (the link is below). I will say, we were shocked to be within 20-25 feet of the Pope and got some pictures and video.

Photo taken by Tom at the Vatican on Wednesday--Pope Francis was just a few feet from us

And now down to the business of dating after 50 and beyond, often far beyond.

1.  A fresh way for singles to perceive themselves and dating in general.

Two of our Champs, Christine and Joel, asked me for permission to post information about a seminar they are holding on June 11 from 11 to 3 in Champ Gina’s wonderful art gallery in Long Beach, in Southern California. The seminar is called “Finding Love in Midlife.”

I know Christine personally; she has always had great advice for singles. And I have respect for what Joel has posted as well. I think it is great our Champs are working together to help each other.

If you're looking for true love, feeling overwhelmed about how to find that special someone and truly want to finally meet someone special, I recommend you sign up and attend.
Knowing them, they will mix their wisdom with their humor, making it a worthwhile session.  

For information about the seminar, follow this link

Or, you can email Christine at or Joel at

The last word (for now) on senior sex

Sis responded to the last two newsletters with a comment about her newsletter topic about meeting the narcissus man: “Interesting feedback on your posting of my story of my experiences with "W." I do think he has a personality disorder of some sort. I really went out of my way to be kind and loving to this man.

“Your comment on my waiting six dates to become intimate did seem a little snide to me. In my own defense I will tell you this: W brought up sex on the 2nd date and I told him then that I was not interested in senior sex for the sake of having sex but only as an expression of deep affection and/or to strengthen a bond.

I told him I needed to build trust and friendship first. I also said that the way I'd be able to tell if I could trust him would be if his ACTIONS matched his WORDS over TIME.

“If only I had held to that! He romanced me and I was naive. He kept asking me: "If this is REAL, what are we waiting for?"

“At 68, I had to think about that and I did but because I was naive and lonely and he seemed charming and sincere, I felt ok about sex on date # 6. I am no longer naive! Nothing is for nothing and I learned a lot! The most valuable comment for me was from one of your readers - a woman who described how a narcissist thinks.”

Tom’s comment: I admit Sis, my comment was not appropriate. Sex is such a personal subject; perhaps one day we will devote a column or two on it. It would be great if it were simple, but lots of factors must be considered. The fact that we can still have sex at our age is almost a miracle onto itself. I am all for it, just stay safe.

Have a pleasant week-end.
Part 2 - Europe trip updates

My partner Greta and I have been in Europe for almost 7 weeks. Wednesday we were at the Vatican, yesterday at the Leaning Tower of Pisa (it really does lean) and today at Monte Carlo.. If you are interested in reading about our trip, and in seeing lots of photos we have taken, go to the Travel After 55 website. On the home page, near the top, click on the tab that says travel blog. The most recent post is the one you will come to first. Now, there are about 25 posts. Email me with questions or comments.

Here is the travel website:

Tom Blake's Victoria Station Restaurant chain website

No comments:

Post a Comment