Sunday, May 1, 2011

I love Peroni Beer!

Thanks to Joe and all our other friends at Pironi S.p.A, Rome.

I play. That's my job. I'm a cat.

The view from our window:

Monday, March 28, 2011

My 19 Hour 26 Minute Vancouver Layover

We flew from Chicago O'Hare (ORD) to Vancouver YVR on for Saturday overnight. Nobody calls O'Hare "ORD" (unless they are in the airline industry); everyone calls the Vancouver airport YVR - I think that's its name. Anyhow we flew on a Airbus A320 (4 exit row windows, 2 on each side) and returned on the slightly smaller A319 (2 exit row windows, 1 on each side). We had the same cabin crew for each trip - they shared our layover (or we shared theirs!). They were really nice, based in Washington, D.C. Here is the sign for the airport exit of the Vancouver subway. (You can get an all-day $9 (Canadian) metro pass at the 7-Eleven in the airport. Spread the word.)

I must admit that it was a bit too cold for me in Vancouver, but here I am in a park with no name (AFAIK) downtown. I was interested in the pigeons but here I am nodding to the camera. It didn't rain in Vancouver after all - it was a nice (though cool) day. I had the Kleftico (roast lamb) for $14.95 from yummy Takis' Taverna (Greek food) on Davie Street.

Our room in the Airport Fairmont Hotel overlooked the airport tarmac (a "mountain view"). Here's my silhouette at dusk. It was "Dog's in the City" month at Fairmont Vancouver! How pet friendly is that? We just had to check it out. I scanned ourroom carefully: no dogs, alas.

And here I am jumping on the floor. Not the most interesting photos, I know. But it was a fierce room and, what do you want for 19 hours? I am glad to say that I did not take a swim in the hotel pool. Canada's customs/immigration agents are very cat friendly. They all but arrested my Daddy (for having a suspiciously short layover) but didn't bat an eye at me - and even stamped my travel passport.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Going to Vancouver, and I'm Not Just Lyon

If the loads hold up, I'm off to Vancouver (YVR) tomorrow for the weekend. All the airports in Canada begin with Y. Why? Yes, Y. (Tavist is a big Abbot and Costello fan.) It's supposed to be cool (50 oF) and rainy - yikes, not at all meowly. But it will be my first trip to Canada.

Cold but clear today in Chicago. I weighted 8 pounds 15 ounces before dinner. I'm at my fighting weight.

Here's a picture from my trip last May to Lyon, France. I don't know what the airport code is as we went there by a train called the TGV. Lyon is a beautiful city and the Roman Museum is fierce, they let Daddy take me through it. Nice and dark but with shiny exhibits including one with running water! I was the only cat there that day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Trip To Sicily - January 14-29, 2011

Seeking a warm cat-friendly destination in January, my daddy hit upon Sicily. We flew Chicago to Washington Dulles (ORD>IAD) on January 14, stayed at the very (pet) friendly Westin Dulles Airport hotel there overnight, then on to Rome (FCO) the following afternoon. Here is a Boeing 777 with the new United-Continental livery, as seen from our United 767 just before we left the gate on Saturday the 15th.

Here I am on Saturday the 16th in the Colisseum, Rome, very jet lagged. Oddly, I was the only cat there that day. You may not know that the Colisseum, completed in 80 AD, featured in addition to gladiator fights, animal acts including an 11,000 animal managerie during one memorial 123 days in the year 107. That was then, I guess: this is now.

On to Palermo (PMO) by the friendly (and pet friendly) Italian carrier Blu-Express on January 18th. We had a row to ourselves so I had a peek out of my carrier. Normally I ride in my carrier under the seat in front of daddy.

Palermo is the capital of Sicily. Here I am on the grounds of the cathedral (duomo) there. Don't mind the grafitti: you gotta blend in with the locals. As they say, when in PMO, do as the PMOans do....

Pardon my stunned surprise as I stare at "La Rocca", the 1000-foot headland that I have just been apprised we are climbing. It overlooks beautiful arabesque village of Cefalu. We drove here today. Here I am by the ocean. The name for the town Cefalu comes from the Greek kephalos, or head (hence "headland" for head-like mountain): you two-legged cats use the English word "encephalitis" for inflammation of the head (brain). The temperature throughout our two-week trip hovered at around 60 oF (except on Mount Etna, but we'll get too that shortly...all too shortly....), which was very nice.

Anticipating the trek up La Rocca, from downtown Cefalu.

I lowed the walk! I love to climb - I'm a cat! And I took part in what seemed to be the local custom and left my moniker on a convenient cactus. Can you believe that we saw NO CATS up the lovely climb to the top of La Rocca? There were a few dogs though (and lots of doggie doo, which fascinated me. I left my own souvenir in the sand, but don't make me show the picture).

The view from up there. It was pretty incredible, even though not the clearest of winter days. Our hotel, the pet friendly Hotel Tourist, is the last, small white building in the distance to the left of the road along the shoreline and beach.

Next we went to Taormina (all of our travel in Sicily was all by rental car), stayed in the beautiful, historic (pet friendly) Hotel Villa Paradiso, but then joined a tour group to climb Mount Etna, Europe's tallest active volcano. We didn't get very far as it was a blizzard on top. Here I am, a little bewildered and not all that happy for once, next to the Sylvestri Crater. It was fortunately not erupting. Note the gray stones and gravel. They say volcanic rocks. I say volcanic s*cks. At least, in January.

This hotel was overall probably our favorite, in Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian), also our favorite city. By now it was Sunday the 23rd. I like making an entrance. The old city part of Siracuse is on an island called Ortygia. Siracuse alsohas a fabulous Archeological Park across the bridge that we shall see shortly. Syracuse is the birthplace of Archimedes (287 BC), the man who had his greatest insight (Eureka!) while taking a bath. (Moi, taking a bath is not an insight, but my greatest insult!)

My powder room. All the Italian hotels had bidets, which was perfect as, you know, I only drink running water. (My daddy points out that, on the other hand, I'll eat any kind of food that's not bolted down.)

I wish we could have taken this chair from the Hotel des E'tranges et Miramar as a souvenir. Me time is Tavist Dee time.

Just as well that we rested as the next day we walked for five hours (I was fortunately much of the way in my carrier) to and around the Archeological Park in Siracuse, where there are ancient Roman and Greek ruins. Here is the Roman Amphitheater, built in 21 BC. That rectangular reservoir in the middle supposedly held crocodiles. I am glad to report that we saw no crocodiles that day. No cats either.

Syracuse was a Greek city before the Romans conquered it. Check out the Greek Theater, built in stages between 5 and 1 BC. You can still see plays by the Greek greats such as Euripedes, Sophocles, and Aeschylus put on there by the Italian Institute of Ancient Drama. As our guidebook (Frommer's Sicily; we also used and also recommend Michelin Sicily) says, nothing much seems to have changed over the years. (Note to Italian Institue of Ancient Drama: what is your cat policy?)

Friskies not only sells food in Italy but sells kitty litter - easily my favorite Italian brand. On the road, my daddy keeps a few shirt cardboard boxes along the bottom of my carrier, along with a Ziplock bag of kitty litter, for those cat personal hygiene moments. Very useful as I recall in IAD, along the way up Mount Etna, and en route to our next stop, which follows. (Daddy's paws were hurting, therefore the footpads - told you it was a long walking day.)

Ragusa (Ibla, the old city) , which means today is Tuesday, January 25. We climbed a hill overlooking the Duomo di San Georgio (the inside was closed for the midday recess) - a walk just up my alley (if I can mix my metaphors). This architecture is known as Sicilian baroque. Daddy says this trip baroque the bank, too.

One of our last pictures of Italy in the nearby sicilian city of Marina di Ragusa, the Eremo della Giubiliana. Mama mia, what a nice hotel! It is a converted monastery from the 1400s. They upgraded us to a special room that opened onto this Alhambra-like private courtyard with gently flowing water amidst nocturnally illuminated palm trees. (I sound like a brochure, but it was pretty meowly, belive me.) What fun. AND there were two very friendly cats here!

I have to end our trip on a bad note - the next day we went to Agrigento, famous for its spectacular ruins, thence to Segesta (other ruins, my favorite) and back towards PMO by way of the cathedral in Monreale (raining rats and dogs!), among other places. But my daddy's camera "disappeared" in Rome (to put it diplomatically), along with the last fourth of our digital pictures.

But then, maybe every cloud has a silver lining after all: Daddy is so upset, that he hopes to go back to Sicily this May, to re-take those photos, and visit one or two other sites. (We'll teach them, we'll spend MORE money in Italy!) You're sure to hear from me then!

This is my longest post and the first in a long time. I haven't told you about Atlanta, or Washington, D.C. (Or my second trip to Paris (CDG), the TGV to Lyon, and a fly-out from the Geneva (GVA) airport.) If you've come this far in the this post, though, I do hope you've come to realize that there's a wonderful waiting world out there, and that the Possible Adventures of Tavist Dee are possible for you, and yours, too!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Off to Connecticut

I am off to my cousin Lola and Uncle Allen in Connecticut today. It was C-O-L-D yesterday in Chicago but will be warmer today and in the Northeast. If you are flying United from ORD to BDL maybe I'll see you. Ciao-miao, Tavist.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm a Lady

Still having problems with youtube and blogger. Evidently on my last post (yesterday) the new video I wanted to post separately (today's video) posted to a multi-video collection of my favorites. Ugh. Here is a montage of my travels in town and about. I hope it works. Ciao-miao.

(Thanks to Blog Doctor at and comment by March Hare witin.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

There's No Place Like Home (for a Homing Cat That Is)

Here I am returning home. What could I say that would improve upon Dorothy's phrase to Auntie Em on finally coming home? I'm only a cat, after all. Where are you, Toto?

I believe I've finally figured out how to embed a video in Blogger (not just show a link as on my last post).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Love to Go (or It's My Birthday and I'll Drive if I Want to)

It's my birthday today. I am two. That makes me 36 according to the pet age calculator here. Here's a video of me dashing through the snow of a Chicago winter day on Broadway avenue. I go everywhere with my Daddy. I love to go.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays

A rainy Christmas Day in Chicago this year.  Doesn't that set the fur to hackling?   Snow, on the other paw, I love.  I'm not too partial to this Santa hat, but I can deal with it.  I do love my Christmas gift sweater knitted by Eva Jasper our friend though.  She is a true feline.  By the way, here I am on the mantle top with my sleigh, some presents, and watching ACharlie Brown Christmas.  I like Woodstock the best though (lightly grilled, preferrably.  Just kidding birds.)  Have a nice Holiday Season everyone, and remember:  if Santa's not watching you, I am.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving - My Family is Going on a Nice Trip Somewhere, and All I Got Was this Lousy Turkey

So they are off somewhere no doubt fabulous and I have to stay home (home, moi!) entertaining my friends Yves and Kathy the Petsitters. If I wasn't so good-natured I would really go feline over it. Anyhow, I hope the grub is good. I had a delicious meal last year (pictured above). Pass the red please, Yves. Hey, starting Tuesday, I get to fly for free when I pass ride (in the continental United States anyway). Hooray! May the FURS be with you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm back in Chicago!

I had a wonderful two weeks with Lola my Yellow Labrador Retriever and best friend, and with my other good friend Allen (her human companion). I also got to hang with the birds including "Bird" a grey parrot (the smartest bird in the world they say). I don't think Bird likes me. Daddy and I flew back (First Class, the plane was not very full) from White Plains (HPN) (an airport code can't start with a W so this is "wHite PlaiNs" in Westchester County, NY). It's good to be home. Here's a picture of me and Lola from July this year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm So Glad for Halloween Eve, My Fur Stands on End!

As I always say, it's the claws that refreshes.

Connecticut, I am Here!

Yesterday after work my Daddy and I flew standby as pass-riders from ORD (Chicago) to BDL (Hartford, Connecticut). Because the plane was not full we got first class (Daddy sat in 3A, I got my very own seat in front of him, right under 2A.) It was rather fun and I was not at all scared, not on the bus, on the L train, or even at the airport when I had to come out of my travel bag to go through security. While waiting for our plane (a Boeing 757), I met a nice lady from England (now living in Scotland) who told me all about her own cat who she recently had to put to sleep (?) after "14 years". Fourteen years! I can't stay awake 14 hours, sometimes not even 14 minutes without my nap!

It's a beautiful day in the country here, the sun is shining and it is around 55 degrees. Here's a picture from the summertime on the porch. Best if all, though, I am with my best friend, Lola. Lola is a yellow Labrador retriever and we love to play chase-the-cat. I always win - at least, so far.

Why am in in Connecticut? Because Daddy is going to Hawaii and I can't go there without too much red tape (?) - something about rabies and quarantines (?) because Hawaii (which is a long airplane flight away) doesn't have rabies, unlike the mainland (where we live). I know all about rabies as my vet, Dr. Marks, gives me shots for it. (Daddy's note: it's to prevent rabies, Tav.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bath Day

Every Saturday my Daddy gives me a bath. He says it's so we can live together, he says he is allergic to me. To ME! I know it's coming when he starts the bath running (he never takes a bath in the morning himself), then puts three towels in the clothes dryer. That's when I go hide. For some reason, he always seems to find me though. Today he found me hiding under the couch, next to the stereo subwoofer. I don't put up much of a fight when he catches me, because I know he means well: He puts me in the bathroom sink filled with warm water then scrubs me with a hypoallergenic soap called Purpose. Then it's into the bathtub for the rinse cycle. It's filled right up to my chin, but my head never gets wet. Sometimes I even like the bathtub part because it's really warm. But I like the hot towel rub-down is even better. Afterwards, I go off and lick myself dry. After a little me time, I'm myself again. Here I am drying myself, July last year.

But after I dried off today in the warm apartment we went for a drive in the car. I went to the supermarket (Treasure Island), to Walgreen's, to Jewel (another supermarket where you park on the roof!), then to the dry cleaners. I love to stand on my hind feet with my front paws on the car door with the window down. I supposedly look like Rin Tin Tin, whoever that was. And when we come home, my Dad opens the car door and lets me walk all by myself to the hallway door. He says I'm a homing cat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My first post

My name is Tavist Dee. You may call me Tavist. I also answer to Tav. Or not. I am a cat, specifically an American Short Hair Classic Silver Tabby. I was born in Los Angeles, I live in Chicago, and I travel the world with my Flight Attendant family in search of fun. These are my adventures. Join me.