Being Dad in Italy

July 13, 2006

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This photo provides the best description of my job as dad during the entire trip.  Keep in mind that many other people on the trip were carrying her.  A special thanks to them (Dan Crem, Brett, Jilly, Drew and Ty.)  This was the toughest part of the trip.  I managed to adjust my man-purse so that Gianna could sit in it while I walked with her.  This took the pressure off my arms but then all of the pressure of her weight sat on my neck.  At least I could alternate between the arms and the neck to postpone the exaustion further in the day.

-fred

(yes I have a man-purse!)

Arrivederci Roma

July 13, 2006

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The vacation of a lifetime sums up this trip in a nutshell. I’ve never seen such beauty, tasted such incredibly delicious food, and laughed so hard with my family (and fellow passengers). I could have done without the jet lag, but that was nothing compared to what I saw in the most gorgeous country in the world. If you’re thinking about a visit don’t hesitate  It’s worth every penny

-Jenn

Some people can forget about work while on vacation, but I’m not one of them. I noticed a very important name on the soap dispenser in this restaurant’s rest room. It’s Circle the Globe Circle the Customer even in Capri, Italy How cool is that?

-Jenn

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The drive to Sorrento took six hours, but it was beautiful. We passed through Naples where my grandmother was born. Ruth said the unemployment is 20% and crime is high. It’s not really a popular destination for tourists, but she expects that will change in the next few years.

Sorrento is absolutely stunning. It’s high above the sea (we took the cliff-top road) and looks right out of a movie. Ruth mentioned that many celebrities like to holiday (they don’t call it vacation) in Sorrento. The weather here is summer-like all year long, so the beaches are always full. Our hotel is a picturesque resort called the Grand Hotel Vesuvio and you gotta love the name of the hotel director: Salvatore Acampora.

-Jenn

Our Fellow Tourists

July 13, 2006

There are forty people in our tour group from many different locations: Australia, Canada, Louisville, KY, Anaheim, CA, Fort Myers, FL, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and the Cremisino’s are the total number from Minnesota. There are couples with and without children on the tour. I must say this is a very fun group with some interesting backgrounds. Mitch played football for UCLA in the early 1970’s; he was the center and Mark Harmon (the TV actor) was the quarterback. Earl Jones played football for five years with the Atlanta Falcons in the 1980’s. Vince and Rita are first-generation Italians from Toronto. Those two are really funny and they bicker constantly. It’s always entertaining to sit by Vince and Rita on our bus excursions. There are three couples from Louisville–siblings and their spouses. They all live in the same sub-division and the husbands are best friends with each other.

I’ve previously forgotten to mention our tour director, Ruth. She is Welsh (father) and Italian (mother), but even though she lives in Italy she doesn’t sound like it. She does speak fluent Italian though her accent and speaking voice are clearly Welsh. We also have a bus driver named Marcello. He gets us everywhere we need to go. Our journeys can take hours, but Marcello always gets us there safe and sound.

-Jenn

We are home!!

July 12, 2006

The postings have been a bid lean.  I apologize for that but the schedule has been pretty full the last few days.

Between traveling and Italy winning the world cup of soccer it has been hectic.  We will be posting more about the travels and putting up more pictires.

-fred

Florence, Italy

July 10, 2006

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Florence is…  Wonderful

The night before we left for Florence there was a terrific thunderstorm.  I mean WoW   We were told that this was a storm that was needed because of the extended heat.  It also guaranteed a perfect day weather wise.

As we arrived our first stop was at the Florence Gold Shop.  Nice pieces of jewelry but for the most part nothing that I would wear.  That is until, Nomination.

Now I would like to say to everyone that for the most part I do not wear any sort of jewelry.I had a short stint wearing earrings and until my wedding band was too big I wore that.  For the most part, I have not been a fan of wearing ornaments.  That is until I saw the Nomination charm bracelets.

These are stainless steel bracelets that are very much like a watchband with every link either being a plain connector or you can swap in charms and symbols as you like.  I had one made that has a charm for each of the stops that we made during the vacation.  I love it and have no intention of taking it off.  Jenn had one made for herself too.

The next stop was the leather shop.  Jenn and I did not stop because we were getting our bracelets made.

After the leather stop we toured the church where Michelangelo is buried.  It is quite nice.  It is also the same church where the people of Florence would like their Honored Son Dante’ buried too.  However, he was exiled from Florence with a death sentence hanging over his head for writing the divine comedy “The Inferno.”  There is an empty tomb there in his honor along with a large statue out front of him.

After that we walked to the art institute where Michelangelo’s David is on display.  We had reserved tickets so we got in immediately.  His attention to detail and perfect display is astounding.  If you ever get the chance to see his work in person at the Vatican or at the institute please do so.  It would be worth the expense.  A copy of Michaelangelo’s David is at the park overlooking the city.  You can see that one for free.  But they like to paint him when Italy wins the world cup.

The fake David

The remainder of the afternoon was spent wandering about at our leisure.

After Florence, we had an impromptu adventure.  Through the entire trip we have barely had a moment of free time.  It has been regimented and scheduled to the nearest moment.  This is a good thing as we are able to see as much as we want without losing track of time.  But it becomes a real pain when you need to do laundry.

So Dan V, Deanna and myself all packed our dirty laundry in a suit case, asked for directions to the nearest Laundromat and began hiking our way a cleaner set of clothes.  The directions we were given were the simplest.  Go down the street three blocks, turn left, go three more blocks, turn left again, and walk until you see it.  We got there quickly.

After a moment of confusion on the operation of the machines, we had them up and running.

There is a quality about most Italian cities we have visited that I truly enjoy.  The real neighborhood bar.  It is a place where you can get a beer/wine/drink and sit to enjoy the moment.  They are family places.  There was one two doors up from the laundromat and we enjoyed a beer while waiting for the clothes to be finished.

Once done, we found the faster way back to the hotel.

-fred