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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Viaggo Italiano Misc-

Ok so there is lots I have left out but will post Misc ones when I think of things. No pictures to go with this. And most of it you might have had to been there for it to be funny but I want to document the trip.

At dinner the second night in Italy Andrea tried to guess what kind of student we were in high school. It was fun. She was almost wrong on everyone and us about her. It was fun to learn more about her and Kandice and hear stories from my Dad about high school that I had forgotten.

"Poke your pecker". The girls didn't want the guys to sleep on the way to Florence because they would miss the countryside. So we heard Kandice tell Adam "I'll poke your pecker if you fall asleep."

Cardoons. I asked Lorenzo about Cardones. He knew what they were. Lena boils them then dips in egg and fries them and then serves them in tomato sauce. I will have to try this next time I make them. I have been looking at the produce markets to see if I see any there but I think like in America they are seasonal-- early spring and fall.

Antista Rock--My Aunt and mom's maiden name is Antista and that is how we are related to the Scancarellos. My grandmother was a Riggio before she married an Antista. Both Riggio and Antistas are from Sicily. In Sicily there is Antista Rock where there is suppose to be buried money. But no one has ever found it. Next trip is to Sicily. We also discussed that there is still the Antista name in Italy but Riggio is not common. Reggio we have seen everywhere. We think it was changed when they entered at Ellis Island.

Swear words in Italian. We asked Lorenzo wait he knew and if Catarina knew any. It was funny trying to hear him swear and no one know except us he was swearing.

Water taxi ticket lady story. She called Adam and us idiots because we were buying the one way tickets. We kept asking her but instead of trying to explain to us she kept calling us idiots. She was correct.

Adam--"I'll be right back". Adam was trying to find a map of Cortona at the TI--Tourist Information but it had moved and we couldn't find it. He disappears with this old guy with a cane and says. "I'll be right back". He was gone a long time so Kandice and I set off to find him. He got a map and was told where to rent motos and told about a great winery.
Adam disappeared up the stairs in front of the white car.

Bumper of car and taillight. As Uncle Bob was taking us to be dropped off in Camucia he backed into a post. We didn't look until we got out in town but is was not pretty. The left bumper was dented and the tail light broken. But when he picked us up later he had removed the dent from the plastic bumper and taped up the light. You could tell it was broken but it was not obvious. BTW the car had only 25 km on it when we got it and it had the new car smell. When we left it the smell was gone, well the new smell, and it had a broken tail light and scraped up hub cap. The Francisco Disco Wagon served us well.

Setting alarm clocks. Andrea would wether clock her 17 minutes fast because it was to hard to subtract or add 17 to the the actual time to figure out if she would be late. Kandice and Andrea both had weird issues where they could only set alarms for certain times, on the quarter hour for example or could only leave for work at a certain time. Made me seem normal. I like them.

I eventually included this in a blog but every time we ordered food Kandice ordered meat. I think the best was the first might in Cortona but she had some great pork chops and chicken too. She was the carnivore of the group.

3 Prong!!!! This I included in a blog.

It's our last night. Let's go to a Biblioteca tonight!!!!!" After Andrea said this we all laughed and she was wondering why. We explained that Biblioteca was the library. She was then like what should I have said and we explained the discotec.

Here is a picture of our Bible.

My new shot glasses. I bought the Pisa one from a vendor that was closing. I didn't realize it was leaning until I just opened it. Cool.

And I only bought this because it caught the corner of my eye while buying a shot glass and it is wrong on so many levels I could not pass up buying it. It has to be sacrilegious. Right?

A Pope bobble head? They had a John Paul one but out of respect to him I chose the Benedict one. I have some standards.

It will be going next to my Dwight bobble head on my desk at work.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Viaggo Italiano Giorno-Dodici-Arrivederci!!!

Sad but relieved to be going home. We called for a large van and got a huge Mercedes luxury van.

Here are some shots from our room. And outside the apartment. I also forgot to tell you to get into our place you have to reach through the gate and grap the "hidden" key to open the gate then put the key back.

When we got to the airport the flight was overbooked and they were offering $400 American cash and a hotel room and we would be on tomorrow's flight. It was tempting but everything in Rome is closed on Sunday and we are ready to be home.

Nothing too eventful on the flight from Rome to Dulles. I bought a large bottle of Grappa for me and a small bottle for my brother at the Duty Free store. We were all trying to get rid of our Euros without exchanging them back to American cash.

I bought wifi to upload some of the blogs and we boarded the plane. We were delayed due to air traffic control until Noon. Our original departure time was 11:10 but we still got in early.

Customs was easy. We had to put our duty free liquor in our checked bags and then I wanted American Mexican food. In n' Out will be for when I get to SD or maybe a California burrito. We were all eating our food like we hadn't eaten in a week. To us it was about 9pm and the food on the plane was interesting. I ate my burrito which was mostly rice way to fast and I know it was not good but it tasted good.

Our next flight boarded and left early so we are scheduled to land early in SD. It is 2:14am tomorrow to my body and it will be about 5am to me when we land but as I write this it doesn't seem that late/ early. I slept a little on the first flight but I am not tired now. I am sure it will hit me later/ tomorrow. Some of the 3 P's work tomorrow. They are crazy. I am not returning to work until Wednesday. Tomorrow morning I am setting an alarm to get up an go to breakfast. I need eggs, bacon, pancakes, and hash browns. I am looking forward to my Friday VIM at DZ Akins.

If we take a final group photo I will post it next. We are going to meet up at an Italian restaurant in one month to reminisce about our Viaggo Italiano! Bullseye will make it happen.

The week went by so fast but at the same time it seems like I was in Venice a long time ago. Cortona was my favorite. I always talk about retiring in Santa Barbara but I might need to visit the Italian Rivera again and see if I can find a nice spot to spend part of the year. I saw pictures of Cortona in the winter and while it would be cool to visit it would not be cool to live. I also decided if I get married again it will be in Italy. So if my mom wants to be there she better learn to get on a plane.

I will be returning to Italy in 2 years to explore different parts especially Sicily.

3 Prong out!


Viaggo Italiano Giorno-Undici -Due

We bought some souvenirs and postcards and Vatican Stamps. I mailed one to Jeff and one to myself from the Vatican post office. Supposedly stamp collectors love the Vatican Stamps and the Vatican post mark.

A couple pictures of the Swiss Guard.

From here we split up. Kandice, Adam, and Bob went to go inside the Coliseum. Andrea, Chris, Steph, Dad and me went to the Spanish Steps again. Chris wanted to shop. I just wanted food. We took 2 taxis. Chris and mine cost 15 and the others 5. I told Chris we were getting ripped because the met was not running.

After we found food Dad and I walked to the Pantheon and then the Forum ruins while the others shopped.


While taking photos I noticed an attractive lady having her picture taken and decided I need her picture but they already took the picture. But then she didn't like the picture so I I had my chance again. Another guy walking by stopped and took her picture too.

We were suppose to meet at 7:30pm at Spanish Steps but I wanted to take a different way back and we got lost a little. Dad told me but I didn't listen and should have.

Dad has been great on this trip. Everyone thinks he deserves a best traveler award for just going with the flow and never complaining. Never. Parents always say how they are proud of their children but I am proud of my Dad. He walked A LOT on this trip and never complained. Even when he had what we called the Lenz lean after walking all day and his back would hurt but he just kept on going. Amazing Race here we come!

This is my favorite picture of Dad. I think I am going to print and frame it.

I already miss the ringing bells. I captured this high speed shots while we were trying to get back to the Spanish Steps.

The location of the last supper was changed to be back by Vatican. We found a five person cab and had a great cab ride and tour director.

The waiter took a picture with Uncle Bob's camera so it will have to wait.

3 Prong salute time. This might belong in the miscellaneous you had to be there blog but.... We were talking about not being able to charge Kandice's netbook because it had 3 prongs. Andrea had one that allowed 3 prongs but didn't have any 3 prong devices so I ask "What are you 3 pronging?"As soon as I said it I knew it sounded bad so of course we rolled with it and Kandice came up with the sign / salute. As we were flashing it on the walk back we wondered if in parts of the world it would get us killed or be considered obscene.

Uncle Bob and Auntie Steph were locked out of room when we returned. They locked door but Bob didn't take the key because he didn't lock the door. They did have the key and got it open. BTW-I guess I should have taken pictures of the keys. They were not normal keys. They looked like they were something from the 1600's.

We all went to bed as we had to leave for the airport by 8 am via taxi and it was a 40 minute ride. Sad to end trip but what great trip. Learned a lot about traveling. What to do and not to do. Rick James gives pretty good advice. It was also great to know Kandice and Andrea better. Adam better marry her soon. I want pictures of the bridal party flashing the 3 Prong.

One last event from the night that will end up in the you had to be there blog. Andrea exclaims, "It's our last night. Let's go to a Biblioteca tonight!!!!!"


Viaggo Italiano Giorno-Undici -Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica

Now the Sistine Chapel. You are not allowed to take pictures but I was determined. I came very close to getting kicked out. A guard came over and was trying to look at my camera but I turned it off just before he walked over so he left me alone. By then I had taken most of the photos. I took about 20 and a video. A couple of the 20 are OK. Others are out of focus and/or will need to be Photoshopped. I want to visit again when it is less crowed. It was amazing but would be better if you weren't shoulder to shoulder with people and the guards weren't yelling Silencio in a very loud voice.

I have no idea why this one came out so bright. It was dark in there and no flash was used and my little flash would not fill the room anyway.

I thought I would try and zoom in on some spots. Had no idea what I was zooming into.

Photo count as of this morning was only 1250. Very low I think. But it is now 1750. I took over 500 photos today. And some of in St. Peters Basilica are amazing. St. Peters Basilica I cannot do justice in words. You have to see it in person to believe it.

I sent my friend Jeff a postcard with the light coming in the dome like below. It is amazing that I was able to capture it.

Us rubbing St. Peter's foot. It is estimated that in 100 years the foot will be rubbed away.

Pope John Paul.

The lettering is 2 meters or over 6 feet tall.

Viaggo Italiano Giorno-Undici -Vatican Museum

Vatican tour was amazing.
Did guided tour. Gabrielle was great tour guide. One guy kept talking to her and then we get to hear whole convo. She spent a long time in Raphel room. Going to just post pictures that I took before we entered the Sistine Chapel. Up until Day 11 I had taken about 1250 tickets. At the Vatican I took over 500. You will eventually see them all on Flickr or Google Picasaweb but until then here are a few samples.


Notice the glass eyes.


Ceilings. Everywhere you looked there was art. The floor, the walls, the ceilings.