Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thea's Graduation

The last of the kids to graduate high school. Unless a grandchild ends up at Douglas High School, we will have little need to spend much time there any more. I didn't get a seat, couldn't really see, or hear, but I did get a couple of photos.

Isle of Capri

Probably my favorite spot on the trip was the Isle of Capri. It is in the Naples Harbor and about a 20 minute high speed boat ride from Sorrento. It was home to the Roman Emperor Tiberius and Octavious two thousand years ago and was home to the Greeks before them. We took a ski lift to the top of the Island where the views were incredible. I made an investment in Walnut coffee table inlaid with several other color woods in a beutiful pattern. I hope it becomes a family hierloom.

Porto Fino gateway to Genoa

As modern and cosmepolitan as Monte Carlo is Porto Fino is small and midevil. A beutiful little Italian Costal Village.

Monte Carlo

Home to the Grand Prix, they actually run the race down all the main streets of the city. Monte Carlo is the prime city of the Principality of Monaco. Monaco is a country that is 1 1/2 square miles. (one half the size of New Yorks Central Park). It's thirty two thousand inhabitants either must have a six generation Montequesan bloodline or have passed a stringent financial statement review and background check. They have 10,000 security cameras and 500 police so there is virtually no crime. You're caught on camera before you can get away with anything. There is very expensive real estate. A small 900 square foot apartment can set you back one million dollars. It is home to the Casino Royale of James Bond fame. A very fun pass time is to sit out side the Casino Royale and watch the parade of Masaratis, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royces parade by. There are some pretty nice yaghts as well

Monday, June 8, 2009

Livorno, Florence, Pisa

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Livorno was our first stop on the ship. It is mostly an industrial port city that was largely destroyed in WWII. There is little historical value left, but it is a short bus trip from Florence and Pisa. Florence is a Mid-evil city. It is home to the Statue of David by Michael Angelo, possibly the most perfect sculpture ever done, (500 years ago) There are also several remarkable sculptures throughout the city. Pisa is very old , (700 years old) and yes the tower really does lean.

Rome 2009

This year's Waddell and Reed incentive trip was an Italian Riviera Cruse starting in Rome. I'll make several posts of our various stops and finish with some over all reflections. We took the trip with my secretary Janelle Wilcks and her husband Todd. Sara and Thea came with us as well. We toured for three days in Rome before joining up with the Waddell and Reed group on the Azamara Quest.

On arriving to Italy we checked into our rooms and set off to see the Pantheaon built over a thousand years ago by the Romans. The Dome is still standing and we could go inside. The dome is 142 feet high and exactly 142 feet accross. The next day we hooked up with our tour guide Claudio and went to see the Vactican. We toured the Vatican museum, saw the Sisteen chapel painted by Michael Angelo and we saw St. Peters Basillica, probably the biggest and grandest church ever built. Then it was on the the ancient Roman Collosium, and the Roman Forum. Imagine a modern stadium that could seat 50,000 all covered in Marble. The Popes took all the marble for their churches hundreds of years ago and some of the walls of the Collosium have colapsed but it is still a very impressive sight. We also saw the Burgese Galleries but no pictures were allowed inside.