Archive for the 'Travel' category

Visit to Florence

| August 17, 2015 9:33 pm

After we finished our bike ride we decided to pay a visit to nearby Florence.  The group was going to take the train in but we didn’t get there before they left so we checked with the hotel and was told it was easier to just take a bus, which we did.  This was my 3rd time to Florence and Anne’s 2nd (one trip was on business).

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We found these street artists painting with colored chalk on the pavement.  They were quite amazing.

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After taking the bus back to the hotel we still had time to walk to a nearby bike shop.  This was the largest bike shop I had ever seen.  I bought some CO2 cartridges to use on our bike tour.

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Second Ride in Italy

| 8:13 am

Today we went with a larger part of the group, starting out on the same route we had taken yesterday but diverting off to see the lake we missed yesterday.

 

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This bicycle tour did not have any established routes so often would kind of make up things as we went along.

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After making a climb we got disconnected from the lead group and stopped to wait for those behind us but after awhile we decided to just find out way back to the hotel using the Garmin GPS.  That proved to lead us on a rather interesting route through some small villages and very narrow roads.

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We ended up with 46 miles and even more climbing that yesterday at 3,800 feet.

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First Ride in Italy

| August 16, 2015 8:03 pm

We decided to come to Italy one day early but so do most all of the other 16 riders.  We needed to find a local ride today from out hotel in Calezano since we were staying at the First Hotel another two nights.  Anne decided to ride with the big boys so she joined me along with Brian, Frank and Rudy.

 

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It turned out to be a bigger ride that we thought, with a total of 3,500 feet of climbing, some of it rather steep.  We finally made it to the cute town of Montepiano and would have liked to stop and explore but this group of guys were out for a fast ride.

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Travel to Italy for Bicycle Tour

| August 15, 2015 8:07 pm

We took a flight from Salt Lake to Charles DeGaule Airport where we made a connection to Florence, Italy.  The hotel was only 6 miles from the airport, and quite appropriately called the First Hotel.

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After getting some dinner (pizza of course) we embarked on the task of putting the bikes together.

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The Richey Break Away bike frame breaks into two sections so you can stuff everything into a travel case that is checked as regular luggage.  It took a couple of hours to put both bikes together.

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Fun in the Sun at Destin Beach

| May 11, 2009 2:02 pm
Fun in the Sun at Destin Beach

After being in Atlanta for a couple of days, we headed to Destin Beach in Florida with John, Amy, Kyle and Natalie.  We were kind of surprised that we went from Eastern time zone to Central time zone.  It just seemed we should be headed east going to Florida.   But if you take a look at the map below you can see that Florida extends west under Georgia and even part of Alabama.  Out destination was indeed towards the west of Atlanta.  It doesn’t look that far on the map, but with the highways we had to travel it took about 6 hours to drive.

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We arrived on Wednesday and the kids went straight to the beach, which was right in front of the condo units we were staying at.

The next day it was back to the beach for more fun.

In the afternoon we headed over to see more of the sights of Destin Beach area.

As night came on, we could see the moon over the ocean from our balcony.

On Saturday we headed down to Panama City to watch  a triathlon there and check out the beach in that area.

Sunday was Mother’s Day.

We enjoyed a brunch at “Another Cracked Egg” restaurant.  Then it was back to the condo and to the pool.

All good things need to come to an end but before we left to drive back to Atlanta on Monday, Franz took a couple more picture of where we had stayed.

Tip-Toe through the Tulips

| April 26, 2009 10:06 pm
Tip-Toe through the Tulips

Yesterday we visited Deception Pass and today we were anxious to see the Skagit Tulip Festival.  It was about a 10 mile drive from our hotel.  There were several places to stop but we picked one place where there looked like vast fields of tulips to view.

Until you see such a large expanse of tulips it is difficult to realize how breathtaking they are.  There were several different sections, each with it’s own color of tulilps.  There is little I can add, so I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Peter

Peter

Tulip Festival

Tulip Festival

It was fun taking photographs while Sara was also taking them.  I could take advantage of what she had visualized.

Emma

Emma

Abby and Mike

Abby and Mike

Tulip Festival

Tulip Festival

Andrew

Andrew

Emma, Andrew and Peter

Emma, Andrew and Peter

Anne wanted me to take a photo of this yellow tulip that was in the middle of red ones.  She was sure she could use it for a talk some time.

Standing Out in a Crowd

Standing Out in a Crowd

Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daughter

One more shot of that barn as we were leaving to return home.

Tulip Festival

Tulip Festival

Deception Pass

| April 25, 2009 10:04 pm
Deception Pass

We had a chance to visit Sara and her family who live south of Seattle.  Mike was taking Sara out for her birthday so we watched the grand kids overnight on Friday.  On Saturday morning we got the whole gang ready and headed up to Seattle to meet up with Mike and Sara.  We then drover further north to Deception Pass State Park.  It is Washington’s favorite state park with a spectacular Bridge and Pass.   It is a straight connecting the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the west with Skagit Bay to the east. Whidbey Island is on the south side of Deception Pass.

After parking we hiked down the the waterline.

Peter tried to scare us as we were walking down the trail.

From the coast you could see the famous bridge.

Andrew decided to play with the rocks on the beach while Franz took even more pictures of that bridge.

Mike and the boys then hiked up a trail that went to the bridge.  The rest of us drove our cars there and to meet in the parking area.

It was then to the motel where we were going to stay and out to dinner at the Olive Garden.  It was a great day and we were looking forward to going to the tulip festival the next day.

Amsterdam

| November 16, 2008 11:52 am
Amsterdam

Our flight from Barcelona arrived in Amsterdam at 5 pm.  Amsterdam has a beautiful airport, an indicaiton of the beautiful city we would be visiting.   We found our way to the train, which we took into the town.  From the Amsterdam South station, we took a 10 minute taxi ride to the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.  We had booked the hotel using Hotwire and got a great rate for a wonderful hotel in a nice residental neighboorhood.

Baerwalts were also visiting Amsterdam but their flight was later than ours.  Their hotel, which they also go on Hotwire, was right across the street.  After they arrived it was already around 8 pm, so we found out where we could walk for dinner.  It was a nice pasta diner, I guess because we had spent so much time in Italy we were still into pasta.

The next morning we woke up to a beautiful view right outside our hotel window.

It was a cool and cloudy day, a good day to visit the museums and take a ride on the canal.   We bought a 24 hour pass to the canal bus so we could use it both days.

It was a great way to see the city while staying warm.

That evening we went for a walk from our hotel.

We enjoyed the place we ate dinner last night so much that we went back there again for dinner.

The next day was cool but the sun was shining.  A good day to see the city.  We walked over to catch the tram and then caught the canal bus.

First stop was the flower market.

While they were all looking at the flowers, Franz walked a short distance get this photograph.

It was then back on the canal bus for some breathtaking views of the city.

We stopped at the Small Talk restaurant to get lunch.

Then a walk through the park back to the hotel since Baerwalts were departing that evevning.

That evening we went out on our own to catch the train up to a place called ?????. From there we walked up to the central train station.

The streets were filled with people.  We bought a big paper cone filled with french fries.  Later we had a nice dinner and then back to the hotel to get packed for tomorrow’s return home.  It was a great vacation, one we will always remember.

[More Pictures of Amsterdam]

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Rough Sailing

| November 14, 2008 10:21 am
Rough Sailing

During the visit from port to port, we would stay closer to shore and the waters were calm.  We had commented how this was much smoother sailing than the previous cruise we had been on.  After visiting the last port, the ship made a beeline straight back to Barcelona that would take more than a full day.  The waters were much more rough than when we were sailing closer to the shoreline going from port to port.

During the first evening things were calm enough.  When we got up we had a whole day on the ship so it seemed a good time to go to the exercise room.  Franz tried to use the treadmill but the rocking ship made him feel a bit dizzy so he switched to the exercise bike where he could hold on.  Ann didn’t seem to have any problem using the treadmill.

After we returned to the cabin Franz decided to put on a motion sickness patch. Later everyone stopped by our cabin to see our nice big balcony.

We decided to have lunch at a Jonny Rocket restaurnt they had on the ship.  To access it you had to go on the outside deck. It was cold and windy out there, unlike the shelter of our balcony.  There was also a long line to wait for a table, but we decided to go ahead and wait.

While waiting some were starting to feel motion sickness and decided to go back to their cabin. Franz was glad he had put the patch on.

It was funny eating a hamburger with the endless supply of french fries.  But we could really feel the motion of the ship so after eating we headed back to the cabin.  Even Ann, who rarely is affected by motion sickness, was felling some affects.

Only four of us made it to dinner that night.  After returnning again to the cabin so we could pack our suitcases since we were leaving in the morning.  Anne felt a bit too ill to do that right away but in a reverse of how it is normally, Franz was doing okay.  We were kind of anxious to just go to bed, thinking once we were asleep we woudl not feel the rocking of the boat.

In the morning it was calm and we could see that we were approaching  the port at Barcelona.  We decided to do the expediated departure and just carry our own bags off the ship.  So as soon as they allowed people to go ashore, we did so and were able to get a taxi to the airport.  Originally we thought about taking a bus and then the train, but after about 30 hours of rough saling a taxi seemed the right approach.

Our flight was not until the afteroon so we had a long wait at the airport.  They would not let us check out bags for another 2 hours so we found a place to sit down.  Harrisions were there also but found out their connecting flight from Paris was cancelled so that meant they would spend the night in Paris (real tough duty).  We were flying to Amsterdam for a few days.  Waiting at the airport for our flight was not problem at all.  It was on dry land!

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Last Port – Palermo, Sicily

| November 13, 2008 10:13 am
Last Port - Palermo, Sicily

The last port for our Cruise was at Palermo. It seemed that as we moved from port to port each stop was a bit less interesting than the previous. We are not sure if that was because we were getting a bit worn out from all the cathedrals or just the nature of the cities.

Mark was again our tour guide as we walked through the streets of Palermo.

And visited another cathedral.

And getting a little rest.

We then walked to the city government building that had a very beautiful chapel.

Then we had to wait to see another part of the government building.

Then off to find a place for lunch.

We then headed to visit the Catacombs but they were not open until 3 pm so we had to wait for over an hour and it was sunny and warm.

We are not sure if it was worth the visit, unless you like to look at a lot old decomposed  dead people wired to the walls.  The literature on the catacombs says the Capuccini Monks started the first cemetery in 1534 when they dried the bodies over an 8 month period and placed them in 4 corridors of the catacombs.   We could not take pictures, which was good, because trust us, it was a little spooky…..

Then it was back to the ship after taking one final shot of the city.

[More Pictures of Polermo]

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