Michael and I just returned from a 10 day trip to Italy. Here are some highlights of our adventure in the land of fabulous food, wine and art…
Arrived in Roma, Jumped on the EuroStar high speed to Firenze.
WE LOVED FIRENZE! Rained off-and-on 3 of our days there, but that was a nice change for us warm & dry weather folks. Our days there included: Duomo, Medici Chapel, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia (said hi to David), street strolling/people watching, and the best food & vino of the trip. They have not changed much of this city, no high rises or newer looking architecture. Very pristine, narrow cobble stone streets and alleys, traffic galore (teeny-tiny cars everywhere!) Lots of 'SMART CARS' and Vespas whizzing around Italy.
Back on the EuroStar south to Sorrento (Almalfi Coast). Enjoyed relaxing in Sorrento and also took a day trip to Pompeii and jumped the Hydrofoil to Napoli another day. Pompeii was amazing and the Archaeological Museum in Napoli where all the art that they recovered is so incredible. Check out the mosaic portrait and the pooch we uncovered. Napoli is real in-your-face kinda city. Cool grafitti and the ABSOLUTE BEST PIZZA you will ever eat. Yes, more anchovies per favore!
Mon 11/10: Commuter trains on strike that morning, so we hired a cab to Napoli to catch yet another EuroStar back up to Roma. Mad dash around Rome in 1.5 days (phew!)…that was intense. Vatican Museum, (breezed through to see the Sistine Chapel), and of course St Peter's Bascilica. Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Colliseum, Spanish Steps, stepped into every church we stumbled across.
The churches are the treasures of Italy. Amazing architectural structures covered with fabulous painting, frescos, mosaics, gold, marble…you name it. It is truly mind-boggling what was created so beautifully— without machinery!
Departed Roma 11/12: After a four hour delay we were lucky our flight even got off the ground due to a pilot labor dispute. LONG, ARDUOUS trip home which was an experience all in itself.
Como se dice, "please shut your kid up!" en Italiano?
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Just got back from 11 or so days in China (on business with some pleasure tucked in there). First time for me. Shanghai and Hong Kong mainly. Some of you have been there I'm sure. A few quick thoughts from a first timer:
-12-15 hours from LA to Hong Kong. The seats where you can lay down are totally worth it.
-Shanghai/HK are both very accommodating to westerners.
-HK seems to have NYC vibe without the crime.
-Shanghai seems more European.
-I was told that the locals can be punished/fined if they're caught being rude to westerners in Shanghai.
-A lot of our government/business restrictions/regulations don't exist here (yet).
-People in the factories work their butts off.
-Read where 13 billion booked @ the big business convention in Donggaun (city in a huge industrial/biz area 2 hours outside of HK) compared to 24 billion last year.
-There was a candle light vigil (normally reserved for nat'l tragedies) in HK while I was there by the people who got screwed by the Lehman/Wall Street fiasco.
-From what I observed, there's very little of what we would term a middle class here yet.
-In Shanghai and Dongguang, you share the road with mopeds, bicycles and people just kind of standing in the road. And I mean share--lanes, turning lanes, intersections, U turns out of the blue--it's really best not to look (unless you're driving)LOL
-Fish heads--not that bad. Chicken knuckles--not so much.
-Thai or Thailand style massage (as recommended by my chiropractor) is totally worth it.
I attached a few photos. Also, here's a very well link to the worlds tallest building (for now) in Shanghai. If you want to want to take a clear look and catch some views of the modern part of the city:http://www.swfc-observatory.com/en/
Here is the excitement I am dealing with in Atlanta (at the senior center)-we had a Thanksgiving luncheon yesterday and fed over 350 seniors--we had a special guest: Ms. Annie Nixon Cooper...the 106 year old lady who Barak Obama gave the national shout-out to--man, what a delight!!!--106 and she is still beautiful AND sharp as a tack!--Here I am in "official capacity" as facility manager--giving her roses--WAY COOL--(and look at me in "corporate drag") ;-) Comments by Jean Bean.