Well, as expected, Aarons pictures from our trip to Italy turned out to be better than mine... vastly better (~~grumble, grumble~~). So I've decided to supplement this page with three dozen of his pictures. Most of them are of Lisa and I since Aaron was the photographer, but he's in a few. A few notes: The picture of the Grotto Azzura on the island of Capri is dramatic, but there's just no capturing the true beauty of that place on film. The sun filters in through a cave entrance and illuminates the white sand on the floor of the cave. The light is then reflected up through the water, giving it a radiant blue glow that's just impossible to describe. The picture of "Lisa&Friend" is of a street performer in Venice. This guy was posing as a statue when people walked by, except that when Lisa walked past he blew her a kiss! Laughing our heads off, we just had to go back a snap his picture. I guess the rest are pretty self explanitory; many were taken in Rome, Capri, Lucca, Venice, Florence, and Pompeii... which if you're not familiar with it, is an entire upscale Roman town that was buried by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius two thousand years ago. Most of the structures were preserved by the ash that covered it until it was excavated in the nineteenth century. Incredible place. Following Aaron's pictures are the ones I had originally uploaded last month. Pretty sorry compared to his... :(

campaign_poster.jpg capri_harbor.jpg capri.jpg colis3.jpg Coliseum.jpg dirty_laundry.jpg eternal_city.jpg firenze_dome.jpg firenze.jpg forum.jpg gallery.jpg grotto_azzura.jpg grotto_entrance.jpg Lisa_vatcn.jpg Lisa@Capri.jpg Lisa&Friend.jpg Lisa&I_venice.jpg Looking_Italian.jpg Lucca.jpg mars_pompeii.jpg Me_&Lisa_Vatcn.jpg Me&Lisa_st_petes.jpg mugging_in_pompeii.jpg new_catholics.jpg pantheon.jpg piazzo_san_marco.jpg pompeii_street.jpg three_paisans.jpg vaporetti.jpg Vatican_City.jpg vatican_globe.jpg Venice_canal.jpg Venice@dusk.jpg walls_of_lucca.jpg walls_of_lucca1.jpg

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Out of literally hundreds of pictures taken by myself, Aaron, and my nephew Daniel (who's studying in Amsterdam-- I met up with him for a 36 hour whirlwind tour of Paris), I've uploaded a couple dozen pics. They're in chronological order, so the first ones were taken in France, the last just as we were leaving. As planned, this trip more of a culinary tour de force than a regular sight seeing trip. We ate enough great food to sink a battleship and drank enough wine to float one. I finally got to indulge in some dishes that I'd only read about since the ingredients aren't available here. The seafood was particularly outstanding! As for our route, here's a map.

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Landed in Paris, drove along the Loire River Valley to a town called "Champs" just north of a series of five extinct volcanoes in southern France.

From there, I drove to Geneve Switzerland, and then to Annecy in the foothills of the French Alps. Next I drove South through Lyon, past Marseilles, Cannes, St. Tropez, and along the Riviera to Monaco. After Annecy (which still had some snow on the ground), Monaco was warm and sunny. The city of Monte Carlo was packed full of High Rollers, so I just walked through for a quick tour of the town. Nothing but Rolls Royces and the like.

Next, I crossed into Italy on the 17th. I drove up to the Lakes Region and decided to spend the night at Stresa, a very beautiful old resort town. The food here was incredible!

The following day I picked up Lisa and Aaron in Milan, and we headed straight for Venice; a three hour drive to the East. After almost three days there, we hit Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Naples (which was a pit), the ruins of Pompeii, a boat ride out to the island of Capri (gorgeous!), and then back north towards Rome. But before reaching Rome, we stayed one night at a Bed & Breakfast in a seaside community about 75 miles down the coast called San Felice. Here, we had what was probably the best food on our entire trip. The seafood here was amazing. If you ever go to Italy, be sure to ask for "Rombo"... you won't regret it!

France (these are lousy pics)

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Annecy

A picturesque little alpine town just across the Swiss border.

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I really liked this chateau more than the others I saw. So elegant. And this old dilapadated farmhouse looks to be 300 years old.

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And of course Daniel and I had to pay homage to the tomb of Jim Morrison. And that's my car sitting at the Swiss border, where the Swiss guards weren't too sure what to think of me trying to enter their country without a specific travel plan.

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The Louvre & the Musee D'Orcy

Lots of grist here for "Da Vinci Code" fans

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Met this hot babe there. A little old for me, but I'm a sucker for a pretty smile.

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Italy

Stresa, Lago Maggiore

I treated myself to an oppulent hotel while visiting this gorgeous resort at the northern end of the Piedmont lakes region. The wine here was the best!

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Venice

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Florence

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All I can say about this statue, is that these guys must have had a unique relationship.

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Pisa

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Pompeii

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Vatican City

We managed to end our trip in Rome during Easter Week. This first shot was taken on Good Friday at St. Peter's early in the morning before the crowds arrived. We never did get to see the Pope, too sick I guess. We ended up spending the entire day touring the Vatican Museum, which culminates at the Sistine Chapel. You're not supposed to photograph it, but somehow my camera must have triggered itself accidentally. Damn.

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