18 June 2008

Traveling with Vicki...

Vicki and I had an amazing time in Paris! Even though this was round 3 for me, we experienced and saw so many unique things that set this trip apart.

Paris was amazing!! We walked the entire city over, and soaked in atmosphere! Let's see... we spent hours in the Louvre, walked Champs-Elysse, saw the Arc de Triomphe, went to the top of the Eiffel tower, went to Versailles, the Catacombes, Saint Cruix, Notre Dame ... even experienced mass there! Took pictures with French guards, listened to 3 men on bikes singing opera, enjoyed fire blower up on Montmarte, found little gardens hidden around Paris, SAW PRESIDENT BUSH!, learned a few French words :) , ... we walked the whole city over, and experienced everything that we possibly could in 3 days time. Even took a side trip and found Juvisy....... that was not planned; granted neither was sprinting around the city the last 2-3 hours because we were late catching the train/plane! :) We did make our flight with 10 minutes to spare only for it to be delayed after we got through security ... :) Ahh, life!

Florence is definitely in the rankings for one of my favorite places on earth!! Pisa, on the other hand, is no where near that category. The only thing to experience and see in Pisa is the leaning tower. Once we saw that we walked the entire city trying to find other things... and came up with nothing. So, 6 a.m. the next morning we left and fell in love with Florence!! There's SOOO much to see and experience in Florence, and somehow we always managed to run upon cultural experiences that just added to our trip! As for sightseeing.... we went to the Accademia, Duomo (the museum, church, and bapistry), Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, Santa Croce, Piazza Michelangelo, San Marco, Giardino di Boboli Galleria del Costumes.... and probably much more than that. It was an overwhelming indulgence of religious art, scultures, architecture and culture. In 3 days there I took 1300 pictures and we weren't allowed to take picts. inside the museums! The pieces that we were able to see are remarkable! I stood in front of work done by Leonardo da Vinci, Dante, Rapheal, Donotello, Michelangelo... and so many others! Vicki and I enjoyed flexing our Christian knowledge as we walked through the museums. At every corner there was another puzzle... who were the saints being represented, why was it portrayed in such a way, what Biblical story are they referring to.. and so forth. Most of the time, between the two of us, we could at least figure out the story and people represented. The one saint that we just couldn't figure out, though we know how he died, is St. Sebastian. Evidently he was repeatedly shot with a bow and arrow because every single painting, without fail, portrayed him dying in such a manner. We had such a good time attempting to be a local, and yet also enjoying being a tourist! Of course, since we were walking so much, and hiking up the hills daily we opted for gelato each afternoon!! :)

Needless to say, we enjoyed the experiences...

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