Monday, March 31, 2008

The stars at night are big and bright.....clap,clap,clap,clap:

...deep in the heart of Texas!

"Excuse me, I have a question."
"When are we going to see the basement?"
"There's no basement at the Alamo! HA HA HA HA!"
But there are pretty oak trees and original wells (above) and neat knives on display and all kinds of dioramas. The Alamo is pretty cool. Everyone has always said it was so much smaller than they expected, so we weren't disappointed. It is definitely a very important site, and Utah wouldn't be a state without it so, "Thanks Alamo". Neither of us had ever seen it before.
The outbuildings and walkways are quite nice.
Here we are. After seeing the Alamo we found the river walk and had a great lunch at Boudros. Amazing guacamole that they make right at your table.

Here is Clayton and the river.
Some of the store fronts along the river walk.
Clayton again. San Antonio is a neat city. Two of Clayton's siblings have served there, Monica and Tyler. And as for all of the Pee Wee's Big Adventure references, if you haven't seen the first movie, you really should. We both loved it as kids. And Clayton's brothers and sisters used to call him "Herm" for Pee Wee Herman as he looks a bit like Paul Ruebens. A hot sexy version though.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Venice! We went to Venice!

Hello again. So we went from New York to Venice Italy. And it was great. Venice truly is "a feast for the eyes". Everywhere you turn is a postcard ideal. Even the hotel keys are photo worthy. See....
We didn't sleep much on the plane, so we crashed a bit once we arrived. But we took out the camera that night for our walk about town and for dinner. Here I am on Rialto bridge.
And here is Clayton on the same bridge. During the day it is open with all kinds of shops and all kinds of tourists.
Here it is alone. The folded corner of the banner is killing me. Not that I have ocd problems or anything.
Here is Clayton preparing to dig into his sea-bass. Now, where is that quoted? Yes, I know. Clayton likes to quote it to me all of the time. If you don't know, just ask him. Note how they bring the whole fish to the table? Eyes and all. However, it was one tasty sea-bass.

The next day we started out super early due to jet lag. I think we were ready around four am. The following are shots of us around the town. I wont label every canal and street as it means nothing to you all, and frankly I can't remember them whatsoever.

More! More of Venice!

Lest you think you can escape her clutches even in a far-away, romantic vacation spot for grownups...

Waaah ahh-ahh-ahhhhh! (That's supposed to be an evil laugh.) Nice try. You are no match for her powers. Here are some more shots of us out and about in Venice. Charming streets, scenic canals... is it getting old? Too bad. Whole lot more coming this way.

Here are some shots of the famous Piazza San Marco. Named for St. Mark as they stole his body to make their city more religiously important. This is one of the most beautiful basilicas in Europe. It is covered in intricately detailed mosaics. Many of them are real gold tile. The inside looks gilded. You can't take pictures inside, but there are many places to see them on the web.'s_Basilica

This is one of my favorite mosaics outside.
Here I am at one corner. In the mornings the high tides from the Adriatic swell the lagoon and "flood" the city. It only lasts for a few hours and only in the lowest spots. Piazza San Marco is one of them. The city puts up tables all along the square and along some of the high traffic foot paths in the city. The tables are 12 inches to a few feet tall and you walk along them to get about. You can see the tables behind me.

Here is handsome Clayton next to the Palazzo Ducale. The building is built adjacent to the basilica. It is kind of their Capitol building of sorts.
Next we see Clayton standing in between the two columns that represent Marco (St. Mark) and Todaro (St. Theodore). For a better view of the statues on top see:
These are kind of like the official "gateway" into Venice. However, you usually enter the city from everywhere but here. They also used to have the public executions in between the two posts. They were first put there in 1180 and you can see them in major paintings of the square from that time on.
For those of you that know me well, you might recall a weird obsession I have. It's the unusual urge to kick a pigeon. I don't want to hurt them, I just want to squeeze them or punt them into the air where they will flutter off and start flying. Don't worry animal lovers. I haven't done it yet. They are just so puffy and fluffy and fat. Does anyone else get this?
I didn't cause this, I promise.
The piazza opens up to the lagoon where you can glimpse other islands. Here is Clayton in front of some gondolas. No, we didn't take a ride. They are too expensive, and I think I would feel awkward if a gondolier started singing to us.

This is the bridge of sighs. This is Clayton sighing. I would've posted my shot but I just look like I am deranged. Criminals were marched across this bridge on their way to the jail that used to be in the Palazzo Ducale. They were said to sigh at their last view of the water.

Too much Venice.

Here is Clayton mimicking the local police. Always a bad idea.
Here is Clayton looking at ties. He bought the yellow and white striped one for his souvenier.

More canals. All amazing.

Here we are on the deck at the Peggy Guggenheim museum of modern art. It is on the Grand Canal and has some of the best views of the area. It used to be her home and a lot of the art work you see there is hanging where she put it. She was a major player in the modern art scene of the first half of the twentieth century. Her gallery houses works from Rothko, Kandinsky, Picasso, Ernst, Magritte Calder, Miro and dozens of others. Oh, and she is buried there with 12 or so of her dogs.

Another canal.
This is The Martyrdom and Apotheosis of St Pantalon by Gian Antonio Fumiani. He should be more famous. It is a massive painted canvas hung on the ceiling of the church of San Pantalon. It's an amazing example of trompe-l'oeil, and I think it is more impressive than the Sistine Chapel, but that is only my opinion. The illegal picture I took (no flash, don't worry) doesn't do it justice. I've looked for an image online and haven't found one yet. If you are really interested it is almost always in art books that cover the Baroque period.

Clayton on the Accademia bridge over the great canal.

Same bridge, other side.
This is my favorite shot I took. Sadly I can't turn it for this site yet. I left it for the end so as not to annoy everyone. Sorry this blog was a bit of a history lesson, but I hope you learned something. And I hope that something isn't: "Never read this blog again."

Monday, March 10, 2008

New York City!

Hello, we are back. We changed our minds about Costa Rica and decided to go elsewhere. So we took a red-eye to New York Wednesday night to catch our flight to... next blog. We arrived at JFK at 5:30 am on Thursday. Our flight didn't leave until that evening, so we had about 8 hours to kill. We wanted to pack in as much of New York as we could so we decided on Central Park and Ellis Island. We started by taking the subway to 125th in South Harlem and walked down to Central Park. We walked the entire length of the park along 5th Ave. We stopped for breakfast on Park Ave and made some detours in and out of the park. Here is Clayton in front of the small lake at the top end by 110th.
This is the Alice in Wonderland statue. It is one of the few things I knew about and wanted to see in Central Park. Central Park is so huge and we didn't have a map, so we had no illusions of finding anything. We were just happy to wander and take in whatever sights we could see. So we were ecstatic, well, I was, to fumble upon this in our meanderings. It was put in the park in 1959 as a memorial to Margarita Delacorte from her husband George. The inscription reads:
In memory of my wife Margarita Delacorte who loved all children GTD. How romantic and sweet is that? It made me love the statue all the more.
Here I am in one of the areas used in Enchanted. (That's how she'll know) This movie has become a family favorite due to our niece Allie's obsession with it. And because it's just freaking adorable. At least that's what Clayton says. Ok. So Clayton doesn't say that.
Speaking of adorable movies Clayton loves... or angry sea-monster movies, here is a bridge/tunnel like the one in the end of Cloverfield. Clayton is hunkering down to avoid dying.

And here we are together. Central park was amazing. It would be fun to go in the summer and enjoy more of it.
We made our way down from the bottom of the park and found Times Square. New York is incredible. You can see almost every famous site in one day if you are willing to walk a lot. We were and we did. The only thing we didn't do was the Empire state bldg. $20 bucks to get up on the roof. They never mention that in movies. We didn't have time. We had a flight to catch and were just trying to see the basics. Here is Clayton in front of MTV studios.

And here I am in front of the big signs. There really isn't a lot to do there besides gawk and take pictures. A small bomb had been set off that morning in the middle of the street, but it wasn't that big of a deal when we got there. However, many armed officers and soldier-types keeping watch.

And here we are doing our best self-portraiture. Is that a word? Note the billboard directly over my head. Well, you can't really see it, but it is the America's Next Top Model ad. Awesome.
We made our way to Ground Zero and paid our respects and then walked to Battery Park where we caught a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I told you we packed a lot in one day. This is the view of the city from Liberty Island.
And here is Clayton at the same spot. We enjoyed our day in New York so much. At the end we were very tired and a bit cold, but happy to have seen such a cool part of America. Here is a parting shot of Lady Liberty. You can't take a bad picture of her.

Stay tuned for where we went next!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Eleanor Month by Month----Current Blog Below