Sunday, November 6, 2011

Epic Vacation

Symptoms of an Epic Vacation: years later, you remember and honor every anniversary of the Epic Vacation. In September, I was saying to Joy, "Do you realize, it's been two years since we were in Italy?" No way. It can't have been that long. I wanted to post some more pictures from that trip back then, but life being always too hectic, our intentions sometimes get put off by 2 months.

Another symptom: When you tell your wife you're talking about Epic Vacations, she guesses which one.

It was such a great trip! "It was fun."

"I'll always remember going to Holland," Joy says. Our honeymoon in Germany was also Epic of course, but there's a lot to celebrate when it comes time to commemorate that one again, and there were memorable (if not quite as Epic trips on subsequent anniversaries).

For some reason that year [reasons that we now understand only too well], the Spirit nudged Joy to suggest something that would never have entered into our heads otherwise: let's take our tax break and splurge - spend it all (nearly) on a trip to see her brother in Italy. Somehow we did it. Totally out of character for us. Then again, 5 years ago I'd never have guessed I would be living here either.

Below the fold are some new, random pictures from our trip that never got posted at our old blog. Because they are random, they are totally out of order.

Lake Bled [blade], Slovenia

It's a health spa town and serves as the Continental answer to Bath, England, for those of you who enjoy Jane Austen. View from the Castle.

Verona, Italy

The plaque commemorates the 25th anniversary of cooperative shakedowns, erm, sisterhood of touristy Verona and Salzburg.

Statue in Venice, probably a Maria but it having been two years, I've long forgotten which or why. Our first official "this is a tourist thingy."

We paused our drive through the Dolomites to let the little boys run around for a moment. Little did we know we were across the street from where we wanted to be in the first place.
Verona, Italy

The actors were a fun part of the trip. Little did we realize, they expected a tip. Not having planned it at all, I was enough taken aback I didn't give a proper amount.

Among the more difficult things for me on moving to Nigeria was figuring out who I was expected to tip and how much. It's a lot fewer people than I envisioned.

I'll also comment that there are qualitative differences being stingy with someone dressed in rags and someone carrying a costume sword. What is the same is: you never feel like you gave enough!

Near Trieste, Italy

The safari zoo was a lot of fun. The shot of the giraffe attacking Joy (not shown) a moment later gives you a good idea why this is NOT a good idea.

Salzburg, Italy

Mozart and family. 5 minutes after the picture was taken, the wigs were off and Mozart was lounging on the divan, legs splayed, swigging his bier and trying to belch out Eine Kleine.

Salzburg, by the Hellbrunn trick fountains if I recall correctly

Joy poses by the gazebo they used in The Sound of Music. Watching that movie now makes us nostalgic for our vacation.

You can take a remarkably long cable car up Untersberg to look out on Salzburg.

Walking down from the Salzburg castle, you see get a less-impressive, but much more detailed view.
 Verona again - The theater was closed while we were there, so this is as much of it as I got to see. We even came back twice, but no dice. I had printed out Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech if I had gotten the chance to get inside.

Up the road from it was a wonderful gelateria, though. If it hasn't closed up shop, it will be there still.

The original stonework in the Salzburg castle.