omg ROMA let's be honest Kate and I were tired going into Rome. This has been a non stop trip. I dare say we've walked over 100 miles before Rome and then we walked 100 more.| comment
Rome was just what we needed after being disappointed by Florence.
We checked into the hotel around 1 the first day. We decided after all the walking and traveling it would probably be best to take it easy for the rest of the day.……… we didn't do that. We got out on the street and started walking. Got some lunch and headed for the Treve Fountain. You know the Treve Fountain it's in every movie that's ever been shot anywhere near Rome. Then as if with out trying at all we stumbled on the Colosseum. We all know that one as well and yes it is cool and almost surreal to be stand next to. Being that it was the end of the day we saw only the out side and walled around the outside of the Roman Forum as well. Then it was off to dinner at Pizza Ricci which in my humble opinion was the best meal of the trip. It was a real pizzaria with amazing personal size pizzas. It was just what we had been looking for. The resturaunt it's self was amazing inside.
The next day was the full indepth tour of the Colosseum and the Forum. The hotel had free wifi (the only one on the entire trip (savages) ). So we were able to download to our phones free Rick Steves audio tours of each. Kate and I have a love hate relationship with Mr. Rick that continued on with these audio tours. They were very informative and difficult to follow. Rick's voice rings of an annoying highschool math teacher that thinks he's funny but just makes humor want to kill it's self. Mr. Babula I'm looking at you on this one. Those two sights took the entire day. On our way to dinner we stopped at an Irish Bar (seemingly the only real bars Italy can figure out how to construct) to relax. Then off to dinner in the square near out hotel for more meat cheese and pasta. Ahhhhhhhhhh.
The next day as if by requirment after reciveing that papal blessing we went to the Vatican. I know this is going to sound crazy but I thought the colonade that reaches out around the Vatican square was going to be larger but I had built it up in my mind. It was still amazingly large though. After having lunch with the Pope where he bored us with stores of saints and sinners and heaven and hell, we moved on to St. Peter's basillica which is out of control. There's a reason it's the flagship church for the entire faith. I can't describe it so I won't try but if you can I'd try to make it over here to see it. It's the only over done church that's not gaudy. The sheer size of it is mind crushing. Little note from our friend Rick. The Catholics stripped marble off the Colosseum to help construct St. Peter's. Not Cool!
After that as if again by requirment we went to see the Sistine Chapel. Too many people! This was in October so I can't imagine the amount of people in the summer. I wouldn't be able to handle it. The Rick Steves audio tour this time was really quite good.
After a quick lunch it was off to the Spanish Steps. By this time we had walked so much the bottom of our shoes had started to melt but it was our last day and the Spanish Steps was still on the list. After a bit of struggle we made it and sat for at least two hours. We were entertained the entire time by a group of teenaged kids on a school trip drinking like it was the end of days. Kate and I feeling old and uncool went to buy a bottle of wine to try and join in on the debauchery and succeded in our own controled way. Then some shopping and finally found a great Rick recomdation for dinner. Then one more stop at the Treve Fountain and back to the hotel to sleep and sleep and sleep.
I'm tapping this out from the airport in Rome ready to see the US again. We had an amazing time but we both miss buttFUZZ and burritos. In my estimation we've taken over 1500 pictures which I'll post on flickr. The best I'll put here on dport7 along with the much anticipated wedding photos.
See you all soon!!!!!!!
Florence…… italy you can keep it. Not that it's an awful place it just lacks any kind of charator. It's just a big city with a white and green marble chruch, Mike's David and a ton of 13 and 14 century art (which btw is all religious and the same). We went to the two major art museums the Uffizi and the Accademia. Saw the big ones like the Birth if Venus and some Caravagio's but the majority is JC and Maddona and Child. The main attraction in Florence is The David. We were impressed. It is massive. I think that's what really makes it special. The entire country is packed with sculpture but it's all very similar. David is a triumph.| comment
That white and green marble church I mentioned is the Duomo. no pictures to show you right now but if you went to art school you would recgonize the big red tile dome. What you didn't know is that it was designed by the hambergler. The green and white marble has turned black and grey over time to now resemble prison stripes. The amount of decoration on this place would make the ladies from Long Island cringe.
Sienna…… I barely new her. Being that after one day in Florence we had conquored the toursty shit we decided to take our underwhelmed selves to Sienna. Sienna is in the Tuscany region of the country and is said by many to he the most beautiful. So we jumped on a train and headed that way. Sadly we arrived in a thunderstorm. So we ducked into a fake irsh bar (note: one thing we can not stand is the lack of real bars in this country. No! I don't want to have a drink at the corner store. I want to sit in a dark loud bar!) till it blew over and to get some much needed food. While inside we met this guy from Texas named Brandon and he offered to show us around when the
rain stopped. After a bit the rain quit and Brandon walked us down to Il Campo the main square. On our way we asked what he was doing in Sienna. Oh man!!! Long story short he said his baby mama, a rich girl from Texas had been preggers with his kid unbenounced to her parents. One day right before the child was born her parents said "hey, let's take a family trip to Florence Italy" so they all jumped on a plane ( she's 27 and lives at home btw so family trips can happen like that.) While in Florence she has the child. Her parents both being doctors force her to have the baby in the hotel room so no one would know of it's existance. If you haven't guessed the parents hate our new friend Brandon because he is "black and a DJ". So with a baby birthed in secret the Parents tell the baby mama that she has to abandon the baby or they will take her passport and leave her in Italy pennyless and rich girl stupid. Being stupid she agrees to abandon the baby and goes to leave it at a near by church then flees back to Texes with mom and dad. Once she's back in the US Brandon starts asking questions. Sooner or later he finds out what happened after much struggle. Now he's on Sienna staying with family friends getting a DNA test trying to prove the baby is his. He claims after the media found out about the story 20/20 offered to help him out with everything in exchange for the story. Kate and I don't believe any of this but it did make for a good story.
The rest of Sienna was nice. I got a new wallet from my favorite Euro store Manderina Duck. Then we hoped back on the train back to Florence.
On the way to Rome now. Kinda exhausted. See you there! Sorry for the crap pics. One is a David copy in the square the other well who knows.
Kate and I beat the crap out if this vacation. With a just a bit over two days we pckes in a whole weeks worth of fun. Yesterday after bombing around what felt like the entire island on the scooter we went to the swanky white elephant restaurant for dinner. As always it was a delight. Kate had the tuna and I had the stuffed lobster. Today with out flight off the island leaving at 1:30pm we decided to take the early fishing trip with our old friend capt'n Mark aboard the "let's do it two". Things started off slow with the first half of the trip void of fish. After a quick jaunt beyond the bay Kate and I were ready to call it quites with sea sickness. Capt'n Mark didn't let us down and as if magic took us to a spot that yielded 9 fish in our last 20 min. Both Kate and I caught 2 fish on one cast. Kate although came out the winner with a 28inch stripper bass that was fit for keeping under Mass. State law. After 2 1/2 hours and 9 fish Kate and I were beat.| comment
We're at the airport now with screaming kids behind us and to tires to shoot them an evil eye that would make them cry. Please god give me the strength.
Lastly it has come to my attention that here is a fake facebook account that's been set up for me. This "person" is using the name "Paul Frank" and is pretty much ripping off my dport7 posts. This is both creepy and flattering. Just beware if you friend me on facebook it's not me. Special thanks to the imposter.
well it's day 2 and the only full day we have here on the island. So far we've beat that odds and the sun has come out for us. We rented a scooter and as always it just adds fun to the day. We've put in some beach time and have made our way around the island. We've been staying at this bed and breakfest (that shal remain nameless) but the guy who runs it is named Hazeal. Hazeal is about as crazy as they come. We have to sneak out of the place to keep him form cornering us and telling stories about the island. Jerry Stiller (georges dad on Seinfield) lives out here and Hazeal gave us a long talk about how he's not funny. Crazy!| comment
Well that's right Kate and I eascaped from New York in secret this morning. The photo below shows us struggling at 6am at the Jet Blue gate at JFK.| comment
just left the whaleing museum. Ok so this is a picture of a real whale. This guy beached himself and then the locals in an effort to be as badass as the old time moby dick type whalers cut it up and made a documentary out of it. Kathylee was not involved.
what's a vacation without a visit to the Lobster Trap. Let me be clear I love lobster and went for it with the 1 1/2 pounder. Kate chose to stick with 1 1/4. Although they look exactly the same to me. I don't know what it is or how they do it but every island lobster stop I've ever been to seems to be able to re-create the same vibe and menu. Is it all one big chain? Or maybe it's worst ..... Lobster is lobster and the sweat seasoning I'd vacation makes it the best you've ever tasted.
As always dport7 has gone the extra mile for you and included the lobster eating directions for you. Along with the image of the local golden lobster god that is worshiped here. It's not weird it's a accepted division of scientology.
faithful believe it or not i went on a mini VACATION last weekend!!!!! kate and i joined our friends BVA, DVA, and our new friend Nicki at a beach house on TYBEE island for a fun filled weekend of old college friends, karaoke, beer, beef, pinkie masters, bingo and all other types on tomfoolery. I've posted a bunch of pictures in FRAMES that i hope you'll enjoy!! It was so great to get a chance to see my old college pals Joel and Jenn!! Being back in Savannah and seeing the students made me long for the "studio fridays" warm days and lost hours at pinkie masters. Well you can't go back as they say and i won't waste my time trying, although it does make me feel good/sad to remember how much fun i used to be. The pictures below are the entire team at different stages of the trip. enjoy.... love the kate dance pic. Oh the pic of DVA and nicki show their bingo winnings!!!! BVA also at bingo just hours before big 30. yeah that's me singing brandy. hooray!| comment
so did you see this? just when you thought you knew the biggest bastard in town good old Billy Bob Thornton comes out of nowhere and takes the taco. I posted this interview Billy Bob did on a Canadian radio station. He just gets mad and refuses to answer questions. To really get into it fast forward to the 6 and a half minute mark. It's so akward and revolting it's hard not to watch. If for some reason you were or are a Billy Bob fan, well I hope this changes your mind.| comment
In other news aaron and alison came to visit last weekend and we all had a great time. One great thing about living in New York for 5 years is that after the second year most of the people that are going visit have. So by year 3 it's gravy. when people come to visit there isn't any lets go to the top of the rock or visit the moma. It's just purely hang out time. this i like. I'll try and post a few pictuers this weekend. I know alison posted some pics on the facebooks but being that i continue to boycott i haven't been able to see said pictures....
In just a week kate and i head to Savannah and we could not be more excited. I can't tell you how bad i need to get out of the city. seeing the old savannah sights is really going to lift the old spirits.
Hey, everyone happy happy new year!!!! well i hope everyone had a great time at their new years parties. We sure did! Kate Ian and I went to a loft party thrown by our friend Erin (hands) Hanley. She rented this loft and everyone prepaid on paypal to come to the party it was great. I think if i could get myself organized it may be an option for the next SSP. Needless to say we all celebrated the coming of the new year with our usual heavy handed vigor. Ian took some falls but isn't to worst for the wear. I had a tough time on the 1st getting my strength back but Kate was ready for more party. (i'll post pictures soon)| comment
yesterday Kate dug deep into her polish past to make some killer cabbage roles. I'm not all together certain, but I'm pretty sure i've had the magic that is cabbage roles before. Kate how ever nailed it on her first try. She invited a few friends over and told ian to pick out some good cheese and the result was a nice relaxing evening.
Today we are off to the adirondacks for a ski vacation. don't ask how or why it's a long story that none of us are really sure about. We leave soon and Ian seems to know where he's going. I always feel safe these days with the iphone maps forever by our sides.
lastly check out that f'n ring man!!!! that's right that ring resides on the hand of my brother big john diehl! He got it for being the head doctor for the minor league hockey team in Cincinnati! it's really pretty impressive. When i was home for christmas he asked me to post it so the smug phil anderson could see it. everyone enjoy it's glory!
UPDATE::::: I started the new frames09 which includes ski trip pics. New Years pics are back in frames08...... enjoy!!
vacation day 3 and 4| comment
Ok so it being vacation and me being out of my normal life i'm going to keep this extra short and just post pictures. vacation day 3 was mostly kinda over cast so our time at the beach was limited. Kate wanted to walk around Edgertown so we did, had a nice relaxing day, with mexican for dinner. Day 4 found us at the beach again this time without a moped but with a kite. who knew a kite could be soooooo fun. check out all the pictures one of them might be where we are staying. (or not).
vacation day 2| comment
day two of the the martha's vineyard vaca brought some moped fun. that's right kate faced her fears and hopped on the back for a moped driven by yours truly. we rode all over the island seeing the sights and having a good time. the first stop was the beach. it was really pretty hot and I'm so totally scared of getting burned we only stayed like 3 hours, most of which i slept. Then it was back on the scooter and a quick (as possible the little thing tops out a like 32 mph) tour around the island. On the tour we went through Edgertown which kate has grown quite a liking to. So we took the bus back there after turning in the moped at the end of the day. We thought it might be a good place for dinner and we ended up at "the seafood shanty". How was it? well lets say we got taken. it was kinda like a red lobster type place and not so good. we are planing to make up for that fauxpeau on the last night on the island with a better meal. stay tuned for more to come!!!
notice Kate's steven colbert bad, the obama fans out here love it!!
vacation day 1| comment
On our way to vacation!!!! Hooray
So let me fill you in. kate and i took off from the port authority at 7:30 this morning and got on the peter pan bus. after about 4 hours we ended up at woods whole where we picked up the ferry and headed off to martha's vineyard. We are staying in oak's bluff the more diverse part of the island. it's less the uppitty part of the island and it feels much more comfortable. we walked around town this after noon then stopped for a drink. Dinner was at the Look Out, lobster was on our minds and we let one have it. look for more tomorrow. I'm so happy to be on vacation i could cry.
ok no picture today. I'll fill you in anyway. Last night ian Joel and I hit the town just like the old days. After starting at Pinkie Masters (which has not changed in the least, even some of the old regulars are still there). Then moved on to Vinnies and on to the rail pub. This was kinda hard for me because when I was here at school the rail pub was kind of the place to go. Now its just full of a bunch of lame kids sings really lame 90's shit rock karaoke. I sang peaches by the presidents of the united states of america and no one cared. Then we closed the bars down at some Scottish place on congress. You know they say you can never go back, and for as lame as that saying is its sooo true. You had your time and weather it was cool or not it seemed cool, and its impossible to remember it as any less then the best.| comment
today was golf. Yes that's right I went golfing. I'm really horrible, although I had two good shots to at least save face alittle. We were playing a scramble (look it up) and I was on a team with bill (the groom) and the bride's father and brother. For not getting to bed till 4 the night before and getting up a 7 for the tee time i handeled myself pretty well. Had a pretty good time and didnt really hit the wall so to speak untill lunch time. Bill really carried our team. Of course we did our best to destroy the golf carts. But they always cap the speed on those things so you can't get them airborne.
Right now I'm waiting for Jenn Norwood to come pick me up so we can go to the kings inn to do some real karaoke. Jenn is a pro and I have a few killer songs in mind. I'm doing a neil diamond song in honor of both kate and brian. Also I'm going to see if jen wants to do the clash's train in vein with me. (if you dont know this song, go buy it. One of the best)
it's hard to describe really. when two blogs of this stature collide it is earth shattering. From friday at 9am to Sunday at 10am myself and brian lauvery/tony ritz/may other aliases enjoyed the very best of what chicago had to off. tony wrote a supurbe account of the events on suddenly struttin(believe the good things, i would never start a burrito fight). One of the highlights of the trip was a stop at threadless. Check out there site if you haven't head of it. they recently opened their one and only store in chiacgo not too far from brian. From there it was off the the best hot dog place in the world hot doug's. i had a BLT dog..... trust me crazy good. The rest of the day was spent at BOBinn a locals bar great time. i lost my grasp of concionsness at 9pm sadly and passed out on brian's friend paul's house (thanks paul). the next was more of the same good lunch some pumpkin carving and a uber late night getting to know more of the locals. also as a special surprise number2 jay purugganancame out for a few drinks a tons of fun. the kid can dance for real. Overall great time..... can't wait till next year!!!!! lots of pictures in FRAMES!!!| comment
if you've been reading this blog for a few years, you know how i hate flying because of delays and the people i sit by, ect. this trip was with out a doubt the best experiance ever. i even missed my flight home and had no trouble getting on the next one just one hour later. along with that both flights landed early there and back. SO united good on ya!!!!!! dport7 giving credit where credit is DUE.
vacation day 5| comment
so I do t know what happened but I think we made dottie mad. The last two mornings (including this morning) the continental breakfest has not been offered. This is alright with me but kate needs her coffee. I'm guessing if we see dottie on the way out there'll be words. Anyway day five was all about the sun. Being that the weather has been a bit fall like the entire trip kate and I haven't had the chance to get the golden brown roman like tan we planned on. After a quick bagel at a small cafe we set out to Jetties beach again. The sun was up but the air was still cool. We laid outost of the after noon and walked along the beach looking for some more treasures of the sea. After lunch we headed to a different beach on the other side of the island called Surf Side. Kate clames this is were the big waves are but they were still kinda small yesterday. After about an hour there it got cold so we headed back into town to get ready for dinner. We went to the White Elephant faceing the harbor. It was super classy so kate and I dressed up and looked hot with our newly tanned faces. I posted a picture of the view from the resturaunt. We fly out today at 7 so maybe we'll buy you some taffy.
vacation day 4| comment
we started out at fog island for breakfest before going out on the fishing boat. Then kate's phone rang and is was the charter saying it was too windy and the sea was too dangerouse so the trip was cancelled, on account of the wind blowing to hard and rough water. In a panic we got on google and looked up some other trips and found a guy named captain mark who agreed to take us out on his boat the "just do it too". lucky for us he said he had to keep it in the bay area. Keeping in the bay turned out to mean we were only able to catch scrogg which are pictured below. I think it turned out for the best because even in the some what calm waters of the bay Kate and I felt a bit sea sick. Who caught more fish you ask? Well kate pulled down a triumphant 4 srcogg while I caught 3. That's 7 altogether and that's just weird. 7. Being it was kinda windy and cold we came back to the guest house and laid out in the back yard. One would think in this case I would be free of screaming children. If I was they would be letting me win......and they can't let that happen. as I drifted in and out of sleep in the warm glow of the evening sun the child in the backyard next door was screaming bloody murder about god knows what. As if a limb was being cut off with a wet rope. I could hear the adult trying to reason with the brat about what ever they wanted. I think it finally stopped when the constant screams deprived the oxygen to the kids brain and he passed out. Thank god. The day ended with kate and i getting some pizza a bottle of wine and reading questions from trivia pursuit. I passed out, don't know what happened to kate. Only one more vacation blog left we leave monday.
vacation day 3| comment
so after the ladie of the house (Dottie) woke everyone up with the 8am continental breakfest again it was time to start the day. It was overcast so we headed down to the wharf to see if we could get in on a fishing trip or at least find some cheaper than advertised tours. Turns out price wars don't exsist in Nantucket and all the trips were booked for the day. So we signed up for the next day at noon. Being that it was overcast and even some might say a bit chilly we decided to get on our bikes and ride out to Madekat on the other side of the island. Now I thought that being that it was the other side of the island it would have its own little main street and markets but it turns out all that's out there is more houses and beach. We took some pictures set foot on the windy cold beach and headed back. On the 30min ride back we passed this family of 5 and as we passes one of the little girls (claire) tried to race me and pulled ahead. (I ride like jessica fletcher folks) as her mom yells to let people pass she darts in front of me to pull over. Several more times she tried to race me and crash into me but I avoided. Moral of the story...... Day 3 and I still don't like kids in or around my vacation. We then had some crabcake sandwiches back in town and after lunch the sun came out so off to the beach again. Dinner was at this place called the club car. Food was great, the resturaunt has a old train car build onto the side that houses the bar. It seems very popular with the vacation going locals. Mostly Harvard grads gathered around the piano ackwardly singing songs they don't know drinking scotch and slaping each other on the back while hitting on some girl named Buffy who turned him down last night. I forgot my asscot at the hotel so we avoided the bar there.
vacation day 2| comment
vacation is all about napping and that was the order of the day. The staff here at the "house of seven gables" wakes the guests up early with their continental breakfest by knocking softly on your door untill you answer it. Anyway that helped us get out early and rent some bikes so we could cruise the island. After that it was to the beach to get some sun. Kate walked along the shore picking up the treasures of the sea. While I napped the day away as I tend to do. We had lunch at the "jetties shack" and then went back to our spot on the beach to find a family of 6 sitting almost on top of us. As four little rich children tend to do screaming and whinning was the order of their day. The mother then pulled out the last in the seires of Harry Potter book and began to read out loud. Kate and I hate Harry Potter and cringed at the turn of events. We both thought that at most this could only go on for 15 minutes or so, but then 2 hours later she was still reading in the most robot monotone voice I've ever heard. After listning to the last half of the book i have no idea how anyone follows that shit. Anyway the rest of the day was full of more napping and then a late dinner where i tried the local beer. The pale whale ale. Ha ha mobie dick man.
here's a picture i took of the beach. Sadly this was before the harry potter family showed up. Sorry the phone takes crappy pictures on super bright sun like most cameras do. Stay tuned for day 3
vacation day 1| comment
hello from Nantucket everyone Cowboy Kate and I got on a plane yesterday after noon and flew to this little island of wealth and white people. I'm trying my best to fit in and luckly i got the white part down. Flying in last night i was asking kate if the airport really looked like the one they used on NBC's hit series Wings (google it). I took a picture for you because it got me all excited. We had lobster and steamers last night the lobster was great the steamers were full of shell fish poo. Today is the beach and biking I'm putting on my salmon colored shorts and my polo shirt (collar down.....ass) and hopeing for the best. Kate is sorry she brought me but happy shes on vacation.
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