Terra Nomad

Every day is like survival. You're my lover, not my rival.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ciao a Roma

Wow, I am here on my third full day in Rome and I still can't believe I am in Europe at all. I have taken so many pictures, I filled two 1GB cards and my 2GB is about half full. I still have today, Tuesday and Wednesday in Rome and Thursday in London.
Florence was beautiful, but frenetic. It is something else to stand in front of iconic works of art like that.
Sorrento was idyllic and gave me the 'chill out' time I needed. In Sorrento, I met a family from New Jersey at dinner and spent the next day in Sorrento with them. We shopped, talked, ate and sat by the sea. If I was ever to move to Italy, it would probably be somewhere around the Sorrento peninsula or Amalfi coast.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Italy Trip - Day Eight

Wednesday May 23rd

I woke up after 9 am and grabbed a croissant and cheese from the hotel. I headed to the Baptistery and Duomo again since they are in the middle of Florence and it is easy to find everything from there. I had a 10:30 am reservation at the Accademia. It was the first academy of drawing in Europe and it houses Michelangelo's David. There was huge line for those without reservations and a smaller line for reservations. Inside, I saw Giambologna's the Rape of the Sabine Women. I assumed this was the original and the one I'd seen the day before in the Loggia dei Lanzi off the Piazza della Signoria was the copy. But it turns out this was the plaster and the one outside was the original.

I took some pictures of that sculpture and some musical instruments, including a couple made by Stradivarius! I walked into the third room and gasped a little as I saw David at the end of the hallway. I took two pictures and then a guard yelled that photos were not allowed in the gallery. There were no signs anywhere that I could see, and no guards had stopped me from taking pictures in the first two rooms. I guess they just have an issue with people taking pictures of David. When you get right up next to him, there is a very small sign that says 'no photography'. He is 17 feet tall and on a 5-6 foot platform, so if you are right next to him, you have to crane your neck a little. I marvelled at the detail in his right forearm, where there is a vein that travels out to his hand. I bought some things in the gift shop and headed back towards the Baptistery and Duomo.

My Uffizi reservation was for 1:30, so I had time to wander a bit. Ponte Vecchio is where I headed, which is a bridge over the Arno river and the only one spared by the Germans during World War II. There are small shops lining the bridge and most of them sell jewelry. On the other side of the bridge, I stopped to check my email and then headed back on Ponte Santa Trinita. Getting into the Uffizi was a bit confusing, but once inside I climbed four flights of stairs and looked at some busts of various members of the Medici family. There are tons of portraits lining the outer halls of the gallery, including ones of Machiavelli, Dante and several Ottoman sultans. My main reason for visiting the Uffuzi was to see the Botticelli room with his paintings Primavera (Spring) and The Birth of Venus. I also saw two versions of Adoration of the Magi, one by Rosselli and an unfinished version by DaVinci. The last major work I saw was Caravaggio's shield depicting the head of Medusa.

I headed back to my hotel for a nap, walking through the market Porta Rossa on the way. After my nap, I had dinner in my room and watched quite a bit of Italian television. Spongebob is still funny in Italian! While watching CNN, I saw two different ads for cities vying to host the 2014 Olympics, PyeongChang, South Korea and Sochi, Russia. Salzburg, Austria is the only other city in contention, and the final vote will be on July 4, 2007.

Day Nine

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Monday, November 27, 2006

November

Whoa, I didn't mean to go more than two weeks without posting! November has gone by so fast and 2006 feels like it's on fast forward. I was on vacation from work last week, so I took my niece down to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a day. We ate a newly open Greek restaurant called Konstantino's, where I had Greek Spaghetti. We also visted the Art Museum there and the Science Center, where we saw an Imax movie about the T-Rex. It gets dark so early now, it feels like midnight at 6pm when you are driving. But, the best way we found to pass the drive time was listening to Bill Cosby, Bill Engvall and Dane Cook's comedy routines on the radio (via my Ipod and an FM transmitter). My next car trip will involve at least a few new tracks.
I've also been doing homework for my Papermaking class. I made a small box that housed a person made out of beads for my last project and my current one is going to be a scrapbook/collaged thing that shows my distaste for partisan politics. It must be a commentary on a political, environmental or social issue.
I have to wait two more weeks before I can register for the chemistry class that I want to take. I still have to decide what my back-up class will be if I don't get into it.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

California Road Trip - Day 4

A and G are flying back home today, but I am staying in Cali and driving down the coast. I rent the car and go pick them up at their hotel. We went out to spend our last minutes in San Francisco at the grounds around the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The Palace itself is an art museum, with a cast of Rodin's The Thinker outside. I went there in 1998 the first time I visited California and saw my first Picasso and Rembrandt. We did not go inside since our time was limited, but we saw the sculptures they have on the grounds and enjoyed more Pacific views.

I dropped them both off at SFO and drove south towards Monterrey. After climbing a steep incline for what seemed like an hour, the trees fell away and I got a breathtaking view of a marina. I reached my hotel in Seaside and watched Batman Begins on cable. Then I went to Kroger for some groceries and had a picnic on the beach.

Day 5

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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Tessellations

Check out this page on Tessellations (shapes that repeat to make a pattern). It has great interactive demonstration, and shows more than just squares, triangles and hexagons.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Road Trips 2003 #1

Des Moines - I was gearing up for my big trip in April and May and
needed a few days out of town, so I took off for Des Moines on a
Wednesday night. Priceline got me a suite at Chase Suites in Clive and
I got there late Wednesday night. I visited the Capitol building and
took pictures of the tallest building in Iowa. I also went to the Iowa
arts center, which is a very interesting building. They have a good
variety of media (sculpture, canvas, even a room of shadow boxes) and I
saw one of my favorite paintings ever, 'Bridge on a Snowy Day' by
Hassam. It has people in the foreground rushing around in the snow and
a blurry image of the bridge in the background. I want to find a print
of it for my house. I went to the Blank Park Zoo, which was
disappointing to say the least. The cool part was the wallaby/emu
enclosure. You can walk right in among them, but they don't get very
close to you. The rest of the animals were either not on display
because it was too cold or were very hard to see. I guess I am spoiled
by having the Minnesota Zoo so close. I went to a mall and saw the
movie 'Old School'. On Saturday morning, I was going to head out at
10am, but I woke up at 3 and couldn't get back to sleep. I ended up
watching a movie about kids at a private school cheating on some test.

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