Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another trip to the Cliffs - only this time it was...

Yeah, the absolute best I've ever seen them. There was a couple of friends in town, so I went with them so they could see the spectacle that is the Cliffs of Moher. I've been there many times now, and I know I say this all the time; they get better every time I see them. I hope it's always that way! This time however, I ventured farther along the cliffs than I ever had, and the view was a-mazing. The sky was clear, and the water was amazingly calm for the day...well, enough of the's the picture...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The last few...

Yeah! We've reached the end! Now, there are a ton of pictures we could show you, but what we've done is posted a few that really shows what our trip was like. The last bunch here is just some random pictures from different parts of the week. Hope you enjoy!

When we got to our villa in Tuscany, this guy was in the road. Now since I was the only one in the car with her, I have to tell you (with her permission) that Jen was a trooper...shrieking, jumping at every movement the beast made, the whole bit. At one point she may have considered crawling out of the window and standing on the car...but alas, I got my picture, and we simply drove away.

Of course, you go to Italy, and what is one of the most important things there to experience? The food! Jen and I are having lunch at a cafe in Positano looking out over the cliff. Ravioli and lasagna...awesome

And no week in Italy can be done without partaking in more than a few pizzas (partly because you save money doing this as it's the cheapest food you can find, but mostly because they're awesome)

One tradition that we love in Europe is that all the cars used here for brides on their wedding day get decorated. We were walking around a quiet hill-town and saw this. I thought about photoshopping in a couple '53's and some stripes, but I didn't...but we did, however, find the real Love Bug!

Jen took this off the back of the scooter. It's not too often you find a boat that blue actually match the water it's sitting in!

Alright - funny story with this one: This couple is in the Square in Pisa "holding up the tower." I was just trying to get a good angle to take a picture of the tower when I noticed a bunch of laughter coming from the group this couple was a part of. It took several minutes for them to get the pose right and the camera lined up for the picture to work, but in the mean time it was funny: One of the women in the group said (with a posh British accent), "I don't like that's not proper!"

Picture of the facing of the Duomo in Pisa

We saw many great back alleys and walk-ways as we were touring around. I love places like this because there's a bit of mystery to them; where does it lead? what's at the other side? Sometimes the look of the actual path is more exciting than what the path is for...and it makes for great scenes!

Another back alley...

And finally...a sculpture done by Michelangelo that sits in the Duomo in Siena. This one is accompanied by 5 other sculptures done by other artists. he truly was amazing as you could see standing there the difference in his work versus others. His is SO much better; much more detail, much more life-like. This is of St. Peter...

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The later part of the week we got to spend was in Tuscany around Florence. We really enjoyed our time here as well. We got to go see the leaning tower of Pisa, Michelangelo's David, and a lot of the Tuscan country side. For the most part, we just took our time driving around, enjoying the country side. Here's some pictures for you:

I'm sure you've seen pictures of people that stand in front of the tower and get their picture taken while they're "holding it up." We refused to participate in this...however, we did get swept up in a moment of cheesy-ness an got this shot of us at Pisa

The main square in Pisa with the tower, Duomo (church) and Baptistry building. What you may not know is that all 3 structures are not straight. The tower is obviously the worst, but the Baptistry (the closest domed building) leans the opposite direction.

Ah, the tower. Another landmark that we're amazed we've been able to see. What I never knew was that the construction was actually going on while the tower was leaning. They discovered the problem after the first level was built, but continued on. You can see above the 4th level (where the scaffolding is) that they tried to counter-balance the tower, and again with the belfry. It took many attempts to correct the issue, some of those almost bringing the tower down. It wasn't until about 30 years ago that they were able to stop the leaning, and it's actually been straightened to where it was when they began construction on the 5-above levels.

You can see how pronounced the lean of the tower is over the Duomo

Country side in Tuscany

A villa in tuscany set on a hill. These are everywhere!

Another villa

And yet another...this was the favorite though...the grass was so green, and the view was amazing!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tour of Pompeii

One of the things we really wanted to see was Pompeii, so we took about a 45 minute scooter ride to check it out. For those who may not be familiar, this town was completely decimated during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. And not more than 15 years before that, it was virtually wiped out by a major earthquake. They were really fighting a losing battle it seemed, and everyone was basically condemned by just living there. We were amazed as we went at how big the entire city was, and how much they've been uncover. Things for the most part are in-tact, and though they've moved a lot off to the museums in Naples, a lot is still there. It really was amazing to be at. And of course, as we stood looking at Mt. Vesuvius in the background, it was a little spooky knowing what else is going on the world! Here's some pictures of our time in Pompeii:

In the ruins with Mt. Vesuvius in the background

Yes, this is great - Jen going all Abbey Road. But, the other thing is how this is a real "crosswalk". They built their roads below the building levels to help with drainage, so to keep people from having to step way down in the road when they crossed, they walked on the "crosswalk" made of the major raised stones, spaced just right so carriages could still pass

A clay pot excavated from the ruins...

This is in a cafeteria of sorts where people would go every day to get there meals. Warm meats, stews or whatever was on the menu would be warmed in these counters which would have been topped with marble. People would come get their fool, and take it back to there homes for their families.

A fountain inside one of the communal bath houses.

Wall decorations in the bath house

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More from the scooter...

We decided the best way to show the fun of riding a scooter in Italy, we had to take some video of it. Jen grabbed the camera and got some video of us going through the town, so you get a quick "tour" of Positano. You'll see some stuff like how restaurants actually have seating across the road from their entrances so waiters have to dodge traffic as they serve, and all the shops that line the road. As you watch the video though, there is one funny part - Jen's reaction after someone tries to pull out in front of us!

I actually took this picture while I was driving the scooter...I was trying to show how the road is actually built out away from the mountain, just hanging over the ocean. I thought it came out cool!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Driving along the Amalfi Coast

While we were in Positano, there were several things we tried to do. One of those was just to relax and drive along the coast and the surrounding area, just enjoying the beauty. I somehow was able to convince my wife to do this on a scooter! (Anyone who knows Jen will understand how out-of-her-element this really was!) We spent an entire day just driving up and down the coast, stopping for lots of pictures and coffee, and really enjoyed the day. Here's some of the pictures:

Proof that I got Jen on a scooter! It was fun! Nothing like being on something like that, riding on a very windy coast road!

Beautiful spot in a cove along the road...

Another picture of how great all the colors in the water were...

Another cute picture of Jen from the week

This was actually taken on the bus as we were leaving the area. I loved that little rain shower just getting ready to sweep over the little island

Another stop along the road...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Positano, Italy

Alright, the waiting is over. I've been going through all the pictures from last week, trying to figure out the best way to show all of where we were with 2 things in mind: Not boring everyone with showing you every one of the 1,200+ shots we got, and also showing enough for you to see how great this trip was for us! We really had a wonderful time, as we said, so now, let us show you!

Our first few days were spent in a village called Positano, just south of Naples. Jen had seen it on a travel show some 12 years or so ago, and has wanted to go if she ever had the chance. When this big anniversary trip was coming, knowing how easy we could get there, there was no option really; we were going. Positano is built right on the coast on the west coast of Italy, and really is a dream location: mountains that join the sea. It has been featured in many movies, including Under the Tuscan Sun. It's very self contained, and it's obvious why this is a popular tourist destination. It's just so beautiful there, it's hard to describe. Here's some of our favorite pictures from Positano:

This was the view from our hotel

The colors in the water were unbelievable...this really is how it looked!

This was probably the most amazing time we went to this was so clear, all the little curves of the coast just kept going and going as far as we could see; and that water again...

I got this shot one night from where I was in the picture above...the 3 cars and a bus that passed while the shutter was open made this shot pretty interesting!

Another time I snuck out to this spot again just before can see the sun-ray coming over the ridge down the coast

Ah, the happy couple!

Friday, May 14, 2010

And Interview with Hannah

Well, I'm a bit late with doing this. You may remember this post from last March where I interviewed Hannah. The idea is to ask her the same questions every year and see how their answers change (or stay the same!). I had fun reading over her answers from last year, and hearing her answers this year. I think we may go ahead to do Cailyn's first interview this year, too. But, for now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, an interview with Hannah!

Ok, you ready to get started?

This is an interview of Hannah Jane Deibel. One of the most interesting and wonderful 5 year olds in the world.

I am going to ask you several questions about yourself so we can all get to know you better. Okay, let's get started.

What is your name?


Is that it?


How old are you?


Where do you live?
*In Ireland

Do you have any pets?
No. Oh yeah! I have a stuffed pet.

What kind of stuffed pet?
*A Puppy.

Does the Puppy have a name?
*Princess Flower

Who do you like to play with?
I like to play with my sister, Cailyn.
Anyone else?

What is your favorite Cereal?
Cereal with milk. And my favorite cereal with milk issssssssss….corn flakes. And the name of corn flakes in Irish is cailloga arror.

What is your favorite vegetable?

What is your favorite drink?
Milk…actually, no not milk. Juice.
What kind of juice?
*Strawberry and vanilla juice
 (yes, this is an actual kind of juice here)

What is your favorite snack?
My fravrite snack…my favorite snack isssss….a Rice Krispy Bar.

What is your favorite toy?
My favorite toy is my puppet.
Where did you get your puppet?
*From Italy.

What is your favorite book?
*Christmas book.
What’s that about?
*Um, I don’t know.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Powercins. I said Powercins!! What’s the name of it again?
*Oh! I thought it was Powercins.

What is your favorite holiday?
Germany. Actually, no, no, no, no, America.
*Because I’ve never been there since I’ve been in Ireland for a couple of years.
What’s in America?
*People, animals, houses, stores, shops, BBQ’s, bags. *giggle* and bedrooms.

So, what's your favorite Holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.?
*For Christmas I like going to….Germany. *hehehe* (we've never been to Germany for Christmas :o) )

What is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal are….giraffes. Funny giraffes!! (giggles silly and waving her feet all over).

If you could change your name to anything, what would you change it to?
*Sleeping Beauty
What would your middle name be, Sleeping Beauty?

*Bay. I’m all curled up like a chick, I mean like an egg. Am I shaped like an egg?
*I thought you’d say that!

What do you love about your Dad?
Playing with him, and tackling his head!!

What do you love about your Mom?
*Hugging you.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?

What is your number one wish for this year?
To be a mermaid to live in the sea.

What is your favorite TV show?

*Mickey Mouse.

Thank you for your interview Hannah Deibel. I appreciate your time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shot of the week...

I'm still working on the photos, pouring through the 100's I took so I can get some to post. They're coming though. In the mean time...

Here's a picture I got of my incredible wife. She's stuck with me for 10 years, and I'm absolutely blessed to share my life with her! We were in Positano for the the day, tooling around, and we decided to go back to our hotel, which meant waiting outside of the church to get the bus. I got this of Jen taking a much needed moment of rest...One of my favorite pictures of her ever...and one of, if not the, shot of the week.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We're home!!

...well, almost. I'm actually blogging from the bus across the country, but we'll be home soon. Last week was just awesome! We relaxed, reconnected, and just had a great time. And yes, there are pictures! But more of those later...for now, we leave you with one to see where we were the first few days last week: Positano, Italy

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Write a caption contest...

Here's a picture of Cailyn I got on accident the other day...make a caption for it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cute children pic of the day...

While we're away, I thought I'd post some pictures in the mean time. I got the girls to pose a little for me after playing out in the yard the other day...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy 10 year Anniversary!

Ok, so our actual anniversary isn't until June 10, but since June is going to be a busy month around here, Jen and I are taking a vacation a little early. See, we really haven't been able to celebrate too much since our 1st anniversary because for one reason or another, we've had work going on and haven't been able to do anything more than just a quick dinner out together. We've had some nice evenings together, but for this year we wanted a little bit more than just going out to dinner; something very special! So, we're off to Italy! There's a place that Jen has always wanted to go, and everything worked out for me to take her. We're so excited! Some friends of ours are staying with the girls this week (a HUUUUGE thank you to you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and we're getting a week on our own. We're so excited! We hope we'll be able to put up some pictures during the week, but we'll have to see how available internet is while we're there.

Here's a picture from our wedding...who are those kids???

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hair cut for Hannah...finally...

So, we've been trying to think when Hannah had a hair cut last. We're pretty sure it was around September of 2008 when we had her hair cut last! We've kept her bangs (or fringe as they call it here) trimmed, but other than that, it's just grown, and grown and grown. So, we finally took her to get her hair's the adorable pictures for you!

                    Before                                                                                     After

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Delayed Party

Ok, so Cailyn's birthday was actually a few weeks ago. However, since Jen was out of the country, we decided to wait to celebrate until we could all be together - and Jen could make us cake! This year, Cailyn decided she wanted a Snow White cake. It was a great night with some of our friends, and after cake, Cailyn was completely taken with her aqua doodle (a special gift form her cousins!) Hannah sang her "Birthday" from the Beetles guitar hero, and then Cailyn drew some more. It was a great night! Happy Birthday again Cailyn!