Archive for April, 2009

Earth To Italy

April 27th, 2009

So I have been planning a trip to Italy to travel around as well as to visit my parents.  Finding hotels has not been an easy process.  For instance, during my time in Rome, there will be a sporting event that could equate to our Super Bowl. Google Earth has this great feature where you can turn on icons to represent lodging.  But even with that great tool, almost every place I searched for in Rome ended up being unavailable.  Eventually I found a place through http://www.vrbo.com.  

I figured out general locations where I wanted to be situated in each city.  Then, when looking for a room, often the hotel would claim that they are near that location.  But Google Earth has been a great tool in this.  I would merely punch in the address of the hotel, and it would show me exactly where it was in relation to where I wanted to be.  You would be surprised at how many hotels claimed to be near the Duomo in Florence, only to be not so close.

At this point I have everywhere booked, except for 3 nights – 2 of those nights are in the Cinque Terre.  Here are the screenshots from Google Earth and websites where appropriate.

 
Here is my itinerary:

  • May 7th leave San Diego
  • 8th land in Milan
  • 8-9 Lake Como
  • 10th Milan (I am hoping to  get tickets to the soccer game or the opera as a fallback)
  • 11-12 Venice
  • 13-14 Cinque Terre
  • 15, 16, 17, 18 Florence
  • 19, 20, 21, 22 Montalcino
  • 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Rome
  • May 28th Fly home

 

Lake Como
La Pergola

La Pergola, Hotel and Restaurant, drawn from a sixteenth century-building, lies by the lake, in a most typical fishermen’s hamlet called Pescallo, right on a shore of the promontory of Bellagio, turning south-east and facing the Lecco branch of Lake Como. The House was drawn from a building dating back to 1500, and assigned to a convent in the past centuries. The centre of Bellagio is but 10 minutes’ walk, among the luxuriant olive trees and mediterranean vegetation spread out on the Spartivento Point.

La Pergola

 

Milan
Best Western Cristoforo Colombo
About a 15 minute walk from the train station and about a 15 minute walk from the Duomo.  Im desperately hoping to get tickets to the Juve v. Milan soccer game, but am considering the opera as a backup plan.

milanhotel

Venice
Hotel Ai Do Mori
They have a crappy website.  They need Gorirra.  But it is only about 10 meters from St. Mark’s Square.  

Venice Hotel

 

Cinque Terre
Vernazza
Ivo Camere
The apartment which is also in the center of the town is accessible via a characteristic “carugio” (small side street) and is steps away from the piazza and the sea. 

vernazzahotel

 

Florence
Brunelleschi Hotel 
Hotel Brunelleschi is located in the middle, pedestrian area of the historical center of Florence, just steps away from the Cathedral and the Signoria Square, from a part overlooking the Via Calzaiuoli.

Florence Hotel

 

Montalcino
With My Parents
Next time I get the address from my parents, I’ll take a Google Earth pic.

montalcino

 

Rome
Private Apartment
its perfect location. From there the most important sights of the City can be reached with a short walk. You are just in the heart of the centre. 200 metres from Piazza Navona and Pantheon, 300 metres from Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain and, in the opposite direction, just crossing the Tiber, you can reach Sant’Angelo Castel and St.Peter Cathedral (400 metres).

Rome Apartment

Standing By The Light Of The World

April 27th, 2009

I added new songs to my home page under “Songs On Repeat.”  I’ve been really digging these songs lately, and continuously hitting back on my ipod or car or itunes (too bad you can’t hit repeat on Pandora).  I hope you enjoy them too.

u2_nolineonthehorizon3×5
Room For Squares
John Mayer
Its not a secret that I am not a huge fan of John Mayer.  However, I think they guy is unbelievably talented.  Not only is he an outstanding guitar player, but he has a great sense of humor.  If you haven’t seen them already, you should check out the videos I previously posted.  He jokingly says in one of those videos, “If I can’t get the girl, why don’t I just tell her I’m John Mayer?”  He is also often witty and clever.  

I have been a proponent of living with your eyes open.  What I mean by that, is that often whether it be vacationing, or in real every day life,  we live behind a camera.  We forget to realize that we are there, in the middle.  Whether it be birthday parties, concerts, or vacations, I am consciously trying to take “mental” pictures.  To take in and capture the moment, so that years from now, I might remember the scent in the air, the color in the sky, the hug of a friend–the many different moments of a moment that a photograph cannot capture.  Not that I am against pictures, as I think pictures are great tools to spark the memory.  But it is our mental image, our mental picture of the memory that will bring joy for many years.

John Mayer talks about that in this song.  And as I have been preparing to travel to Italy, it is a reminder to live through your minds lens, rather than your camera lens.


Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy cliche
And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway
Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life

killers_dayandageA Dustland Fairytale
Day & Age
The Killers
This is the second time in a row, a song from this Killers album has made it into my Songs On Repeat section.  This is surprising to me.  Although I love the Killers, this album as too many weaker songs.  Though, as told from the last 2 S.O.R, it has some catchy tunes as well.  If you haven’t seen it on these pages already, you definitely have to check out my snide of their cool light show performance of “Human” at the MTV European Video Awards.  Every time I go to Vegas now, I always think of the time I saw the Killers live there at the Hard Rock, as well as the time the lead singer came on stage and sang with U2 “In a Little While.”  Bono called the Killers “the swankiest band in Las Vegas.”

Dustland Fairytale is a great story told through song.  There is speculation that the song was written by the Killers lead singer, Brandon Flowers, about his Mom and Dad and how they met at age 15 in a trailer park.  Either way, its a catchy tune that brings back childhood memories of fairytales.  I recently wrote a pensée snide with the following lyric:

And the decades disappear like sinking ships
But we persevere god gives us hope
But we still fear we don’t know
The mind is poison

thevioletburning_lipstickanddynamitewonderCrush
Lipstick and Dynamite Wonder
The Violet Burning
This one is probably the heaviest musically that I have put up here yet.  For a long time (and I’m not necessarily kicking it off yet), this album has been in my “fantasy five” (5 cds that you would want to have if you were stranded forever on a desert island).  Part of that might because I was once stranded with this cd only.  It was May of 1997 and when I reached the hotel in Greece, my case of cd’s was missing (I do not know to this day if I left them on the train, if someone stole them, or the running joke on the trip – if Ben Morookian had merely taken them.  All that was left was this one cd that I had had in my cd player at the time.  This cd kept me company through long bus and train rides, and it carried on for the other cds, the faithful departed.  Anyway, this has always been one of my all time favorite bands.  And this cd has been released twice, once as a self-titled and once as the above title.   However, both cds are identical.

We are finding where we want to go
We are trying to regain control
Let the streams of light pour down on me
Let the love that heals me set me free
Come on, crush me

Rockband – Nirvana Edition

April 24th, 2009

From Penny Arcade comes this comic that is horribly insensitive, but terribly funny.

Rockband: Nirvana

A Dustland Fairytale

April 23rd, 2009

And the decades disappear like sinking ships
But we persevere god gives us hope
But we still fear we don’t know
The mind is poison

-The Killers

Fun Fact #5,033

April 18th, 2009

I recently started messing around with a vhs to dvd converter.  I have been practicing with an old vhs tape from a trip I took with school through Europe.  It was the best time of my life.  Here is Andrew dropping dimes of knowledge on us from St. Mark’s in Venice.

Five For Friday

April 17th, 2009

mspac2Today Chaunce, Joey and I did the nickel arcade for lunch, with a quick jaunt to Jamba Juice.  I once again miraculously destroyed Joey at Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

But then my real triumph was on the Ms. Pacman game.  I don’t think I lost a life till, maybe, the 8th level?  I am not sure, but I think it was the best I have ever done.  Not sure how decent my score is, but I felt like I dominated.

mspac

Knock Knock

April 16th, 2009

Oh What A Finish – Christiano Ronaldo

April 16th, 2009

What a strike from Ronaldo in yesterday’s champions league match. He had this to say about it:

“It is the best I have scored,” he said. “It was a fantastic strike and I can’t wait to see it again on DVD. I am very happy with it.”

Here is another collection of his goals.

Don’t Drink The Water

April 15th, 2009

I saw this video a couple of years ago.  After a few google searches, managed to track it down again.  Prepare to be both disgusted and enlightened.  It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “the dirty south.”

Verona

April 13th, 2009

(written 6/11/97)

Oh sweet Verona
Oh sweet Verona
Oh sweet Verona
You damn bastard premature Verona

This Week I'm Thinking About: Savannah Peterson