So, I left you all without saying goodbye. No hint of leaving. Nothing.
Just up and gone. Vanished into thin air.
My apologies to those of you who count on this Blog being there every Sunday or Monday morning. But there was a logical reason why I kept our first real vacation in almost 15 years on the down low. As you all know by now, I have a section (lower right hand column) where I slam and basically humiliate Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) every single week. Those of you who read this blog every week, know that KSM is the mastermind of 9-11. I have some personal reasons why I despise this piece of human waste as well.
Suffice it to say, Al Qaeda is not happy with me. Though I find it amusing.
And so while I feel pretty safe here in America, the same is not true outside of the country. Was my life in danger?
Probably not. But I'm a "Better safe Than Sorry" kind of guy, especially when it comes to my family. And I can see in my "Google Analytics" that there are around 30 something individuals reading this Blog in Iran. Are they Al Qaeda? Or ISIS? Probably not. I'm guessing they are more than likely college and high school students who got turned onto the Blog and found it interesting and funny. You know, like you guys do.
Still, knowing that, I wasn't about to broadcast me being in Europe. I was joking with my wife calling the airlines "ALALQEADA" instead of "ALITALIA."
I thought that was clever. Maybe not. Any way, we're back. Safe and sound. And we had the trip of our lives. Honestly. We really did.
And as most of you folks, who take regular vacations already know. It was a much needed rest and relaxation for us both. Though we walked over 70 miles in 10 days. That's crazy! But it kept us in shape and helped burn off the calories that we were putting on each day. Italy is known for it's food. And we ate like royalty.
Italy is wonderful for taking in the incredible historic sights, visiting with family, and most importantly, spending time with my wife, mother of our children, grandmother to our beautiful grandchildren, my lover, my soul-mate, and my true best friend. She means the world to me. And we both had the time of our lives. And the ironic thing about this trip?
There was NO surf. And No surfers!
Lord knows I needed a break from both.
We spent every waking moment together. It was great. We visited the Colosseum in Roma where my Goombahs had themselves one hell of a weekly Super Bowl of sorts. I used to joke with the kids when they were younger saying. "If we lived during the times of the Colosseum, we would have seasons tickets!" They would laugh about it. But having visited it for real? It was kind of creepy. No it was REALLY creepy. Impressive but definitely creepy. Cory pointed out that one of the new emperors had 100 consecutive nights of entertainment. That's nuts. Those poor Christian slaves having to fight for their lives against those hungry wild beasts.
Here we are in the thick of it. I wouldn't be surprised if the place was haunted.
Lots of nutty stuff went down in the arena.
The men who built this place knew what they were doing. And the men who battled for the entertainment factor had to know what they were doing, or they wouldn't last very long. We both said we wanted to watch the GLADIATOR again now that we've been there.
Ironically, I recently purchased a couple of USMC tee shirts
that had Spartan helmets on the front. Here I am in the Gladiator museum with my Spartan shirt standing in front of real Spartan helmets. Marines are Warriors. And I suppose we have some things in common with the warriors of ancient Rome.
Just none of that wild beast stuff.
We have family in the old country, and it was great to meet them.
There is something really special about meeting your family in the country from which you came from. In fact, I strongly urge you all to go out and seek the birthplace of your family in the country of your heritage. Whether you are Irish, English, Italian, Greek, French, Indian, Jewish, or whatever. Just get up off your butt, and visit the country from which you came from.
It will not only blow your mind, but give you a whole new perspective on who you are. Visiting the country that my grandparents came from was so enlightening. To walk on the same cobble stone roads. To step into these century old churches and villages was just so inspiring. And to look into the eyes of your relatives was just so beautiful. There's almost no words that can describe that feeling.
Speaking of no words. The Vatican as impressive as it is, it is also a place of enormous wealth and fame. The amount of money that pours into this place is borderline absurd. I'm not kidding. Millions upon millions pour into those doors every single day. We never saw the Pope. He was busy counting his money.
But we did see all the amazing art and sculptures.
Hell, I got yelled at inside the Sistine Chapel for taking photos. I had no idea it was against the Vatican law. Taking photos would jeopardize you not spending any money in the gift shops to buy the books on Michaelangelo's painting. I took enough photos in those 10 days to fill an entire encyclopedia.
The pic below was amusing. Those pigeons had no idea that they were providing me with some comic relief.
Hey, I was taking these pics for you guys. I risked getting kicked out of the Pope's playground so I could bring you all the cool pics.
There were pigeons and seagulls everywhere. It felt like home seeing them all. But then again, the ancient ruins on almost every street and corner snapped us back into reality.
The views at each of the three hotels we stayed in were amazing.
This is a body of a person who lived in ancient Pompeii, who was killed in the Volcano eruption. Mt Vesuvius killed over 2,000 people in Pompeii. Rumor has it that Old Vesuvius is still active today.
I shot this pic of the city of Pompeii with the volcano in the background.
Our family. Bellissimi. Ciao Bella La Famiglia!
This is my favorite pic of the trip. Why? Because we held hands the entire time we were there. We walked around the beautiful and ancient cities of Roma and Palestrina holding hands. We walked through the beautiful village of Positana, and took in the breathtaking views of the Amalfi coast, all the while we were holding hands. I can say without any hesitation, that we have never been closer than we were in Europe. Ciao baby.
And this is what we came home to. The very first day. The ocean.
" Visiting The Old Country and Surfing Heals All Wounds."
This week's ED's Corner is pic that may have been run before. Still, it's one of my favorite all time pics by Ed. The surfer is Marky J. And I remember this exact moment. I was standing next to Ed when he snapped this most iconic of images of our beautiful coast. I remember looking over at him and saying "That's gonna be a good one." And I was right. Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local, National and International News
The 4th annual Michael Colby Art Scholarship Fund is this
coming Saturday. Always a fun time with family and friends.
Check out QWILL at 3:00 and ALTER EGO at 4:30
Not a single day goes by, that we don't think of him and miss
NOW FOR SOME NATIONAL NEWS
Professor Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearings have taken the absurd to new heights.
"This has been an unprecedented week in our nation's history." This was the line being bandied about all last week.
I'd like to agree with that statement, but there seems to be a little bit of the old Deja Vu here. Those of you who are old enough to remember the Clarence Thomas vs Anita Hill
fiasco back in the day will agree. It all seems so painfully familiar. And ugly.
It's not going to end well either. The truth of the matter is...one of these two people are lying through their teeth. And the repercussions of these lies will resonate in the halls of our government and the very fabric of our country for the unforsee-able future. One of them is a bold face liar. If it's Kavanuagh, he should be dropped like a hot potato. If it's Ford? She should be held accountable. There will hell to pay for the liar. I will withhold my judgment until after the FBI probe. Meanwhile, it's pretty sad.
And speaking of sad, while I was away, the NE PATRIOTS lost two games. One to the Jaguars and one to The DETROIT LIONS. The same LIONS that former Patriots Defensive coach Matt Patricia is now HEAD COACH. One of the few regrets I had of the most recent vacation was missing Bill having to shake the hand of Matt at the end of the game. The horror.
That had to be one of the all time highlights last week.
The LIONS were winless this season when the Pats came to town. The poor Patriots had to still be licking their wounds from the JAGUARS attacking them, when they were pounced on by the hungry LIONS. Gee, it's almost like this Blog has a LIONS theme this week. From the Colosseum in Rome to the LIONS mauling the Patriots. Not to worry Pats fans. They won today. Beating the 3-0 Dolphins convincingly.
The only person who should be worried is this poor slob.
Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison. Ouch.
The fall from grace was heavy this week. The COS better hope that he gets drugged in prison, so he won't feel the pain of being raped by the gangs awaiting his arrival. Go easy on him boys.