Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 Looking Back Favorite People, Places and Things I Have Seen in 2011

1. The crew that I took a European Whirl Trip with in May 2011.  We had never met any of the people on this trip before.  This collection of characters spans over 5 continents, 6 countries and 3 states in the USA.  We traveled along several rivers in Europe, crossed the English Channel together and rode long rides in between destinations together on a bus driven by Enzo. We saw some of the most spectacular sites this world has to offer.  We had a glimpse.  We were a united, cooperative group led by Simon says.  I wish that opportunity on every one.  I feel blessed by the experience.

2. Unfortunately, I was remiss and did not take a photograph but I had the opportunity to attend a party on December 30th and get together with some old friends from my past, some that I have not seen for over 30 years.  It is a good thing to know that sometimes those circles reconnect.

3. The Royal Wedding may have been all the buzz in London this past year but we missed it by one week. I am quite impressed with the royal couple, over 1 million pounds were contributed to the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund and distributed to 26 charities personally chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  London as a whole treats all its guests with the royal treatment, they are a most friendly lot and speak our language.

The English Channel however, had my eyes wide. Funny thing about this photograph, I took it because this guy looked so relaxed and I thought to myself, he knows how to travel.  He turned out to be our guide throughout the remainder of our trip through Europe.  Each day we were able to count on his direction and follow the steps that Simon said. I had no idea how important this man would become to the success of our trip.

4. An ordinary landscape along the highway in Belgium.  I was mystified as soon as I saw it.  I was reminded of the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh and could see the colors he put to canvas. They just shout out at you, it was a lush yellow carpet of flowers.

5. Being trusted by Hanz and handed over the reins to steer the horses and wagon in a small village in the Alps on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Switzerland.

Being invited to Hanz's home for wine, homemade cheese and dessert made by his wife was also special.

I also made my international debut as a singer in Lucerne, Switzerland, my 15 seconds of fame.  I remain a one hit wonder.

Yodel Lay Hee Hoo

7. Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or the Duomo, an extraordinary church in Florence, Italy a town that was once home to some of the most famous names in art and architecture.

8. The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is a rather ordinary looking church in Florence, Italy until you are told that it is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Ghiberti, Alberti, Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile and Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie). Then it becomes aglow with spectacular.

9. The Fort Worth, Texas cattle herd drive, here they come....

and here they go.

10. Seeing the sparkle of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France in the evening after a cruise down the Seine River has a very special feel to it.

It has been a very good and blessed year!


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