The Splendors of Italy – Part III

This third and final post of a three-part series about our trip to Italy will focus on our stay in Venice.  As you may recall, my Part I post was focused on our stay in Rome, while my Part II post was all about our travels through the regions of Umbria and Tuscany.  Although our stay in Venice was not nearly long enough to satisfy us, I hope the photos that follow will provide at least a glimpse of the sights that make Venice such a unique and beautiful city.

(more…)

The Splendors of Italy – Part II

This post is the long overdue second part of a three-part series about a recent trip my family and I took to Italy.  As explained in my Part I post, which was focused on our stay in Rome, our tour with the Cosmos tour company took us on a journey stretching from Rome to Venice, with many fascinating stops in between, before completing the return trip to Rome where we tacked on an extra day beyond the scheduled tour. In total, we were gone for 11 days, with two of those days being very long travel days between Texas and Italy.  In this Part II post, the focus will be on the regions of Umbria and Tuscany with their fascinating medieval villages, cathedrals and landscapes in the cities and surrounding countrysides of Orvieto, Assisi, Siena, San Gigminano, Montecatini, Florence and Pisa.  The third and final post in this series will focus on our stay in Venice.

(more…)

The Splendors of Italy – Part I

My family and I recently completed a trip to Italy with the Cosmos tour company which took us on a journey stretching from Rome to Venice, with many fascinating stops in between, including places like Florence, Pisa, Siena and several others, before completing the return trip to Rome where we tacked on an extra day beyond the scheduled tour. In total, we were gone for 11 days, with two of those days being very long travel days between Texas and Italy. The name of the tour was “The Splendors of Italy,” which seemed appropriate enough, so I’ve borrowed the title to use for this blog post.

(more…)

Road Trip to White Sands and Ruidoso, New Mexico (Part 2 of 2)

After an unusually time-consuming drive from El Paso to Ruidoso by virtue of numerous stops along the way, we finally reached our destination in the cool pines of Ruidoso’s upper canyon. Had we taken the most direct route and made no stops, we could have made the drive in a little over two hours. However, with all of our stops — the longest being at White Sands, which was well worth it — the actual travel time ended up being closer to seven hours. Nevertheless, we finally arrived at our rental cabin, a little tired but looking forward to spending the next few days in the mountains of southern New Mexico.

(more…)

Road Trip to White Sands and Ruidoso, New Mexico (Part 1 of 2)

In search of a change in scenery and relief from the summer heat, my wife and I and our son and his girlfriend recently decided to take a road trip from El Paso to spend a few days up in the cool pines of Ruidoso, New Mexico. Before heading straight to Ruidoso, however, we chose to take a little detour to spend a few hours taking in the beautiful desert scenery at White Sands National Monument.

(more…)