Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rome - Trevi Fountain and The Pantheon

Two of the must do's in Rome include Trevi Fountain and The Pantheon.

These two really enjoyed the fountain, for about 10 or 15 minutes.

Of all the places in Rome, The Pantheon might be the most impressive.  Built over 2000 years ago, it is still in imacculate condition and an amazing architectural feat.  The columns were imported from Eqypt and weight 60 tons each.

It still holds the record for the worlds largest unreinforced concrete dome. A perfect 43 meter sphere would fit within the dome.

The tomb of Raphael.

Outside the Pantheon, and throughout Rome, were guys selling "Prada", "Louis Vitton", and "Coach" bags.

Anytime the cops got near, it was time to move shop.

Friday, August 3, 2012

St. Peters Basilica

It's been awhile since our trip to Rome, but we thought we would share our pictures or St. Peter's Basilica.  Not much to say, other than that it is a very impressive structure.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Differences - Drinking

From the local news:

It is now very likely the legal age for buying wine and beer in the Netherlands will rise from 16 to 18, possibly even ahead of the September general election.


Don't let your mother smell that beer on your breath. She'll take it out on me.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

If you predict it, it will be so

From the local news:

On Tuesday, tourist attraction bosses in Belgium called for ‘less pessimistic forecasts’ and urged meteorologists to pay as much attention to sun as they do to rain.

And on Monday, local councillors in Hoek van Holland said weather forecasters who got it wrong should be fined. Bad forecasts are spoiling the local seaside trade, the Labour councillors said.


Next time, could you bring the sun?

Friday, July 20, 2012


Our last night in Cairo we decided to take a cruise up the Nile.

 Our vessel had three floors and a deck on top where you could enjoy the views of the city.

A view from the top deck.

Our dinner was much better than you would expect on tourist river cruise.  The daugther was eyeing the buffet, ready to pounce.

The entertainment included a belly dancer.

And a whirling dervish.

Someone was a little scared of the whirling dervish when he got close.

It would be wrong to mention the Nile on a "Hawks" blog without a reference to the greatest Hawkeye of all time.

Finally, if you will permit me, I'd like to make a comment which in my mind, is indicative, perhaps, of the greater significance of football and sports emphasis in general in this country, and that is, I thank God I was warring on the gridirons of the Midwest and not on the battlefields of Europe. I can speak confidently and positively that the players of this country would much more, much rather, struggle and fight to win the Heisman award than the Croix de Guerre. - Nile Kinnick

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cairo - Le Meridien

We arrived at our hotel the first night only to find out that the entire hotel staff was on strike, so they sent us to the hotel next door, Le Meridien Pyramids.  It ended up a blessing in disguise as Le Meridien was a nice upgrade over our original hotel.

Security was tight as every car had to be checked out by a bomb sniffing dog prior to entering the grounds.

There was also a metal detector at the door but they never seemed to stop anyone who set the machine off.

Although security was somewhat tight, it never felt as it was needed.  We felt very safe throughout the trip and would recommend Egypt to anyone as a great vacation spot.

The entry way was grand and on multiple nights decorated for very loud and elaborate weddings.

Each morning we were treated to an excellent expansive buffet with local specialties mixed with American and European items.

Afternoons were spent pool side with a nice view of the pyramids.

With a little splashing around thrown in for good measure.

Due to the fear that still exists surrounding visiting Egypt there weren't a lot of tourists.

Evenings were spent staring at the pyramids with dinner and drinks

And a little dancing to the duo who sang the 80's all night long.


Monday, July 16, 2012

On a Camel with no name, it felt good to be out of the rain...

It rains a lot here in the Netherlands (about everyday), and we have had two days over 80 degrees this summer (highs of 81 & 84).  The majority of days are in the upper 60's.  So it was a nice break to enjoy the heat of the desert.

Part of our Egypt tour was a camel ride in the desert.  When the camel stands up they warn you to lean way back as they fling you forward as seen in the video below.

On top of the camel it felt much higher than it looks and was a little shaky going down a rocky hill, but when we got on the flat land it was smooth riding.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Iowa Falls?

We didn't run into any other Iowan's in Cairo, but we did run into this guy at our hotel.  He didn't speak much English and definitely didn't know where or what Iowa was.  His shirt was of little help as you can see below.