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My Bags are Packed… Ready to Go! – Europe

In spring 2011, I had my second international travel adventure with my friend Shelley and the students of Loyola Marymount University’s, Executive MBA program.

Shelley and I have become a bit more adventurous. We started in Paris prior to the student’s arrival and concluded in Rome when the program was over, why not!

The Eiffel Tower was so beautiful lit up.  We wanted to enter and see the city from inside the Tower; however there was a bomb threat…ah the joys of travel!

On to Brussels…

The famous Manneken-Pis…He has over 900 outfits…I don’t get it either!On to Strasbourg, France.  This is the Opera House.

Next stop…Epernay, France…The Champagne Region.  Can’t get much better than this.

Let’s hop on a plane and go to Spain…first Barcelona

With the exception of my stolen wallet, this was a royal pain, Barcelona was wonderful. There are magnificent sights here. And tremendous sangria.  On a day trip we went from the sea to the mountains of Montserrat.  This is a Benedictine Monk retreat, located over 4,000 feet above sea level in the Catalan Pre-Costal Range.  We were there on a Sunday, allowing us the privilege of hearing the Choir Boys in the Basilica.

It was the rock formations that I thought were so majestic.

In Madrid, which I also really loved; we had the very best pizza in all of Europe. But it was the tour of the Prado Museum, tha I took the funniest picture of my entire trip.  It wasn’t until I reviewed it later, that I realized there was a gentleman in the picture. My intent was taking a picture of Eve. He was a bonus!!

After our visit to Toldeo Spain, not to be confused with Toledo Ohio…

We are off to our final destination…Rome.  This is on the grounds of the Vatican Museum…”A Sphere within a Sphere” created in 1990 by sculptor Arnoldo Pomodoro.

As you might imagine, I took hundreds of pictures during this trip. It was fun to look back and remember the adventure with the sights, sounds, food and new friends.

On our first trip in 2010 there was a devastating earthquake that shook the coast of Chile.  Then on the following year on March 11th an even great disaster struck Japan with a 9 magnitude earthquake.

We were in Madrid at the end of our session, trying to figure out what had happened while watching the Spanish coverage on their news station. We watched in disbelief as the Tsunami coverage continued.

Shelley and I just looked at each other and thought, “is it us”?  Whew, two years in a row.  The following 2 years we didn’t have the opportunity to travel.  But that has changed this year.

We’re off to Vietnam tonight. And as for earthquakes, we’re just keeping our fingers crossed. I think we may have already “dodged a bullet” as Thailand has been taken off the itinerary for security reasons!

What a life!