Saturday, May 31, 2014

tour de roma

Thanks to tour guide Ryan (Bakin's cousin), we got a tour of all the must see sites of Rome. Together we navigated (or attempted to navigate) the train and subway system yet managed to still walk most of the city. 

the Vatican 

Trevi Fountain


Bakin and tour guide Ryan

the Forum

and the coliseum herself

Friday, May 30, 2014

when in rome

After a lot of talks, pro/con lists, research, I found a way to make a visit to Europe happen. I flew to London where Bakin (dressed in a size 13 y/o pink onesie holding a bouquet of roses) awaited having been there for hours in anticipation of my arrival. It was a reunion indeed. 

We spent the day in London catching up and enjoying the beautiful summer weather. After a few hours it was back to the airport and off to Rome to meet up with family. It was such a fun flight. We were some of the only ones. The flight attendants loved us. It was a great start to our vacation together!

Woke up bright and early in Rome to look out the window that overlooks the city in the distance. It was beautiful! Met Bakin's often talked about family. Full of characters. Can't wait to meet the rest of the clan.

And it was off to Pompeii/Mt. Vesuvius! Sleeping in the van for the few hours just wasn't an option w Bakin there...

not so pretty but the views were nice

cousins, aunt, and Bakin

that fishing vest though...
 After our hike in the clouds of Mt. Vesuvius it was down to Pompeii to see the place that was always talked about in my Latin glory days. 

the wheelchair used for alternative purposes


original lead pipe

here we are in Pompeii. yes, that's a screen

took a walk through the brothel 

lover boys: Bakin and Uncle Allen

one of the many watering holes

mt vesuvius in the back there


and a quick stop in Naples.

Day 1 = great success! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014


After a hellacious J.O.E. (Junior Outdoor Experience. A mandatory backpacking trip for rising high school seniors at Lovett.) I decided to give it another go. The past couple years I haven't been around for the trip. This year though... I was in town and better yet it was Nate's year to do it. 

With 11 kids, a co leader and I headed into Pisgah National Forest. We had perfect weather and a fabulous group. I really can't imagine a better case. 

rigged fishing gear and salamander bait

Yes, we may have taken a short cut in order to have a base camp and stay put for 2 nights. Clutch decision. We played in waterfalls and learned card games and feasted on the rest of our all natural food.

and we had a birthday on the trail - banner, cheez-its, and snickers yums.
 New high school principle, Mr. Alig was caught red handed getting McDonald's while in town. Busted!

Thanks for a fun week! It far surpassed my expectations.