Our Savior's love, shines like the sun with perfect light. As from above, it breaks through clouds of strife.

Dec 31, 2006

The Baby Contest

For our next contest, we are going to give you all a chance to guess the birth weight and date of Clara Hannah Sherwood.

The nursery is ready.

In addition to the weight and date, there will be bonus points for the following questions:

What will Greg's first words be after Clara is born?

What is the worst name Nicolle will call Greg during labor(please remember this is a family blog)?

What is the dumbest thing that Greg will say in attempt to comfort Nicolle?

The winner will be posted when we have the baby.

(Here is a hint... her due date is January 8th.)

Dec 28, 2006

Our Bathroom Remodeling Project

For the last 2 months or so, our house has been a construction zone. We decided that our shower needed to be replaced. Maybe it was the fact that there was odd looking stuff in the corner, or maybe it was that we could lean on the wall and see it move. Whatever the reason was, we enlisted the help from a handyman friend of ours who built his own house. As you read this further, there needs to be some translation. First, when I say “help,” what I mean is that I watched and on rare occasions, fetched a screwdriver, and he did all the work. Do you want his number? JK


Anyway, we got started with some destruction, and found that someone put up plywood when they should have put up concrete board. If you have no idea what I just said, once again, I will translate, “The people who did the bathroom before us really screwed up.” Look below.

After working a couple of nights each week and about 8 hours each Saturday, we were able to get the shower done.

When we poured the base

Throw in a simple job of tiling the bathroom floor as well, and what you get is the shower that 7 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 5 feet in length. Once again, translation: “It’s Ginormous.”

Thanks again to Pete, for all of his “help” and I can say that I even learned something. What I learned is that Pete is willing to work for Nicolle’s cooking.

Here are a few of the other pearls of wisdom that I learned:
“Measure 3 times, cut once”
“Spending 5 minutes to cover the carpet with a tarp saves an explanation to the Mrs.”
“Doris Palmer (Pete’s wife) is a very patient woman”

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We have had a wonderful, relaxing week. Greg's office closes between Christmas and New Year's, so we have been able to spend lots of time together. Good news!!! Greg finally finished our bathroom remodeling project (details following in a later blog).
In the meantime, we have attached some photos of our holiday festivities. These first two are from Thanksgiving in Roanoke (with Nicolle's family)- Thanksgiving dinner and a "turkey trot." Below is a photo of us at the Volvo Christmas party.
Because Baby Clara is due on only two weeks, we weren't able to travel for Christmas, so we spent it together in Greensboro. On Christmas Eve we had some friends over for dinner, (see photo). This photo is of Greg on Christmas morning opening his presents from Santa. We went to our good friends' (Trinity and Steve) house for Christmas dinner, and it was delicious. (After months of nausea, Nicolle is always excited to be able to eat good food... and keep it down!) We spent the rest of the evening convincing ourselves that Nicolle was going into labor, but no such luck. We'll have to wait until after Christmas for that present!
We hope you are all having a great holiday season!

Dec 21, 2006

The Christmas DJ

Thanks for your submissions. This was slightly more difficult than most to judge, because of the range of responses. The scoring was based on a 1 – 5 scale with 1 equaling a Clay Aiken rendition of “O Holy Night” and a 5 equaling the Boney M reggae mega hit “Mary’s Boy Child.”

Now for the winner ….

It is only fitting that the winner of Christmas DJ contest is a professional singer.

Nicolle had the highest number of points; she beat out Kari and Jefe for first by just 1 point. Maybe you two should have rethought your Transiberian menopause ideas; because I can tell you that they lost you the contest. That and the fact that throwing the Muppets into the mix is a sure way to get points with the judge.

The Runner up Prize #1 – Jefe: You get the first runner up prize because Boney M gets the extra half a point over Bruce, plus your Fararararah was a stroke of brilliance. Don’t you ever stop and think about the irony of a Jewish guy (Neil Diamond) singing Christmas songs?

The Runner up Prize #2 – Kari: You must have known that bringing in the Elf version of “Baby, its Cold Outside,” was going to get you a ton of points, however I find it strange that no one else thought of that. I am sure the 12 days of menopause are funny, but it has nothing to do with Christmas, the holidays, winter or even the winter solstice. In fact, don’t you get hot flashes during menopause?

The Bipolar Prize – Karen: You had some Highs and some lows, how could you think that Clay Aiken could sing “O Holy Night?” why don’t you just pick “Santa Baby” by Britney Spears? Come on. But then you come back with "Mary’s Boy Child" and "The 12 Things at Christmas that are Such a Pain." -Both Classics- What can I do?

The Brandon Banack award – Andrea: Brandon Banack was a guy who I played basketball with in High School. He started most every game our senior year. The only problem is that he wouldn’t play after the first quarter. Just like Brandon, your picks started out good, with BNL and The Beach Boys, but after those, you left me no choice but to bench you.

Thanks all for your comments; I will try to get one more contest done before Christmas so stay tuned.

Dec 18, 2006

Christmas Songs

In the 9th grade, my English teacher decided to show us a weeks worth of “Christmas” music videos. With respect to the time of year and to honor my 9th grade English teacher, I have decided that this week's contest will be to list the top Christmas songs along with the performer. The performer is very important because there is a big difference between “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” from the Elf soundtrack compared to the Nick and Jessica version, which made me want to vomit.

Here are my top 5

5. “It’s Christmas at Ground Zero” by Weird Al Yankovic
This song is great, because it plays on the cold war fears that most Americans had. What makes this a top five pick is the music video. In it, they play clips from 1950 films that teach you how to survive if a nuclear bomb goes off. It shows a young family on a picnic, and then a flash of light goes off. The family hides under the blanket, as if the Atomic bomb that just went off will not be able to penetrate the 50/50 poly cotton fibers.

4. ‘Christmas” by the Blues Traveler
This is a great tune that needs to be heard to know why it is so great. It is John Popper at his best. (He composed the song as well.)

3. “All I want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
I am not a big Mariah Carey fan, but she does a great job in this song. There is an excitement that is contagious, and it gets even the Grinch (me) into a Christmas mood.

2. “Do they Know its Christmas Time” by Band Aid
Any Christmas song that can have Bono and Sting together needs to be near the top of any list

1. “O Holy Night” by Nicolle Alexandre Sherwood
If you have ever heard her sing this song, you will get chills just thinking about it.

Those are my top 5, Please rank yours. The judging with take place on Thursday December 21.

Dec 15, 2006

The Biggest Name Dropper is ???

In order to avoid any shouts of this contest being rigged, I opened up the judging to my coworkers. I asked if they had heard of any of the following people and if they had, a point was given. There is one LDS guy in my office, so that helped some of you. One of the biggest problems was when I said Gordon B Hinckley, a number of people said, “Isn’t that the guy that shot Reagan?”

After hearing from nine people, it is my conclusion that the following people are the most famous in the world:
George W Bush
Condoleezza Rice
Michael Jordan
and ….
Barry Williams

That is right, Greg Brady is as well known as Dub yah.

I have included the results per individual to determine the winner.

The Biggest Name Dropper is Jason Shin: I think you should have been penalized at least 4 points, because you not only broke rank, but you met 2 of your 3 at the same time. To quote Seinfeld “You Double Dipped”. So, I guess that means you are a double dippin name dropper. Congratulations.

A close second place is Kari: Kari, you were a riding high with Steve Covey and you would have hit a home run, (Just like the 335 home runs that Darryl Strawberry hit) if you would have shouted something to Darryl Strawberry as he passed you on US60, you could have been bumped up a point on how well you know the person. With your increase and the double dip penalty, you would have beaten Jason.

The Larry Bird Prize - Andrea: In 1979, Larry the Legend took his Indiana State to their only NCAA tournament, and they made it to the final game. Your names were much like that, because one guy got all the points.

The Head On Prize – Karen: Just like this annoying commercial, you were sucked into the lull of obnoxious marketing. Unfortunately no one knew who John Barr was, so “No Soup for You.”

The 2004 Lakers Prize – Koni: The 2004 Lakers had 4 Hall of Famer’s on their team, but they lost in the finals. Your picks looked to be at the top of the pack; however, they lost their steam. Also, like Kari, if you would have said something to Steve Young, you could have beaten Karen.

The Elite IMDB Photo Prize – Jason Steinmann: It should be noted that Ryne Sanborn was the only person, besides MJ & Bush, to have his picture on Internet Movie Database (IMDB). That is worth an additional 5 points.

Thanks for all that did this. It was fun to hear your stories. I will be posting our next contest on Monday Dec 18th.

Dec 13, 2006

Name Dropping

The Biggest and Best Name Dropper Contest

While riding home with Nicolle the other night, a song by Josh Turner came on the radio. (It goes without saying that Nicolle had control of the radio since I am not a fan of country music). While listening to this song, I came up with the idea for my next contest. (Nicolle went to college with Josh Turner, so whenever he is on the radio, I am reminded of that fact).

Disclaimer: Nicolle is not a name dropper and hates when I do it.

The contest is “Who are the 3 most famous people that you have met/know?” If you know the person on a more personal level, you get more points. To qualify that you have met the person, you need to have been within a few feet of the person. I don’t want to hear that you “met” Bono, when all you did was go to a U2 concert. Hearing U2 live was enough of a prize for you.

Here are my top 3:

3. Julius “Dr J.” Erving: When I was 13 years old, I went to the National Boy Scout Jamboree. Dr J was a guest speaker there, and I was able to give him a high five.

2. Brad Pitt: When I was 17 years old, while sitting in traffic with my brothers waiting to cross the golden gate bridge, I looked to my right and saw Brad Pitt in a Bentley next to me. As surprised as I was, he was mouthing something to me. “Your door is open,” he said. I followed his advice and closed my door. What a moment.

1. Bob Dole: While waiting in a security line at Dulles, I noticed a man walk by. I was just about to tell him not to cut in line, but first I noticed there was a policeman with him. It was Bob Dole- and I did get within a few feet of him-, so that counts right?

OK, I did not set the bar very high, but you get the point. Lets hear all of your acquaintances.

Dec 11, 2006

"How did I survive to be 21"

Thanks to all who submitted their responses and admitted to the crazy things they did, or heard of others doing. It has answered a lot of questions that I have always wondered about some of you, but never had the guts to ask. Unfortunately, too often when I was reading about what you had done, I would nod my head and remember doing that very thing.

And the winner of the ”How did I survive to be 21” contest is….

Chuck Knobel. Anyone that played with mercury is living on the edge. Between the second hand smoke and the mercury, I would assume you would look like this:

Enjoy your victory, you can go home and tell your wife that you need to be pampered because of the dangerous activities that were thrust upon you in your childhood. And if she ever asks why you did not do something you were asked, just blame the mercury.

Runner up prize – Suzanne aka “Ten Second Tom”, your paint chips comment was great. I could not proclaim you the winner, because you would not have remembered long enough to enjoy the victory. If it makes you feel any better, I will tell you that you won, because by the time you have reached here, you have forgotten about that Chuck guy.

The All too Real Prize – Andrea, I can tell you from personal experience how fast a wild fire can spread. No matter how hard you work, or how many times you carry a plastic garbage can filled with water to put the fire out, that fire will grow and only professional firefighters can put out a fire of that size. (The police removed that from my record when I turned 16)

Fear of Mom Prize – Kari, I understand that Kathy Sherwood has had nicknames such as “Sergeant Sherwood” and “General Sherwood”, but I never really felt as if serious danger could come from her. You may have wanted to combine some ideas together to make truly dangerous actions, maybe like standing up on the seat of the tractor as it went by the back kitchen window, and then trying to have it jump the pool. That would have really gotten you some points.

Terrell Davis Prize – Ron, You only offered one, but it was a great one. Just like that debates that surround Terrell Davis getting into the Football hall of fame... yes he had 3 great seasons, but he needed more.

The KG Prize – Andrew, When I hear the 15 foot Nerf hoop one, I just think about the Nike commercial when Kevin Garnett is standing on a platform diving board. KG is telling the people at his camp that they need to learn how to get air. He then has them alleyoopping 30 feet above the ground.

The World is full of Stupid People Prize – Jeff , You get this one, because it goes to show that when you get a bunch of boys together; regardless if it is Baghdad or Victor, NY, they will always try to jump their bikes into a pool. Your cow one was as Dad put it, “The best medicine we could get.”

The “I Hope you don’t bring me Flowers” Prize – Kris, I wonder about you. Most kids are scared of a cemetery; they don’t bring things home from them to display in the front yard.

Thanks to all who commented, my next contest will be posted on Wednesday Dec 13th.

Dec 7, 2006

The First IN-LIST Contest

Since I don't think that we can warrant a daily blog, I have decided to follow the example of one of my friends and post a contest every week or so and then declare who the winner is.

For the first IN-LIST Contest the topic is:
"The top three things that are now known as dangerous but we did not think so back in the day. "
Here are my top 3:

3. The Bomb. No, I am not talking about any weapon of mass destruction; I am referring to my family’s station wagon that for a period of time had a hole in the back passenger side floor. It was great, we could have a snowball fight and never leave the car.

2. Surfing in the back seat. When I would come home from church, it was a long 15 minute ride home. My brother, Rob and I decided that rather sitting quietly, we would see who could stand up in the back row of my family’s station wagon, it was a newer version of the bomb with lovely faux wood side panels. One time I almost made it home until my sister Koni, slammed on the brakes and I went flying into the row of seats ahead of me.

1.Scum Jumping. Scum Jumping (http://rocwiki.org/Lock_Jumping) is when someone would jump from a bridge or overpass into the Barge (Erie) canal, which in one of the dirtiest waterways known to man. I promised myself that I would never do this when I heard on the radio, a story about a guy who did this and when he went into the water, hit a carcass of a dead cow. It never was a temptation for me after that.

Please post your top 3 and I will post the winners in a few days

Nov 19, 2006

Baby Shower

This Weekend Nicolle had her baby shower and her mom and sisters (pictured... Nathalie, Suzanne and daughter Chloe, Mom, and Nicolle) came into town for it. It was fun for them to get together and celebrate the upcoming arrival of our baby Clara (yes, we finally chose a name). They played games, ate yummy food, opened gifts. Chloe, our niece, won a game for not saying the word "Baby", while catching others for saying it. I think that is why they don't invite men to showers, because they can be so competetive and there is little risk of a man saying "baby," so the men would have cleaned house. We got lots of cute outfits for the baby... Clara will be very well-dressed. It was a great time for all that were involved, thanks to Andrea Sweat, Trinity Martin and Heather Johnson for putting it on. They did a great job.

Nov 7, 2006

Lost Luggage and Meatballs

The drama of the lost luggage continues. The airlines said that they have found the luggage. Well good for them, now they only need to give it to me. I hope to have it by the end of Tuesday.

The stores in Sweden all close at 7pm, so when I got back to my hotel at 6:45pm, I had to run to the mall and purchase a shirt and a sweater so I would not wear the same shirt 3 days in a row. After my run to the mall, I convinced a couple of my coworkers to join me at a restaurant called Smaka. You have to be careful how you say the word Smaka. It is pronounced Smooka, not Smacka. The first means “Taste”, the second means “To Hit or Smack” It is my favorite resurant in Gothenburg, because of the great Swedish Meatballs and Mashed potatoes. One coworker got the meatballs and one didn’t. Needless to say one enjoyed the meal more than the other. They were great.

My phone has run out of Batteries so I had to borrow a phone from Bev, my coworker who spent the night in the airport because she lost her passport. That was nice of her, I could talk to Nicolle without having to worry that the phone was going to die.

For those of you who wanted me to pick up a nativity, here is what one that I found looks like. It is about $10. I will keep looking for more options.

Nov 6, 2006

Traveling is enough excitement for me

I don't know if I have had so many things happen on just a travel day. Let me start from Saturday.

Pete Palmer was over at my house by 7:30am and he (with a little help from me)was able to get the motar base down for our shower, just in time for Nicolle to take me to the airport. Once at the airport, I realized that I did not have my cellphone. Nicolle was great and went home to pick it up(t-minus 60 minutes till liftoff). After she left, I checked in and it was brought to my attention that I did not have my passport(kind of required for international travel). I got a hold of Nicolle and asked her to bring my passport(T-minus 40 minute til liftoff). The check in lady was really nice, and sent my luggage on. Nicolle got caught in traffic and with 5 minutes till liftoff, she got me my stuff that I had forgotten(Thanks hon).

I got on the plane and then we took off. After arriving in Dullas(washington airport) I was informed that the plane was overbooks and I was going to be moved from coach to business class for the flight from Washington to copenhagen. That was great news and I figured that I would be able to get like 4 or 5 hours of sleep on the flight. Wrong, between watching the movie Click(good movie, but crude in points, why do they have to add little things that add nothing to the plot, but makes the movie almost unviewable) and the turbulence, I got a whopping 1 hour of sleep.

After arriving in Copenhagen, I looked for my coworker who was traveling with me. I did not see her anywhere, and just assumed that she was avoiding me because I got upgraded and she didn't. When I got on the plane for Sweden, she still was not on, and I thought you might have gotten bumped in DC for some vouchers. Then the pilot said they were taking someone luggage off the flight who had lost their passport. I thought that might have been her. I found out later, that it was her, and she somehow over the Atlantic had lost her passport, and was stuck in Copenhagen. She should arrive in Sweden on Monday, lets hope she ends up ok.

When I got to Gothenburg, my luggage was lost, which was not a big thing, because, my luggage always get lost when I take this flight. My luggage just shows up a few hours later. Well apparently my luggage and my coworkers passport have both been lost somewhere between Greensboro and Sweden, I would guess they are in Greenland. So, I get to wear jeans to work on Monday and might even get to go shopping and get some tight European clothing. My dreams have come true. I do have pictures, but I cannot download them because the attachment cable in in my luggage also. I will download them when I can.

Nov 1, 2006

Sweden trip

I will be going over to Sweden this week, and thought I would post a blog of it, so you all can see how exciting my trips to Sweden really are. As always, if you want to hear about anything, please ask and I will see what I can do.

Sep 17, 2006

We Louvre Paris

For our last full day in Europe we first went to the Louvre in Paris. The Louvre contains some of the most famous pieces of art in the world; the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and one of Greg's hand tracings that looks like a turkey. OK, maybe one of those was not in there, but there were plenty other ones to make up for it. Nicolle got chills as we walked up and looked at the Mona Lisa. The face on the Mona Lisa looks so real, and the details look so accurate. We also looked for the chalk outline of the guy who died in the Da Vinchi Code, but the police must have cleaned it up, because it was nowhere to be found.

We made our way over to the Notre Dame and saw the inside of it. We have seen so many churches, one would think these buildings would become commonplace, but it is amazing to see the detail and grandness of these cathedrals. Nicolle also was terrified that the Gargoyles were going to come alive and attack her. Does anyone know why the churches have those scary creatures on them?

We took a river tour to see all the famous sites in Paris, and it ended up at the Eiffil Tower. We went to the park next to the tower, and took a nap. It is a huge structure and we had to walk a quarter mile just to get the whole thing into our camera lense.

It has been a great trip, and we hope you enjoyed hearing about it. If you see us when we get back, we are sorry in advace if we talk about it all the time. It has been a once in a life time experience and are grateful that we had the chance to do it.

Sep 16, 2006

The Longest Day

Today, we were able to make one of Gregs wishes come true. No, Arizona State did not win the National Championship in football. We were able to go to the D-Day beaches in Normandy France.

This had been the one thing that Greg was looking forward to the most, and it didn't disappoint. It was very powerful to see the distance at Omaha Beach that the soldiers had to run while being shot at with no cover. While looking at the ocean, one could just imagine the 6,939 Ships and landing craft ready to strike at Hitler's fortress Europe. Sorry, I forgot that this is a blog not the History Channel or a Stephen Ambrose book.

Anyway, to say the least, it was great. The American cemetery that overlooked Omaha Beach was also a site to behold. Just looking at all the white crosses and Star's of David and knowing that they represented the people(there were 4 women who died) who gave their life to provide freedom made me grateful for the country that we live.

We drove back to Paris and realized that rush hour in Paris is not a place you want to be, unless you are driving a moped or motorcycle. It took us over 2 hours to get from one end to the other. It reminded me of Driving in Phoenix or LA.

Sep 13, 2006


Bonjour! We are now in Lyon, France. Greg is working for a few days, so I (Nicolle) will be writing a post or two while he is busy. (Sorry, you'll have to do without any Ninja Turtle jokes for a little bit ).
Our trip from Italy to Lyon was quite hectic... our first train out of Italy was delayed 45 minutes, which made us miss our connecting train from Nice to Lyon. Because there were no more trains to Lyon that day, and because Greg had to be at work the next morning, we ended up renting a car and driving, instead. Luckily, the route was pretty straightforward, so we didn't get lost. We saw lots of beautiful scenery from the train and car (until it got dark). We stopped at a French truck stop... very different than in the U.S... a fancy buffet with no paper plates (so you couldn't take anything to go), wine along-side the soda fountain, and - sadly for Greg- no beef jerky.
Last night I was invited to join Greg and his colleagues (from Sweden, France, and Brazil) for dinner. It was fun to get to visit with people from so many different places at once.
I have been exploring the city while Greg has been working- Lyon is a very nice city. Although I have run into a couple of people with the stereotypical French attitude..."I speak French only!" most everyone is very helpful and friendly. In fact, at dinner tonight the waiters did not speak English, so they went to the trouble of finding a chef at a restaurant down the street who came to translate the menu for me! I was very glad he did, because there were a few scary-sounding sausages containing tripe that I was glad to be able to avoid.
The food here is delicious- the croissants melt in your mouth and everything is very fresh. What I like most about the food, though, is that it is always served with such beauty and style. The china, food, and restaurant decor all compliment each other, creating a great atmosphere.

My belly is getting bigger every day! The baby is starting to kick harder... today I was holding a book on my lap and reading and she kicked so hard that she shook the book! Being pregnant is fun and I feel so fortunate to be able to have the experience.

Sep 12, 2006

This Weekend

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, here is a 3,000 word essay. This is in Cinque Terre, the most relaxing spot we've ever seen. It is made up of 5 small towns, connected by a train or hiking trails. We spent the first of our two days there at the beach- beautiful, blue-green water right against the mountains. On the second day, we hiked between the first three towns. Cinque Terre is a national park, with rules against large developments, so, although it has been discovered by tourists, it has still retained its small-town charm. We could walk through the town we stayed in, Vernazza, in less than 5 minutes. We rented a room from a nice older Italian lady named Theresa, who spoke no English. Two of Nicolle's favorite foods- focaccia bread and pesto- originated here, and we enjoyed them several times.

Sep 9, 2006

Florence, a day a culture

On the morning of our last day in Florence, we took a bus to a spot that you could look over all of Florence. It was a very popular spot and many tour groups were there. We positioned ourselves to listen to the tour guides and we were able to hear many interesting things about the city.

After viewing the city we traveled by Bus, Foot, and Taxi (and proved to ourselves that we should never be on “The Amazing Race”) to the Ponte Vecchio. Ponte Vecchio is only one of two major bridges in the entire country that made it through WWII without being blow up by either German or Allied troops (Yes, we did get that information from one of the tour guides we listened to). The bridge is now lined with gold and silver jewelry shops.

We also went to the Uffizi Art Gallery which featured works by Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo and a couple of the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The most famous work there is “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli. There were quiet a few brilliant pieces of art, but the one that we enjoyed the most was a painting showing Mary playing with the baby Jesus.

Greg’s sister, who lived in Italy for a year and a half, recommended that we go into someone’s house who had just cooked Lasagna and eat it. Since we are not familiar with the unlawful entry laws of Italy we chose to get one at a restaurant, instead. (Kindy, you were right… the lasagna was delicious!)
Tonight, we went to the Duomo (The church where the guys didn’t know how to finish the Dome) and attended a Baroque Performance of an oratorio about San Giovanni Baptista or Saint John the Baptist. It was great to hear the performance, and as a side bonus, if we got bored at all, we could look up and see the inside of the Dome (see yesterdays photo).

Sep 7, 2006

How could Goliath be bigger than David

Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and all of the great artists studied in Florence. We were able to see the most famous sculpture today, Michelangelo’s David. It is about 20 feet tall, and when Nicolle first saw it she taken back at its size and grandeur. Since the museum did not allow photos to be taken of The David, and I am not as sneaky with my camera as my Uncle Wayne, there will be no photo’s attached of The David. This is OK; because from what I am learning on this trip, no photo does justice to most of the things we have seen. It really was amazing to see the detail in the sculpture.

In addition to the David, we went to the Duomo Cathedral. It was this massive church that boasts the first Renaissance Dome. This building must have been designed by a man because, when it was originally built, they did not know how they were going to build a dome. But that did not stop them; they built it anyway and waited for someone to figure out how to build a dome.

The rest of the day was set aside for shopping. Florence is known for markets that sell everything made in Italy. There were lots of leather jackets, scarf’s, and many many other great deals.

One side note, someone thing that I have noticed is how kind and accommodating the Italian people are. Whenever I try to speak their language, they always smile and then save me by speaking enough English that I can accomplish whatever task I am trying to perform. I think too often, American’s tend to think that communicating with in a foreign language means to speak slower and louder. The Italian’s don’t follow that practice, and I am grateful for it.

Anyways, it is dinner time, which means we will be eating Pizza, Pasta and/or Gelato. Have a great day and please add your comments. We love to read them, and if you have any thing you want to hear about just let us know.

Rome part II (Notice the Roman Numerals)

I now have the answer. Yes, the Pope is Catholic.

We were able to go to St Peters Square today and see Pope Benedict II. It was a spectacle to behold. On Wednesdays he appears and blesses the crowd. About an hour before the service starts, the announcer lets everyone know what "Pilgrims" have attended this service. It is just like a baseball game when the announcer says that "The following groups are in attendance at the game." When each group is named, they all cheer and wave their national flag. This goes on for about 30 minutes. Then a band plays and the Pope rides into the square in a white jeep, like the ones they have on MASH. It was cool to see the excitement in the eyes of the people, after they had gotten close to the Pope.

After seeing the Pope, we went to the Vatican Museum. We saw over a 100,000 works of art there. I was taking pictures left and right, and after the first 30 minutes, I almost ran out of memory on my camera. So we walked for an additional hour looking at priceless peaces of Art. Greg’s favorite was a tapestry that detailed Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem, The Last Supper and Christ’s Betrayal by Judas. Nicolle’s favorite was the Sistine Chapel. She came very close to marking her place in history… has anyone ever vomited in the Sistine Chapel? Do not worry, this was the only time Nicolle has felt like vomiting on the whole trip and it passed quickly.

Due to a medical issue that one of us is blessed to have, we were not able to stand in line for 3 hours in the midday sun to go inside St Peters Basilica. It is OK, though, because we got to go into St Marks in Venice, and I always like the Book of Mark better than 1 or 2 Peter.
We then got on a train and went to Florence, where our trip will continue on.

Sep 5, 2006

Rome Around the World

Today all of our History Channel watching was rewarded. We were able to go to most of the Roman Sites.
We first went to Capital Hill and saw the ruins of the palaces where the roman rulers lived, along with the temples that were built and the halls of justice. We had our trusty guide book with us and we would read about each site as we looked at them. I don’t want to bore you with details; it is sufficient to say that the sites were great. I have attached a photo of a man on a horse and if you are able to properly identify the man, you will win free lodging at our house whenever you need it.
Nicolle had a very big day today, for the first time, a stranger recognized that she is pregnant. In fact, it happened twice today. She was very excited.
This is a short one, because there is just too much to tell. One hint, when we get back, if you ask us about the trip, it might be similar to trying to get a sip of water from a fire hydrant. Please stop us if we go on too long about this place. We just love it so much.
p.s. the photo of nicolles profile is for her mom, who wanted to see her belly at 5 and one half months pregnant.