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Dublin & Italy 2005!

Well, here's a little background on this trip.  I was invited to the wedding of a Flight Attendant friend of mine, Viola Kent, to Ermanno Antonelli, her very warm and welcoming Italian fiancÚ (Now Husband).  She described the location of the wedding and I was instantly hooked.  We were to stay in a Castle in Central Italy, where the wedding would take place.  Along with my lovely wife, several other friends we work with, Mike Anagnostopoulos and Anna Wilson, were also invited.  We checked flights to numerous locations, and finally decided to purchase tickets from Chicago to Dublin because of the significantly lower cost than flying directly to Rome.    This also allowed me to reacquaint myself with the Dublin experience.  Also, flight passenger loads were WAY too full to consider trying to fly standby.  We purchased Ryan Air tickets from Dublin to Rome, which was an entertaining experience.  Other than the air you breath, basically everything is for sale onboard Ryan Air, from sandwiches, soda, water, coffee, as well as duty-free goods and even lottery tickets with the proceeds going to charity.  We then took a train from Rome to Perugia, passing by but unfortunately not having the time to stop at Assisi.

I have not had time to place the information below all of the photos, but I will in the near future.  This is a LARGE web-page, so I apologize if it takes a long time to load.  It's is FULL of pictures of the entire trip.

I have not found our notes with the names of all the people in the photos, however, we will be editing this to ensure all are entered and none are forgotten.  Please bear with me while I continue to update this page.

Ireland    Italy     Wedding    Rome


We started out and ended our trip in Dublin. 

Here is most of the crew from our voyage over to Dublin.  They were so much fun, showing us around the Temple Bar district of Dublin.  Several quick stops and off to dinner.  We had an absolutely amazing time with them.

All the photos of Ireland below are from the return trip, as we were not in Dublin long enough to experience much on the way over, other than Temple Bar.

Bye-bye to the Coliseum.                                      Some Dublin architecture.

Outside Trinity College           Monument outside                 I just loved the
after we saw the Book           Trinity College.                     architecture.
of Kells.  Awesome!                                                                         

At the gate to Dublin Castle are these two statues.
Lady justice was quite a controversial installation.
One, she's not blindfolded, indicating Justice is NOT blind.
Two, she facing the Castle, with her back to the 'people'.

Several shots of the inside of Dublin Castle, a very excellent tour, well worth the time and 6 Euro each.

In the courtyard, there were sand sculptures depicting the 4 seasons.  Very impressive.  Out the Castle window is a lovely view of the principle garden.

Exterior view of the only original tower from the      During building and renovation, the remains of the,
Castle.  The chapel was added later.                        other Tower were discovered.  The bricks in the
                                                                             pit were dated back to the early 1200s by their
                                                                             materials.  they also found the original non-drawbridge
                                                                             servants entrance.


My lovely bride under Dublin Castle near the end of the tour.

We stopped for the best Fish-n-Chips in Dublin.          Someday I'll remember the name of the Church and
No eat-in, so we found a covered stairway while        Arch here.
the cold rain fell.

The 2 couples in front of the Church.

Cindy wanted to show the different skies by turning 180 degrees and clicking the sky.
Grey south sky and Blue north sky.

Pints around!                    A business open since the The infamous Temple Bar    Those kooky girls...
                                       1700s...                          in the Temple Bar district.


More pints....                                The band in Temple Bar.                            Two friends Irish lasses.

I loved her smile..                    Those kooky girls again....
Fun to chat with as well.

Falafel after a the night's revelry... Yummmmmm..                                      Anna has a questionable bag.

Pre-Wedding Italy:

A beautiful village on the train route.     Anna relaxes with a good book.         There it goes, we'll be back!

We were thirsty after a LONG day        Just before we we off to bed, the      A group of AA's finest...
of traveling.                                       wedding group arrives back from
                                                         dinner in Perugia.

The groom on      The lovely Mary.    Kye and Garry.                                 On the right, the lovely Viola and her
the right, with                                                                                       beau Ermanno.  On the left Stefano &
Stefano & Giovanna                                                                                Giovanna!

The AA group.                                    Garry and his        The gardens in the morning.               The castle in an
                                                        beautiful lady,                                                              interesting lighting
                                                        Connie!                                                                        view.

Here's the castle, Castle Oscano!                              The guest house (where we stayed.)

I love that           The open air        Views of the landscape from the Bridal Suite
smile...               dining area.         which in in the large round turret!

Views of the countryside from atop the castle.  The terrace on top of the Castle is where we had hoped to have the ceremony, unfortunately, weather and rain forced us indoors.  It was still an amazing day!

A lovely village on the way to the        Oh, look, sunflowers!  Heidi loved      Castle Oscano from the distance!
Perugina Chocolate Factory.               these.  We had a great drive with
Drat, they were closed...                    Heidi and Richard.  They were so fun to drive with and pal around with!

A VERY steep, rutted route when we got sort of lost.  From the smile, you can see Heidi was ready for the ride...

The Wedding:

The Great Hall, where the ceremony    These 2 boys sat  And the princess.  The Maid of Honor,
was moved to due inclement weather.  like angels, waiting                        Connie.
                                                         for the ceremony.

Ermanno, and his cousin, Richard, the   The venerable PadrÚ.                        Here comes the bride......
Best Man.

Holding hands.......                            Vows said..                                        First kiss, outside right when
                                                                                                                the rain stopped.

The wedding party.                             My lovely bride shows off;              Lovely gardens
Richard, Ermanno, Viola & Connie.        and check out them shoes.....         for photos.

The AA Gang... (OK, Ermanno              I met these 2 on the veranda while  The wave from the
married into it)                                  sipping champagne.                         balcony.
                                                        Stefano & Giovanna!

3 beautiful shots on the rooftop terrace.

Cindy loves her fountains.                   Glass in hand,      The Dining Hall!  Awesome building.
                                                        of course!            Great architecture and ambience.

The lovely place-setting.                    The Bride and Groom arrive.

Russ chats with the lovely ladies of Italy.                        The fans of the Geisha girls.
Giovanna & Angela!

Many of you know how much Cindy LOVES when I teach people to make crystal sing.  NOT!
    Mike                    Anna                    Dan                     Angie                   Mark   SUCCESS!!!!!!!

The Bride lovely as always, Viola!        Our table of rowdies.                          Breathtaking        Polite cake
                                                                                                                 Anna!                  cutting.

Our Sommelier, and the 'Tasse a Vin.'    Dessert anyone?                                 First Dance...      

Viola and Father in Law.                     Ermanno and Giovanna...                     Look at the SMILE!
                                                                                                                 Regina & Hanna...

Another fun table!                              More lovely friends we made at the celebration.
Angela/Fabio/Giovanna/Stefano/Stefano/Giada        Antonella/Alessandro        Stephanie & Connie!

Connie & Garry    Richard and Heidi strike a lovely pose. Brigitte & Regina We revelers didn't stop after the
enjoy a moment.                                                                                    reception, we just moved back over
                                                                                                            to the out-door dining area.

Our assistants in Castle Oscano.  From concierge, server, front desk, they did it all!
And they were so warm and friendly!

Post-Wedding Rome:

The girls have a laugh.                        Mike is serious with his maps.             We met a young lady on the train and
                                                                                                                had wonderful fun chatting with
                                                                                                                the adorable Daniela Bruno.

3 photos of the landscape in Italy as we traveled via train to the city of Rome.
Upon arrival, we went straight to the Tourist info and Hotel assistance desk.
Booked a nice room, with breakfast included, at the Hotel Palladium Palace for 85 Euro/night.
10 euro less that we were quoted at the Crew Rest hotel, to remain unnamed...

I just though it was funny to see          The church of Santa Maria Maggiore!     A good street view.
an Hotel California in Rome.

Let's eat!                                           Now here's proof the Italians             That Anna, we can't
Yep, that's water.                              invented the bidet <G>....                take her anywhere...
                                                      La Repubblica:  Piazza della Republica

An awesome plaza in Rome.  Circled buildings direct your attention back to Santa Maria degli Angeli.

We enjoy anther nice meal.                Cindy loves her fountains.                   The Spanish Steps, lots of steps.
Beer this time...                                                                                        TrinitÓ dei Monti

Cindy loved the corner of the four fountains..                Fonatana del         I loved the statues in front of the
Unfortunately, only one was working this day.                Tritona                 Court building, Palazzo di Giustizia.
Quattro Fontane

Castel Sant Angelo                            We enjoy a moment by the river         Just before entering Vatican City, I
                                                        Fiume Tevere.                                    I noticed the Carmelite church:
                                                                                                                 Santa Maria del Carmelo in Traspontina

Outside Vatican City, the smallest nation on the planet.
Yep, the elite Swiss Guard, personal guard to the Pope.

The plaza mentioned in The Da Vinci    Our servers at a restaurant called        The other fountain mentioned in the
 Code.  Piazza Navona.                      La Fraschetta, we got caught in          book, The Da Vinci Code, in the
                                                         an afternoon shower in mid-meal,       Piazza Navona.
                                                         we ran for cover in the tiny
                                                         diner, great food and fun servers!

The Pantheon.  Notice the dome with the hole in it.  Typical Italians,         Amazing altar in there!
instead of covering the hole, they decide to install plumbing in the
floors, notice the 4 holes in the floor in the 3rd photo.  Floor drains...

Cindy takes a       The Grand Wall.......  Ancient and awesome...
break.                 Tempio Adriano, an amazing wall facade moved from Venice if I recall.

Here we are in front of Trevi Fountain.                           Centurion takes    Monumento a Vittorio Emmanuelle II
       Fontana di Trevi                                                    a smoke break.    The locals call it 'The Typewriter'
                                                                                                              and/or the 'Wedding Cake.'

Above, ancient ruins were unearthed when Rome was planning on renovating the center of town.
It's quite near the Coliseum.

Here's the Coliseum.  Lots of walking and amazing history here.  The base and aqua-ducts are being restored.
The bottom right photo here shows the different layers/sections of the outer walls.  The history panels in the
Coliseum stated the reason part of the Coliseum is missing is because the Vatican needed the bricks to build
Vatican City and after the middle ages.   Collosseo.

Views from the Coliseum. 

Just taking a break, all those                 Some typical ruins and such in down-town Rome.
cobble-stones are tough on the feet!

I loved that Smart color scheme!            Once again, Cindy LOVED when we made the crystal sing.....   NOT!!!