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Home From Italy...Travel Patience and Catching Up

Oct 8 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Happy Columbus Day.  Have you bought your mattress yet?



Back home from our weeklong trip to Italy.  It’s the first time I’ve blogged since we left over a week ago.  Part of long distance traveling I’m discovering is having patience…lots of patience.  My computer failed  me overseas so I had no chance to blog or do any kind of work for that matter.  And that turned out to be a blessing as we had long days full of sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Venice, Burano, and other places in that gorgeous country.


I’m not going to try and recap a weeks worth of traveling here.  For that…simply go to may Facebook page and “friend” me if you haven’t…and you’ll get the full travelogue complete with some unreal pictures.


I will thank my longtime buddy Brent Burns for asking me and my wife to go along.  Spectacular.  We played 4 times for our group of almost 50 and those were just wonderful nightcaps to full days of jaw dropping sights and scenery.  And to think we do the next one next June…a Rhine River Cruise!


After doing this one…I truly encourage you to think about joining us like over 80 others have so far.  Amsterdam-Germany-Switzerland and we will be playing music again.  For complete details check this LINK.



It’s the physical part of traveling that’s the hardest part of these kinds of journeys.  The payoff makes it worth it thank goodness.  Coming home we had over 10 hours of flying from Venice to Chicago and we were delayed which meant when we got to Chicago finally we missed our connection home.  The LAST thing one wants to hear when they are tired and down with a cold…as I am now…and my wife Kathy.


When we came off the Ramp and American Airline info person handed us a ticket for an overnight room and another flight for the next morning.  Sigh.


My wife let my daughter Heather know this as she works for American and was coming back to Nashville herself with the plan of meeting us with her husband Casey (who’s home from a deployment for the Army).  Heather told us there was another flight later to Nashville…the last out of Chicago and to check and see if there had been cancellations.  Sure enough…there were cancellations and my wife, me and my guitar all got on board for a short flight home.


And then to top it all off…they lost my bag in Chicago.  More deep breaths and another line to turn in the info.  What a looooong day and night of flying.


Now the great news is American did a GREAT job of keeping me informed about my bag through texts and e-mails and sure enough as promised they showed up at my doorstep yesterday with my missing suitcase.  So all ended well.  And now we rest…and try to get over a cold that swept through part of our travel group.


So that’s the short version of an absolutely unreal one-week trip in Italy.  I’ll be rested and back to perfect health again by the time we start floating down the Rhine River next June.



Pickpockets in Italy are a big concern.  Every time we got off the bus we got a dire warning from our tour director.  The key is to stay in the group and try to not look like a tourist.  Pretty hard to do with cameras around every neck and American clothing with our favorite sports team logos on the front.  Fortunately our group had no incidents whatsoever…and being with a professional tour guide more than helped.  Thank you Patricia for all the history education and knowledge that we all soaked up.


I loved all the art and the main sites.  Pisa is an entire town with great places to sidewalk café.  The Leaning Tower?  We found out they let it lean for money sakes.  As Americans we flock to it...and they make a lot of money.  They could fix it if they want to…but there goes the money if you do.


My FAVORITE stop was the unannounced stop near Tuscany when our bus pulled into the cemetery that is home to thousands of American soldiers who gave their lives to help free Europe.  Quiet, respectful, beautiful and well maintained.  It’s moving…to the point of tears moving for me.  I can only imagine the feeling one must have when they are in Normandy after seeing this.



I’d almost forgotten that it’s officially Fall.  The weather here would not give you a clue as we are having almost 90 degree high temp days again. And meanwhile down in Florida?  Another hurricane is possible?  Yikes. 



Uh…I’m not sure why we believe everything on Facebook.  It’s a hoax…about your accounts being hacked.  Most of that stuff is always that way yet a ton of smart folks fall for it and cut and paste the info to their friends.  It will surely turn into a comedy song for me.  If it don’t make common sense to you…then don’t panic.  Wait and pretty soon you’ll see an article popping up that tells it was all a hoax.  I do believe they spotted Big Foot though yesterday shopping at a Wal Mart in Des Moine.  Share with all your friends please. 



How bout this.  A guy in Michigan has a rock he uses as a door stop for years and then one day finds out the rock propping open his door is actually a meteorite worth $100,000!  File that one under “these things never happen to me”!



I cast my vote for the CMA Awards show coming up in November. Hard to believe another year has gone by!


And the rest of my week is all about getting back to good health and catching up on stuff.


Today I’m locking in a couple of Arkansas dates for my “Hits and Grins” trio for the end of March next year.  Complete details coming soon but we will be in Fort Smith and Little Rock for two different shows.


I’ve cancelled a couple of songwriting appointments because I don’t want to give anyone this lingering cold I’m hanging onto so a little more rest is coming on this Columbus Day.


Glad to be home.  Have a great Monday!





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