Monday, September 15, 2014

Home from Vacation - First Reflections

The Grand Canal from San Marco Square on our last night.
After an arduous trip yesterday back from Venice - we were up nearly 23 hours - which was made worse by US Airways' incompetence, we are back in Hampton and I shudder at what awaits at the office since I had extreme difficulty accessing my office e-mail while traveling.  I'd be lying if I said I was happy to be home.  If nothing else, foreign travel always highlights in my mind the many deficiencies of living in Virginia.  Going to Europe also always underscores the idiocy and unwarranted arrogance of far too many "red state" Americans, not too mention that Americans seem to be the most obese among traveling tourists.  Having some scored some great clothing purchases, one friend on the trip teased me that I was trying to look "European" - my response was why not?  With some of the "ugly Americans" to be seen, who would want to be numbered among them.

Besides reading the book "Zealot" on the trip, I also finished reading "Facing East from Indian Country," which recounts America's ugly history of lies, broken treaties, and outright genocide against America's original inhabitants.  Not surprisingly, in addition to the greed that motivated the quest to "remove" Indians from their lands, good old Christianity helped convince far too many whites that annihilating the Indians was a godly thing.  Combined with being out of the USA in generally enlightened locales, this book doesn't make one overly proud to be America.

I will get over the post-vacation funk and be posting more photos and giving further thoughts and reflections.  Here are a few photos:

An amazing room in the Dodge's Palace
The amazing Hermes by by Praxiteles in Olympia, Greece
Model of the site of the Olympic Games during Classical times
The dying Achilles - Corfu, Greece
Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge after dinner

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