Joe Montana – Jerry Rice – Steve Young at San Francisco 49ers 2015 NFL Home opener

Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Joe Montana were on the sidelines during the San Francisco 49ers NFL season open against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi’s Stadium on September 14, 2015. The three NFL Hall of Fame players were at the game for a halftime ceremony for former San Francisco 49ers Charles Haley who was inducted into the 49ers hall of fame. Though I wasn’t that far away, I couldn’t hear a word they were saying. Looks like it was something interesting.

Oh, and by the way, the 49ers defeated the Vikings 20 to 3 giving new head coach Jim Tomsula his first NFL victory as head coach.

San Francisco 49er greats Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Joe Montana on the sidelines for a halftime ceremony


Venice Italy Part One – Day Fourteen – Mediterranean Cruise Vacation

Pulling into port in Venice, Italy is different than every other port as there are boats buzzing around in every direction. That of course seems logical as the roads in Venice are water. As there was so much to see in Venice, the two days we spent there will be split into three posts.

Our first day in Venice was the longest and most adventurous of the 22 day cruise as we mostly walked and did a little boating for 8 hours in the 90 degree heat. Instead of taking the bus ( which is a boat ) to a our final destination of the day, that being Piazza San Marco ( St. Mark’s Square ) we walked through Venice and saw the sights and crossed many bridges. As Venice is actually 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges, there are many bridges to cross. 

Boats buzzing around all the waterways in Venice, Italy

It looked like a parade of ships had come out to greet us, but most likely is was something else as our ship was the 4th or 5th one in port that day.

It looks like a parade of boats came out to greet our ship before we docked in Venice, Italy.There was this Australian gentleman walking around holding up a map as though he was leading a tour group through Venice. ( Only three other people in the entire world will get this joke, but that’s OK )

Tour guide leading our group through Venice, Italy.

Even the doorbells in Venice are cool.

Even the door bells are cool in Venice, Italy.Amazing buildings with columns through out the city of Venice, Italy.

Two ways to travel in Venice, either by foot or by boat.

A boat passes under one of the many bridges that connect the islands of Venice, Italy.

The dramatic lighting from below makes this statue look even more impressive.

Statue in one of many churches that exist in Venice, Italy.The yellow light shinning on the painting creates a dramatic canvas for the viewer in this Venice, Italy church.

An either gold or brass decoration showing angels holding up the crown. And by decoration, I mean it was three feet tall and looked quite ornate.

Gold statue of crown held by angels - Venice Italy

If you are going to paint, then do it big as in this Venice, Italy church.I think that statue is a bust of  Pope Pius X.

The light stream through the window onto a bust of a former Pope, Venice, Italy.

Thinking of redoing my ceiling to look like this.

No space goes un-painted as the ceiling in this church is decorated - Venice, Italy.Marble statues in a Venice, Italy church.

You don’t really notice this amazing view inside the Chiesa di San Rocco until you are about to walk outside.

Amazing interior of Chiesa di San Rocco - Venice Italy

Yes, you are in Venice, so you are going to shop in Venice.

When in Venice, Italy of course you must go shopping.

Venice, the city of Romance.

Romantic location on one of the bridges that connect each island of Venice, Italy.


Jarryd Hayne – the Thunder from Down Under – 49ers Season opener one week away

The San Francisco 49ers will open their 2015 NFL season against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara in a Monday Night Football game on September 14.

The surprise of this preseason for the 49ers has undoubtedly been Jarryd Hayne the National Rugby League player from Australia. The 6′ 2″ twenty-seven year old has been returning punts and also playing at running back with an exciting skill set that very few would have predicted. Those skills allowed hayne to make the 49ers 53 man roster that will face the Vikings in the season opener on September 14.

Jarryd Hayne runs back a punt against the Dallas Cowboys during a 2015 NFL pre-season game.


Split Croatia – Day Thirteen – Mediterranean Cruise Vacation

Day thirteen of our Mediterranean cruise vacation landed us in Split, Croatia. It turned out to be a rebound day after the Papillon cruise the day before. Some of the best shore excursions my wife and I and our new found friends from Australia were done on our own. This proved to be the case in Split. No need to pony up the $50 or so the cruise line charges to walk you around the town and visit the church.

As you enter the old town the first thing you see is the “farmers market” which had many local fruits, vegetables, and wines. As there were only 4 of us, walking through the tight isles wasn’t much of a problem, but were you on the ship excursion, no way you visited the market with your group of 30 or so.
After the market you headed into the church and bell tower. Admission to the Cathedral, a small temple, the Crypt, the Treasury and Bell Tower was only 6.50€. Once again, because there were only 4 of us, we were able to visit all the sights that admission granted us, as no way a large group could go into the Bell tower, or the Treasury.

I don’t drink wine or buy wine, but if I did buy wine I certainly would buy the Vranac Kvalitetno Suho Vino in the 5 liter plastic bottle from the outdoor market for only 50 Kunas, or a little under seven Euros.


I like a town that has a sign so that you can take a photo and identify where you were on a certain day.


Open air market filled with wine, fruits, vegetables, and tourist crap

Inside the crypt.


The dome inside the church.


View of the bell tower and Diocletian’s Palace.

View of the Split, Croatia bell tower which dominates the city skyline by Diocletian’s Palace.

The temple of Jupiter.

Temple of Jupiter-Split-Croatia-05

Once you have worked your way inside the bell tower, you have to decide how far up you want to climb the stairs which go all the way to the top. While the bell tower looks solid as a rock, the rusty metal stairs attached to the stone certainly didn’t give one the feeling of safety.

Wide angle view looking up inside the bell tower - Split, croatia

Group photo of Americans and Australians.

Group photo inside the bell tower - Split, CroatiaNarrow walkways are serviced by small and narrow vehicles.

The only way for the merchandise to reach the stores is with narrow carts for the narrow  walkways - Split, CroatiaThe Roman soldiers passed through while we were there.

Split-Croatia-09The Pope was in town, or at least this shop window - Split, CroatiaUnderground shopping for the tourist in Split, CroatiaRoman guards taking a break outside the city walls.

Even the actors dressed up as Roman guards get to take a break just outside the city walls - Split, Croatia.

When in Split, Croatia don’t forget to try one of the local beers, Pan.

Pan beer, served almost cold in Split, Croatia


Korcula Croatia – Day Twelve – Mediterranean Cruise Vacation

It was the trip of a lifetime. Even so, some days are better than others. This day was the opposite of better.

Korcula, like the other destinations we visited in Croatia is a castle city. While it’s not the best “castle city” we visited, an enjoyable and interesting day could be had there. That’s not what happened. Our cruise line Holland American offer excursions once you dock. Some are better than others, some are OK, and this one that we took was so bad I started calling it the Papillon cruise after the movie with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman that chronicles their stay  at the infamous French Guiana penal colony known as Devil’s Island. 

The “information” sheet provided by Holland America called this day’s excursion the Dalmatian Riviera Cruise, you know what I called it. From the Holland America description, “From Korcula, you’ll set out by boat to weave through the 20-island Korcula Archipelago”. If by weave they mean take the straightest route possible to the first island, then the description is correct. The description mentions 20 islands, sorry I’d say we say 4 or 5 different islands.

In researching this blog post I found this review of the excursion.
POOR VALUE – Date:May 19, 2015

This was just a boat ride to some very unimpressive places. The guide was terrible and was not well prepared. Save your money. The only thing to do in Korcula is visit the Old Town. You can do this yourself for free.”
The author of the review FredT. forgot one thing, besides the complete lack of anything to see, the excursion wasted 4 hours of your time that could have been spend doing something enjoyable.
The day started just fine with a nice sunrise.
If you are on the Holland America Dalmatian Riviera Cruise excursion and see this sign, don’t expect to see much of value.
Yes, that was one of the most interesting things we saw, a kind of neat water faucet.
I think the Police came because somebody started to enjoy the excursion.
Yeah, this is a beach Orebic, just without the sand. Orebic was one of the two islands the Dalmatian Rivera Cruise visited.
This was the photo highlight of the second stop we made which was the small town of Lumbarda on the Holland America Dalmatian Riviera Cruise.  This was at least an hour stop that offered little to do except trying to find a place to wait it out in the shade.
Once we arrived back at Korcula, things were much more picturesque and enjoyable.
Neat little church we found.