Rick & Jody Rousseau


Rick & Jody Rousseau

Since our retirement in April 2015, after a 38 year career in Lockheed Martin , Jody and I have visited the lower 48 states in 2 motorcycle trips and Hawaii and Alaska on separate cruises.. Our first "motorcycle trip of a lifetime" where we visited every state west of the Mississippi on a 105 day 20,000 mile motorcycle trip from May 24, 2015 to Sept 5 2015 can be viewed at TravelArk along with the build blog of my 51 Chevy Hotrod Pickup Truck. As we continue our travels we will add to our trips with various blogs along the way., Other past trips can be best viewed by clicking the link in the lower right of this page under the heading "Trips". Retirement is awesome!

North America » United States » Florida » Orlando July 2nd 2019

Sadly, we leave Venice today. It's been an awesome trip! We saw a lot! Our flight today is at 12:30, so we were able to sleep in until about 7:00. We have an 8:30 shuttle to the airport, so we left our luggage outside the room and headed down to breakfast. After a quick breakfast and some good-byes, the "shuttle" turned out to be a water taxi at the canal right outside the door to the hotel. It turns out that water taxi's are not allowed in the inner canals because of the gondolas, but gondolas are not allowed out until 9:30. So before 9:30 we can get door to door service. It was fitting that our last view of Venice would be a water taxi ride. The boat pulled up to the hotel door and ... read more
Leaving Venice - Loading the Water Taxi
Leaving Venice - Loading the Water Taxi
Leaving Venice - View From the Water Taxi

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 1st 2019

Now that the cruse ships have sailed away, it's time to explore Venice in a little more depth. After a quick breakfast in the hotel, where we were pleasantly surprised that the eggs were almost cooked, and the bacon was almost crisp, we were ready to head off on a walking tour of Venice. In all fairness to the hotels, evidently eggs and bacon are an American thing, and not really a mainland Europe breakfast. All of the hotels have had scrambled eggs, though they mostly are pretty runny. And the bacon is always undercooked. Anna promised that if we visited Britain, we would be able to get "proper" bacon. The other odd thing, is that with all the wonderful sausage we have seen, breakfast sausage is always hot dogs, regular old American style hot dogs, ... read more
Hidden Venice - At the Compo
Hidden Venice - The Cistern
Hidden Venice - Garbage Boat

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice June 30th 2019

This morning we said arrivederci to both the Dolomite Mountains of Cortina, and our faithful driver Pancrazio. Once we reach the outskirts of Venice, we will have no more need of the motorcoach since travel around Venice will be by boat. We really enjoyed the hotel in Cortina, even though it wasn't air conditioned, it was a kind of old world charming. Some of the other passengers complained about the noise, but it didn't bother us at all. We just opened all the windows when we first got back from dinner and cooled the room right down, then we closed them up tight as we went to bed to block the noise. We were both so tired we probably could have slept through anything. After a quick breakfast, we headed off to the bus at 9:00. ... read more
Glassblowing - Demonstation of the Vase
Glassblowing - Demonstation of the Dancing Horse
Burano -Colorful Houses

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Cortina d'Ampezzo June 29th 2019

After a noisy night in Cortina, most everyone was able still to get a good nights sleep. The 120 km race began last night at about 11:00pm and there was all kinds of activity in the center of town. There is music playing continuously and some guy announcing over a loudspeaker, but mostly it is just a party atmosphere and everyone is having a good time. We left the windows open in our room to cool it down until we were ready for bed and then closed everything up so it wasn't too noisy. Fortunately we like the music selection of mostly classic rock, so it just put us right to sleep. We are all getting near the end of this trip and are all a little tired. A couple of people are fighting colds, and ... read more
Cortina - Riding Up The Mountain
Passo Falzarego - The Cable Car Arrives
Passo Falzarego - View From The Cable Car

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Cortina d'Ampezzo June 28th 2019

Waking up this morning in Lake Maggiore was wonderful! We opened the curtains, stepped out on the balcony looking over Lake Maggiore and pinched ourselves to make sure we were really in Italy. We each then headed to our own bathroom, since this is a 2-bath room, and readied for the day. The accommodations on this trip have really been awesome! Breakfast was great, though there was a French tour group that got to the buffet before us. But we just forced our way through and made sure we got plenty to eat. Once we headed out to the bus, we understood the advantage of having portage. With Insight Travel, we have portage included. We are allowed 1 full suitcase and 1or 2 small hand carry items for luggage. When we arrive at the hotel, we ... read more
Verona - Opera Colosseum
Verona - Casa Giuletta Balcony
Verona - Our Restaurant for Lunch

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Baveno June 27th 2019

Today is a really relaxed start, as we won't be hitting the road until 9:00. So after a quick breakfast, we bid a fond farewell to Santa Margherita, and board the coach for Lake Maggiore. Lake Maggiore is in the upper northwest area of Italy near the border with Switzerland. This is a 3 hour bus ride, the longest we have some so far. So with plenty of time on the road, Anna gave us a quick synopsis of the days activities, and used the remaining time to settle up our bills for the optional excursions. With a WiFi credit card machine on the bus, it didn't take her long. As we left Santa Margherita, the mountains began to quickly subside and we were quickly in the flat farmland of the northwest. So for the next ... read more
Lake Maggiore - Farmlands of the North
Lake Maggiore - Hotel Simplon Our Room
Lake Maggiore - Hotel Simplon Our Room

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Monterosso al Mare June 26th 2019

This morning we had a chance for a little sleep in, and today was another "relaxed start", which basically means we don't leave until after 8:30AM. This is a feature of Insight Travel, and something I had trouble understanding in the beginning. Since I booked this tour under Grand European Tours, they had tours broken up by pace as in Leisurely, Comfortable, and Active Pace. After a discussion with Russ and Julie at dinner tonight, I realized that they had the same incorrect definition of Comfortable, Leisurely, and Active as I originally had. I thought that this had something to do with physical activity, and that Leisurely and Comfortable, would have less walking, less strenuous exercise, etc. and that Active would have lots of walking, steep hills, and lots of physical activity. But actually,these terms relate ... read more
La Spezia - Italian Navy Base
Riomaggiore- Paula Leads The Way
Riomaggiore- Terraced Hillsides

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Santa Margherita Ligure June 25th 2019

Today we are saying arrivederci to the Tuscany Valley and heading further north. We're really going to miss the Borgo San Luigi resort, as it was both beautiful and relaxing. Our first stop this morning is at a little town called Lucca. Lucca is a quiet little medieval walled city that looks like time forgot. It doesn't have as large of a tourist industry as Siena, so there are only a few souvenir shops, and most of the locals are just going about their daily lives. Lucca is about an hour up the road on the way to Pisa , and when we arrived, the coach was not allowed inside the city walls, so we got off the bus, just outside the entry gate. Lucca's city walls are much wider than other city walls we have ... read more
Lucca - Entry gate
Lucca - City Streets
Lucca - Piazza Anfiteatro

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena June 24th 2019

As much as we hated to leave the relaxing atmosphere and comfort of Borgo San Luigi, it was time to explore more of the Tuscan Valley. After last night's late night dinner, today was scheduled for a "relaxed start" which means we didn't leave the hotel until 8:30, which means a little extra sleep before a quick breakfast and heading out for our first stop in Siena. Maureen told me she liked this city, and once we arrived, it was easy to see why. Siena is an ancient Gothic walled city built on a series of hills.The ride over from Borgo San Luigi was through some of the most beautiful countryside in the Tuscan Valley, with rolling hills, vineyard fields and villas at the tops of the hills. Since Siena is at the top of these ... read more
Siena - Entrance Gate
Siena - City Streets
Siena - City Square

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence June 23rd 2019

Today was another early start day as we left the chaos of Rome for the more peaceful Florence, called Firenza by the locals. After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we were ready to board the bus by 7:45. Today we began the seating chart rotation, where everyone gets a chance at various seating locations on the bus. We ended up at what the driver called the "pole position", right behind him which gave us a great view out the front window. It didn't take long before the craziness of Rome was behind us. We could visibly see the signs of stress disappear from Anna, our Tour Director. She admitted that she really does breath a sigh of relief when leaving Rome, because as she said, "If anything is going to go wrong on a tour, ... read more
On the Road to Florence
Florence - Ponte Vecchio
Florence - Jody at Gelato

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