Seven Wonders

Mama’s Losin’ ItMama Kat prompted this one: List your life’s Seven Wonders. Describe the most amazing 7 things you’ve seen with your own two eyes.

Cameron D Garriepy, seven wonders

Image credit: Massimo Catarinella via Wikipedia

Battistero di San Giovanni, Pisa, Italy: Way cooler than the sneaky leaning campanile in the background. Know why? It’s acoustically perfect. You can sing the notes of a chord and hear your own voice in harmony while the echoes fade. The guides perform this trick for you on the tour. If you’re sneaky, you can duck back inside with your chorus-geek friends and try it out before the next group comes in. Not that I would do that, or anything.

A few days later we toured St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. I won’t even post pictures, because they don’t do it justice. It’s enormous, simply massive, and chock full of beautiful things to see, but the scale is so perfect that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. And even though a.)I’m no Christian, and b.)it’s behind safety glass, the Pietà is heartbreaking.

palazzo ducale, venice, Cameron D garriepy

Image courtesy of Click image to return to source.

Earlier in that same trip we saw Tintoretto’s Paradiso in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice, Italy: True story–my friend Dave, upon seeing this painting, said, “Where’s Waldo?” I’ve never laughed so hard while viewing a classical work of art.


Last stop in Italy, I was going to say Pompeii, but truthfully, I was more impressed with The Pantheon. My friend Naomi & I were on our own in Rome with a guidebook and passable French to aid us. We were also 16. So. Much. Fun! We kept following our map, but we ended up on a side street with all these market stalls and this big, grey, dirty looking building blocking the end. Just when we were about to give up and go back, we came to the end, and BOOM. Pantheon. We’d been looking at the side of it all along.

Photos courtesy of Dadam3zk and Martin Olsson via Wikipedia

Italy made quite an impression on me, I’m aware.

Cameron D Garriepy

Image courtesy of Middlebury College. Click image to return to source.

Concert Hall, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT: When I saw this room, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to perform there. And that was before I heard the acoustics. It’s not wholly the reason I applied, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a factor. I had my share of performances on that stage, some better than others, but the room never let me down. Nor did it ever cease to take my breath away.

Amazing doesn’t always mean sophisticated, of course. When I was 21, I went along with a friend when she drove cross-country for a summer job. Somewhere off I-70 in Kansas, you’ll find Prairie Dog Town. Tempting you with signs for “The World’s Largest Prairie Dog,” this roadside freakshow has a terrarium of rattlesnakes you can see poked with a stick, various mutant farm animals and a giant concrete prairie dog out back. It was amazing–and disturbing, that’s for damn sure.

Last but perhaps greatest: My Small Boy.






  1. Awww. Those were all wonderful, and that baby just teared me up.

  2. i can’t imagine a 7 wonders post without a baby…love this.

  3. Dude. I want to go to there.

  4. and I had the wonder of sharing 6 out of 7! and when you look at the last but best,he really still looks like he did that day.

  5. I have always wanted to see Italy and this just make me want it that much more. Of course your little boy made it, babies made it on my 7 wonders list too!!! Great post!

  6. I was hoping someone would write about their baby! He really is a wonder!

  7. Wow! I’ll be lucky if I get to do half of those things…though I am lucky enough to have experienced number 7! :) A wonder indeed!

  8. Oh Ive always wanted to go to Italy. We are from Germany–but I moved here so young and everytime we go back I only go to visit family. Ill make it there someday. Your little boy is adorbs.

  9. Wonderful places to visit, I haven’t had the opportunity to visit that part of the world —hope to some day.
    You can see the 7 great places I gave seen here:

  10. You have seen some stuff, woman!

    But number #7 is by far the greatest. I mean, right? What beats that bundle of crying, gore-covered love? Swoon.

  11. I would love to visit Italy and this made me want to go even more!

  12. I LOVED Italy, and all those places you mentioned were magnificent! Visit me…same prompt…and same conclusion!! LOVE this!

  13. Green with envy.
    And your small boy? Delightful.

  14. He is so tiny. Oh swoon.

    And now, now I want to hear you sing. You can just leave me a message on my phone.

    And the rest, yeah yeah yeah..jealous, impressed and disturbed. (Why do you think I LEFT Kansas?)

  15. Swoon for Italy, and swoon for your Small Boy. :)

  16. I knew how you were going to end this – and I still squee’d at the picture of F.

    I have a great story that I’ll share with a Throwback Thursday post about the Acropolis, which I found just fine . . . but couldn’t get back from it.

    My absolute best wonder was the Charles Bridge in Prague . . . and I’m the father of two, and I walked on it well before I met my wife, and I’ve played in front of 100k people in Vienna. That deserves a post of its own, too.

  17. Wow! You’ve really travelled a lot. But that last one … hands down the best! :)

    Visiting from Mama Kat’s :)

  18. I just love all of those classic wonders followed by your very own little wonder. I’ve been to St. Peters and the Pantheon, and St. Peters really blew my mind.

  19. I can only dream of a trip to Italy! But #7… I’ve been there a few times and it’s simply amazing.

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