Since 2017, WestCMR has been rewarding their tenured employees with “Trip of a Lifetime” (TOAL). Team members reaching 5, 10 and 15 years of service are sent on an all-expense paid trip of their choice. Richard Blanchard, Manager, Strategic Accounts, takes us to Capri as he recalls his TOAL:
When WestCMR first announced the “Trip of a Lifetime” program, I was ecstatic because I knew my 5-year anniversary was right around the corner! Italy immediately came to mind, and after very little deliberation with my wife, we settled on Capri: our dream destination.
Our trip began with a flight to Rome from Tampa. Shortly after going through security, while waiting in line for coffee, we ran into Red Sox legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz! Big Papi was great; he even gave us travel tips for our destination, where he had recently been with his good friend Denzel, as in Denzel Washington!
We stayed in Rome for a few days, making sure to hit all the major landmarks including the Pantheon, St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps and the Roman Forum. It was incredible to walk in the footsteps of Julius Caesar, to learn the rich history of each monument, and to stop at the numerous gelato stands along the way!
Did you know that the Colosseum was gutted for building material for a wide range of projects, including St Peter’s Basilica, giving it its signature look that most believe is due to age? Roman engineering was highly advanced and we have yet to unlock the mystery behind many of their building techniques.
Before we knew it, it was time to depart from Rome and begin our journey to the beautiful island of Capri. Our trek included a trip to Naples via high-speed rail, and a hydrofoil from there to the island.
Upon arrival, we were greeted and escorted to the fabulous Hotel Sina Flora, situated at the top of Capri overlooking the Marina Piccola. Our itinerary included lots of relaxing, hiking in the mountains in Ana Capri, visits to the local market for fresh Italian bread filled with prosciutto and homemade mozzarella, and dinners at our favorite restaurant Lo Sfizio.
We made sure to stay in Naples a couple of nights before flying home. We took a day trip to visit the ruins of Pompeii, a sophisticated Roman city which was pummeled by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius roughly 2,000 years ago.
We are extremely thankful for the opportunity presented by WestCMR and we look forward to going back soon!
Read more Trip of a Lifetime posts by clicking here.