Friday, August 31, 2012

Irish Wisdom and Friday stuff…

Irish bow
5 pearls of Irish wisdom to remember…
1. Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.
2. Forgive your enemy, but remember the bastard’s name.
3. Help a man when he is in trouble, and he will remember you when he is in trouble again. 
4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.
5. Alcohol does not solve any problem, but then neither does milk.

Have a fab last Friday in August.  I’m off shopping with my gal pals.  We’ll try to stay outta trouble!

Life is good, y'all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Boppard, along the Rhine River

I love seeing the beautiful flowers everywhere.


And what was MM doing?  Admiring the boat traffic, of course!P8070103

There were about 6 or 8 sheep on the hillside across from the river.  Apparently they live there because they were there both days to entertain us.  Yes, we are easily entertained and that is OK with us.


We wondered what was going in between these two buildings (and what HAD been there).  Check out the wallpaper that is still on the building on the R:


Apparently the old building that was torn down abutted this building, with no wasted space!



Even if we never visit Boppard again, we hold good memories in our hearts from there.  And have photos that will take us back there any time we need a ‘fix.’

Is there a place you want to visit?

Are you making plans to go there?

Just do it!  Life’s too short to live with regrets.  Create some memories.  We sure have!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Caption this!

Tell me what you think when you see this…P8070113

Found in Boppard, Germany.  It made me smile!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, y’all!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday play

I have wee Will for the day. I took him to gymnastics this morning, which kind of tired him out, but he had enough energy for a few games of dominoes. Score? Tied at 2-2. We play with colored tiles, and he does well matching them up and is gradually learning some strategy. He's a mighty sharp 4 year old. Not that I'm biased or anything.

He is taking a break and playing on my iPhone, so I having some quality time in the massage chair with the iPad.

Brian texted me after midnight that he was on the ground and heading home. Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers. I know he must be dragging today, but we will see him soon.

We have gotten some light rain, and more is expected later on. We need it. Isaac is now officially a hurricane. I sure hope he doesn't do much damage. He is most UNwelcome!

So what's for supper? Greek Chicken, salad, and French bread. Amy loves this, so I told her I would fix this tonight so that she won't have to cook when she gets in from Atlanta. I think I remember how to cook, after being away from the kitchen for three weeks. We shall see.

What's cooking at your house?

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Travel stuff happens



So what is that you ask?  Well, this booboo on my trusty backpack happened immediately upon arrival in Berlin.  I mean, after about 25 years of traveling many, many miles, why would I expect it to make yet ONE MORE trip?  Unraveling fabric…not good.  Oy…what to do???  Panic?  No, of course not.  This was the first day of a three week trip.  Stuff happens when you travel.

I checked out backpacks everywhere I could find one, to no avail.  Either not the right configuration and/or price.  Man, some were quite pricey and STILL not right.  I was regretting not bringing my rolling backpack, but it did no good to think about that.  I needed a replacement…soon. 

Plan B.  We do those well. 

MM figured the backpack still had some life in it, probably envisioning some duct tape in its future.  Thanks, honey, but no thanks!  That puppy was loaded with heavy stuff—iPad, Kindle, chargers, hat, water bottle, toiletries, jacket…good stuff!  I didn’t want anything falling out!!!

I spied a Nike store across from the Berlin train station and figured I could find a sturdy and reasonably priced backpack there.  And so I did.

Meet Blue:


Two outside mesh pockets for holding water bottles (a must!), three separate zippered compartments; one has slots inside for pens; one other has a half pouch to hold a computer/iPad, etc. inside; a good sturdy bottom, and the nifty nylon is supposed to withstand rain, important since there are $$$ electronics going inside.  I would add some small loops down the outside seams to clip a flashlight or keys onto, along with a strap crosswise across the lower back (to secure it onto the handle of a suitcase)…but no one asked me for my opinion on design.  I just know what works for me.  Or not.  And we didn’t have time to do much shopping, so this was the best fit that I could find on short notice.  D fer done.

Anyway, this little number worked pretty well and got me home.

Stuff happens when traveling.  There is no need to get upset…just figure out how to fix whatever needs fixing…and adjust.  Never let *stuff* spoil a vacation!  Rule #1.

Sometimes mishaps make for interesting memories, like the time my rolling suitcase threw a wheel in Munich…at the beginning of a trip. 

Stuff happens.  Adjust.  Smile…and go on.

And speaking of, Brian’s flight home got changed, so he is now getting in later tonight than anticipated.  Bugger.  Prayers for safe travel much appreciated!  A mom’s job is never done, right?

Sunny and cool this morning in Mayberry.  Life is good, y’all!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday in Sweet Paradise

We had a mighty comfy room at the Dusseldorf Airport for Friday night…with A/C…yay!!!

Dusseldorf hotel

Dick especially enjoyed this view out that very window of the airport:


That tall building is the control tower, with a runway that had a fair amount of traffic inbound from the R.  The room was very quiet, so we had a great night’s sleep, got up early, and walked across the air bridge directly from the hotel to the airport, got checked in, and then grabbed some coffee and croissants and waited for our 9:35 flight.

After landing at the new F concourse in ATL (first time for us there), we picked up our bags, breezed through customs, got on the shuttle back to the main terminal, and called Haley to give her a heads up that we had landed.  She and her family were shopping just up the road, waiting for our call and pick up.

We got on MARTA (the ATL train system) from the airport terminal, and headed N to the end, where our “limo” shortly arrived.  Easy peasy for all of us…and dinner on us for all at a place of their choice—Red Lobster.  Yum!

Two sweet kitties also welcomed us home with lotsa love...that continued again by KC (not quite as welcome) way too early this morning, so since we were both awake, we are having our coffee, and savoring the feel of home…and two computers! 

Unpacking, laundry, snail mail, download photos?  That can all wait.  We are slowly greeting the day.  And may need a nap later.  Or not.  We have a BSP dinner party to attend at 4.  That will be a nice welcome home, seeing our good friends!

We enjoyed our trip, but there’s still no place like home.  Life is good, y’all!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday...heading home!

I am using a German keyboard in the business center of the airport hotel.  It is totally pardon any mistakes.  Plus I am writing this Fridaz night to post for Saturday morning, since we will be up and outta here in order to make our 9 35 flight home. that sound.  It has been a great trip, but we both are sooo ready to get back to the GA Alps and our family and friends.  Enough is enough.  Of course ask us in two weeks if we want to go somewhere and the answer will be YES!  That is just the way we are.

So my next post should be from home, probably with the assistance of a kitty or two.  That makes me smile.

Lots of photos to go through, so check back and see what pops up on the screen.

Ciao, y'all!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Munich goodbye!

This is us last night at the infamous Hofbrauhaus. We toasted long time friends Charlie and Pat, Rosi and Bill...who traveled there with us. Good friends; great memories.

Leaving the hotel shortly for the train ride to Dusseldorf. Yay...that means HOME tomorrow. We are ready.

More miles and smiles...and photos to follow. Life is a journey and it is good. Get out and enjoy it, y'all!

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rain in Prien

Sweet rain is gently falling, and there is hardly a soul outside. MM is on the iPad on the covered balcony, thinking he may have to put on jeans today!

It is a cool 63 and it feels wonderful after it being so hot. I wasn't comfortable leaving our balcony door open all night, but we had to have some ventilation. And we are on the third floor, so we figured we were reasonably safe from intruders.

After breakfast we will get a taxi to the train station, then have about an hour's ride to Munich. Our next hotel is nearby, so even if it is still raining it won't be a problem.

There wasn't enough time to ride over to Ludwig's island castle yesterday. We know we can't do it ALL, but we do as much as we can. And even MM admits that we have probably seen this area for the last time.

So it is Thursday from Germany, and we look forward to seeing Munich later, rain or not! We adjust.

More miles...more smiles. Life is good y'all!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lunch in Salzburg

And why not? It is a short hop beyond our stop on a lake for the night. So we decided to just do it. It is too hot to sit outside. Dang. Hopefully our inn will have a/c.

Hopefully they also have wifi! We don't know. We shall manage.

Safe travel to Brian today. Bon voyage!

Miles and smiles, y'all!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Early in Prague

Leaving for Nuremberg on the 8:30a bus, so it is time to rise and shine and get going!

Check out the clock on the L in old town. The area fills with folks to watch the marionettes do their thing at the appropriate hours.

We are happy to leave this heat and are ready to move on and see something different. A new town each day the rest of the week till we leave Saturday for home. Brian arrives here on Thursday and we miss him. Boo hoo. He is coming over for a wedding, but we shall see him next week. At home. Lovely thought.

Tag along!

Miles and smiles, y'all. Life is an adventure!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday in Prague

First of all, check out my Pasant Potatoes, last night's ample dinner:

Potatoes, bacon, onions, blue cheese, mushrooms. Delish, but I couldn't finish it.

Dick had a pork knuckle that was huge and tasty:

Yesterday was HOT...and we walked from the little bridge up to the Charles Bridge, across it and down through old town. Over 2 hours of walking, then lunch...watching the clock do its 3p performance, then a hike to the busses.

A shower and nap upon arrival at the hotel and then the dinner on our own. Finished with all group stuff, however we ran into fellow cruisers at the restaurant.

We are soo ready for NO schedules, but we do have to change hotels today, going only about 2 blocks. Then catch an 8:30a bus in the morning, heading to Nuremberg. I'm telling y'all this in case I don't have Internet time until later Tuesday.

It promises to be even hotter today, so we will probably do very little. 93F isn't a lot of fun, but that's OK with us. We shall manage to perhaps sort through some photos. We have both filled up 2 2 gig photo cards!

Having fun, but missing my kiddos!

Another day of sunshine and smiles. Life is good, y'all!

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time to say goodbye...

We leave the Viking Fontane and cute Stan the Man and head by coach to Prague and a city tour before being dropped off at our hotel.

It has been a fun cruise, but we are ready to move on at our own pace, at our own schedule.

More to come, so stay tuned!

WYWH, y'all!

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday in Decin

Lovely spot here in the Czech Republic.

We took a group stroll in town, came back to the ship for lunch, and will shortly board the buses for a tour of Litomeice. With beer tasting!

WYWH, y'all! Gotta go...

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday in Bad Schandau

The morning was spent cruising through beautiful Saxony Switzerland, which did not mean that we had slipped over into Switzerland. The area was given this title by Swiss artists ages ago because it reminded them of their homeland.

Our afternoon excursion upon docking took us to a visit of the Bastei rock formation that actually had a rock castle high above the Elbe.

We climbed lots of steps up for a fantastic view of the valley, and an equal number of steps back down to the bus. We will be turning in early tonight.

It was a good day, sunny and mild temps.

Past guests (us!) were treated to a special cocktail party before dinner tonight to meet the captain and major crew members. Our final night onboard is tomorrow night. Our cruise is ending all too soon. It's been great.

More tomorrow. I am yawning.

Sweet dreams. WYWH!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday from Dresden

After a tour of this former castle now museum and a bus ride through the city, we have now finished lunch and have a free afternoon to chill out.

A local lady comes onboard at 5 to show us a lace making demonstration. MM can hardly contain himself in anticipation...NOT! Actually, he is anticipating a nap.

Since we are docked for two nights, we shall be treated to an after dinner concert of the Allegra Ensemble, playing classical music for our enjoyment...onboard our ship. How nice!

Life is very good on the Elbe. WYWH!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday on the Elbe

Here is a castle we saw the other day in a mock Tudor style:

We are about to hear a talk in the lounge about German history, followed by a wine tasting. Arriving this afternoon in Meissen.

Absolutely beautiful with mild temps expected today for our visit to a porcelain factory. A pricey factory, we are told. No danger of me smoking the credit card!

Rolling, rolling...rolling UP the river. Smiles, y'all! WYWH!!!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday in Wittenberg

Two shuttle busses took all the passengers the short distance into town made famous by Martin Luther. We toured Lutherhaus, and the church where he was married:

We also visited the church where his famous edict was posted...oops, that door photo is in the camera, not here on the phone. Later.

This is a lovely town where we would enjoy a longer visit, however we are now back on the boat waiting for the rest of the passengers to return shortly...then we will be treated to a German lunch outside on the sun deck as we sail away to tonight's destination.

Weather is fantastic. WYWH!

Have I mentioned that life is good? Miles and smiles abound!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Apple Strudel and other stuff

Doesn't this look divine? It was. I had two bites, which was enough for me. MM polished it off, easily.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday evening

Just got onboard and unpacked. Here is our room...TV is mounted on wall at end of L bed; bathroom behind that. Small but doable.

Gotta get ready for the welcome cocktail gathering!

Cheers, y'all from Magdeburg...

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Sunday on the road

We say goodbye to this lovely view, board 3 buses to Potsdam, then Magdeburg where the ship awaits us.

Miles and smiles. Later, y'all!

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday in Berlin

First off, we had coffee and a very flaky croissant across the street at Einstein's and discovered free wifi. Unfortunately, the HOHO bus arrived so we had to quickly leave, because we were headed here by bus:

We went on a Spree River cruise. Photos will have to follow later. It was fun. The weather was perfect.

We met with the Viking rep and picked up our official luggage tags and instructions for the motor coach in the morning @ 9, headed to our ship. They are offering a walk @ 6 tonight to the Brandenburg Gate, but we have done that so will skip this one. We walked back from the boat cruise to the hotel. With head colds we are not feeling up to much more today. Maybe a nap will change that. We shall see. It nice to have choices.

So it is another day in our adventure. And we are happy to be here, despite drippy noses. Life is good, y'all!

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Dinner in Berlin

Beer, salad, cheese spatzle with onions for me; 19 inch brat, salad and potatoes for MM. Yum! And free wifi!

The wifi at the hotel kept dropping me, so I did not post a photo this morning. I was just happy it would get a message out.

We enjoyed our hoho bus tour of Berlin. We will go back out tomorrow and add a local cruise to the touring. Y'all know MM always wants to be on the water! We will enjoy it.

He is finished with his dinner and eating on mine. It's a good thing I don't mind sharing, bless his heart.

We will head back to the hotel and watch the Olympics. We are such party animals!


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Moving on!

This morning we are catching the train to Berlin. The land part of the cruise begin tomorrow so I will do an update later.

It is only about a 2 hour train trip. The day I beginning sunny. We like!

Miles and smiles, y'all!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

HOHO bus

OK, so what is a HOHO bus? It is a double decker Hop on/Hop off bus that is available in most major cities around the world, Santa not included. A ticket is good for 24 hours and you can hop in and ride as much as you want. Commentary goes with it over headphones in about 10 different languages. Pretty cool to get an overview of a city first, then go back and visit the places that interest you. And cheap.

Guten tag! We just finished a nice breakfast bar and will soon be off to explore Hamburg.

But...I did not have time to SEND as planned, so now an afternoon update...

There were no headphones. We had a live person for commentary, of course extensively in German, then a very small description in English. His voice began with gusto, then ended in a both languages. Not good. For 2 hours. No way.

We got off the bus at city center and walked around and caught a different bus, but no English. Bugger. We enjoyed looking and just roll with whatever happens.

Skies were very overcast, so it was a good way to spend the day. Not so good for photos.

We are back at the hotel and will relax for awhile. Both of us have a bit of a headache and possibly head colds...that we are telling to go away! No big deal.

Life is good, y'all!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hamburg hello!

We got all settled into our hotel after the long train ride. No, not this fancy one. We are across the street, of course, in a much more reasonable place that is quite adequate, thankyouverymuch.

First up was a walk by the lake. MM is part duck and always heads to the water so that is where we went.

We are back at the hotel and will head out again for dinner in awhile.

Tomorrow we shall ride the HOHO bus and tour Hamburg. It is a busy seaport city that is not on the sea! Strange, right? There will be lots of river traffic for us to enjoy. Weather is great. WYWH!

Life is an adventure and we are experiencing it. Love it!
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Heading to Hamburg

Catching the train to Hamburg this morning for the 5 hour trip. We will be there two nights, then train over to Berlin. Hopefully I will find Internet again.

So long Charlie the cat. So long Jackie and Klaus. It has been great staying here in Boppard, but it is time to see new sights.

Miles and smiles, y'all!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday in Boppard

Meet Charlie. He is quite the lover boy. He was our only companion in the courtyard yesterday at beer thirty, but a fine companion he was. And nowhere to be seen this morning however.

We definitely crashed early last night and slept fairly well for our first night of adjusting to local time. MM is going over the train schedule for tomorrow's journey while I write this. We have our definite assignments of duty.

We plan to poke around locally today enjoying whatever comes our way. No schedule. No rules. Rhine River, here we come. Love it.

Morgen from Boppard from the happy Griswolds, yall!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Dinner in Boppard

If it is Monday…


home, sweet home, Boppard

We will be in Boppard, Germany, along the beautiful Rhine River at this charming place that Brian discovered a few years ago that is a block off the river.  He recommended the accommodations, the owners, and the food, and he wasn’t wrong.  We stayed there in ‘09, and are going back for tonight and tomorrow night.

Hopefully I will be able to do an update while here.  I am sure we will be jet lagged and dragging a bit, so the train ride will be quite welcome from Dusseldorf.

And a big happy birthday to sister Nan!  I know you missed having me sing to you this morning.  Love ya!

Miles and smiles. Later, y’all.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On the road again...

Our limo service (Dan and Joan) picked us up promptly at 6:45...ugh...this morning. Of course I was awake at 5, wondering if I had forgotten anything. And being loved on by sweet KC kitty.

So we are going to the airport, bound for Dusseldorf. We won't be in Italy this trip, Ivana. Another time. Another adventure.

Hopefully we will have good weather for the flight over the pond. Hopefully I will be able to sleep. I have my eye pad and ear plugs. Check.

Miles and smiles, y'all!

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

This boy was all smiles as he left for school. Grumps and I picked him up afterward...still smiling...and took both boys out for ice cream. I think we started a tradition!

So today is packing day. MM is mostly done, but I am not, but it is no big deal. Pretty much same old-same old stuff goes on every trip. The fashion police don't travel with us. The river cruise is casual all the way, so we won't need as much stuff. MM is grateful not to have to take fancy duds, not that he ever gets real dressed up.

I know the cruise counter says we leave on the 11th and that is true. We fly to Dusseldorf tomorrow, so come along for our next adventure if you want to join us.

Welcome to new commenter Jo Dee! I would love to know where you are from, OK? The ship has wifi, so I will be posting as often as I can, and only doing a few pre-posts for informational purposes. But this also means that all comments will come into my inbox, so y'all let me know what y'all are doing while I am gone. I don't know how much blog hopping I will be able to do, but I will try. And I want to hear from everyone.

Life is too short not to get out and see the world. We are trying and smiling!

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Location:Packing day!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Domino demon!

Beaten by a 4 year old! Bugger.

Grammie Camp is fun!

Kindergarten. Doodlebug is ready.



School begins today for the kids (last week for the teachers), so summer is officially over.  Kaput.  The end, well, except for the heat.  All the fun is over.  

Our sweet Doodlebug Alex is going to kindergarten today, and I want to know how that is possible!  He can’t possibly be old enough yet, but the calendar tells us differently.  Plus, he is excited and ready for this new adventure.

Our babies are growing up entirely too fast.  Slow down, sweet grandkids.  There’s no rush to grow up.

Amy and Jason had a commitment today, so I have Will for some special time without his big brother.  That makes me smile for sure. 

And Will and I get to pick up Alex from school.  I know he will be full of stories of his day.  I am already looking forward to that.

We are all making more memories…and that is always a good thing.

Life's too short to be anything...but happy.  Who is joining me with this attitude?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday things…



This cute little fella (gal?) was crossing our driveway yesterday.  Yes, the sun finally found us…and Amy took ALL the wee ones swimming.  We all enjoyed Brian’s birthday dinner last night.  He loved all the good wishes.  Duh…no photos!  We were too busy talking and laughing, a definite family trait.

So what else is going on?  Well, today is yucky paperwork day to clean off my desk, because these two are out and empty and need to be filled up…soon:


We’ll be taking these two and two backpacks and that is it…two carry-ons each…for three weeks.

Yes we can!

But first…I need to print out my packing to-do list.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy birthday, Brian!


Faith, Briney

You are still our favorite son…and we still think you are a keeper!  Dad and I both love ya bunches!!!  We shall celebrate tonight, honey.

So yesterday the rain disappointed two wee boys, who wanted so badly to go swimming (two young gals think they have the BEST dad because he *bravely* took them to the mall!).  Instead, Grammie Camp moved to the local library with an ice cream treat afterward, so the afternoon was salvaged:

Boys @ library

For dinner, I made Barb’s Baked Rigatoni and it was a big hit with everyone.  Alex ate more than I did!  Those boys sure love pasta.  And it was easy peasy, so try it for yourself and your own pasta lovers.

Enjoy your day.  We sure will.  Even with more rain headed our way, life is good and will be celebrated in Paradise!