Monthly Archives: November 2014


Bret went to Canada for the week for a conference, so rather than sit at home moping, I decided I would head to Barcelona and visit Jim and Deb.

Good decision on my part!

This was my home for the week, Marina Port Vell and the good ship Morpheus (not pictured).

Trip Highlights…

Frederic Mare museum.  This guy collected everything from roman arches and tombs to old bicycles to weird hand bone jewelry and everything in between.

We also ran into a sculpture he made himself later in Plaza Catalunya.  It also has a bit of everything in it.

A Flamenco show

The Sagrada Familia.  This is a truly impressive Cathedral designed by Gaudi.  Construction started in 1892 and continues today.  If they finish prior to 2082, they will considered it ahead of time.  The interior is breathtaking.

My favorite sculptures were the more modern ones on the Passion facade.

This is how Gaudi designed the cathedral:

if you flip it upsidedown, the arches of the cathedral:

Street Art

Of course, the food and wine were excellent too.  Jim’s strategy was to eat at places with ham hanging from the ceiling and/ or wine barrel tables.  It worked quite well for us.

Some more pics and highlights from our latest adventures

I thought I would add some pictures to Bret’s excellent summary of our last few weeks of adventures.  It really amazes how quickly this month fall year is passing by.


I really loved the vibe of Amsterdam.  So many people, but because everyone is on foot or bike it seems a little less city like…  well maybe all the canals have something to do with that also.  Crossing the street was a little hectic with all the different forms of transportation going in every direction.

We stayed a nice apartment near the Jordaan District… getting up the three flights of stairs was an adventure.

Diana, James, and I took a train to the Hague to see the Girl with the Pearl Earring.  We also visited the Peace Palace and the beach!

The next day we walked past Rembrandt’s house


on our way to the Botantic Gardens.

Bret filled you in on the rest of the trip, but it was a super good time!

( in the gutter).


We had a wild weekend of food, fun, and exploring Geneva with Cinda and Danny and company!  It was hard for me to leave without stealing this guy.

but Lausanne was nice. We drove along Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) through the small town of Rolle, where I went to summer camp for a few years when I was in middle school.  Can’t believe I forgot to take pictures 🙁  These are from Lausanne.  It is a beautiful city, with lots of skulls and crossbows in the cathedral.

nice views of the alps across the lake.


We had a nice trip through the country side from Lausanne to Lyon.  Lyon is really pretty at night.

The food was delicious and the sights were nice too…

This is a “secret” passage between streets.  Apparently they are really common in the old town of Lyon, but to access them you are supposed to ring buzzers of the people who live in the them and we did not feel comfortable doing this.  We did manage our way into a couple of them that had open doorways.

We also went to the big cathedral.  There were tons of beautiful mosaics.


After a few days in the big cities, we needed a break in the countryside, so we were off to Chablis!  It was a bit rainy, but we were still able to take a walk in the vineyards before testing the goods.

After of few days of r and r, we were back to city life in PARIS!  We stayed at sweet apartment near the St. Germain district.  It was centrally located near the river and Notre Dame.

We saw the sights!

River boat tour (it wasn’t that scary)

the Louvre

Highlight of the trip was a lovely dinner with a friend we had not seen in 20 years!!! It was lovely to spent time with Jo Ann and Massey and to meet their talented and funny daughter, Eliane.  Of course, in all the fun, we forgot to take a picture 🙁  I guess we’ll just have to head back to Paris soon and recreate the event!


Our first stop in France was the city of Lyon.  I personally really liked this city, especially the old town part.

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Next we went to the town of Chablis.  This is a famous wine region where we ate a lot of good food and sampled a bit of wine.

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Then it was off to Paris, which really has so much to see.


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In the following picture the bridge is covered in padlocks.  We saw at least two bridges like this.  An incredible number of locks.  One of the bridges they were stopping people from adding locks because the structural integrity of the bridge was being compromised.DSC_0523

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Dinner spot complete with entertainment!


So, we have an album cover.  Now all we need is a band name and some talent.



Amsterdam and Switzerland


Our recent European tour started off in Amsterdam.  I absolutely loved Amsterdam.  Any city that has approximately 600,000 bicycles is probably going to rank high with me.

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The highlight was probably the canal boat tour which was a great way to see the city.


We met our friends James and Diana there and had a great time.



Then we were off to Geneva, Switzerland where we had a great time hanging with Cinda, Danny, and company.  Thanks for the great hospitality!


Here is all of us on the longest bench in Europe


Giant games of chess and great architecture

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We climbed to the top of the cathedral for some spectacular views.

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Lots of great food and wine of course

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It was sad to leave, but we were off to Lausanne, Switzerland next.  More great cathedrals and stunning architecture.

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