And We End up in Amsterdam!

We finished our Rhine River Cruise in Amsterdam…a lovely, but VERY busy city!! We stayed in an excellent hotel right in the middle of all the ‘happenings’!

Lots of canal time, visiting the Van Gogh museum, shopping, and eating delicious food!

a toast on our last night on the ship

M & R

C & W

K & J

bikes...everywhere!!!!

the flower market

checking out the multitude of gin flavors

meeting the 'kiddos' at a great restaurant

 

And finally home to the little one…  So the next blog will be back to babies, kids, friends, helpful hints, and happiness!!

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

More Rhine River

Are you ready for more beauty along the Rhine? Ready or not, here it comes! Photos from Heidelberg and Cologne, with a little fun along the way!

relaxing after a very hot day

gondola over the river

Life is about love, last minutes, and lost evenings

our elegant guide in Cologne

The spitting boy statue!

Cheers!

 

Lots of fun so far….only one more blog to finish sharing our trip with you!

Happiness abounds when traveling with friends!!

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Rhine River Beauty

Back again with more info on our beautiful Rhine River Cruise!! Are you ready to see what we did next?? After spending time in Lucerne we boarded the Emerald Destiny for our cruise along the Rhine:

A lovely beginning to our cruise…

First we spent time in the Black Forest region…including learning how to make Black Forest cake….and eating it!!

Back on the ship cruising along to Strasbourg:

Strasbourg, in France, across the river from Kehl, Germany is a beautiful city!

beautiful flowers everywhere

an homage to the Declaration of Independence

an impromptu bus choir singing in front of the cathedral

 

And then into the back roads of wine country for a wine tasting!

5th generation French winery owner

a hamlet on our way back to the ship...a little taste of beer after the wine!!!

These 2 celebrated their anniversary while on the cruise!!

Happy Anniversary!!

 

More to come in the future!!

In the meantime….find things to make yourself happy and to share that happiness with others!! It is a beautiful world…find every little bit of it and share as much as possible!!

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

 

Glasgow

A post….Just because I don’t want to forget to share an amazing part of an amazing trip….here is Glasgow!!

Let me just say that I LOVED Scotland! It is so beautiful, and the people are so friendly…and …the accent…wonderful!!

heading into the harbor...

Leaving the ship, everyone was given a shot of whisky!!!

First mention of haggis (actually tasted pretty good!)….with our ship in the background

A first view of the scenery…with hay bales

beautiful green

Just gorgeous…

You take the high road????

Checking out the view…

Many pics from Inverary Castle where the Duke of Argyle still lives:

decorative artillery

a view of Loch Lomond

eating in Inverary… Steak Pie…yum!!!

wetting our whistles!!

The pub where we sampled the fare!

Loch Fyne Whiskies....why not??

Loch Lomond

…in the city of Luss along Loch Lomond

peeking...

…and finally, our tour guide and driver…Alen from Stravaign Tours….great job!!

We all loved this part of our trip…a Scottish excursion….lovely!!

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

 

Sunshiny Sunday #7 ?? Sort of…

Instead of a normal Sunshiny Sunday, I thought I’d return to the cruise from the fall…

Because it’s now March, maybe exploring Ireland would be a good idea…so for today, we took an excursion called “Irish for a Day”.  Our Princess Cruise ship arrived in Dublin:

an Irish Ferry complete with a shamrock!

We headed by bus out of Dublin about an hour to a farm where we were greeted with coffee and scones before learning to make our own Irish soda bread…

our Irish friend is standing on a table giving us our directions :)

hmmm, not bad…

Then we had a hay ride on a wagon to a peat bog…which is now protected a lot like our wetlands are…

the bog, with beautiful heather just beginning to bloom

The turf, which was used for heating, takes millions of years to grow…millimeters at a time! Amazing!

The weather was cooperating at this point!!

After returning to the barn, we got to milk the cows before heading in for lunch.

Lunch was delicious… a vegetable puree soup and then ham, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots along with our very own soda bread and butter. We finished with apple pie for dessert!!

Doesn't it look good?

After lunch we headed to the barn to learn some authentic Irish dances..sorry, no time for pictures…we were too out of breath :)  We also learned how to play the bowron…a drum!

This guy taught us the dances, and yes…everyone participated!! See the drums along the back wall?

We saw Cannemara ponies…very pretty and gentle!

We finished the day watching the sheepherder and his dog herding the sheep. The dog was having so much fun. He didn’t want to stop when the sheepherder was trying to train the next young pup!

What an amazing day in the Irish countryside!! Thank you to the owners of the Causey Farm for inviting us to join them for the day. As an added piece of wonderment…the day ended with this rainbow! …Which became a double rainbow and followed us all the way back to the ship!! Sigh! Who needs reality??!!

look closely for the double rainbow!

It’s too bad pictures can never show the true beauty of real life, but they are a good way to trigger your most beautiful memories!

Happy Parenting!

D and C

…and now, Cork and Blarney Castle…Ireland!!

Our first stop on the cruise was in Ireland…Cork, Blarney Castle, and Kinsale…

We went to Blarney Castle…just to explore.We had heard it took many steps and was quite difficult to get to the Blarney Stone and kiss it…

Here it is!

beautiful weather

 

From here, we thought we were headed inside to explore the castle….but, nope..

we wound up climbing up the crumbling steps…no backing down, no other way out!!

this was the look at the top…definitely worth the climb

And since we were there…we did kiss the Blarney Stone!!!

We were hanging upside down over that little window at the very top!!!

Beautiful gardens and waterways…

On to the fishing village of Kinsale for a pub….beer and the best fish and chips ever!!!

Then we headed back to Cobh….the port where our cruise ship was waiting for us!

There's our ship!!

Lots of things to see and do so far in our adventure!!! Next stop will be Dublin!!

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

A Trip

Have you missed me?? I have been derelict in my duties – busy with birthdays and Halloween and fun, fun, fun with little one!!

 

Since it’s been almost 2 months since we returned from our British Isles cruise, I think it’s about time I show you a few photos from the trip. Because I took WAY too many photos I’ll just pick some from each area at a time. I hope it gets you ready to spend some time in another country….especially with forever friends, it’s amazing!

 

We started with 2 days in London before the cruise began:

at the Tower of London…yup, in the rain!

metal monkeys … ?….

We did hit as many pubs as possible...

Parliament

right before a downpour!!

just missed being able to go into Westminster Abbey…but managed to stand in its alcove for the storm!!

We did go into Buckingham Palace also…but no photos there. The dining room all set up for dignitaries was gorgeous!!

Then it was on to the ship and our first dinner on board:

me and my buddies :)

 

and beautiful views from then on!!!

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

When the Parents are Away….

When the parents are away…the grandparent has lots of fun with the granddaughter!!!!

These two beautiful people:

left for a vacation in California…and left their darling daughter in my loving care for a whole week!!!  I was honored and delighted to be able to spend time with my very favorite little girl :) This is how the week went…

testing out all kinds of food

:) Gramma's kitchen turned into a disaster area :)

sweet pea…spending her days either standing up or holding hands and walking...

trying out a different chair

hanging out at Stony Creek

little one and kitty ignoring each other...

some more standing…new outfit :)

out to dinner with TLG friends

…and more...

just being cool in the stroller!

a playdate at the park!!

makes a girl very thirsty :)

time for a story??

toys at Gramma's

that is the face of someone who likes the TV

all dressed up for dinner with 2 Grammas

having fun with Gramma Mary!!

hanging out with Uncle Chad and the kitty

some more playing...

some more standing...

some more books...

exciting bath time :)

aren't I cute???

 

and Mommy and Daddy come home!

checking out Yosemite!

Gramma had a wonderful time with sweetness while Mommy and Daddy had a lovely trip to themselves!  PS: Tell them they can do that again any time they’d like to :) ))))))

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Wine Tasting…with a Baby !!

This past weekend my darling family treated me to a family wine tasting tour in the Traverse City area. Two sons, two daughters-in-love, one adorable granddaughter, and me…exciting adventure for all!! We left on Thursday and returned on Sunday. This was a Christmas gift for me from the kids, and what a treat it was!!! They are all so much fun to be with!

a beautiful sunny day with my loves!!

 

They rented a lovely house in Leland, a block from town and a block from the beach…perfect!!

walking into town…and Fishtown

snuggled in and ready to go :)

The first day we hit 4 wineries and 2 distilleries!!

trying a breadstick..

couple #1

couple #2

me with my guys

We had so much fun visiting all the  beautiful vineyards!

baby's sleeping during this tasting

the guys and their favorite 'taste'

At the Blue Tractor inTraverse City for lunch…experimenting with a lemon!!

whoa!! but after this first taste she was just fine with it :)

This is what our counter looked like after the first day…yikes!

The second day we visited the beach, Fishtown, Glen Arbor, and a couple more wineries…

heading to the beach

trail is not meant for a stroller!

hi from the beach!!

can you see the bugs??? Yuck, swarming!!

didn't bother her!

throwing competition!!

delicious sandwiches at Fishtown…while baby naps

Then off to Glen Arbor:

a little more wine tasting

a snack at Boonedock’s

she says, "Happy Father's Day, Daddy!"

Then back toward Leland to our favorite winery, Chateau Fontaine

This was the counter at the end of day 2!!

The time we spent together in the house was so precious…loved it all!

Thanks, my darling family, for an absolutely perfect vacation with the perfect people!!

Happy Parenting,

D and C

95 and sunny…

The 95 refers to this lovely lady who had a birthday while I was in Florida last week…. as in years old, not quite the temperature :)

Happy Birthday, Mom

lookin' good Mom!!

 

…and with her new great-granddaughter

Now for the sunny….I spent time in sunny Florida with my TLG buddies…so much fun!!

lots of friends…

lots of restaurants and beautiful skies…

We were lucky enough to see the launch of a SpaceX rocket to resupply the Space Station…

Cheers to all!!

Happy Parenting,

D and C