Copenhagen, Berlin, Stockholm and Cruise Through the Baltics

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Arrived in Copenhagen to much cooler weather than we are used to. We did see the sun one day for a about an hour. Toured the city by hop on hop off bus and a canal tour. Our hotel was directly across the street from Tivoli Gardens. It was established in 1843 and has a small foot print but is jammed with some very scary rides. It has become the Scandinavian Disneyland. It does have some very beautiful gardens with flowers that seemed to thrive in the Copenhagen climate. We saw a little rabbit rolling around the grass. It works like those robot floor cleaners that move about your house sweeping up dust. This thing seems to cut the grass.

It is a very expensive city to visit. It is socialism at its finest. Gas is $6.50+ per gallon. Burgers are in the $30 range and one place charged $5 for a small bottle of water.

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Lance with his shopping cart at the grocery.

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Another Colorful little house on water.

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Hippies living on the canal.

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Beautiful ships throughout the water ways.

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Swan family where the young have not turned white yet.

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Laundry is done!

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Normal Mode of transportation for the citizens in Copenhagen. Gas is $6.50 a gallon.

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Nyhavn’s colorful buildings.

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Mime

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Nyhavn

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The Red house is where Hans Christian Andersen

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Little Mermaid still waiting for her Prince to come.

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Land of Port Wine in Beautiful Porto

We arrived in Porto by train and taxied to a fabulous apartment in the center of town.  Our landlord gave us the name of a great local restaurant where the food was very good and inexpensive.  We hired a guide to take us to the Duoro  Valley where they have all the Port wineries.  It is quite a drive from Porto but with stops along the way to sample the local culture broke up the trip.  We arrived at the Quinta do Portal which has the Ferriera and Portal brands.  They have a five star restaurant that prepared the best meal we had in Portugal.   We went down the hill from our apartment to the Duoro River a straight downhill walk that is quite easy.  On the way back up hill Lance almost died.  He recovered and found a Tapas restaurant in town not far from out apartment that had a combo Celtic/Portuguese theme.  Check out the picture of Pam in the costume.  With our trip nearly over we rode the train back to Lisbon and stayed close to the airport.  Tomorrow we make our way back to the USA thru Barcelona, Paris and Detroit before arriving in Phoenix.  It is sure fun to go on vacation but we are looking forward to getting home.

A Gallery of Photos of Porto.  The color in the city was beautiful as well as some fun Graffiti.  Posting some photos of the city while walking as well as a view of the shoreline buildings from inside a boat on the river.

We thought Lance wasn’t going to make it going uphill which was straight up.  You can see him resting on the curb to get his bearings back.  We managed to make it back and he found a great restaurant for Tapas.  It was a Celtic Portugese Tapas restaurant and it was a great meal. The restaurant created a Celtic warrior and her name was Pam.

 

 

Lisbon and Portugal’s European Soccer Win

The cruise is over and we arrived in Lisbon.  Our friends from Chicago, Bruce and Laurie Hendrickson, met us in Lisbon.  Laurie is a long time friend since the fourth grade.  We have traveled a lot together over the years.  My Aussie cousins were also staying a night in Lisbon before heading on to the second leg of their vacation to Ireland.  We met for lunch right across from our rented apartment.  We had a great lunch and everyone was able to meet one another over lunch of Sardines and Paella.

Portugal was all excited to be playing in the European Soccer title 2016 final against France.  We watch the game and out our window we could see and hear the excitement. When the game was finally over and Portugal had won, it was bedlam in the town.   I have a video of the moment they won. I have a video that shows the man sitting in the chair who had just been hugging the wall crying still feeling the emotion.  Lisbon was wild with excitement and so much noise of horns honking and people screaming all over the city.

We had arranged for a private tour to Sintra and the Pena Palace which was King Ferdinand’s summer palace.  It is believed that King Ferdinand was part of the Rosicrucian schools. He thought if the schools represented Art, Science and Religion, that he would be the King for all humanity.  The entrance was like going through a large keyhole.  Above the keyhole were three flowers which signified Art, Science and Religion.  After visiting the Palace we walked around Sintra to check out the Cork handbags and have a pastry and Cappuccino at a little place called Lord Byron’s before heading back to our apartment. On the drive back to Lisbon our guide took us to the farthest west point on the European continent.  We drove along the ocean and passed through Cascais, a beautiful city only the coast about 20 minutes west of Lisbon.

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First day in Lisbon with my cousins John and Cherry Tiffney and friends from Chicago Bruce and Laurie Hendrickson.  Laurie and I grew up in the same neighborhood and have been like sisters since.  Good Times.

 

Cruising to The Seventh Continent!

The Internet aboard our Oceania ship was not very good so I am combining the 8 day cruise highlights. The ship was beautiful and our ports were interesting. Of course the reason for the cruise was the Itinerary of a port stop in Casablanca bringing us to stepping down on to the 7th continent. Bucket List item checked off. In order not to bore everyone with every meal we ate and every event we saw I have tried to reduce the photos and just post them for viewing with some explanations. It is best to click on the title in the email which will bring you to the actual web site which is much better for viewing. Having my cousin from Australia on the trip was a total surprise and was purely coincidental. What a great surprise so we spent a lot of time drinking and eating in the many bars and restaurants aboard. Bon Voyage!l

 

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Our last night on the cruise we spent with my cousins John and Cherry Tiffney.  We had a lovely last meal on the ship and a wonderful time was had by all.

 

 

Four Days in Barcelona, Spain

Lance and I have spent a very nice four days in Barcelona.  So much to see and so little time.  There are so many museums, art and great restaurants you just can’t do it all in 4 days.  Some of the highlights of this fine city revolves around Antonio Gaudi a famous Architect. The Sagarda Familia Catholic Church being the most popular sight.  After seeing some of his whimsical buildings that are sprinkled throughout the city you might start to wonder if the word “Gaudy,” actually started with Gaudi’s designs. The erroneous explanation is that the term comes from the name of the Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926), whose architecture some believe today is gaudy. This suggestion can be discounted by virtue of the fact that gaudy dates back to the 16th century.”  Another interesting place we went was Palau De La Musica which also had a whimsical architectural feel and at first I thought it to be a Gaudi design but it was actually done by another well known architect Lluis Domenech Montaner.  It was designed not for Opera but for Choir and has since been used for many musical venues. The acoustics are like no other and there is a short video of the organs playing inside.  We finished today with the Picasso Art Museum and our last of several plates of Spanish Paella.  Tomorrow we meet up with the cruise ship to head on to reach Lance’s goal of standing on the seventh Continent.  A very last minute surprise was learning that my Australian Cousin and her husband who we have only known for a few years is going to be on the same ship and same deck.  It is a total coincidence.

 

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Palau De La Musica

 

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Dinner At Downton Abbey

Dinner at Desert Downton Abbey!

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Just arrived Lord and Lady Heidinger AA

Lord and Lady Hareland.  Lord Hareland can be a naughty boy now and then.B

Lord and Lady Nielsen

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Lord and lady Fratt

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Lord and Lady Heidinger settling in for an enjoyable evening and gourmet meal.F

Feel free to click on any of the photos and they will come up in a larger form. Then you can click the arrows to look at them.   We had a violinist, Joanna Parks from the Tucson Symphony Orchestra played during the cocktail hour in the Drawing room.  Lovely music.  I am sure you can find naughty Lord Hareland after a few nips of wine and song.

From the Hors d’Oeuvres to the after dinner Port.  This was a meal that was on the grand scale. You can see the menu and just know that each one of these plates pushed the Gourmet cooks skills up a notch.

Thank you Will and Ginny for all the special attention to detail.  The place settings and silver were all measured so they were the equal distance of each place setting.  The name tags were a beautiful little detail. It was a lovely table setting. The violinist played beautifully. Let’s not forget that we were served by Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson.  There were special Downton Abbey wines- Bordeaux Blanc and Bordeaux Claret.  Thank you to each couple who did a marvelous job on their fine culinary dish designated by Lady Barrett.  Very well done.  A toast to you!

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Academy Awards 2016

Another great Academy Award Party 2016. It was a black and white event. Dress it up or dress it down. I decided to pull myself (Mother Superior) away from a long over due reunion with the cast from “SISTER ACT.” I felt it important to accompany Cardinal Bernard Francis Law to this years Academy Awards party. I really went to make sure he didn’t get into any trouble. “SPOTLIGHT,” won Best movie. We won an Oscar for the Best Costume and Makeup for the movie Spotlight.  . A good time was had by all.

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The evening was a fun and filled with good conversation, food and freindship.  The following are a couple of group shots, a few photos and award photos.

Cardinal group

Awards for best Costumes!

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Best Couple: from Spotlight: Sister Pam and Cardinal Law (Lance, grew a beard for the event!)

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Most original couple: from Concussion: The Allens

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Most Natural Robert Wagner Look-Alike: Mike Bixby

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Best Hollywood “Star”: Gloria as Diane Keaton

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