Lübeck Day 2

Our second day and we decided to take a barge ride along the canals to get another perspective of the city. 

We also did some shopping, Kathy, Rachel and I hit the local produce market, while Lew favored the best shop for marzipan!!

How about the size of those melons??Oops, cabbages;)

He shopped these and more!! stocking up through winter!

As we walked the city streets we came across these plaques that commemorate victims of the Holocaust. We pause to honor them. 

We made dropped over to Julia’s sister’s home for a visit and very much enjoyed meeting Paola, Maria and Anna and Fredrick. 
Too soon it was time to take the train to Berlin!

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Lübeck

On Carolina Sophie’s birth announcement Julia wrote:

“There will be hands that hold you 

And arms, in which you are safe 

And People who show you without questions

That you are welcome in this world”

…just like you did with our daughter. We want to thank you for that.

Our train ride to Lübeck took a couple of hours, we are surprised to be met by Julia’s father Michael. He takes us to our hotel where we have an hour of rest, then off we go to a very special dinner with her parents and brother Moritz. This is very possibly the best restaurant in town for classic German food. 

Not only was the food fabulous but it is a place with a 600 year old history. 

The following day we sleep in and after breakfast at the hotel we meet Julia and Lichen for a guided tour of the city. It is a damp rainy morning but that doesn’t bother us a bit! Our guide is Hans and he is quite knowledgeable. 

Lichen is not so interested. 

We enjoy the walking tour and the sightseeing and then find a lovely Chinese place for a light lunch. Along the walk we discovered plaques on the sidewalks honoring the holocaust victims from Germany. We pause to remember them. 


We are told by Hans this is the best bakery in town. We will return tomorrow to buy some bread for the train to Berlin. 

This was Lew Levin’s favorite stop for marzipan sweets. He stocked up big time!

The rain stopped, it was a great day!

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Leaving Osnabrück

Yesterday was a traveling day. We leave Hendricks home alone which was hard on him parting with ‘Lichen’ as he calls her. 

Popular modes of travel. 

We traveled by bus to the central train station then take a train ride to Lübeck for the first day of school for Julia’s sister’s daughter. We do some shopping and arrive in this most visited and lovely town in Germany. 

I found the local yarn shop!!

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Reunited with Julia

The last time I saw Julia was in Paris! We met for about a week, as I was on my way to the south of France, I was attending a crafting retreat at Chateu Dumas in June of 2011. We had such a wonderful time. She could read the signage and maneuver the rail train as I never could. We ate great food and saw most of the major sights. If you go back to that date in the archived list you can share some of it with us. 

Now I have traveled to Germany! She is partnered with Henrick and they are now proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Carolina Sophie!! 

They live in a beautiful area of Osnabrück in Bad Essen. It is a village surrounded by forest with a lovely town center. They opened their home to us and their hospitality knows no bounds!

We have enjoyed every aspect of their country!

Sundays on Monday!

An afternoon at the local lake. 

Sightseeing!

This is a local park with salt springs. Something we had never seen before and found really impressive. 

Beautiful architecture everywhere both old and new.

Julia cooked and we shared some fabulous meals!

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 Return to Europe 

It is my first time in Copenhagen and Germany! Mike treated me to a trip with my friends the Levin family to travel to Germany as our mutual friend Julia Sholtz gave birth to her first child!

First stop was a day in Copenhagen, Denmark. We were greeted by our friends the Berger boys. We have known them since they were young tots in Sedona and they have grown into fine young men. They have been studying and working in Denmark and will probably continue to make this their home. 

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Finally back again!

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”Nelson Mandela
I seems like an incredibly short time since I last posted on this blog and yet it is clear that it is going on ten months now. Some much has changed for me and for all of us as we experience a county without Obama as our President. 

I successfully battled Breast cancer. I moved with Mike, not downsizing but into a larger home that can comfortably accommodate my mother moving in and family visits.

Mike considering retiring in the coming year. Lots of changes,some surprising ever unsettling and some making life sweeter and more precious. 

So I return to the blog with hopes of sharing more adventures and travels as always shared with you!
I start with my annual trip to California to visit Charley at Jim and Tove Sieger’s home while they are off to Norway once again. 

​It is always a pleasure to hang out at the beach and this year was no exception. My girl friends Kathy Levin and Robin Cameron came out to visit one week. 

The family enjoyed another BBQ together. 

As always a great time was had by all!

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To be continued…

Sorry for the delay in posts but life got in my way. I will get back to it soon!

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Beauty and the Beast

Yesterday was a full day of traveling on three trains and a ferry ride to arrive at Miyajima Island. It is a magical place with a rich history and a peace and serenity we have been fortunate to experience in abundance in this beautiful Japanese country. Our hotel is a very traditional one where we sleep on tatami mats, have ten course Japanese dinners, and have another world experience like no other. Our first afternoon we have free to walk around the island and then the next morning we meet our next guide Yoshiko who spend half the day walking us through the temples and shrines and giving us a history lesson the island. So much for the Beauty…

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Our beautiful hotel

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The surrounding gardens

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Just one of our fabulous meals complete with Kimonos

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Visiting the temple with our guide demonstrating how to prepare for it

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The ceremony

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Some of our other favorite spots.img_3265

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Now for the Beast… in the afternoon we travel by train back to the city of Hiroshima. It is hard to imagine this pristine city, with it’s high-rise buildings and immacculate sidewalks ever having been visited by the Atom bomb. However unreal it may seem to us, as we visit the sights with the remains, the memorials and the Peace Museum we are confronted with a reality that forever will challenge our world to stop nuclear armament and become a place where peace and goodwill towards all beings is a reality. There are really no words to convey our feelings after being in Hiroshima…

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A reminder for all time

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A huge Thanks to Yoshiko for sharing this history with us

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Switching Gears…

From Vietnam to Japan was not only a journey of some distance but cultural shock as well. While leaving behind the chaos, heat, spontaneity of one we enter into the order, mild climate and formality of the other. Both have their appeal to us and both their shortcomings, but the special part of this particular vacation is the unexpected and diverse aspects of the people and their cultures. One not better than another just very different.  

Overlooking Tokyo


Our accommodations are impeccable, serenity in a city like Tokyo is a high priority for us with almost 13 million people. Technology is evident everywhere and while crowds of people abound the tiniest space can offer a sense of tranquility hence the importance of simplicity and order in behavior, dress and surroundings. 

Our room in Tokyo


Having said that, one night we venture out to the Shibuya district pre-Halloween festivities. One of the top concentrations of people crossing an intersection in the world! The crowds are like waves of people, dressed in costumes and out for a night of partying. The four of us make our plan to cross the intersections as a unit but the crowd has her way and I get separated from Mike and stand among thousands of mostly young people faced with the dilemma…try to find my group or head back to Hotel… both provided the ultimate challenge! Long story short, after my initial sense of panic, I survived and with the help of several gracious Japanese young men and many obstacles I made it back to our hotel safe and sound! Another adventure we all will not soon forget! 

Pre-Halloween Chaos

Out on the Town Food Tour

During the day we visit the National Park, one of those retreats from the hectic city similar to Central Park and the Shinto Shrine once belonging to the Emperor and now where weddings and blessings ceremonies take place.

Another evening finds us on a Food Tour with our guide Gen, a young 24 year old, who takes us to some off-the-beaten-path local restaurants to try unfamiliar dishes allowing us a whole new experience of Japanese cuisine. We love it but opt later to forgo the taxi and do some walking back to our hotel perhaps excising some calories ☺️

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Imperial Citadel and World Heritage Sites

I haven’t mentioned that I developed a cold and cough almost immediately from the beginning of the trip. The pollution and the alternating from hot humid atmosphere to air-conditioned buildings took it toll on me with some days being worse that others. It causes me to skip some activities such as the bike ride everyone takes in Hue. The rest does me good so I am glad to have the option. The countryside is stunning as we move on to the Imperial Capital, Emperors tombs, and the Thien Mu Pagoda.img_2862img_2869img_2874

Our guide Jo demonstrates how and where ambassadors stood to represent before the Emperor.

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After the historic sights we have such in a local nunnery, a peaceful, unique place outside of Hue.img_2964

We drive south in the afternoon to the town of Hoi An traveling along the coastline with breathtaking views over the pass into Da Nang city. img_2968

img_2978Our first stop there is the Cham Museum to view ancient sculptures and artwork.img_2974img_2971

In HoiAn we again stay at another La Siesta Hotel, which pleases us, as the grounds are beautiful. Mike and Ron spend the next day ride bikes along Cua Dai Beach while Linda and I do some shopping in the old city square.img_2979img_3019img_2992img_3012img_2987img_2993

Our favorite shop was Reaching Out a place where the proceeds benefit disabled individuals. It has amazing handcrafts and we meet the lovely workers their that could not have been nicer and are very proud of the work they do.

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