Friday, May 30, 2008

Random thoughts on upcoming travels

We're heading to Kolding on Saturday to tour a castle and do some go-carting with the International Club at Chuck's office. I hear this is fast paced true go-carting, nothing like the slow go-carts at Wisconsin Dells! I rocked those go-carts. I think I'll be the photographer tomorrow. No sense injuring myself and experiencing Danish hospitals!

I spent the week (and I'm still not done) planning my trip the US this fall. I'm debating about fitting in 5 days of beach time in the caribbean or Mexico before I head back to 'gloomy' DK in December. I also need to find a place to rent in Paris for Christmas and New Years and then find a place to rent in Tuscany for 3 weeks next summer. Rental homes go quickly during peak seasons and it's turning out to be a tad bit more difficult to find nice places. Our Christmas plans change each day. I started out looking for a place in the Canary Islands, then Thailand, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, nothing. I take that back, I found a great place in the Seychelles for a mere $7,000 a person. I couldn't get Chuck to bite on that one! It looks like I have to plan ahead for Christmas 2009. I'll start that task in January.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A trip to the doctor

Well, I successfully navigated the health system in Denmark.

I woke up this morning with an inkling I had a bladder infection. Given the last bout that landed me in a hospital for 3 very long days, I decided to assume it was an infection and make my way to the doctor's office. Denmark has socialized medicine, so when we arrived here we got a CPR (social security number) and assigned a doctor in our town. This morning (between 8-9), I called the number on my medical card, talked to the doctor, and got an appointment for the 11:30 slot. A quick 5 minute walk to the doctor's office, swipe my card, and then a 5 minute wait. I didn't have to fill out 10 forms or confirm billing addresses, pay copays, mother's maiden name...nothing.

I was in the doctor's office at 11:35 when he pulled out his chemistry set and tested my specimen (which I had to bring with me) on the counter, matched the dip stick to a color coding and confirmed my suspicion. Then, because of the last kidney infection, he pulled out a needle and drew some blood. Another quick test with his chemistry set and luckily it hadn't progressed to a blood infection. My prescription was emailed to the pharmacy (apotek) and by 12:15 I was well on my way to feeling better.

Not bad for my first encounter with the Danish Health System.

Going waaaay back

In 1991, I traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico with about 15 others from my high school Spanish class. Along with students from two other schools, there were about 50 teens and enough chaperones to make a good attempt at keeping us out of trouble and out of the bars. Mmmm, ice cream with kaluha at Pablo's Backyard Patio on Cozumel brings back some memories. We were in Merida, went to the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, and then Cozumel for some beach time. This one trip, my first time out of the US, is what started the traveling bug and my love of history and ancient cultures. Y ademas, puedo hablar un poquito de Espanol (And I can also speak a little bit of Spanish). Here are two of my favorite pictures from Chichen Itza.

The colorful columns are located inside the Temple of the Warriors. We were on the top level of the structure and I laid on my stomach to take a 'blind' photo into a window. I had no idea what I was going to get. Pretty cool. You can no longer climb the Temple of the Warriors.

Kukalcan, "El Castillo" or the castle. What a beauty. 91 steps on each of the 4 sides with the top level counted as a step is 365 steps. Can you say modern calendar? The ancient Maya was a very intelligent and advanced civilization...and a bit barbaric given the types and methods of human sacrificing. During the Vernal Equinox the sun casts a shadow of a serpent writhing down the steps of the pyramid, which is quite cool. I don't think you can climb El Castillo anymore.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Greenhouse - Before and After

Our house has a cute little greenhouse in the backyard. We spent the past two weekends cleaning out the dead plants, washing the windows and giving life to the tired little greenhouse. Here's the before and after.

We planted:

  • Several varieties of tomoatoes...mmm...vine ripened tomates are my favorite, especially cherry tomatoes
  • Basil, a staple in our house
  • Peppers, so I can make Dad's (and Carmen's) amazing salsa
  • Strawberries
  • Flowers
And, now I wait.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A-Z except on Sundays

Today we decided to go to A-Z (a to zet) a mini wal-mart with just about everything under one roof (no food) and prices a bit higher than wal-mart. Most stores are closed on Sundays in Denmark, so I pulled out the sales ad and checked the hours. Yep, Sondag 9-17 (Sunday from 9-5). So we're off. We pick up some flowers outside and then go inside to "pick up a few things." Hmmm, there's yellow and black caution tape all over the store. I've seen grocery stores that block off liquor sections on Sundays, but come on...blocking off everything in the store except the plants, pots, and dirt. Goodness. Why bother opening the store! So, A-Z is M-F and just PPD on S.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Royal Wedding

No...I'm not referring to my wedding....and no, we weren't invited!

Denmark's Prince Joachim and Marie Cavallier of France got married on Saturday. Talk about a HUGE deal. It's been all about the Royals and their weddings for the past week. The wedding was in Moegeltoender, a small town about an hour from our house. Queen Margrethe's rather large sailing vessel was 'parked' in the harbor near our house and the Queen stayed at her Summer residence about 15 minutes from our house. Here are some pictures of the Queen's boat.

Friday, May 23, 2008

To Bake...or...not to bake

I’m getting used to changing how I cook and bake…or not bake. Last night, I made a lemon cake with lemon glaze. I modified the recipe a bit and made it in a bundt pan rather than a round cake. It was quite tasty – lost of lemony flavor and tart! I used the smallest bundt pan I could find, just in case it is a flop. Although, Chuck will eat just about anything, so it doesn't go to waste. What a good husband...supporting even my bad baking!

I’m getting used to baking from scratch. It takes a bit more work than ‘doctoring a box cake mix’ but it is quite rewarding. I was once told by someone that my baking was fabulous and I ‘missed my calling’. Kind of a compliment, but also an insult because I was working hard to be a great department head and future city manager...and I thought I was doing a good job as a supervisor!

I used to bake at least once a week and it was usually something chocolate. I haven’t been able to find chocolate chips here and the brown sugar is much sweeter and has a molasses taste to it, so that alters flavors a bit. They do, however, have some great chocolate bars, so I think I’m going to try and just chop the chocolate.

In the scheme of things, such a trivial problem…chocolate chips!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Feliz Cumpleanos!

Happy Birthday Dad! Hope you have a wonderful birthday! Here are some pictures I could find on my laptop. I didn't get a chance to finish scanning in a lot of my older pictures, so here's something a little more recent.

St. Thomas - Kasey's Wedding - Dominican Republic

Monday, May 19, 2008

Our road trip is planned...despite rising gas prices

Gas prices continue to rise. I just read that two states already hit $4 a gallon. Well, we're paying just under $9 a gallon for diesel and gasoline is about the same price. It's a good thing our new (2005) Hyndai Elanta gets about 38 miles to the gallon. Cars are very expensive in DK. There's a 180% luxury tax on top of the car price. So, we opted for an inexpensive car while we're here. Inexpensive is a relative term. Our lease for a very basic car and insurance is about $1,000 a month.

Despite the price of gas, we're still going on our 19 day driving tour of Europe later this summer. We were going to do a combo plane/train, but after doing the calcs, driving gives us more flexibility and is about 1/2 the price than the plane/train option. Some of the sites on my list (yeah, you all know I'm a list-maker) are Auschwitz, Mt. Pilatus, Neuschwanstein Castle, Interlaken, and the Cologne Cathedral. I'll post pictures and stories when we return.

...more yard work

We were busy this weekend trimming, picking weeds, and hauling away debris. ...And now...we are both sore. Why is it that every year when you do yard work or walk for the first time on an icy sidewalk, your legs ache for a few days? I wonder if there is an exercise to keep those muscles in shape all year 'round. So, I digress.

Here's a link to some before and after shots of our 8 hour marathon of yard work. There's still more to do, but here's what we've accomplished so far. Doing landscaping brought back memories of our house in the midwest. We would spend days trimming, pruning, raking, and spreading 20 yards of bark. Oh, what fun...I really loved that house. Had I not been 'gently forced' to move, we'd still be there and probably not in our new little town in Denmark.

A working weekend.

...for Chuck, that is. I had my first real day of manual labor in awhile! We spent about 8 hours working in the yard on Sunday and have quite a bit left to do. I've been snapping pictures of before and after to post. Here's the first few to post. There is a beautiful upside down tree in the back yard. The branches had grown all the way down to the concrete patio and it looked more like a bush than a tree.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Conscious Choice

When Chuck and I traveled to Seattle last year for Memorial Day weekend, we picked up a copy of the Conscious Choice and then had it delivered to our house. Conscious Choice is “an enlightened urban lifestyle magazine focusing on social, green, health, food and spiritual consciousness.” We enjoy the magazine and it is available online, if you’re interested. Those that know me well, know that one of my biggest irritants is the inequities between women and men. It’s 2008 and there is still a glass ceiling (and what can really get me going is acknowledgement of the glass ceiling then paying lip service to attempts to change it). So, I digress. Here are some interesting facts presented in the article What Counts? in the January issue of Conscious Choice. Read the other facts on the website.

  • 67 - Percentage of the world’s work that is done by women
  • 10 - Percentage of the world’s income that is earned by women
  • 1 - Percentage of the world’s property that is owned by women
  • 76 Million - Number of girls in the world who have never received a single day of schooling
  • 50 Percent reduced rate of HIV infection among young women in developing countries who attend at least six years of school
  • 3 - Number of additional children unschooled women are likely to bear, as compared to their educated counterparts
  • $35 Cost of sending an Afghani girl to school for one year
  • $10 Billion - Amount it would cost each year to send all the world’s children to school by 2015 (less than the annual amount the world spends on ice cream)

So, why is this on my mind? The Copenhagen Post had a little blurb called Gender Gap. Danish women earn 3% more than their male counterparts in the public sector, according to the newly released 2008 Gender Gap Report from the World Economic Forum.

Sources: Potentia Foundation, International Women’s Health Coalition.

UPDATE: I could only find the 2007 Gender Gap Report, so perhaps it was a typo in the Copenhagen Post and the most recent report is 2007.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May is National Bike Month

The League of American Bicyclists is promoting Bike-to-Work Week from May 12-16 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 16.

Keep on riding, Chuck!

Danish Lessons

I will start off by saying that I can spell a lot of Danish words. And I can read a lot of Danish words. I cannot; however pronounce any of them correctly. Hanne, our tutor, visits with us on Mondays and Thursdays. Which reminds me, I have a homework assignment to finish for tonight. The lessons are going well and we concentrate on pronunciation, which is a good thing because it’s the area that I’m having a hard time grasping. I find myself looking at the Danish word, saying it in English, then translating it to Spanish, then hmmm, do I know the French word or Italian word, it must be similar…and then finally I try to pronounce it in Danish. Ha. It is quite humorous (silent h, just as Ray Romano says it)!

Another bit of humor is watching and listening to Chuck attempt Danish. It’s kind of cute, actually. Being the great engineer that he is, he uses equations to remember vowel sounds. I write things out phonetically and he writes out equations. Humorous to see us as a team.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Team building

Chuck returned from his 2 day team building exercise with the guys from work. Paintball was on the agenda and Chuck was rewarded with 19 welts on his arms, back and legs. Huh, I wonder what everyone else looks like!?!?!

Long weekend in Berlin

Monday was Ascention Day in Denmark, so Chuck was off. We decided to drive 4.5 hours to Berlin and spend a long weekend taking in a history lesson or two. The pictures are posted and here's the recap.

Saturday - We stayed at the Berlin Hilton hotel, located on the Gendarmenmarkt, which is a central plaza in Berlin. An early morning of driving, meant we arrived in Berlin by 8:45am. We spent the morning at the 'toothpick' or 'tv tower' and had lunch in the revolving restaurant. Off for a quick boat tour on the canal, passing by museums covered in scaffolding and cranes. It looks like the whole city is in the midst of a major facelift. We spent the afternoon walking through the Tiergarten, which is a huge lush park filled with locals having cookouts. No invitations to join them, so we kept walking. We waited in line to enter the Reischstag or government building. We took an elevator up to the top floor and then walked on spiral ramps in the glass and mirrored dome. Then, we were off to the Brandenburger Tor or Brandenburger Gate, which is the entrance to the Tiergarten.

Sunday - We had coffee (tea for me) at a cute little bageri (bakery) off Gendarmenmarkt, then walked to the Jewish History museum and Checkpoint Charlie. Chuck decided that he had to get his passport stamped with all the stamps from the timeperiod. Sometimes he's like a kid in a candystore. It was cute. We hopped on the tourist 'hop on hop off' double decker open air bus and toured the city for 2 hours. It was a welcomed rest for our weary feet! At the end of the bus tour we went to Potsdammer Potz and saw the Berlin Wall, then a short walk to the Holocaust Memorial and a visit to the museum.

Monday - We were up early primarily because we were going to stop at Ikea and CITTI on the way home and had a 4.5 hour drive ahead of us. Well, apparently all stores are closed on Ascention Day, so no shopping for me. We did; however, stop at Schloss Charlottenburg, which is a beautiful palace just outside of Berlin in what appeared to be a suburb. We walked the gardens and enjoyed spending the morning in a very beautiful and peaceful park-like garden.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I know. I know.

I've been experimenting with the header and it still looks a bit goofy, but at least I was able to get it to span the whole blog and not just part of it. It's getting late, so I'll head off to bed and play with the header and code in the morning.

Long weekend in Berlin

We drove. We walked. We saw. We learned. We asked. We bussed it. We boated. We toured. We laughed. We had fun.

Details and pictures will be posted soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Habla Danish?

I wish Danish was as easy as Spanish...and I think Chuck wishes the same thing. On our drive back from Berlin, we were doing a Danish lesson. I was reading words in Danish and trying to get Chuck to come up with the English translation. Here's how it went:

Holly: et hus
Chuck: a dog?
Holly: nope, a house; en hund is a dog; en bard?
Chuck: a boat?
Holly: nope, a child; a boat is et bad (with a circle above the a)
Chuck: ask me quiz, really ask me what quiz is, come on ask me what quiz is.
Holly: quiz?
Chuck: quiz!

Yep, the joy of some Danish words being the same as English words: yo-yo, yoga, computer, quiz. Poor Chuck.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Flowers from around the globe

San Antonio, Texas - Janesville, Wisconsin - Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - Amsterdam, Netherlands - St. Croix, USVI

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Well, it's 4:30am. It's just starting to get light out this morning and the darn birds were tweeting away outside my window. So, rather than listen to the constant tweets, I decided to start my day a little earlier than usual. Here's a picture of some HUGE morning dove like birds. They are about the size of chickens and sit outside our office window and whooo like owls. I'm too lazy to find and take a pic of the crazy birds that so kindly decided to tweet their way into my morning.

Good morning. Early bird gets the worm!

What do I do to fill the time?

You would think that living in a foreign country, not working, and being 7 hours ahead of all my friends and family would lead to utter boredom. That couldn’t be anything further from the truth. So, what do I do all day? Here’s a typical day: Get up early, have a cup of tea, and check email. By midmorning, I’ll go for a bike ride or a walk around town. I squeeze in a Danish lesson and have lunch. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll throw in a French lesson and go for a walk. Every other day, I walk up to the grocery store and pick up fresh veggies for dinner. This week, I’ve been researching hotels and activities for our 3 week European adventure. I’m reading Eat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert right now and read a few ‘beads’ each day. Some afternoons I get an added surprise with an IM request from my friend Deanna. It’s always nice to chat online with her. Chuck’s home by 5 and we have dinner.

So, not much different than in the States, with the exception of no weekly Target shopping sprees, no long work days and NO NIGHT MEETINGS!

Official List of Places I Want to Visit

Here's my official list of places I want to visit, in no particular order (aside from a quick attempt at alpha). There are just soooo many!

Note: I'm a list-maker. I know my friend Michelle can totally relate! Consider this a very fluid list. I'll update it as we visit places or I read about some cool places that I have to visit!

  1. Every continent (3 done, 4 to go for Holly; Chuck only has 3 to go!)

  2. Every state in the U.S. (8 to go!)

  3. Every country in western Europe and the UK (Portugal, Wales, Finland, Luxemburg to go!)

  4. ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao)

  5. African safari

  6. Amalfi Coast, Italy - done (4/2009)

  7. Amsterdam, Netherlands - done (4/2008)

  8. Athens, Greece - done (12/2008)

  9. Bahamas and the pink sand beaches of Harbour Island - done (11/2010)

  10. Bangkok

  11. Barbados - done (3/2011)

  12. Barcelona - done (9/2009)

  13. Beijing - done (4/2009)

  14. Belize

  15. Berlin, Germany - done (5/2008, 9/2010)

  16. Bergen, Norway - done (9/2010)

  17. Boston - done (7/2011)

  18. Broadway play in NYC - done (4/2007)

  19. Budapest - done (9/2009)

  20. Buenos Aires - done (Chuck 10/2010)

  21. Canada (anywhere) - done (Toronto and Niagara Falls, 7/2010)

  22. Cape Town, South Africa

  23. Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

  24. Cairo, Egypt
  25. Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. - done (4/2014)

  26. Cinque Terre, Italy - done (7/2009)

  27. Costa Rica

  28. Cuba (if only there was a way to legally go there!!!)

  29. Dallas - done (1/2011)

  30. Delhi

  31. Dubai

  32. Dublin, Ireland - done (12/2009)

  33. Edinburgh, Scotland - done (11/2009)

  34. Fiji

  35. Florence - done (7/2009)
  36. Florida Keys - done (5/2013)

  37. Gorilla trekking

  38. Great Barrier Reef

  39. Great Wall of China - done (4/2009)

  40. Grand Canyon - done (9/2011)

  41. Greek Isles

  42. Hawaii - done (11/2012-12/2012)

  43. Hong Kong

  44. Iceland

  45. Istanbul, Turkey

  46. Jerusalem

  47. Johannesburg, South Africa

  48. Lake Como, Italy - done (7/2009)

  49. London, England - done (3/2009)

  50. Los Angeles

  51. Madrid, Spain - done (9/2009)

  52. Machu Picchu, Peru

  53. Maldives

  54. Masai Mara in Kenya

  55. Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland

  56. Miami, Florida - done (5/2013)

  57. Montreal, Canada

  58. Moscow, Russia - upcoming 9/2013

  59. Mumbai

  60. Munich, Germany - done (7/2008)
  61. New England foliage tour - done (9/2012)

  62. New Orleans, LA - done (4/2012)

  63. New Zealand

  64. Niagara Falls - done (7/2010)

  65. Oslo, Norway

  66. Paris, France - done (5/2009)

  67. Pisa, Italy - done (7/2009)

  68. Phuket

  69. Pyramids of Egypt

  70. Rio de Janiero, Brazil

  71. Roatan, Honduras

  72. Rome, Italy - done (4/2009)

  73. St. Lucia

  74. St. Petersburg, Russia - upcoming 9/2013

  75. San Diego, California - done (9/2005)

  76. San Francisco, California - done (3/2008, 7/2010)

  77. Seattle, Washington - done (5/2007)

  78. Seychelles

  79. Singapore

  80. Stockholm, Sweden

  81. Sydney, Australia

  82. Taj Mahal

  83. Thermal baths in Tuscany, Italy

  84. Train vacation (anywhere)

  85. Tuscany, Italy - done (7/2009)

  86. Tokyo, Japan

  87. Toronto, Canada - done (7/2010)

  88. Turks and Caicos

  89. Venice, Italy - done (7/2009)

  90. Versailles in France - done (5/2009)

  91. Washington DC - done (12/2006, 3/2007, 4/2014)

  92. Windsor Castle - done (12/2009)

  93. Wine Country, USA - done (3/2008, 7/2010)

  94. Zurich, Switzerland

Number of Countries Visited

  1. United States
  2. Mexico
  3. Bahamas
  4. Grand Cayman
  5. US Virgin Islands
  6. British Virgin Islands
  7. Dominican Republic
  8. Denmark
  9. Germany
  10. Netherlands
  11. Belgium
  12. Switzerland
  13. Czech Republic
  14. Austria
  15. Poland
  16. Greece
  17. England
  18. Slovania (Chuck reminded me that his work trip to Slovania should be on the list...W)
  19. China
  20. Italy
  21. France
  22. Sweden
  23. Spain
  24. Hungary
  25. Scotland
  26. Ireland
  27. Canada (Holly's solo trip)
  28. Norway
  29. Argentina (Chuck's solo trip)
  30. Barbados

Monday, May 5, 2008

World Travel - Places to See Before You Die

When the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A traveler's life list by Patricia Schultz came out in 2003, I picked up a copy. I wanted to see what places in the world were 'must-see' locations on our travels. Granted, not all 1,000 places appeal to us, so we'll never make it to all of them. However, here's our progress so far.

I've also added a few (designated by ***) to the list that should definitely be a 'must-see' but were not included is Ms. Schultz's book.

I'll update the list as we continue our travels.

USA and Canada

  1. Mt. McKinley Denali National Park, Alaska (5/1988...from a distance)
  2. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska (5/1988)
  3. ***Zephyr Train ride in Stillwater, Minnesota (10/2000)
  4. Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California (9/2006)
  5. Cable Cars in San Francisco, California (9/2005, 7/2010)
  6. Wine Country in California (4/2008, 7/2010)
  7. Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado (5/1999)
  8. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida (12/2003)
  9. Sanibel and Captiva Islands in Florida (4/1998)
  10. The Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada (9/2005)
  11. New York City, New York (4/2007)
  12. Museums in New York City, New York (4/2007)
  13. Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington (5/2007)
  14. National Mall in Washington, DC (3/2007)
  15. Smithsonian in Washington, DC (3/2007)
  16. River Walk in San Antonio, Texas (9/2006)
  17. Apostle Island, Wisconsin (6/2009)
  18. ***Door County, Wisconsin (5/2010)
  19. ***Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri (5/2007)
  20. Monterey Peninsula in California (7/2010)
  21. Pacific Coast Highway in California (7/2010)
  22. ***Walking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California (7/2010)
  23. ***Lunching at the Hog's Breath restaurant in Carmel by the sea (7/2010)
  24. ***Driving the 17 mile scenic road in Monterey Peninsula, California (7/2010)
  25. Niagara Falls, Canada (7/2010)
  26. ***CN Tower in Toronto, Canada (7/2010)
  27. Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (5/2011)
  28. Freedom Trail in Boston, Massachusetts (7/2011)
  29. Cape Cod National Seashore (7/2011)
  30. Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts (7/2011)
  31. Plymouth, Massachusetts (7/2011)
  32. Cliff walk in Newport, Rhode Island (7/2011)
  33. Grand Canyon in Arizona (9/2011)
  34. Red Rock Canyon in Sedona, Arizona (9/2011)
  35. ***Verde Valley Train Ride near Sedona, Arizona (9/2011)
  36. Mesa Verde in Cortez, Colorado (9/2011)
  37. Monument Valley in Utah (9/2011)
  38. Route 66 in New Mexico and Arizona (9/2011)
  39. ***Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas (4/2012)
  40. French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana (4/2012)
  41. Restaurants (po' boys, muffulettas, jambalaya, gumbo, pralines, pecan pie, red beans and rice) in New Orleans, Louisiana (4/2012)
  42. New Orleans Jazz in New Orleans, Louisiana (4/2012)
  43. Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana (4/2012)
  44. ***Cooking class in New Orleans, Louisiana (4/2012)
  45. Memphis Rib Joints in Memphis, Tennessee (5/2012)
  46. Natchez Trail, Mississippi (5/2012)
  47. Outer Banks, North Carolina (9/2012)
  48. Stowe, VT (9/2012)
  49. Woodstock, Vermont (9/2012)
  50. Lava beaches, Waipio Valley, Mauna Kea, Kona coffee region, Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii (11/2012)
  51. Road to Hana, Hookipa Beach, Kapalua, Wailea, Lahaina on Maui, Hawaii (11/2012)
  52. ***Sunrise and Biking down Haleakala on Maui, Hawaii (11/2012)
  53. Honolulu, Waikiki, North Shore, Pearl Harbor, Kailua on Oahu, Hawaii (11/2012)
  54. ***Learning to surf on Oahu, Hawaii (11/2012)
  55. South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida (5/2013)
  56. Villa Vizcaya in Miami, Florida (5/2013)
  57. Key West, Florida (5/2013)
  58. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio (6/2013)
  59. ***Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. (4/2014)
  60. Kentucky Derby museum in Louisville, Kentucky (4/2014)
  61. ***Louisville Slugger museum in Louisville, Kentucky (4/2014)
  1. Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria (7/2008)
  2. Stephansdom in Vienna, Austria (7/2008)
  3. Imperial Hapsburg Palace in Vienna, Austria (7/2008)
  4. ***Oldest operational salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria (7/2008)
  5. ***Salzburg, Austria (7/2008)
  6. La Grand Place (Grote Markt) in Brussels, Belgium (10/2008)
  7. Brugges, Belgium (10/2013)
  8. Castle District in Prague, Czech Republic (7/2008)
  9. Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic (7/2008)
  10. Old town square in Prague, Czech Republic (7/2008)
  11. Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark (5/2007)
  12. ***Driving the many bridges in Denmark: Great Belt and Oresund (4/2009, 8/2010)
  13. Kronborg Slot in Helsingborg, Denmark (4/2009)
  14. ***Fredriksborg Slot in Hillerod, Denmark (4/2009)
  15. Egeskov Slot on the island of Funen in Denmark (10/2009)
  16. Buckingham Palace in London, England (3/2009)
  17. St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England (3/2009, 8/2009, 12/2009)
  18. Tate Gallery in London, England (3/2009)
  19. Tower of London in London, England (3/2009, 12/2009)
  20. ***Champagne Flight on the London Eye in London, England (3/2009)
  21. ***Tower Bridge in London, England (3/2009)
  22. Hyde Park /Kensington Gardens in London, England (5/2009)
  23. Oxford University in Oxford, England (5/2009)
  24. Bath in Somerset, England (5/2009)
  25. Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England (5/2009)
  26. Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England (5/2009)
  27. The Cotswolds near London, England (8/2009)
  28. Westminster Abby in London, England (8/2009)
  29. Shopping at Fortnum & Mason, Portobello Market in Notting Hill, Harrods, Liberty in London, England (8/2009)
  30. Windsor Castle in Windsor, England (12/2009)
  31. Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France (5/2009)
  32. Pompidou Center in Paris, France (5/2009)
  33. Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (5/2009)
  34. Notre Dame in Paris, France (5/2009)
  35. Ile St. Louis in Paris, France (5/2009)
  36. ***eating ice cream at Berthillon in Paris, France (5/2009)
  37. Tuileries Gardens in Paris, France (5/2009)
  38. ***Hot chocolate at Angelina's cafe in Paris, France (5/2009)
  39. ***leisurely bike tour around Paris in Paris, France (5/2009)
  40. Chateau and gardens at Versailles in Paris (5/2009)
  41. Cathedral Notre Dame in Strasbourg, France (7/2009)
  42. ***Petite France in Strasbourg, France (7/2009)
  43. Champagne region of Reims, France (10/2013)
  44. Mont St. Michel, France (10/2013)
  45. Normandy D-Day beaches, France (10/2013)
  46. Lubeck, Germany (5/2008, 12/2009)
  47. Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany (5/2008, 9/2010)
  48. Museums in Berlin, Germany (5/2008, 9/2010)
  49. ***Fernsehturm (television tower) in Berlin, Germany (5/2008)
  50. ***Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin, Germany (5/2008, 9/2010)
  51. Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany (7/2008)
  52. Baden-Baden, Germany (7/2008)
  53. ***Munich's 850th Birthday party in Munich, Germany (7/2008)
  54. Rhine Valley, Germany (7/2008)
  55. The Zwinger in Dresden, Germany (12/2008)
  56. ***Kaiserburg in Nuremberg, Germany (7/2009)
  57. ***German National Museum in Nuremberg, Germany (7/2009)
  58. ***Rathus in Hamburg, Germany (1/2010, 8/2010)
  59. ***Stade, Germany (8/2010)
  60. ***East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany (8/2010)
  61. ***Roemer in Frankfurt, Germany (7/2009)
  62. ***Museum street in Frankfurt, Germany (7/2009)
  63. German Christmas Markets (Lubeck, Dresden, Flensburg, Bremen) (12/2008 and 2009)
  64. The Acropolis in Athens, Greece (12/2008)
  65. National Archeology Museum in Athens, Greece (12/2008)
  66. ***Ringing in the New Year w/ fireworks over the Parthenon in Athens, Greece (1/2009)
  67. ***Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, Greece (12/2008)
  68. Castle Hill in Budapest, Hungary (9/2009)
  69. The Danube (and the Chain Bridge) in Budapest, Hungary (9/2009)
  70. The book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (12/2009)
  71. The pubs of Dublin, Ireland (12/2009)
  72. Galway, Ireland (12/2009)
  73. ***The burren in western Ireland (12/2009)
  74. ***Malahide and Dublin Castles in greater Dublin, Ireland (12/2009)
  75. ***Cliffs of Moher in western Ireland (12/2009)
  76. Capri, Italy (4/2009)
  77. ***Boating around the Island of Capri (4/2009)
  78. ***Taking a single chairlift to the top of the Island of Capri in Anacapri, Italy (4/2009)
  79. Pompeii, Italy (4/2009)
  80. Amalfi Coast, Italy (4/2009)
  81. Positano, Italy (4/2009)
  82. Sorrento, Italy (4/2009)
  83. Borghese Gallery in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  84. Coliseum in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  85. Piazza Campidoglioi n Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  86. Capitoline Museum in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  87. Pantheon in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  88. Roman Forum in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  89. Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  90. Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  91. Vatican City in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  92. Market at Campo dei Fiori in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  93. Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  94. Shopping on Via Condotti in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  95. ***Attending the Papal Address at St. Peter's Basilica (4/2009)
  96. Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy (4/2009)
  97. Church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  98. Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  99. Galleria Dell ’Accademia in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  100. Il Duomo in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  101. Medici Chapels in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  102. Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  103. Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  104. Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  105. Il Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  106. Mercato San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  107. Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Italy (7/2009)
  108. Quadrilateral in Bologna, Italy (7/2009)
  109. Church of the Friars in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  110. Church of St. John and St. Paul in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  111. Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  112. Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  113. Basilica di San Marco in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  114. Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  115. Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  116. ***Water taxi through the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  117. ***Francois Pinnoult musuems in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  118. ***Glass factories on the island of Murano in Venice, Italy (7/2009)
  119. Cinque Terre, Italy (7/2009)
  120. Bellagio, Italy (7/2009)
  121. Chianti and San Gimignano, Italy (7/2009)
  122. ***Cooking class (Castello di Oliveto) in Tuscany, Italy (7/2009)
  123. Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy (7/2009)
  124. Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Netherlands (4/2008, 12/2009)
  125. Canal Cruises and Tulips in Netherlands (4/2008, 12/2009)
  126. ***Keukenhof Gardens in Netherlands (4/2008)
  127. Oude Kerk Church in Amsterdam, Netherlands (4/2008)
  128. Red Light District in Amsterdam, Netherlands (4/2008)
  129. Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands (4/2008)
  130. ***Zaanse-schans in Zaandam, Netherlands (12/2009)
  131. Bergen and Troldhaugen in Norway (9/2010)
  132. ***Norway in a Nutshell (Flåm Railway, the Aurlandsfjord, Nærøyfjord, Stalheimskleiva) near Bergen, Norway (9/2010)
  133. Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland (11/2009)
  134. La Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain (9/2009)
  135. Museu Picasso in Barcelona, Spain (9/2009)
  136. ***Montserrat Monestary near Barcelona, Spain (9/2009)
  137. Palacio Real in Madrid, Spain (9/2009)
  138. The Prado in Madrid, Spain (9/2009)
  139. Thyssen-Bonemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain (9/2009)
  140. Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain (9/2009)
  141. ***Ale's Stenar in Ystad, Sweden (4/2009)
  142. ***Glimminghus in Sweden (4/2009)
  143. Lucerne, Switzerland (7/2008)
  144. ***Mt. Pilatus in Lucerne, Switzerland (7/2008)
  145. Jungfrau near Interlaken, Switzerland (7/2008)
Mexico, Central America, South America
  1. Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico (11/2007)
  2. Whale Watching in Los Cabos, Mexico (3/1994)
  3. Acapulco Bay in Mexico (11/1993)
  4. Taxco, Mexico (11/1993)
  5. Teoteihuacan and National Museums in Mexico City, Mexico (10/1993)
  6. ***Tenochtitlan near Mexico City, Mexico (10/1993)
  7. Las Mananitas in Cuernavaca, Mexico (9/1993)
  8. Chichen Itza in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (4/1991, 5/2000, 4/2004)
  9. El Dia de los muertos celebrated in Mexico (11/1993)
  10. ***Uxmal in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (4/1991)
  1. Old San Juan in San Juan, Puerto Rico (12/2001)
  2. Buck Island in St. Croix, USVI (12/2001)
  3. Caneel Bay in St. John, USVI (9/2007)
  4. Reef Trail in Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (9/2007)
  5. Magens Bay in St. Thomas, USVI (5/2006, 9/2007)
  6. ***Stingray City in Grand Cayman Island (8/1996)
  7. Pink sand beaches of Harbour Island, Bahamas (11/2010)
  8. Barbados (3/2011)
  1. Classic restaurants in Beijing, China (4/2009)
  2. Forbidden City in Beijing, China (4/2009)
  3. Climbing the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (4/2009)
  4. Walking through the Hutongs of Beijing, China (4/2009)
  5. ***Bargaining for goods at Silk Street, Tea Street, Yaxiu Market, and Pearl Market in Beijing, China (4/2009)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Road trip to Lubeck, Germany

Lubeck, Germany is about 2 hours from our house. Our European guide book had a great picture of the Holstentor and said that Lubeck was like an island city. So...we decided to take a day trip to the town...and make a pit stop at Ikea in Kiel...on the way home. Check out the photos. More info on Lubeck:

  • It was a free imperial city in 1226 and controlled trade in the Baltic to as far away as Russia.
  • The picture with the wooden replica of the town was built in 1934 by school children. It's a replica of Lubeck in the 1600s. Today, the fortified banks surrounding the moat/river are gone and it's flat land.
  • Lubeck sustained heavy damage during WW II and many of the buildings have been restored or rebuilt.
  • The Holstentor (Holsten Gate) was built in the 1400s and is the first structure that greets visitors as they enter the island-like city.
  • Marienkirche (St. Maria's Church or St. Mary's Church, depending upon the literature) was built between 1250 and 1350. It was restored after it was burned and bombed in 1942 (WWII). There's a picture of a large bell that fell during WW II bombings and is embedded in the concrete floor!
  • There are pictures of two organs in the church. The current organ was placed in 1986 and has about 5,000 pipes. There have been about 5 other versions of the organ, beginning back in the early 1500s.
  • Apparently, if you think of marzipan you think of Niederegger, which is a store in Lubeck. It's status as the marzipan capital of the world dates back to the 1800s. I realized that I don't particularly care for the taste of marzipan, which is good because a lot of chocolates are filled with the stuff. I'll take hazelnut filling any day of the week!

A quick trip to Ikea in Kiel to pick up a few things for the house and a stop at Citti-park in Flensburg for groceries and before we knew it our Saturday was over. Sunday is supposed to be nice out, so we'll work in the yard a bit.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Chuck's Commute

Chuck's commute consists of a 6km bike ride from our house to work on some pretty cool looking bike trails. Here's his view. Highway 8 isn't a highway by midwest standards; it's more of a two lane country road.

His commute and pictures from the area are in the Chuck's Commute slideshow.

Happy Labor Day

Well, we think it is, anyway. We are hearing that today is a holiday (Chuck was off all day) - 1/2 the day is because Jesus ascended into heaven today and 1/2 the day is for something equivalent to Labor Day. Then, in a week and a half, he's off again on Monday because that's the day that Jesus's spirit comes back to earth.

Pretty quiet day here. We're heading out this weekend, probably to Kiel and Flensburg. Next weekend is a long weekend, so we're heading to.......stay tuned.