"All the world is made of faith, trust and pixie dust" JM Barrie in Peter Pan
Lauren and I started our trip with a few days in Barcelona. We both loved the city. Our hotel was in a very convenient location. We did lots of walking, enjoyed HopOn HopOff, and were amazed by Sagrada Familia.
The ship, Oceania’s Riviera, was first class. Our cabin was spacious and had a private veranda. The food was consistently excellent, the staff very helpful and we felt quite pampered.
We got a great introduction to the Mediterranean while enjoying perfect weather in every port.
The highlight was our day in Tuscany with Giovanni. He was charming and knowledgable while driving us through the countryside in his Mercedes sedan. It was a perfect way to end our trip.
Monaco had a gorgeous setting and we were able to dock instead of tender. Our ship is on the right sharing the harbor with several amazing mega yachts.
The cruise included a good variety of ports. Starting in Barcelona and having a day in Tuscany sealed the deal on selecting it.
View from our hotel balcony—it was a pedestrian-only street in the middle of Barcelona.
Traditional tiled stairs in our hotel on Portal de l’Angel.
Beautiful ceramic work.
One of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona—apparently a favorite of Picasso.
La Rambla had great wavy sidewalks.
Apartment building designed by Antonio Gaudi.
We thoroughly enjoyed Sangria in Barcelona.
Manhole covers are unique in every city.
Our waitress/tableside chef at dinner in the Gothic Quarter.
Elaborate public water fountain.
We enjoyed gelato almost every day!
Visiting Sagrada Familia was a highlight of the trip.
The stained glass was amazing!
This is the altar.
We thoroughly enjoyed our private veranda.
It was sunny when we visited and the light from the stained glass windows was absolutely gorgeous
The main hub of Riviera was beautiful. The glass looked like Lalique.
Our cabin was on Deck 9, Concierge Level.
Our cabin was very spacious, located in the center of the ship (smoother than either end), had a lovely veranda and an amazing bathroom. It even had a bathtub that came with Himalayan sea salts!
The pool deck was a very popular gathering space- even for non-swimmers.
Dinner at Jacques on our first night. All the recipes are from Jacques Pepin.
The food was delicious!!swwwwwwwwwwwwwwd
Majorca was a beautiful resort town.
Another HopOn HopOff trip gave us a great introduction to this lovely island.
The main street in Palma was lined with gorgeous pink hydrangas.
Aix en Provence was lovely but just about everything was closed because we were there on Sunday.
Aix en Provence was really lovely.
Thankfully the patisserie was open so were able to enjoy eclairs.
So many architectural details!
Monaco’s Palace overlooks the city.
World Famous Monte Carlo casino.
All of Monaco was getting ready for the Grand Prix so viewing stands and safety fences were going up everywhere.
We docked next to this mega yacht, Royal Romance. It was 150 feet long and had a crew of 48. It is owned by a very wealthy Russian oligarch.
Monaco at night from the Riviera’s top deck.
Gorgeous view of the snow-covered Alps from Antibes Harbor with its mega-yachts.
We took the train from Antibes to Nice. It was a quick trip.
Train station at Nice.
Lots of palm trees in Nice
The beach at Nice with its characteristic umbrellas.
Antibes was the only port where we were tendered to and from the ship.
Leaving Corsica on our way to Tuscany.
After leaving Livorno we were in classic Tuscan countryside with rolling green hills and vineyards.
Our first stop in Tuscany was the ancient walled city of Monterrigioni.
The Siena duomo (cathedral) was our first stop. Giovanni dropped us off here and picked us up at the Piazza del Campo.
Walking down the streets of Siena heading for the Campo.
Animal-centric symbols of the Siena contrada (neighborhoods).
The shops had elegant interior styling.
Sienna’s Piazza del Campo
The Palio horserace where Siena’s contrada compete is held in the Campo.
Gelato in Siena
Giovanni was stereotypically Italian—he talked with his hands even while driving.
The medieval towers of San Gimignano can be seen for many miles.
Welcome to San Gimignano!
The countryside views were unrivaled.
Our splurge purchases were colorful Furla bags from a charming salesman in San Gimignano.
Although the Tuscan towns were rather busy quiet side streets could still be found.
Colorful pottery shop in San Gimignano.
The Tuscan hills were picture perfect.
New Mexico 2018
Marilyn and I planned a long weekend in New Mexico to spend time together, participate in a Wellesley ‘77 mini-reunion, enjoy the beautiful landscape, visit the many attractions around Santa Fe and experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, The trip lived up to our high expectations.
The drive from ABQ to Santa Fe gave us a hint of what lay ahead—striking landscape and fresh air a glorious shade of blue.
The Folk Art Museum was a highlight.
Incredible needlework samplers at the Folk Art Museum.
The quaking Aspens were lovely—they really made the characteristic sound when there was any type of breeze.
At Aspen View on the road to Santa Fe ski basin.
On Saturday morning five of us left Sant Fe at 4:00am but still missed liftoff at the Balloon Fiesta. The freeway was as close as we got.
We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with our Wellesley classmates. Anne and her husband were very gracious hosts.
Georgia O’Keefe Museum
Jumping spouting elephant in the gorgeous sculpture garden we came across in Santa Fe.
Adorable bear cub sculpture
Old Town Albuquerque
My second attempt to see liftoff at the Balloon Fiesta was successful and well worth the early rise that day,
Checked off my bucket list
Disney World 2018
In January 2018 we had a marvelous trip to magical Disney World. We stayed on the property at Port Orleans-Riverside and took full advantage of the benefits of staying in a Disney resort. We had great weather and the crowds were not bad. It was tiring but so much fun—especially with 5 year old Olivia.
Our vacation started with a ride from Orlando Airport on Mickey’s bus.
So many parades!
Lion King in the round—all that great music and the spectacle with so much to watch and enjoy.
Lots of magic photos where we didn’t know what the final photo would show.
Olivia was able to get photos with most of the major characters.
Touring Animal Kingdom was a highlight.
Flying elephants in Fantasyland.
Waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean
Fireworks over Epcot were excellent.
It’s a Small World has been significantly upgraded over the years—lots of great animatronics and lighting.
Emily and Olivia enjoying the teacups,
In October 2017 Marilyn H and I spent three days in Dublin before joining 14 other folks for a Driftwood tour of western Ireland and the Dingle Peninsula.
The Dingle coast was gorgeous and we were blessed with perfect weather.
When our overnight flight arrived over Ireland it was clear why it is known as the Emerald Isle.
Waterloo House was in a very convenient location in Georgian Dublin. It had traditional décor and our room had a view of the neighborhood. The breakfast was quite decadent and it was served in a lovely conservatory.
We loved the colorful doors of Georgian Dublin. Virtually every color in the rainbow was on someone’s door.
Shearson’s pub was just a block from Waterloo House. We liked it so much we went there for dinner two nights-beef filet and lamb shank were delicious. They also had live music that added to the atmosphere.
Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland. It is the home of the amazing Book of Kells illuminated manuscript. It was to be a highlight of our visit to Dublin but when we arrived they were in the midst of their first blackout in 16 years with no ETA of the electricity. We waited awhile and then decided we needed to move on.
This was as close as we got to the Book of Kells.
Downtown Dublin had several charming blocks of local retail.
Dublin’s streetlights were among the prettiest I’ve seen. We got a great view of the shamrock festooned fixtures from our double decker tour bus.
We thoroughly enjoyed our hop-on hop-off bus. It was a beautiful day to tour this charming city.
Howth is a seaside town that was on the public transit train line. It was chilly and drizzly but we walked around, went to a small farmers’ market and enjoyed some homemade ice cream.
The Samuel Beckett bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava and is reminiscent of an Irish harp.
Irish notables on display at Trinity College.
Itinerary of Driftwoods tour we took. We started in Dublin and then headed west towards Galway. We saw beautiful scenery
Killary Sheep Farm was in a very dramatic location and we enjoyed watching the sheepdogs do their magic.
It was amazing to see the dogs herd the sheep.
We enjoyed our first Guinness at our lunch with the tour group on day one.
Kylemore Abbey was lovely—no interior visits are permitted but it is a storybook castle from the outside.
Our first night on the tour was spent at the Abbeyglen Castle hotel where they flew an American flag to welcome us.
Here are the 16 of us from the tour. We enjoyed each others’ company and were all punctual and congenial.
Galway was very festively decorated.
This was one of Galway’s most scenic pubs.
This was a charming tea shop in Galway.
This Galway shop was where the claddagh rings were first designed and produced.
The sewer covers in Galway had unique Celtic designs.
I can’t remember the name of this ancient castle but it was in a very evocative setting.
On the drive to the Cliffs of Moher we came across these cows who looked like they were posing for the camera.
The Cliffs of Moher are quite spectacular—even on a windy, rainy day.
We went to a demonstration at Dingle Glass. The glass blowing and sculpting were fascinating to watch.
Lots of colorful shops and pubs throughout Ireland.
One evening in Dingle we enjoyed an Irish folk music concert in one of the local music shops.
The drive along Dingle Peninsula was reminiscent of Highway 1 on the California coast.
We ate delicious cheese throughout our visit to Ireland.
We could have spent a few more day enjoying Dingle—beautiful scenery, quality restaurants, delicious homemade ice cream, and lots of fun shops to browse.
We enjoyed a horse-drawn jaunty ride through Killarney National Park which ended at stately Muckross House.
We came across this car which was inadvertently put in drive instead of reverse. Thankfully the occupants weren’t injured.
Kenmare is another colorful happy town in County Kerry.
Seals pointing the way to Garnish Island.
Garnish Island in Bantry Bay was originally a private estate but it was bequeathed to the Irish government in 1939. It has been maintained as a public garden since then..
Delicious Irish Coffee at this pub started by onne of the first South Pole explorers.
Built in 1710, Bantry House has been a private home and served as a hospital during the Irish Civil War in 1922 and a barracks duriing World War II. It has been open to visitors since 1946.
Bantry House was a classic country house—comfortable and not too fussy..
For donations from visitors to Blarney Castle.
In spite of its tacky reputation Blarney is a beautiful site with lavish gardens and historic architecture.
Blarney House was originally built for the mayor of Cork in 1704. The current house was built in 1846 and is now the home of Baron Sir John Colthurst.
The Rock of Cashel was started in 1100 and is on a hill by itself overlooking the surrounding countryside. Because of its prominent location it can be seen for miles. It was the traditional seat of the King for the region. It includes a roofless cathedral and towers for security.
A great end to our trip—under the rainbow!
Bruges & Rhine Cruise 2016
In late October 2016 Marilyn and I spent two days in Bruges, Belgium before taking the train to Amsterdam to start our Viking Cruise on the Rhine. Bruges is a lovely medieval city on scenic canals. We stayed in Hotel Adornes which was in a convenient location and we had a canal view. The hotel manager was very helpful with excellent dinner recommendations. It was an easy walk to the town center.
We took the train to Amsterdam after a stop in Antwerp where we enjoyed delicious Belgian waffles.
As usual, Viking took great care of us. Our cabin was in a very convenient location and was nicely furnished. We enjoyed having a balcony. In spite of the occasional rain shower we had a great trip. We met several interesting and engaging fellow passengers. The only big disappointment is that we never made it to Basel. In order to catch our flight we had to leave the ship at 4:30 am so all we saw of Basel was the airport.
Our first morning in Bruges
View from our hotel when we arrived.
The tour boats in Bruges were a little too crowded and low in the water to entice us.
Delicious Belgian beer
We started our day early so the day tripping crowds had not yet arrived. A couple of hours later these tables were full.
Bruges' town center
Many fine chocolate shops in Bruges
Our hotel had a lovely breakfast room with a fire to keep us warm.
The Adornes Hotel manager, Rik, could not have been more helpful. He gave excellent dinner recommendations and was extremely hospitable.
A fun Starbucks poster in Antwerp advertising a creep-looking Halloween drink.
The view of Amsterdam from our cabin's balcony. It was a 3 minute walk from the train to the ship. Since we had both been to Amsterdam before we didn't do any sightseeing before the ship departed a couple of hours after we arrived from Belgium.
The Cathedral in Cologne is massive and on a high spot in the city.
Gerard Richter's modern stained glass window in Cologne's cathedral.
We enjoyed the local Kolsch beer at Brewpub in Cologne
The rain didn't stop us from hiking up to Marksburg Castle.
Looking south from Marksburg Castle.
Looking north over the Rhine from Marksburg Castle.
It was getting dark when we arrived in Rudesheim but we hurried and made it to Kathe Wolfahrt and a couple of other shops before they closed.
Strasbourg was the most scenic city we visited--full of charm.
A popular Strasbourg alley with lots of bars and cafes.
Our local guide in the Black Forest was delightful!
Unfortunately there was very heavy rain on our one day in the Black Forest. Thankfully our local guide was very entertaining and helped us enjoy the trip.
We had a great group of regular dining partners from Michigan and northern England.
Scandinavia and St Petersburg 2016
Map of Viking Ocean's Viking Homelands Cruise in June 2016
We started in the lovely city of Bergen, Norway
Aalborg, Denmark was smallish town with a good range of architectural details like these gilded lions.
The fountain in the middle of Rostock was fascinating--all ages having fun together in the water.
Trotzenberger Brewery tour in Rostock
The view of Talinn from our stateroom's balcony.
The narrow streets of Talinn were incredibly picturesque.
Talinn's square is lined with shops and restaurants.
An international five star hotel on one of Talinn's side streets.
I loved all the unique architectural details in St Petersburg
The oldest surviving synagogue in St Petersburg
St Petersburg is laced by canals which all have artistic metal railings.
There are still many remnants of Lenin around St Petersburg.
St Petersburg subway token
Amazing mosaic murals inside the St Petersburg subway
We went into the subway station that is one of the deepest in the world. There were several escalators to get to the train platform.
This grumpy looking checkpoint officer was watching everyone very closely.
There are McDonalds everywhere!
The Faberge Museum looked like a jewel box.
One of Faberge's most complex eggs.
Lilies of the Valley are a favorite flower so I was very happy to see this Imperial egg on display.
Faberge made many other gorgeous pieces in addition to the famous eggs.
A lavish candy store in St Petersburg
We asked our guide to show us a bit of the daily life of a Russian so she took us to the food court at the mall.
Catherine's Summer Palace
Just a little place in the country.....
The Heritage was VERY crowded so we were thankful that our guide, Veronika, had pre-opening reservations.
Solid lapis lazuli table was a masterpiece.
The corridors in the Hermitage were completely decorated. No expense was spared in the Imperial family's winter palace.
Beautiful hardwood floor patterns throughout the Hermitage.
The Hermitage was the Winter Palace so the architecture is quite lavish--lots of gilding and marble.
The Throne Room in the Hermitage
Peterhof Palace--one of Peter the Great's homes. It's fountains are like Versailles'.
Peterhof royal residence
Unfortunately it was overcast when we got to the Church of the Spilled Blood so the vibrant turret colors don't show up very well.
We were welcomed with a farmers' market when we arrived in Helsinki.
We walked into Helsinki from the ship and enjoyed the greenery.
Marimekko 's first store was in Helsinki.
There are hundreds of small islands in the bay heading for Stockholm.
My favorite architectural detail was on a bank in Stockholm.
Stockholm's major department store had a large atrium
Beautiful public gardens in Stockholm.
The blue trams in Stockholm were charming.
Bright blue gates mark one of the entrances to Skansen Park.
A very solemn guard by the Swedish capital.
Many of the shop signs in Gamla Stan were handmade works of art.
Gamla Stan is the birthplace of Stockholm and it has retained its charm.
Manhole covers in Bergen Norway, Rostock Germany, St Petersburg Russia and Stockholm Sweden.
From our stateroom we could see the Skansen amusement park
A beautiful Stockholm sunset on our last evening.
In September Lorraine and I took an amazing safari to Tanzania. The previous year we learned that this type of trip was on both of our bucket lists so we decided to make it happen in celebration of our 60th birthdays. Thomson Safaris met or exceeded all of our expectations.
We broke up the long trip to Tanzania with an overnight in fascinating Amsterdam where we stayed in 21 Herengracht BnB with the perfect hostess, Loes.
Giraffes visited our Eastern Serengeti camp each morning.
Amsterdam was lovely day and night. We stayed in a BnB on one of the major canals.
Lorraine ate some fried baby herring--I had a hard time even looking at them.
Red light windows can be seen among charming buildings all over Amsterdam.
We started and ended our Tanzania adventure at the Mount Meru Game Lodge where they have very nice accomodations and rehabilitating animals.
Jane gave us a warm welcome to Mount Meru.
We arrived at Mount Meru at night. The lobby was welcoming and had unique accessories made by local artists.
Our cabin at Mount Meru. We had the right side which was a very nice room with full bathroom--our last time with flush toilets before we started our safari.
At Arusha's local airport waiting for our flight to the Serengeti.
Our tents were extremely nice
Our tents were quite comfortable with plenty of space and tempurpedic mattresses. A special treat was the hot water bottle placed in our beds every night.
We started our days with coffee overlooking the wide open spaces with an occasional giraffe walking by.
Each of our campsites had Masai guards to protect the camp from animals and to protect visitors from going too far from the camp.
Before every meal we washed our hands with the assistance of one of the staff.
We enjoyed the local beer throughout our trip.
A highlight of our trip was a visit to a Masi village where we met very friendly mothers and their children. They lived in a very basic environment but the little kids knew how to swipe an iPhone with their finger to look at the next photo.
We saw some beautiful sunsets. Unfortunately we were there for the full moon so we didn't see star-filled skies at night.
Hippos gathering in a Serengeti pond (taken from the balloon)
We saw only one cheetah, but she put on a great show.
The cheetah rolled on her back just like a domestic cat.
I was very happy to be far away from this alligator.
These were our only leopards and they were quite far away and high in a tree.
Lovely acacia trees were in abundance.
Adorable baby hippo staying very close to Mom
Looking down into Ngongorno crater-the area of Tanzania with the most animals per square mile.
Groups of four (plus a guide) were in each Land Cruiser so we could move around easily to take photos of the various animals. Drivers would communicate via radio so when one group found an interesting animal the word would go out and Land Cruisers would rush to get there.
I was very pleased to get this shot of the lions with entwined tails.
We saw several very cute babies.
/very laid back lioness enjoying the shade.
Fun mural on the drive back to Arusha
Last butt not least...
Mare and I arrived in Paris on Easter Sunday for an early celebration of our 60th birthdays. It was a lovely week with great weather, a comfortable apartment in a perfect location, good food, good wine and a relaxing week in one of the most special cities in the world.
We had an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower from our apartment and took MANY photos of it.
Unfortunately there was no place to prop the camera so we took photos of each other on the balcony.
We took Eiffel Tower photos from our balcony at all hours of the day and night.
The apartment was nothing fancy but it was comfortable and in a great location with its Eiffel Tower view.
The view of rue Malar from our balcony
Our apartment was on rue Malar just a block from rue St Dominique over which the Eiffel Tower reigns.
We loved this boulangerie on rue St Dominique--fresh from the oven croissants in a lovely setting with decorative porcelain tiles.
We ate lunch atop Printemps with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
Canopy of flowers at Printemps
Diana and I had a great visit—catching up on life since she left Stanford.
From this upper level it is clear to see that the Musee d'Orsay used to be a train station.
One of my favorite paintings the d’Orsay
Monet at the Jeu de Paume
The Paris at Night tour was a highlight.
Hotel de Ville
Beauborg/Pompidou Modern Art
It seemed like there were lovely patisseries or boulangeries on every street corner. This one is in the Marais.
Our boat ride on the Seine gave us great views and we enjoyed the sunny day.
Since we were so close to rue Cler one morning we went for coffee. It was too early for most shops but we did visit a lovely cheese shop and bought a selection which we enjoyed every afternoon before dinner.
rue Cler cheese shop had a wide selection
Gorgeous fruit display on rue Cler
We had a lovely and tasty lunch (Croque Monsieur) and a very decadent dessert at Angelina.
Someone had to test all those macaron flavors......
The Louvre glass pyramid in front of the original building which had been a palace.
We had a magical evening at a concert of Vivaldi's Four Seasons performed in the stained glass masterpiece of Sainte Chapelle.
An evening stroll on ile de la Cite by Notre Dame.
Art Nouveau decor and delicious food (including chestnut soup) at Bouillion Racine in the 6th arrondissement
You get an Eiffel Tower and you get an Eiffel Tower and you get an Eiffel Tower…
In late September my friend and former Stanford colleague Marilyn Hess and I took an amazing Viking River trip to China. We started in Beijing then flew to Xian to see the underground soldiers. Our next flight was to Chungqing where we boarded the Viking Emerald for a cruise on the mighty Yangtze. We finished the cruise in Wuhan and then flew to Shanghai for a few days before flying home. It was a great introduction to China and we were treated like royalty by Viking. We met many hospitable Chinese and both enjoyed all aspects of the trip.
Shibaozhai Temple along the Yangtze. It was built in 1819 and special precautions were taken to preserve it when the Three Gorges Dam was constructed.
Our tour included Beijing, Xian, a cruise on the Yangtze River and a stop in Wuhan before finishing the tour in Shanghai.
We were in Beijing for National Day-the annual celebration of their founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.
The entrance to Tianamen Square. There was lots of security and many excited Chinese tourists.
Famous artwork of Chairman Mao at the entrance to the Forbidden City.
Inside the Forbidden City
Inside the Forbidden City there were girls in traditional clothes checking their high tech phones.
Artist in her studio in the Liluichang District of Beijing.
People were welcoming and friendly everywhere in China.
We saw soldiers throughout our trip. They were always at full attention.
Our Viking group with Michael, our knowledgeable and fun tour manager.
This woman asked me to hold her baby so she could take my photo. Our tour guide told us that we might see folks from the country who had never seen a Caucasian in person.
A beautiful day on the Great Wall at Badaling
The Great Wall went on and on and on. Impossible to imagine that it was built by hand without any modern construction equipment.
We had fun on our rickshaw ride around the hutongs.
Kerry Hotel in Beijing was incredibly luxurious.
A celebration of the importance of horses ithroughut China's history. This was in Xian.
The underground warriors were amazing. I can only imagine what the farmers who came across them in 1976 thought when they found them will digging a well.
So far over 8,000 soldiers have been found in Emperor Qin's tomb.
Many horses were found alongside their men in the Xian dig.
Our first night on the ship in Chongqing.
Viking Emerald was a very comfortable ship.
We really enjoyed having a balcony.
I've never seen such long escalators, especially outdoors without any protection from the weather. They were completely packed with visitors going to the top of the Three Gorges Dam.
China's PeeWee Herman advertising an orange drink.
The Shanghai Museum had beautiful porcelain and a great gift shop.
The traditional Chinese Yuyuan Garden was first established over 400 years ago. It is a lush retreat from the crazy busyness of Shanghai
There was a modern shopping area along the side of the Yuyuan Gardens. Traditional architecture was used to remind visitors of the history of the area.
One of the first buildings at Yuyuan
I love this view which includes architecture which is several hundred years old with a glimpse of the modern Chinese flag.
Our trip to China was marvelous! Its rich history, kind and welcoming people, and excitement about the future combined to make a memorable adventure.
Our hotel in Shanghai was just a block from the Bund where historic buildings overlook the future across the river.
This photo was taken from the Bund looking back at our hotel with the flower on top.
The most amazing and colorful skyline I have ever seen!
We had lots of fun traveling together!
The view of the Blue Mosque from our hotel was gorgeous!
Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque
The tilework inside the Blue Mosque is lovely.
Outdoor version of the Grand Bazaar--much less crowded and with quality merchandise
Free-roaming cats are all over Istanbul.
Hookah pipes for sale at Arasta Bazaar
We saw these colorful lights in many shops throughout the city
Hagia Sophia at dusk
The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are separated by a park with some lovely fountains.
The pulpit from Hagia Sophia's cathedral past
The Arabic medallions were added when the cathedral was converted to a mosque.
Mosaic in Hagia Sophia entrance hall had been covered with plaster when the building was converted to a mosque.
The mosques were beautifully illuminated at night
The underground cistern was quite unique-damp and eerily lit
Occasionally concerts are held in the acoustically vibrant cistern
The head of Medusa was holding up some of the columns in the underground cisterns.
The phone "booths" looked like salon
Corn on the cob and chestnuts were on sale at carts throughout the city.
Gate of Salutation-main entrance to Topkapi Palace
The Topkapi Palace grounds are a very green oasis in Istanbul.
Harem means private area so it was for the family, not just for the concubines.
A room for some of the concubines
The emeralds in the Topkapi dagger were huge!
The weather was beautiful and the view from the Sultan's courtyard at Topkapi was gorgeous.
Istiklal Caddessi is considered the heart of modern Istanbul's social and commercial scene. It was crowded and had no green
Classic Turkish breakfast at McD's
The flower passage off Istiklal was a quiet haven.
There were many shopping streets off Istiklal with a variety of vendors
A demonstration in support of handicapped rights.
Galata Tower from the Bosphorus (DD photo)
Baccarat staircase inside Dohlmabace Palace
We saw more women in full coverage burqas than I expected.
Many of the mosques had park areas with fountains.
Overlooking the Marmara Sea from our hotel
Taking the tram across the Golden Horn on the Galata Bridge
Wedding Dress Road--a few miles of bridal shops!
Afternoon tea at the Pera Hotel with Pam and Mary
Beautiful mosaics in the Chora Church
Golden tiles in Chora Church
Lots of satellite dishes all over the city.
Lots of friendly folks in the Eminonu district
We met some very friendly kids on the walk from Chora Church.
Cobbler looking for business (DD photo)
A non-touristy neighborhood in Eminonu district.
Throughout the city we saw architetural remnants of Istanbul's art nouveau past.
Dohlmabace Palace from the
Traditional Turkish sweets (DD photo)
Our last view of the Blue Mosque from Sumengen Hotel roof terrace.
Vintage trolleys travel the length of Istiklal
Venice, Florence, Rome 2012
In September Meghan and I traveled in Italy to celebrate her graduation from University of the Arts. We met at the Frankfurt Airport and flew together to Venice where we had what felt like a long hike with our luggage from the boat stop to our hotel. The next day we met our fellow travelers to start the tour. After Venice we spent three days each in Florence and Rome.
The tour focused on art and history, but we also had free time to experience other unique aspects of life in Italy (like eating and shopping!).
Meg's first gelato in Italy
The walkways in Venice were narrow and often included drying laundry.
The boat races were fun to watch. It felt like all of Venice was gathered along the Grand Canal.
Classic view of the Rialto Bridge from a vaporetto
Calendar of hot priests--only in Italy!
View from San Marco
Evening Gondolier on the Grand Canal
One evening we ate outdoors at a cafe just off the Grand Canal
Very fresh fish in the Rialto Market
On the vaporetto just after going under the Accademia Bridge towards San Marco
On the Grand Canal approaching San Marco
Delicious cicchetti and Venetian spritz in a neighborhood bar
Not a tourist in sight!
The very colorful island of Burano
Even hearses are on the water in Venice
Our charming room in Torre Guelfa--our hotel in Florence
Cooking class was a fun highlight
Art is everywhere in Florence
Night view from hotel terrace.
Florence Duomo and Bell Tower
The gelaterias competed for impressive displays
Overlooking the Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi
A postcard view from atop La Rinascente department store
Lots of fun meals with our new friends
A view of Heaven in Umbria
Wine tasting at Tenuta le Velette winery in Umbria
Above the door into the winery's private chapel
The crowded Spanish Steps were our first introduction to Rome
The Trevi Fountain is gorgeous!
In the midst of the busyness there were quiet spots for a lovely dinner al fresco
You can't imagine Rome without a visit to the Coloseum
The Colosseum was originally covered with white Carrera marble. Now there are just some patches left. The white helps the black cats stand out.
Roman Forum-center of everyday life
St Peter's is quite impressive
Sad angel inside St Peters
View of pediment statues from inside St Peter's
View from the front of St Peter's Basilica
Papal seal in St Peter's
Our fellow travelers at Aberdeen Hotel in Rome
In October 2011 I spent a week in London. My temporary home was the lovely Lime Tree Hotel in swanky Belgravia. I had a very nice single room just above the lobby with a great view of the neighborhood. The hotel staff could not have been more hospitable. Belgravia is very convenient to various choices of public transport so it was quite easy to get around all parts of London,
The venerable Liberty's original Tudor style store
Lime Tree Hotel was in a great location and the staff was very
Peggy Porschen Bakery across the road from Lime Tree Hotel
Chihuly glass hanging in the entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum
Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones were fabulous in Driving Miss Daisy
Memorial honoring animals who served in Britian's wars
Having fun with the gummy people in Hyde Park
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
One of London's oldest pubs
Royal stair ornament at Tate Britain
One of my favorite John Singer Sargent's is at the Tate
On the shuttle boat between Tate and Tate Modern
Home of Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St Paul's
View of St Paul's and the Millenium Bridge from Tate Modern restaurant
Crossing the Millenium Bridge between Tate Modern and St Paul's
Gherkin--one of London's newer landmarks
Fortnum & Mason's already had their Christmas displays up
Ice cream in front of the British Museum
Bright central courtyard at British Museum
Some of the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon
The Portland glass vase was made between 5 and 25 AD
Frolicking in the fountain outside British Museum
A royal warrant is sought by many shopkeepers
Busy Picadilly Circus
Modern store window near Picadilly
Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery
Royal treatment for pets at Harrods. The crown bowls were $150 each!
Entrance to Harrod's Tea Room
Afternoon tea at Harrod's
Wonderful service at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey's stone facades had just been cleaned and never looked better.
Yummy luncheon inside Marks & Spencers
I loved this sign inside Covent Garden
I loved all the angels on this business
Imperial War Museum-lots of interesting interactive exhibits
Borough Market could have taken a whole day to explore
Cooking at Borough Market
Fresh fish at Borough Market
Traditional meat pies
Sunset along the Thames
Every London neighborhood on one taxi
In October 2010 I spent a week in Paris, staying at Hotel Bonaparte in the 7th--just around the corner from St Sulpice. Highlights of the visit were spending time with Diana, a former colleague from Stanford who now lives in Paris, and two walking tours with Paris Walks. The first was in the fashion district of Palais Royal. We toured several couturier shops and ended with a visit to Gallerie Vivienne. The other walking tour was on rue Montorgeuil, the wonderful market street by St Eustache. The tour included several tasting stops at a variety of vendors--cheese, chocolate, fois gras, pastry, patisserie. It was a great week in the City of Lights.
Rainy morning waiting for the bus
I.M. Pei's glass pyramid at the Louvre
Arc de Triomphe du caroussel commemorating some of Napoleon's victories
Relaxing in front of the Louvre on a sunny day
Even the lamp post bases are artistic
Joan of Arc statue on rue des Pyramides
Legendary Les Deux Magots cafe
One of many charming storefronts
There was often a queue across the street from my hotel
People were waiting to get into Pierre Herme
Creator of luscious pastry
rue Bonaparte in front of my hotel
Viaduc des Artes--galleries and workshops in a former water transport system.
Place des Vosges is a peaceful oasis in the Marais
Covered arcade around Place des Vosges
Handmade jewelry shop
Most delicious quiche
Evening along Blvd Saint Germain
The macaron colors in Paris are so vivid
Tasty north African food near my hotel
Public art is all over Paris
Fantasy Metro entrance at Palais Royale
High fashion at Palais Royal
Amazing red sole shoes!
Beautiful street lamps
Most graphic bathroom sign ever!
Corkscrew light fixture at Bon Marche
Delicious terrine for dinner
The view from dinner
Traditional cafe in fancy 16th arrondisement
View from lunch table at the Building Museum
Golden domes atop Printemps dept store
Galleries Lafayettes has a gorgeous glass dome
Lemon meringue tart at Printemps
Notre Dame at night
rue Montorguiel is a delightful pedestrian only street market
My walking tour of the market was excellent. We stopped in many shops for tastes and learned about the market's history
Fresh produce abounded
Handmade chocolates on rue Montorgueil
Artisanal French cheeses
Star patisserie on rue Montorgueil
Edible works of art
Dehillerins is a world-famous baking/cooking store
Unique sculpture outside St Eustache
Beautifully executed sculpture inside St Eustache
Crowds on the way to sunset at Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur steps are crowded with sunset viewers
Pink sunset from Sacre Coeur
Arc de Triomphe illuminated after dark
In front of the Arc de Triomphe
Enjoying a cafe au lait while waiting for Sainte Chapelle to open
Glorious Sainte Chapelle
Fleur de lis in Sainte Chapelle
Approaching Notre Dame
Nuns outside Notre Dame
Flying buttresses holding Notre Dame in place
Lock of love phenomenon started in Paris
Unobstructed view of Notre Dame
Booksellers along the Seine
The tiled storefront was gorgeous
Diana and I met at Bouillon Racine which has a lovely art nouveau interior
And delicious food
Beautiful roses in an artful display
Berlin, Prague, Vienna 2008
Berlin, Prague, Vienna 2008
Tim and I took a Rick Steves tour to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, and Vienna. For 12 days we enjoyed these unique, historic cities along with excellent guides and a group of 24 friendly and interesting fellow travelers.
Coledampf kitchenware store in Berlin
Our tour group at the Brandenburg Gate which separates East and West Berlin
Memorials to East Germans who were killed trying to cross over to West Berlin
Reichstag in Berlin
Legislators slain for opposition to Hitler on display in front of Berlin's Reichstag
Close up of the stones with the names of the murdered politicians
The plaques were in front of houses where Jews were taken and sent to concentration camps.
The little man (Ampellman )signal started in East Berlin and continues now throughout the city
German History Museum (more interesting than it sounds!)
The largest remaining section of the Berlin Wall
Soviet era murals of happy young communists
A mall in Berlin with striking tile designs
We bought souvenirs at the Ampelmann store
Jewish Museum in Berlin
The original Jewish Museum in Berlin
Striking Nefertiti bust--estimated to have been made over 3,300 years ago!
Rainy day in Dresden
Museum complex in Dresden
Largest porcelain tile mural in the world
Instead of the museum Tim and I went to the VW factory for a tour
Jewish cemetery at Thereseinstadt concentration camp
Litomerice, Czech Republic. Charming town where we had to pay for toilet paper in the public restrooms.
Sunset on the Charles Bridge in Prague
Small district under the Charles Bridge
Beautiful evening stroll around the city center
Foggy morning at Prague Castle
St Vitus looks old, but it wasn't completed until the 20th century--notice architecs above the door.
Sidewalk patterns changed throughout the city.
Another of the many sidewalk patterns
Inside St Vitus at Prague Castle
The neighborhood below Prague Castle
Beautiful sgraffito on older buildings.
Fun lunch outdoors at a brewery near Prague Castle
View of the Vlatava from Prague Castle
House symbol in Prague
Looking up in Prague's Old Town Square
A royal chandelier at St Nikolas in Prague where we heard a local small orchestra perform Brandenburg Concertos.
View from clock tower in Prague Square
Imperial hotel had gorgeous tile work (and amazing desserts)
Delicious coffee drinks at the Imperial
Mucha Museum was a treat
Cesky Krumlov was so charming
Lunch alongside the river
Unique shop signs in Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov pub
Entrance to Melk Abbey
Diorama showed the entire abbey complex
Melk Abbey combined old and new in their exhibits
Vienna's Design Museum was lovely and had several fascinating exhibits.
Landmark Arts and Crafts building
Beautiful tiles cover this Arts and Crafts masterpiece
Secession building in Vienna
Approaching Schonbrun Palace
Beautiful fall colors near Schonbrun
Looking toward Vienna from the Upper Belvedere
Couldn't resist photo of the bird
In March 2008 Mare and I spent a week in Amsterdam and some nearby towns. After an inauspicious start (my flight from SFO was cancelled so I missed our meeting in Chicago. I was put on a non-stop so I was just a little bit late arriving and we found each other at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.
We loved our hotel even though one night we had to endure the very nasty smell of floor stain from the common rooms. It was in an ideal location overlooking one of the major canals. The room was large and comfortable. We had breakfast each morning downstairs.
Amsterdam is a marvelous destination--charming architecture, fascinating history, and world class art. The Indonesian food is delicious but we also enjoyed some delicious main course pancakes.
We also took two great day trips--one to the lovely Keukenhof Gardens and Harlem and another to The Hague and Delft.
Bicycles are everywhere in Amsterdam
Hotel Brouwer-on the Singel Canal (a great, central location)
Built in 1652, the rooms have charm, character and modern plumbing
View of the canal from our room at the Brouwer
Canal view at night
Street are lined with unique storefronts
Lots of clever signage
Colorful flower boxes
More fun signage
We enjoyed a canal cruise
Swan's eye view
Albert Cuyp street market
Only in Amsterdam
We loved all the house signs
The fleur de lis reminded me of home
Home as a castle
Time is running out...
This stamp store was a favorite
The begijnhof religious community in Amsterdam
A bookstore with an unlocked bike out front
Amsterdam's unique red light district
We loved the vanGogh Museum--more of his paintings than any other museum in the world.
Best looking downspout in Amsterdam
A vintage windmill at the Kuekenhof Gardens
Gift shop covered with Dutch shoes
Tulips are the stars at Keukenhof
Lovely daffodils (jonquils??)
Official Keukenhof shoes
Although the trees were bare it was still a lovely view
Largest swans anywhere
More colorful tulips
Browsing in Harlem
We spent a very rainy couple of hours in scenic Harlem
Delicious warm apple bacon pancake for dinner in chilly rainy Harlem
They even had Dutch shoe shaped cheese
We had a few sunny days in Amsterdam
This iconic Vermeer is at the Maurishuis museum--a small, deep collection in The Hague.
This The Hague storefront stood out from its neighbors.
A bright surprise while walking up the stairs at de Bejinkorf dept store in The Hague.
Cathedral in Delft with memorial markers on the floor
Delft town square
Delft also had some clever store signage
Memorial to Dutch king with his faithful dog at his feet.
Browsing traditional blue and white pottery in Delft
Danube Christmas Market Cruise 2007
Eleanor and I loved our Danube cruise which included stops at several lovely Christmas Markets including:
Linz ( Abbey)
Durnstein in the Wachua Valley
A peaceful view in Wurzburg
Wurzburg was our first Christmas Market
It was crowded, but we didn't care...
Entrance into the classic Christmas village of Rothenburg
The displays in Rothenburg were lavish
Rothenburg Christmas Market where all the buildings were decorated.
Kathe Wohlfahrt is the pre-eminent Christmas shop
Magical tree inside Kathe Wohlfhart
Nuremberg stadium where Hitler addressed his most faithful followers.
Nuremberg housing was very traditional near the town center
A very traditional Christmas Market in Nuremburg
The most amazingly realistic marzipan treats (even the sausages were made out of marzipan)
The Christmas Market was just outside the Cathedral
The Danube near Regensburg
Handmade market in Regensburg
Unplanned stop in Deggendorf
Deggendorf's Market was crowded but we were pleased to find more handmade crafts
Passau had a great selection of warm caps
Each market we visited had some unique Christmas ornaments.
It was SOOO cold on the river
The ship, Amadeus Princess, could dock at some very small ports so we could just walk into the town
Overlooking Melk from the Abbey
Melk Abbey is a baroque masterpiece
If you look closely you'll see the Island of California
The impressive church inside Melk Abbey
We had a stop in the Wachau Valley, one of Austria's wine regions.
It was fascinating to experience the locks in the Danube
Artistic chefs on board
It was SOOO cold in Vienna. The Christmas market was at City Hall.
This seller had lovely nativity scenes
The booths in Vienna were among the fanciest we saw in the various markets.
A traditional jeweler in Vienna
Hofburg Palace in Vienna has a very impressive entrance
Vienna has beautiful statuary all over the city--lots of cherubs and musicians
Delicious Viennese pastries abounded
Unique colorful roof of St Stephens Cathedral in Vienna
We wish we could have seen the shooting stars at night
Only Vienna has such grand chandeliers
Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Luzern 2007
In June 2007 the Chancel Choir (plus friends and family) traveled to southern Germany, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Lichtenstein, Lucerne and Zurich. We sang in several venues and had lots of fun spending time together in this gorgeous region in Europe.
Gathering at SFO
Peggy socializing during the flight to Munich
Fairytale castle Neuschwanstein in Fussen, Germany
View from Neuschwanstein
Beautifully maintained flowers by Salzburg's city hall--looking towards the Castle
Salzburg Castle overlooks the city
View from the Salzburg Castle
Sherry, Avis and Maggie in Salzburg
A quick song in a completely marble room i City Hall--amazing acoustics!
It was fun to see our poster on display around Salzburg
Our concert at the Collegiate Church in Salzburg
We gave a short performance in the Salzburg Dom
Mozart's birthplace and childhood home
The store signs in the historic city center were beautifully made.
The Swarovski headquarters in rural Austria had many unusual presentations of crystals.
Neon exhibit inside Swarovski
We sang in a Catholic parish center in Innsbruck
The nuns were very appreciative audience members.
Al fresco dining after our concert in Innsbruck
After the concert in Innsbruck we enjoyed a delicious traditional Austrian dinner outside.
After breakfast John and I went looking for the Golden Roof. We finally found that we had actually eaten our dinner under the roof!
View from the boat on Lake Lucerne
A light-filled church in Lucerne where we performed during a German service.
Posing outside the church in Lucerne.
A short performance inside the Fraumunster in Zurich
Windows designed by Marc Chagall in Zurich
Neon walker in Zurich
Lunch overlooking Lake Lucerne with John, Mary and Nancy
Lucerne on a sunny day is so picturesque
Mountains surround the lovely city on the lake
Enjoying a boat tour of the Lake with Paul, Kathleen, Ed, Joel (and the rest of our group)
Lucerne is known for its feisty swans
Many buildings in Lucerne have beautiful paintings on their facades