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Category — Travel


alps map

Our last night before joining the land-tour group was spent in Germany, in the resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.


On the way there, from Munich, we stopped at Ettal Abbey, a beautiful Benedictine monastery.

Ettal Abbey

One thing I noticed was that the monastery gift-shop sold not only wine but also beer. It was a pretty great gift-shop!

hotel zugspitze

We stayed at Hotel Zugspitze, which is named after the highest Alps peak in Germany.

cog wheel

I really wanted to take the cog-wheel cable up to the peak, but at 49.50 euro per person (about $126 total) … on second thought… no thanks!

hotel dining

I can just image how packed this sweet hotel must be during the popular ski season.

hotel fresco

Just as in Oberammergau, many of the buildings are covered in beautiful frescoes.


hunting fresco [

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August 9, 2016   No Comments

Germany and Austria

Linderhof ticket

As I mentioned in the last post, before we joined up with the land-tour portion of our river cruise, we were on our own. First in Munich with Hope & Nick and then in a rented car as we traveled toward Switzerland.

Linderhof Palace2

We visited two of the three castles of King Ludwig, king of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886.

Linderhof Palace

First we toured through the Rococo-style Linderhof Palace.

Linderhof Palace fountail

The grounds were especially beautiful with a breath-taking fountain.

Sleeping Beauty's castle (1)

Next we went through the fairy-tale Romanesque-style Neuschwanstein Castle.

Neuschwanstein Castle

It honestly looks like Sleeping Beauty’s castle!

Neuschwanstein kitchen4

Not surprisingly, my favorite part of this castle was the kitchen.

Neuschwanstein molds

Neuschwanstein kitchen5

Neuschwanstein kitchen1

I’d love to get my hands on all those copper pots and the vast variety of vintage molds!

Neuschwanstein kitchen jewels [

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August 8, 2016   3 Comments

Munich (München)

Hi there! I had planned to be posting all along our #europeanvacation. Now, more than ten days in – it turns out that I should have taken advantage of the opportunity while I had it. That opportunity would have been during our stay in Munich or during the Switzerland land-tour portion of our scheduled Rhine River Cruise. The problem was, I really didn’t have a moment of down time. I assumed that I’d have plenty of time and great internet access while we cruised down the Rhine River.

bad internet

Wrong! The internet access has been spotty, at best. That red sad-faced icon is what I mostly see. We are now docked in Mannheim, Germany and Dave is off for a look around the city, while I’ve stayed behind. I decided this was my chance, maybe my one and only, to get a post put up.

scenic pearl

Time is limited, so it will be a pictorial, for the most part.

We flew British Airways from Phoenix to London, changed planes and arrived in Munich the next day. We were greeted at the Munich airport by Dave’s cousin, Hope. I’d never met Hope and Dave hadn’t seen her since he was a teenager. Luckily, they’d connected on Facebook a few weeks prior, so at least they recognized each other.


Hope took us to our hotel, The Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, in the heart of Munich.

anticipation bike

The hotel is beyond lovely and the included daily breakfast is “just beyond!” I knew it would be when I spotted this adorable bicycle at the entrance to the restaurant!


hot dishes


more hots






The next morning, we were off and running with Hope and her charming husband, Nick. Hope, Nick and their two sons, Dylan and Owain, have lived in Munich for the last nine years. We could not have found better or more gracious hosts and city guides.

hope and nick

Their knowledge of the city and country were more than we could have ever wished for. Nick and Hope showed and shared with us EVERYTHING! We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.


Our one…

nick and dave

and only…




is that…

munich city gate

we did…

mother and child


monk with beer or bible


may pole

and spend…

mary's square

more than…


three days…

lucky lion

in Munich!

fancy b is ss


heavenly sky

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July 28, 2016   4 Comments

1800 Europe bound

gin tonic kit

This, my 1800th post, is being written at Sky Harbor International Airport at 7:00 PM on July 15, 2016. Dave and I are waiting for our British Airlines flight to London, continuing on to Munich to start our 2-week vacation.

gin tonic recipe card

By the time you read this, we will be done with Munich and on our way to Switzerland. We begin a land tour in Zürich and Lucerne before boarding an 8-day river cruise down the Rhine River which ends in Amsterdam.

I hope to write blog posts intermittently, but you can also follow our adventure on my Instagram page.

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July 20, 2016   2 Comments

popover to Austin

Austin, TX postcard mural

I’ve been in Austin, Texas all weekend, visiting Marissa. Actually, not just Austin, but Waco and Round Top too. So this week, along with the recipes from more than a week ago from our Easter supper, there will be a bit of Texas thrown into the mix.

The silo sign

Our first adventure was hopping in the car and driving to Waco, TX so that we could visit and shop at the Magnolia Market Silos.

inside magnolia market

You know, Magnolia Market, as in Joanna and Chip Gaines from the ever so popular Fixer Upper on HGTV.

Magnolia Market Silos

It was raining when we arrived, but it cleared up as the day went on.

magnolia market entrance

inside Magnolia Market Silos

We were nice and dry in shopping heaven, so the rain didn’t bother us anyhow!

Magnolia Silos

Here I am with my two little bags of purchases. I couldn’t go too crazy, since I flew to Austin, I could only buy as much as I could get in my suitcase.

Magnolia Market Garden Shop

That’s OK, maybe I’ll drive the next time. By then this sweet little Garden Shop will be open along with the Magnolia Bakery, which should be opening in the next month or so.

potting bench

After all, a girls needs goals!

cheddar popovers

Sharp Cheddar Popovers

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April 4, 2016   No Comments


We Made It!


I’ll start with that for Day Four of our road trip, we made it! The title above is the hashtag that Marissa and I have used for our Facebook and Instagram photos of the trip.

Most of the same photos have been used here, but if you want to check them out, feel free.

On Sunday, we once again met in the lobby of a hotel for breakfast, this time it was a Hampton Inn instead of a Great Western, but the complimentary breakfast was basically the same.

We were on the road by 7:00 AM, Dave and Jeff in the truck, pulling the trailer, while Marissa and I drove Jeff’s car.


Except for the damn dense fog for the majority of the day, it was a great drive. Plus, driving in fog with the light of day is so much better than driving in heavy fog in the black of night!


Our favorite part of the drive was Fredericksburg, TX! Thankfully, there was not fog in Fredericksburg, I would have hated to miss seeing this adorably quaint and beautiful town! Marissa and I already have plans for a day-trip or overnighter, on my next visit.


It’s in the Hill Country Wine region of the state. The area is referred to Tuscany of Texas, or at least we saw one sign proclaiming it to be so!



We were on a mission to get to Austin, so we didn’t stop, but it was tempting!


I can’t wait to get back there!

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March 2, 2015   7 Comments

road trip

My posts for the next week to 10 days will be sporadic.

long drive

For good reason! Twenty-five+ hours and 1757 miles of driving will be the reason.

Dave and I fly to San Francisco today to help Marissa and Jeff pack their lives into a U-Haul truck.  Then on Thursday, we’ll drive with them to their new life and jobs in Austin, Texas. We’ll be driving the southern route, shown on the map above.

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February 25, 2015   7 Comments

SF 10.0

drisco hh

Marissa moved to San Francisco on June 19, 2011. I figure I’ve visited her and written about my trips at least nine times in these last 3+ years. Hence the SF 10.0 title.

foggy bridge

The trip this past weekend was a wedding dress shopping trip. It was a success. We found the dress and had a glorious weekend, fog and all! (Do you see the Golden Gate peeking out in the background?)

pretty girls

Kaley, Marissa, Petra and I went to the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason, on Sunday afternoon.


There were so many wonderfully talented people selling unique, fun and beautiful things. Marissa and I each pick up a set of these adorable berry napkins, perfectly packaged in berry boxes and tied with twine. It’s all about the packaging!

ferry bldg

After the craft fair, the girls and I went to one of our favorite spots in the city, The Ferry Building.

1700 pounds

It was there that we ran across this enormous pumpkin named “Roxanne.” She won 2nd place in the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Competition, weighing in at 1707 pounds. Makes you wonder about the 1st place pumpkin!


Later that evening, Petra flew home to San Diego while Marissa, Kaley and I went to a new restaurant for dinner, Sons & Daughters. The Michelin one-star restaurant is not new, it has been open for four years, but it was new to us.

The menu is prix fixe and expensive. Very expensive. We enjoyed it, but there are so many terrific restaurants in San Francisco that don’t break the bank… I just can’t add it to my “highly recommended” list.

sons & daughter 5

Here are photos of our nine courses!

sons and daughters 4

The portions are tiny, but the meal is rich, satisfying and surprisingly filling.

cool plates

The beautiful and fun plates were almost as delicious as the food!

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November 12, 2014   2 Comments

wedding dress shopping in SF

white wedding dresses

Marissa and I, along with her maid-of-honor, Kaley, and two of her five bridesmaids, Petra and Jessica, went wedding dress shopping on Saturday.

We visited two bridal shops and although the girls and I thought Marissa looked beautiful in nearly every dress, we have yet to find The One.


Marissa’s attendants were so helpful in finding dresses to try on! I just sat back and watched as they helped her choose dozens of dresses. What I loved most was how open she was to their choices. I knew some were not her style, but she gave all the dresses a fair shot.

I am not permitted to show you Marissa in any of them, but these “bottom half” photos will give you a small glimpse into our Saturday.

4 dresses

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November 10, 2014   3 Comments

Carlsbad, CA

We own a week at a timeshare in California. In Carlsbad, which is north of San Diego, to be specific. We haven’t used our week there the last several years, having rented it out instead. The main reason we haven’t used it is because we’ve either been vacationing elsewhere that same week or have just returned home from a big trip, such as Hawaii last year and Alaska the summer before.

carlsbad inn

It was the same situation again this year, having returned from Ireland only a week before our Carlsbad week began.

Well, this time around, I decided to use it anyway. Dave and Connor both had to return to work but since I don’t have classes to teach, I asked Peggy to come with me and we are here and we’re having a ball.

The week is from Saturday to Saturday, but since we both had commitments on Saturday, we drove out early on Sunday morning. Here is my day-by-day account of our trip so far:

Sunday – Friends and Family Day

wind farm

We were on the road a little after 7:00 and it was smooth sailing as we crossed the Arizona/California border. The California desert skies were cloudy, gray, and beautiful!

storms a brewing

Then things got a little more serious as the clouds were so low and so thick that this is what we encountered.

low visibility

A bit of rain and very low visibility! We made it through all that and arrived at “The Inn” just before 2:00.  Marissa was in town, visiting high school and college friends, Kaley and Petra. Elementary school friends, Lindsey and Alyse, also came to town for the girlfriend summer reunion.

beach girls

Add to that, high school friend, Julie, who is pregnant with her second, is staying right here at “The Inn” with her entire family… and you have not only a girlfriend reunion, but a brief mother and child reunion too!

When the girls arrived, they came up to our room for a “welcome” glass of wine before going down to the beach to meet up with Julie.


After beach time we all had dinner at Norte Mexican Food, which is adjacent to the property. Then the girls were off, insert sad face here.

ocean sunset

We’ll end Sunday with a beautiful California ocean sunset, photo courtesy of Peggy.

Monday – Foreign Adventure Day

Peggy’s had an itch to go to Mexico for a while now. She just bought a new house and it has a lot of Mexican/Southwest flair. We decided it made sense to drive from Carlsbad to Tijuana (56 miles, 1 hour drive) instead of from Scottsdale to Nogales (183 miles, nearly 3 hours) so off we went.

good food

We had fun shopping and eating and drinking, especially eating and drinking! I always forget just how great Mexican food is in Mexico. Go Figure! The Mexican flag guacamole was outstanding and pretty darn cute and the shrimp ceviche – delicious!

peggy in tijuana

All was good until we decided it was time to leave Mexico. We sat in the line of cars at the border for FOUR (4) hours, I kid you not. It was horrible!


You move soooo slowly that there are vendors set up between the lanes of cars and they are selling everything you can imagine; ceramics, churros, dulces, tostilocos, burritos, elote, lawn ornaments, purses, toys, everything you can image! There are hundreds of them and even more of you, sitting trapped like prisoners in your own car. Let me say that four hours is a long time to sit after drinking beer all afternoon, if you know what I mean. It was torture!


We were happy when we finally saw the border, but it still took nearly 35 minutes from this spot. My advice? NEVER drive into Tijuana. Park your car and walk across! Live and learn.

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August 7, 2014   10 Comments