Thursday, October 31, 2019

Five Things Thursday

Well, I tried to set up a post for today and tomorrow, but something is wrong. I cannot access my photos. I'll have to deal with it when I get home.

Yes, I'm leaving again!! Tomorrow, I'm going with a couple friends (Nancy and Pam) to the Memory Make Inn. We're meeting Janet there for a scrapbooking weekend. The place is in Lebanon, Illinois. If we like it, we'll go again in February rather than all the way to Kinderhook in Barry, IL. That's 7 hours from Nashville, where as Lebanon is 4 hours and 20 minutes.

I'm looking forward to actually relaxing on this trip! After our busy vacation, relaxing will be a fun change.

So, until I get home---I hope you have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

What I Buy Wednesday

Of course there were souvenirs from our trip. I've added Prague, Austria and Budapest to my Starbucks mug collection. We didn't see any in Germany. Even when I checked Amazon, they did not have this style for Germany. :(
On the other hand, I am obsessed with these vintage Christmas trees I found in Germany. They had all different sizes and designs. They were so hard to pick out. I really wanted 3, but convinced Butch to pay for one as my social security allowance is running low!! Getting 3 would have been way too extravagant!! They are vintage from 1929 and contain all hand-placed Bavarian and Swarovski crystals. I know, I keep saying I don't need any more stuff, but these made me so happy. The merchants were so nice. Turns out, the three stores I was deciding amongst, were owned by the same family. One gal literally walked me around the block while leaving her store unattended so I could compare some of them side-by-side to decide.
And it wouldn't be a European trip if I didn't buy tea!! Vienna tea from Schonbrunn Palace.

I bought a few other things, but they are to be Christmas presents. I'll have to share those after Christmas!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Travel Tuesday

Okay, here goes! I have so many pictures and it's kind of hard to remember exactly where they are all from. Yes, my iPhoto gives the exact location, but that would mean having to look at each one. When I move them in to albums, they "jumble up." I'm sure it's because I don't know what I'm doing.

I've narrowed the pictures down to my best 100! Only kidding. Well, maybe not. I'm going to put them in to categories.

Here's the thing about a cruise like this. You basically get an overview of many countries. There's no time to do it all. Steph felt like she'd rather do one place and do it well rather than a little here and there. We all agreed, but also said that you just have to realize going in that you can't do that if you do a cruise. There are so many great things about a cruise. We have been spoiled by the smaller boats and all-inclusive aspect. There were 110 passengers on this trip. You don't pay for anything (well actually, you do---but not after the cost of the trip). All excursions, alcohol, food and tips are included. The staff greets you each time you get on the boat with a warm towel and many times a cocktail too. When you leave for the day, they pass out bottles of water. And the beds!!! OH! MY! GOSH! They were the most comfortable beds we've ever slept in. They were fully adjustable with the softest linens. I want one for home!

We flew in to Prague. That was our favorite place. Not surprising since we added an extra day here. That gave us 3 full days. We did ALL the big things and ALL the little things that Butch found. He spends hours planning our trips.

We went to Prague, Ragensburg, Nuremburg, Passau, Salzburg, Linzst, Melk, Durnstein, Vienna,  and ended in Budapest

Without further ado, here are the highlights.

The Views
 We're in the beautiful little town of Durnstein, Germany right on the Danube.
 This is the moat view from the castle in Prague.
 Just a stroll down the street in Melk.
 Bridge with love locks in Salzberg, Austria.

 View from the tower overlooking the Charles bridge in Prague.

 Little Venice in Prague.
 Little Venice.
 The stroll in to Durnstein.
 Views from the castle ruins for the next several shots.

 This is my view of the castle ruins. I so badly wanted to do it, but knew I couldn't.

 And, of course, we saw a few beautiful gardens.

 View looking out our stateroom window.
 Overlooking Budapest.

 Budapest out the window behind us in the boat's lounge.
 Enjoying the views from our room.
 Little Venice.
 Don't remember.

Butch took the hike to the castle ruins.

The Churches
There are so many churches---they've all blended together. After awhile, you sigh and say, "ABC---Another Beautiful Church!" Still, it's the truth. Each one is gorgeous.
 Don't remember.
 Don't remember.
 Church in Prague at night.
 This is the original Infant of Prague. There's a story behind this.
As we were wandering around Prague, I kept seeing these little statues, pictures and holy cards everywhere. All of a sudden, on our last day, it hit me. The Infant of Prague! And we were in Prague. When I told Butch I "finally get it", he said that he had no idea what it was but that the church that housed it was here. We found it via an internet search and decided to take the hike to see it in person. I'm so glad we did. Although it was ABC, I felt privileged to be able to see this in person.
 I'm pretty sure this is the outside of The Church of Our Lady Victorious where the Infant of Prague resides.
 Don't remember.
 Don't remember.
No clue.
 Don't remember.
 Don't remember.
 Don't remember.
 No clue.
Don't remember. Seriously, we saw at least 50 churches and abbeys and toured about 10!

The Food
 We did local food in the market in Prague. I've noticed that in many places--even here--some people say tasted cheese sandwiches where as I say grilled cheese.
 This booth had it covered both ways. I got it and it was delicious! And big and gooey! I didn't get a picture.
 Butch went for then sausage. It was HUGE!
 This is some sort of local pastry that is cooked over coals. These booths and storefronts were everywhere.
 It has fruit on the bottom and ice cream on top. We got it on our last day in Prague. It was good, but Butch agreed that what I picked the day before was better.
 I got the mini pancakes. Just watching them make the minis was part of the fun.
 I picked bananas and strawberries with chocolate and whipped cream.
 It was delicious. We saw these in Greenwich, England, but didn't get them. I'll be getting them from now on. In fact, I'm making them for Thanksgiving for the family.
As soon as I saw this, I knew I wanted one. They take a single potato and make potato chips out of it. The only problem was that you had to be careful with it as it was easy for part to crumble off.
Butch and I shared this sausage. When I say it was a foot long, I mean at least 14 inches! Loaded with sauerkraut, red cabbage, pickles and hot mustard.
 After an abbey tour, we were treated to beer and pretzels. Of course I always had Coke light!

 Stephanie and Nicky learned how to make "apfel strudel"--spelled differently than we do.
 Or you can spell it d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!
 Where as Diet Coke is called "Coke Light", Diet Pepsi is called "Pepsi Max".
The food on the boat was incredible. Everything was so good. The other thing we liked was that the portion sizes were reasonable rather than so large you had no choice but to either waste or overeat! Believe me, 3 big meals a day is overeating. The eggs Benedict---full lunches and then much food.
 This is the oldest restaurant in Vienna.
 Running continuously since 1447! That isn't so unusual in Europe, but it blows my mind.
Of course I had the "weinerschnitzel"---I had it every chance I could, but this was by far the best! Sadly, there was no red cabbage or spaetzel. The German potato salad is under the greens and was delicious.
On our last day in Budapest, we decided to have a light lunch by ordering a charcuterie. It was so much! This was supposed to be for 2. We 4 shared it easily. We were saving room for the surprise Butch had planned for our final dinner.
We ended our trip with dinner at the New York Palace Hotel Cafe. They had an orchestra playing in the background. The restaurant was so beautiful. The food was good, but we were all pretty tired and didn't really appreciate it. Nicky's fish was cold, so he sent it back thinking they could just "zap" it. Instead, they made it over from scratch. We ended up having to wait quite awhile.

Okay, that's enough for today. It's taken me 4 hours to do this much!! My pictures are difficult to maneuver on this old computer. I might need to break down and get a new one soon!

I'll finish up next Tuesday.