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Monthly Archives: November 2014

EV Day #46 – Travel Day and Wrap up

Today we headed home. It was a very long, grueling day – 4am wake up, 3 hours from Budapest to London, running through Heathrow to avoid missing our connection (thus spoiling our plans for bringing our veggie food onto the plane with us AND loading up on Cadbury to bring home) another 11 hours in the air, topped off with a 2 1/2 hour trip from San Francisco to home (but at least we didn’t have to drive, so that helped!) By the time we arrived home, we were beat.

We’re already putting plans in place to avoid that much pain in the future.

This was the longest, most diverse trip we’ve ever taken, and we learned a lot.

1) It would be better for us to do the quietest part of the trip 1st. Going at warp speed for 4 1/2 weeks then slowing down doesn’t work. It SOUNDED like a good idea, but instead of being able to relax and decompress before coming home, it felt like watching grass grow much of the time in comparison to the busy-ness of earlier in the trip. Had we done it the other way around, we would have eased into the vacation, then gone 60 miles an hour at the end, and being home would have seemed relaxing!

2) Considering that we were packing for 3 separate two-week vacations in one “under 50#” suitcase each, we did a pretty good job of packing. I took only 3 pieces of clothing I didn’t wear, and they were pretty much “in case of” things, and I don’t regret taking them. I DO regret taking just a small backpack for carry on instead of a suitcase AND a backpack. We had literally NO space for souvenirs. I won’t be making THAT mistake again.

3) When deciding what art supplies to take, I really need to consider what type of a trip we’re taking. Ocean cruises, take art supplies. They get used on sea days. Any other kind of trip, chances are they’ll never see the light of day. This one, I never even unzipped my go bag! Not in 6 1/2 weeks! Had I left them home, I would have had at least a little space for buying a treasure here and there and taking another pair of shoes! The truth of the matter is, blogging and keeping photographs down to a manageable level is all the “art” I have the time and energy for on a land trip.

4) I REALLY need to keep up on the journal! I got way behind, and even though I eventually got caught up, I hate to think of how much I forgot between the time the events happened and when I got them on paper. I like to think I photograph everything, but I know there are things that aren’t able to be photographed that I want to remember.

And so we’re back to the real world, and will remain here until the end of the year, then we’ll be off on another adventure!

Let me end with a few more photos through my tattered lens! Okay, more than a few. I got carried away!











































Yeah. It was a great trip!

Gratitude Day #3:

I am extremely grateful for my health, at least so far. So many people I know are dealing with terrible health problems right now. I know it could be me at any time. But for now, I’m doing’ okay, and grateful for it.





EV Day #45 – Budapest, A Huge Surprise!

Although we still have a travel day tomorrow (so will technically still be on vacation!) today is the last REAL day of our European Vacation. And what a great way for it to end.

Budapest was not on my radar as a place that I WANTED to go. It just happened to be at the end of this cruise. Little did I know it would turn out to be the crown jewel of the river cruise (and maybe even the whole trip!)

The day started out as every day on the cruise did…arriving in port and spending a portion of the day touring the city we were in.

Budapest is quite a beautiful city. It has been ravaged over and over throughout its history, and sustained major bombing damage during WWII.  During its communist years most of the remaining art and other treasures were destroyed. But eventually, the most historic buildings were re-built. There were originally 3 towns that combined to form present day Budapest (pronounced Boo-duh-pesht) Buda, Obuda and Pest. A large portion of it is now a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, and cannot be modernized, leaving it to be one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe.






















One of our favorite sites to visit was Heroes Square, with its statues of historical people who played important parts in the long history of the area.








We went back to the boat for dinner thinking that the day was pretty much over, but unbeknownst to us, the best was yet to come.

After dinner we were invited to come up to the sun deck for a night tour of the city by river. We went up top to find that whole city was lit up like a Christmas tree – the castle, palaces, bridges and monuments were all aglow in a golden light. It was incredible. The photos don’t even begin to do it justice.












The weather was perfect. Clear, cool and dry. The Blue Danube Waltz was playing in the background, and all the while we sipped schnapps. Can you imagine it? It was so romantic.  And soul-touchingly beautiful.

What an amazing way to end an adventure.

But here’s the deal. Like I said, this was not even on my radar. And it makes me wonder how many other wonderful, amazing places are there out there that we don’t know about? For now I’ll have to imagine. We’re home for a couple of months before we hit the road (or sea) again…

DAY 2 – Gratitude:

I am grateful that we have been given the opportunity to live close to both our kids and their families! Both kids and their spouses have blessed us by allowing us to care for their children while they work (at least when we’re home!) and we feel so fortunate to be able to do that!


Art Every Day Month – 2014

In my life, art takes many forms.

I dabble in many mediums, a “jack of many arts, master of none…” And as much as I would LOVE to be really, really good at some art form (maybe even famous!) it just won’t work in my life. I am a creative magpie. I keep getting distracted by another shiny medium, and off I go, pursuing something else. And, as fun as that is, it doesn’t allow me to put in the hours, days, months, years necessary to hone my craft.

And really, that’s okay with me. I am happiest when I flit about. When I do one thing for too long, I get bored.

So. My “art” these days has been photographing and reporting on my travels to Europe. I take all the iconic photos that everyone would expect to see. But my eye is constantly scanning for an odd view, or a piece of something more interesting.











I’ve just about wrapped it up – just a few days to go – and I’ll be getting back to doing more traditional art! Hope you’ll join me as I get back into “Art Every Day.”

30 Days of Gratitude:

Today I’m feeling very grateful for having the means to travel!

EV Day #44 – Bratislava, Slovakia

Our trip is winding down – just a couple more days…

Today we docked at Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Like many countries in the area, it has medieval roots and has been a part of other countries in its past, including Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

We took a nice walking tour of the city, but it was pretty superficial. I didn’t feel like we learned much, although once again, it was a bonanza of photo ops.






























One of the things that is a big deal in this area is their “Golden Pheasant Beer.” We stopped at a little outdoor cafe to order a glass of wine and a beer, and Mr. Tattered (acting like he knew what he was talking about…) ordered a Golden “Peacock” Beer. The poor waitress was so nice. She didn’t even laugh at him (I did that for her!!!)



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