Sunday, December 23, 2012

I did it again!

This weekend was the Christmas event for Jill and Eric to come down.  We had a great, great time, but I forgot (again) to take a picture of the two of them.  I get so excited about having them here that I can have the camera right beside me and STILL forget to grab a picture.

So I am sharing one that they shared with me from their Hawaiian trip.

Other than forgetting the picture, things went very well.  They came down on Friday night with the “boys” and we visited for awhile before hitting the hay.  The next day I got dinner ready (ham, scalloped corn, fruit salad, mashed potatoes, etc); Candy and Wayne came over and we had a good meal, if I don’t say so myself.  Jill helped prepare and we visited while working.


The rolls didn’t turn out - I followed a recipe to make the rolls, freeze them, thaw them out and bake.  Well, the insides were nice but the outsides were tough ... not doing THAT again!  It would be better to make the rolls, bake them, freeze them, thaw them out and warm.  The left over rolls will be cut up to go into the dressing (stuffing? ... what do YOU call it?).

Candy and Wayne headed home early because it was cold and windy and starting to snow some.  The rest of us sat around the wood stove and opened our presents.  Norm and I got a really nice picture of the family cabin my folks had had in the Black Hills while the girls were growing up.  It was done by printing a picture on a laser printer then put onto a board with some special glue.  Looks really different, really neat!  Norm got a wonderfully warm sweatshirt (he says he was really warm in church, kids).

And me?  I got a website of my own!  Yup, boys and girls ..... my very own page.  Eric is planning on what to do but this blog is now able to be connected directly by typing in http://cpthegreat.com/ ... cool, huh?  Exciting!
 

It got cold overnight, and will be getting colder as Christmas gets closer.  Most of us stayed inside, nice and warm, while Norm bundled up and did chores and worked outside.  We had a great visit; they showed us the Hawaiian pictures and some videos; we played with the dogs and talked.  I bragged and showed them Freya, my new loom.  For non-fiber folks, they seemed impressed (she’s impressive to anyone, even without any weaving on her!). 

Fortunately, I’ve gotten almost all my weaving presents done.  I have one last towel to make but I won’t see the recipient until this next week, so I should be able to get it done in time.  I still can’t show the ones that are wrapped until Christmas is over but I can show you the one that is on Freya at the moment.


The temperature this evening is a “warm” 11º out with a lovely covering of snow on the ground.  The moon “on the breast of the new-fallen snow gives the lustre of mid-day to objects below.” 

And so I leave you on this Sunday before Christmas with wishes of warmth, love and peace.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Now, THIS is why I wanted an eight harness loom!


 Yes, I know it’s been awhile, again!  But I’ve been busy.  I have gotten 1 bread cloth, 2 towels and am on my 3rd towel on Freya.  I tell you, people, she is a DREAM to weave on!  I have been neglecting my other looms because of her, but promise them, faithfully, that I will get back to them when I am done with Christmas presents on Freya.

Other than weaving, let’s see what has been happening.  Not much until December 7th. Then we headed up to the cities for the weekend.

We got to Joy’s on Friday in time to pick Bitty up from college.  What a strange feeling, to watch all these college students coming out of the door and then see my favorite granddaughter (with brown eyes) come out the door!

Joy had shopping to do and took me to Trader Joe’s.  Now, I’ve heard of that place but have never gone, so it was a new experience!  It’s just like almost every other grocery store, yet different.  I was impressed with the produce department and the meat department.  Organic and yet not very expensive, comparatively!

As Joy was running errands in several stores, the girls and I sat in the car visiting.  And saw the first snowflakes coming down.  By the time we got home, the ground was covered with snow.

We were a little concerned about the traffic and visibility because Norm and I went over to a restaurant just off Highway 35E to meet Jill and Eric for dinner.  We had a great meal, great talking and a great time.  By the time we headed home, the snow had lessened and we got “home” to Joy’s faster than we had gotten to the restaurant.

Saturday was busy, as Joy’s father-in-law, Bill, was getting married.  He has been a widower for 14 years, so it was nice to know that he now had a partner in life again.  The wedding was at the church, then the reception was at the senior apartment building that Bill and new wife Cely are in.

Saturday night was just collecting thoughts and energy.

Sunday was church.  The snow had started up at midnight on Saturday and was still coming down.  Ken decided to drive the car as it carried more people than the 4-wheel-drive.  Coming home, he couldn’t get the car out of the parking lot so caught a ride home with someone with a 4-wheel-drive, got his out and transferred people a few at a time - luckily the church is only 5 minutes away.

Ken got out the bobcat and cleaned the driveway and road, loving every minute of it.  The rest of us counted inches of snow and decided that we would NOT go to the ballet (Nutcracker) that afternoon.  Instead, we rented a Nutcracker from Amazon Videos and enjoyed the music and dancing while safe at home.

Norm and I had planned on heading home after the ballet on Sunday night because Norm had a dental appointment on Monday morning.    I called the dentist and canceled.  We called Candy and she said that she didn’t even know how much snow they got but the roads had to be closed .... she couldn’t even see the road from her house.

So, we headed home on Monday morning, after rush hour traffic was over.  Joy’s place got a total of 12"!  The roads were reasonably good .... didn’t take much longer than normal - well, about an hour longer - and had very little trouble on the roads.

When we got home, our road had been plowed and our lane was not too full of snow.  Norm figured we got about 5" but more wind that the cities.

Now we are home; I have the wood stove cooking warmly and the loom clicking along speedily.  And today is 12/12/1212!  What do you think about that?

Here are some pictures of the wedding to share with you.



The family with Bill and Cely

The girl cousins


 



 Bitty was the second girl born in the extended family.  Her cousin in purple was the first.  There are a lot of boys, but just look what Bitty started!  A whole gang of girls!

Snow at Joy's


 It’s a beautiful snowy, sunny day today.  You have a beautiful day.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Back again

Guess it’s been a while ... my mom has been fussing about the lack of posts here.  But I HAVE been busy, so that might be an excuse, right?

Norm and I went to my weaver student’s house a little over two weeks ago and got my loom, who will be called “Freya.”  Freya is the mother goddess of the Nordic gods and is the goddess of weaving and spinning.  She is made of maple wood and is nearly brand new.  Darlene used her a bit but not much and they have taken great, GREAT! care of her!  They wouldn’t let her out of the house unless we brought a trailer because (unlike Norm’s assurances) she would not fit in our mini-van.

So we went down with the trailer and got her in.  Norm was surprised at Freya’s heaviness.  But Nordic goddesses are not light-weight in body or powers, so I wasn’t surprised!

We got the loom up into the studio and set up (I had worked hard to re-organize the studio so that there would be room for her without having to tear down any other loom) and I sat and grinned for the rest of the day.

There were a few things missing ... the most important were the tie-downs.  Now, to those of my fans who understand weaving, this would not be complicated but to the other million fans who don’t, let me try to explain.

A harness loom has harnesses and heddles and treadles (or levers) to make the patterns that are so enjoyable to weave.  Freya is a “Mighty Wolf” and has eight harnesses and ten treadles.  To make the whole contraption work, you take tie-down cords and connect them from the harnesses to the treadles, so when you press your foot on one treadle, a complicated (or not) set of harnesses go up to allow you to put your weft yarn through your warp yarn.  Understandable as mud, isn’t it?  Trust me ... it works.

But Freya, having eight harnesses needed enough tie-down cords to connect to the ten treadles, making eighty tie-downs!

I ordered them, and while waiting, got my warp ready to put on the loom.  I went through the reed, then through the heddles and got the warp tied to the back beam and ready to roll.  It takes two people to roll as you need someone in the back rolling and someone in the front holding the yarn to keep the tension properly tight.

Norm went to Rapid City to be with family for Thanksgiving - his sister Betty was celebrating her fiftieth wedding anniversary to brother-in-law Ed.  I could have had Candy come help roll, but I wasn’t ready, so Norm rolled when he got home.

I got the tie-downs and had to lie down on the floor to get the cords connected to the treadles and harnesses.  That took two days (or parts of) because I couldn’t stay down there very long.  But the hardest part is done and I won’t have to do anything but change the tie-downs for different patterns and that isn’t has hard as putting the cords on.

So now the warp is rolled on, everything is working well and I am actually weaving!  Freya is a work of art!  The Schacht company that makes the Wolf family (Mighty, Baby and Pup) have been working on these looms for over thirty years and have gotten them so very finely tuned that I can’t find anything to complain about except that I need longer legs to stretch from treadle one to treadle ten.

Now I am already planning what’s next on for Matilda.  I have the project planned, have ordered the yarn and am almost ready to re-warp her.  I am working on a patriot runner on Cherry and am tying on a wool warp on Harriet-Dare.  So I will have much to do (and little time to do it) up in the studio.  I am so grateful that: 1. We have a large room for my studio and 2. Norm allowed me to claim and use that room.  We have good lighting, with spot lights on each loom; we have a good wood floor that is bright to help reflect light; we have a large west window for light and pretty yellow walls.  The whole room is bright and cheery and pleasant to be in.

I have been asked by some if I’m going to sell a loom.  NO!  NO!  NO!  I have rearranged the room to fit everything in with no crowding.  I was willing to sell Harriet Dare if I had to purchase Freya.  But because I am trading lessons for Freya, I don’t need to sell any looms to pay for her.  I have five (count them, FIVE) looms; they all have projects on them and I can go from loom to loom to loom to loom to loom, if I want or if I get bored (what, me bored?) with one project.

The true happiness in life comes from being happy in what you are doing and what you have.  My sister Cara told me that in a dream last year, to remind me of what I have.  And I am truly happy.  I have time, I have tools, I have ability and I CAN WEAVE!

It’s a beautiful day today for anything you want to do.  I am going back up to weave again.  You have a beautiful day.


Darlene is saying goodbye

It's bigger than he thought!

In the trailer, covered well.


Home and getting it out


Set up ... blanket was used to slide into place.  Do NOT look at the mess!


Treadles and tie-up to harnesses ... 1/2/3/4/left-tabby/right tabby/5/6 etc

My bread cloth

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shopping

Last Wednesday was the monthly visit to Mankato for my sister and I.  We live an hour and an half from the closest “cheap” stores.  Mankato and Marshall have Walmart and great grocery stores, but only Mankato has a Sam's Club.  And it’s got a great pet store.  Our closest stores are: fifteen minutes to a so-so-price store and half an hour to a little-bit-better store.

So once a month, I drive over to pick Candy up and then she drives my van.  (She’s the youngest ... I get to be pampered! ... Well, actually, she likes to drive and I drive if I have to.)  It’s a day out without the boys telling us where to go and what to buy.  It’s a chance to have a fun lunch and look at things we would buy if we ever win the lottery.

It’s a chance to catch up on happenings around our homes and with what is happening with our hubbys.  Not that we don’t talk or see each other more than that once-a-month outing but we don’t tend to talk DEEP thoughts at other times.  Three hours in a car (round trip) gives us a chance to do so.

We always stop at Lake Crystal (a little more than half way) to get something to drink and a doughnut and, sometimes, gas for the van.

The schedule is almost always the same .... small store shopping, lunch, grocery store, Sam’s, Walmart, home.  This time we went to Cubs, which had been my grocery store of choice when I lived in the Cities.  However, this Cub was a disappointment this time ... we get fresh veggies and fruit and deli meats and meat at either Cub or Hy-Vee.  The meat department was a total loss.  I wanted sliced ham for lunch meat and all they had was “processed” ham - no “real” ham unless you bought a ham with bone.   So next time we will go to Hy-Vee and see if they are better.

Lunch is a fun time.  We have so many choices for eating.  Sometimes we splurge and go to Olive Garden; once we went to Old Country Buffet for their lunch special, but never again.  Even though you are limited as to WHAT you get, you are not limited to HOW MUCH you can get and we both suffered greatly afterwards ... it’s so hard to say “enough!” there.  There is a Panera’s, a Culvers, Godfather’s Pizza, Pizza Ranch, Arbees, Taco John’s.  All kinds of choices!  In our little neck of the woods, there is McDonalds and Hardees and one Happy Chef.  So we find a fun place and sit and relax, have good food and talk some more before heading out for the rest of the day.

Sam’s is great because we can get things in bulk and (most of the time) it’s cheaper than anywhere else.  But you do have to watch prices because sometimes they sneak something in that is cheaper elsewhere.

Walmart is not our favorite place to shop.  I don’t like the attitude of the owners towards their employees, I don’t like that you can’t get “other” stuff.  In fact, Mankato’s Walmart has dropped their greeter; no longer is there a retired or handicapped employee at the door to show you where things are, put carts away, etc.  They put one or two brands on the shelf and there is very little choice.  Mankato has re-arranged the store and it doesn’t make sense.  Candy comes out of the Walmart in a bad mood every time, because it’s so hard to find things or there is nothing on the shelf.  We go there, mostly, because the dog and cat food is cheaper there.  We do not get many meats, no fresh vegetables or fruits.  And we do read labels so we only get American made products.

Then it’s time to head home.  I get two big York peppermint patties for energy for the way home and to thank Candy for driving, we usually grab a water each and then take off.  Wayne meets Candy at the door and we get her unloaded.  Norm is usually home before I am so he meets me and helps me unload.

Once in a while, Norm or Wayne want us to stop at Menards to get something but unless it’s an emergency, we refuse.  The van is so packed with STUFF that we normally don’t have room for any extraneous stuff!

Then it’s store-bought pizza for supper and we’re done for another month.  A fun, busy day.  I wouldn’t change the shopping time with my sister for the world!


A light day of shopping!  Usually it's twice as much or more.  Notice the dusty van!  Gravel roads will do that to a car.

It’s a beautiful fall / spring day here today.  You have a beautiful day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It’s Veterans’ Day


I have to mention this before the day is over.  Today is the honoring of veterans, both living and deceased.

The reason that today is THE day is because of World War I (One).  This was the "War to End all Wars."  Many people thought that after this war was over, there would be no more because of all the death and destruction that it had caused.

An armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.  This is now considered the end of that war.

Unfortunately, there was a second World War!  And other wars followed!  In 1926, President Roosevelt signed in a resolution making the 11th of November a National holiday.  It has been held as such ever since.

Of course, if the holiday falls on a weekend, then you get a 3-day weekend.  However, (so far), the “powers-that-be” have not decided that this needs to be a permanent 3-day weekend.  Hopefully, the 11th is an honored enough date to protect it.

On this day, I want to thank all the men and women from the past and present who have given their all for our freedom.  This includes those from the Revolutionary War, who struggled to bring this great country into being.  And all the wars following, to protect America from those who want to take our freedom away.

I need to personally thank: my father, Charles L Childs I, retired Air Force, who fought in World War I (oops, II - TWO) and the Korean War; my brother, Charles L Childs II, Army - deceased, who fought in Vietnam; my husband, John Norman Peterson, former Army, who served during the Vietnam era; my brother-in-law, James Darrell Peterson, former Army, who fought during the Korean War; my brother-in-law, Wayne Taft, former Navy, who served during the Vietnam era.

I also have many cousins and friends who served and / or fought during these times.  I want to thank them, as well.

This is a time to think of our freedom, bought and paid for by the blood and sacrifice of many who were willing to step up and take blows for our sakes.

Thank you, everyone!  God Bless America and all who live and love here.

Happy Birthday, Beanie!


My youngest, my baby, was born on November 11th, 19**; age is avoided to protect the innocent .... ME!  If you knew how old my baby was, you’d know how ancient *I* am!

We were in Australia when Jill was born, which was an adventure in itself!  The hospital was very small and there were only about 6 to 8 mothers and babies at the time Jill and I were there.  We would walk down to the nursery and collect our babies in their little roll-cot, take them back to the rooms and feed them there, then take them back to the nursery.  If we were sleeping, tired or lazy, a nurse would bring the babies to us.

One day a nurse brought my baby and I was feeding her when I looked more closely and said “This isn’t MY baby!”  I got out of bed, put her in the cot and headed down to the nursery.  I met another mother heading that way, too.  She had the wrong baby, as well!  The nurse had not looked at the wrist band closely and had switched babies.  We have teased Jill sometimes about how she might not be ours, as the switch went the wrong way.  They looked very much the same ... dark hair, dark-ish complection.  But that baby was just NOT mine!

But trust me, even if the babies look almost identical, a Mom can know which one is hers!

Jill was about 3 months old when she got her nickname.  Norm kept calling her “Silly Jill” which morphed into “Silly Jilly,” then “Silly Jelly,” “Jelly Bean” and finally Jilly Bean.  So now she is “Jilly,” “Bean,” or “Beanie.”

Jill is, and always will be, my baby.  Mom’s know this .... no matter how old your child is, your youngest is always your baby! 

Norm and I are very proud of her.  She works for a checking writing company (you know the ones ... they figure out your taxes and write the checks you get from the company you work for).  She has worked there for almost 10 years (if I’m counting right).  She started on the low rung of the ladder and has climbed up quite a bit.  She isn’t a supervisor or boss, but she’s doing very well in the company.

I am sharing two pictures with you.  The first one was taken when she was about 5 — she got a brand new bike for her birthday.  As you can see, the training wheels are still on, but it didn’t take long before they were taken off.

The second was taken when she was about 10.

Happy Birthday, Baby!  May you have many, many, many more delightful years to make us proud.  We love you!


Friday, November 09, 2012

And now onto other things

I’ve been lax, again ... sorry!  Things have been piling up around here.  And then with the election ..................  Well, that is over and we are heading on.

I have some exciting news to share.  Early this fall, I was asked to re-teach a weaver who has had a stroke.  I believe I mentioned this?  Darlene was a master weaver and I feel very humble trying to teach her when I know that she had HAD such skills and knowledge before the stroke.

She has two looms.  One is a twenty-four inch, four-harness “Baby Wolf” by Schacht; the other is a thirty-eight inch, eight-harness “Mighty Wolf,” also by Schacht.  I have wanted an eight-harness loom for ever-so-long and now, my friends, I WILL have one!

Darlene and her daughter, Jan, have agreed to trade me the Mighty Wolf in exchange for lessons.

Here is a picture from the Schacht web page to show you what it looks like.

I am in the process of looking for books and patterns and am excited but nervous about starting a new skill.  Eight-harness looms allow you to do so many different patterns.  I will be sure to show you as I learn!

Another exciting bit of news is about my favorite oldest granddaughter (with brown eyes).  Bitty has been nominated and accepted in the National Honor Society.  She was inducted this past week.  I have some pictures to show, but have blacked out her name, as requested by her mother. 

As you know, many bloggers will either not show faces of their beautiful children or grandchildren or will not post their true names.  This, unfortunately is because of stalkers who browse the web looking for innocents to prey upon.  I am one of these and so is my daughter.  No, not stalkers .... concerned parents / grandparents! 

But I CAN show you some pictures to enjoy.




This award is not only exciting because it honors her hard work in school but it will allow her to have a better chance at getting scholarships later on for college.

And, have I told you that she is not only in her junior year of high school but is also taking her first year of college?  Minnesota is one of the states (I don’t know if all others do this or not) that allows high school students to “share” high school and college at the same time. So when Bitty graduates from high school, she will have two years of college under her belt.  It’s hard work and she is constantly doing school work but she is (obviously) doing a great job and she loves it.

Another bit of news is that Jill and Eric went to Hawaii for two weeks in October.  Eric’s folks were celebrating their anniversary and chose to go to Hawaii to renew their vows.  They took both their sons and wives along with.  So Norm and I baby-sat our grand-puppies, Remy and Hank for almost three weeks.  It was a hectic time but fun.  The “boys” keep Peanut on her toes and me, too.  They were used to getting up early in the morning, so sometime between five and six, Hank was pushing his nose in my face saying “Get UP, Grandma!” 

Remy is Beagle and Basset (we think) and Hank is Basset and Labrador (we think).  Remy is older and a dignified gentleman, except when he thinks a coon is around.  Hank is younger and more active.  He actually bounced off walls sometimes!


Norm made a yard in the back for them, because they cannot be left off-lead (they are hunters, you know, and are nose-driven, so won’t listen to you when you call).  This was much easier on my shoulders, arms and back.  They got to wander and run and chase imaginary raccoons.  Did you know that Remy’s Beagle howl says “Coon!  Coon!  Coon!”

It was very, very quiet when Jill met us in Mankato to send them home.  Peanut wandered around for a couple of days looking for the boys.


I have been cleaning and re-organizing my studio to make room for my new loom.  I will, eventually (maybe) sell my twenty-four inch floor loom, Harriet Dare but am not ready, as there is a project on her right now.  My new loom has her name already - she is “Freya” ... named after the Norse Goddess who is the wife of “All-Father,” Odin and is the goddess of weaving, among other things.  My studio is ready so it’s time to bring my new “baby” home!

I will (I promise) keep you up on my first projects.  I can’t wait!

It was a beautiful foggy, overcast day today.  You have a beautiful day!

OH!  And one other thing ... I've "met" a blogger who weaves with an eight-harness loom.  I've put her on my favorites list ..  Amanda does beautiful work! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

And, now, on the way home!

I have been lax in finishing up my trip.  Sorry, people!  But now I am going to finish up the trip.

We left Rothenburg about noon and headed to Aschaffenburg, an old city only about an hour from Frankfurt.  Dad picked this city because it was close to the airport; that way we didn’t need to worry about getting the car turned in and not being in time for the flight.

Aschaffenburg was around during Roman times but became an actual city in the Middle Ages.  We stopped at a McDonald’s (Dad wanted to eat there and I didn’t object), then checked into our hotel, the “Hotel Olive Inn.”  Dad asked the receptionist if the city had any cathedrals or castles and she called a taxi to take us to the “Stiftsbasilika St. Peter un Alexander.”  She assured us that we could walk from the cathedral to the Johannisburg Palace.  When we were ready to come back to the hotel, we could call a taxi from any café or flag one down on the street.

The taxi drive took us right to the cathedral and he also assured us that we would have no problem getting a taxi to head back.

A Basilica is so named because it was specially designated by a Pope as something a little bit better than a church or cathedral.  This one was named for St. Peter and for (I believe) a pope, Alexander.  It was begun in 958.  In fact, in 1958, Pope Pius XII helped celebrate the 1,000th anniversary.  (Now, THAT IS OLD!)

I spent a lot of time wandering around inside and out.  Dad was very patient ... he wandered, then sat and waited for me.  I could have spent several more hours, going into more of the corners, but decided if we wanted to see the palace, I needed to pace myself.  I did take a lot of pictures and purchased a small booklet on the church.  It is in German but there were a lot of pictures that I knew I couldn’t reproduce with my camera.  (I have since gone on line and read as much as I could about the Basilica, since I couldn’t read the booklet.)

This was right in the middle of the city, so we then walked (after asking someone the directions) to the palace.

This is the Schloss (castle or palace) Johannisburg, built between 1605 and 1614.  It was damaged in World War II but has since been restored.  After we went through the courtyard and left the palace, we found the tourist / information office and realized that if we had planned better, we could go into the palace itself and see the displays and rooms.  Oh, well, the outside and the courtyard were impressive in themselves.

We then walked into a market area of the city and enjoyed looking around and watching the people.  There was a man who came and played the violin near us.  Dad gave me some coins and I put them in his violin case.  He wasn’t the best player I’ve heard, but he wasn’t too shabby and it was enjoyable to listen to and watch.  It was too early to eat, so we then walked to a busier area and found a taxi dropping a rider off, so we flagged her (yes, a female driver) and asked her to take us to the “green hotel” and she knew exactly where we were going.

We rested for awhile - I got online with Sammy and checked FaceBook entries and email - then walked to a sports bar for dinner.  That was an adventure in itself, so that will be told another time.  We caught a taxi home and hit the sack.

Early in the morning, had our last breakfast, packed the car and headed to Frankfurt.  Dad had to fill the car with gas, so we found a gas station, asked where the terminal and the car rental place were and the guy said “Same place” .... “Go to the first corner, turn, and there you are.”  And he was right ... we checked the car in, pulled our bags (thank goodness for wheeled bags) and got checked in early.  We had a lunch and waited for our flight. 

Then on to Iceland, changing planes there and heading home.   Joy and Norm met us and took us to Joy’s house where we had a lovely dinner to celebrate Ken’s birthday and our return. 

On Saturday morning (well, noon, actually), we got into the van and headed home.  Dad spent Saturday night with Candy and Wayne, then treated us to breakfast and headed home.

The end of a monumental trip.  A trip of a life time!

But it ain’t over yet, folks!  I promised Norm’s niece Glenda (yes, it’s nearly time, Glenda) that I would take pictures of our food, so that will be the next blog and slide show.  Until then, enjoy these.




Aschaffenburg

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On to Rothenburg

This city was built in the 1300s and is a totally awesome place.  The “old town” is an enclosed walled city which is right in the middle of the new, modern town.  We drove through an archway which is only of 2 ways into the old city, then followed Sammy’s instructions and drove directly to the hotel.  We checked in and parked in a small parking lot about a block away. That is, an American block.  I rarely saw any “blocks” of our normal length.  They all, everywhere we went, were longer or shorter or non-existent.

Rothenburg, pronounced “Rote-in-burg” is an awesome town.  It’s become a tourist place and there are shops (called houses, not shops) everywhere.  I asked were such-and-such a place was and was told “It’s two houses down,” etc.  There are people everywhere.  The narrow streets are built of stone and are bumpy when driving over them; you have to watch where you put your feet and / or cane when walking so you don’t trip over a stone sticking up higher than the others.

There is a wall all around the old city, built to protect the residents from invaders.  However, during one war, the city was conquered and was threatened with destruction.  The mayor pleaded with the general to save the city and the residents.  The general said if someone could drink a large tankard of beer in one glug, he would save the city.  The mayor, supposedly, did so and was a hero.  There is a large building - I think it was the city hall - that has a clock and two windows.  At the hour, the windows open and an animatronic general watches an animatronic mayor glug down his beer.  At 5 minutes to the hour, the market square gets very full, everyone watching the clock and having his / her camera ready.

Old buildings everywhere!  Not a new building in sight.  New windows, perhaps, and new interiors, but the walls on the outside are originally old.  We Americans, as most know, think “old” is 200 years or so.  Walking on streets that were built in the 1300s is amazing!  Touching walls that are 700 years old is awe-inspiring.  I love “old” (maybe that’s why I love Norm?) and it was thrilling to be in Rothenburg. 

We did a lot of shopping and even (shock) split up, planning on meeting back at a certain spot and knowing we wouldn’t get lost.  I saw an old cathedral but didn’t go in, as they charged to go in and it wasn’t too impressive, from what I could see.  It was more impressive on the outside (I did see a properly aged cathedral the next day). 

Touristy is a correct word for the shops (houses, excuse me).  Knick-knacs everywhere, but I bought into the idea and bought my own knick-knacs.  I wanted dolls, so got my second one (first one was Swiss), a Bavarian one.  Pictures of them will come at a later time, I promise.  I also found some thimbles, some liquor glasses for Norm and other cool things that can’t be mentioned now.  How about I take pictures and show them when the receivers have received them?    

We had a beautiful set of rooms (two bedrooms) in the Hotel goldener Hirsch but there was no Internet ... this was the first place we stayed that did NOT have Internet.  I was told that an Internet Café was down the street, through the famous archway.  Dad and I walked down there; the proprietor was closing up early to do some shopping.  He told us that there was another one up in the Market Square, so we walked up there.  The two in the shop could not speak any English except to know that I wanted Internet, but we couldn’t connect.  I was charged € 2 (2 Euro) for the password but because there was some trick to connect that I couldn’t figure out, I was given the money back.  We went back to the first Internet Café in the morning and had good connections so we could plug Sammy into directions for our next hotel.

I had a lot of questions to ask the receptionist; she was very helpful and would get the other office girl if she couldn’t understand or tell me what I wanted to know. 

I need to say, right now, that I met no-one in Europe that was not friendly, helpful and kind.  The taxi drivers (all but one - late at night and non-English speaking, so he wasn’t very talkative) talked and asked questions and answered questions and got us to our destination quickly and without cheating us by going a longer way, as we had been warned could happen.  The people who could speak English were helpful; those who could not speak English would find someone who could to help us.  We saw no suspicious characters that were out to steal anything of ours.  We felt very safe, as far as our bodies and our belongings, the whole time.
                   
In Oberammagau, I asked the waitress what the name of the berry was that I had discovered everywhere.  After trying to pronounce it in English, she finally wrote it down.  That is the kind of helpful I mean.  (This lovely berry that I fell in love with is Red Currant.  We have it here, but it doesn’t seem to be used as much!  I got some Red Currant jelly when I got home!)

In the morning, this was our last full day, we spent time until almost noon wandering around.  We went to the back side of the hotel and found a path and also a “short” wall (I could look over it but it ran clear down to the valley below) that I could take pictures from.

We left Rothenburg, which was the highlight of my trip.  I need to go back and spend more time prowling around - hopefully Norm and I can do that some day.  We then headed to our last city before flying out.  This was another old city, Aschaffenburg, with a lot of old buildings, but it also blended new buildings alongside.  But that’s another story for tomorrow.


Rothenburg

The church bells of the Town Hall

video

Friday, October 12, 2012

On the road again!

Okay, we’ve been a little distracted for over a week, so it’s time to get back on the tour.  This is day seven of the ten day tour.  Things are winding down but still extremely busy.  Actually, it seems like we are getting busier, trying to get everything done.

We left Innsbruck in the morning after a breakfast at a small café.  This was the first and only place that didn’t offer a B&B type breakfast along the way.  But the breakfast was very good.  We went through the Austrian Alps and headed into Italy for a little bit, then turned around and came back.

On the Autobahn from Austria to Italy there was a toll road.  We paid to go through the gates and were in Italy (I assume).  We went for a long while (maybe even an hour) and decided to turn around just before another toll gate.  Then when we got back to the first toll gate, Dad handed the clerk his ticket, which had no exit stamp on it.  The clerk was horrified; “That is forbidden!”  He kept repeating that while Dad kept trying to tell him that we simply turned around in the parking lot before the second toll gate.  The clerk called someone, I assume a supervisor, all the time saying, “That is forbidden!”  I had visions of us being hauled to jail or something when Dad finally said “What can I say?  Stupid Americans!”  After a little bit, the clerk hung up the phone, raised his hands in dismay and told us to go ahead!  Whew!  Guess it was the “Stupid Americans” that did the trick.  And I hope we never do a “forbidden” again!

We drove back down the Alps to Oberammagau and found our hotel, the Hotel Friedenshöhe.    As we were driving in, we met the owner, Eric.  He had us check in; Dad asked about the castle he wanted to see and Eric said that it was too far away to get to and return in an afternoon.  He suggested we go to the Königsschloss (Castle) Linderhof, which was only about fifteen minutes away.  We drove over and had a wonderful afternoon.  The castle was not as beautiful as the Neuschwanstein Castle (Walt Disney designed his Sleeping Beauty castle after this one), but it was awesome, non-the-less!  There were gilt rooms, gold everywhere, a magnificent fountain and swans in the lake.

After having a tour of the castle by a very well-informed guide, I did some shopping - can’t tell you what, as not everyone has received their gifts, yet, but I did get some neat things and also got some good postcards.  No matter how good a camera you have, postcards are the best for showing what you have seen.  I don’t feel guilty about using postcards as part of my story.

After the castle tour, we went to the old part of Oberammagau, which had a lot of tourist shops.  Again, I bought things, but, again, I cannot say what I bought.  We went back to the hotel and had a lovely dinner that we didn’t realize was in the package deal.  We had wireless, but the router, said Eric, was an old one and not very strong, so to get emails, etc, I had to sit in the reception lobby to get connected.  Another guest was there with his IPad getting connected as well. A storm started while we were eating and we went to bed with thunder and lightning.  Our room had a lovely balcony and Dad wanted to sit outside for awhile but the chairs got wet so he couldn’t.

The next morning we had a lovely breakfast, checked our GPS on Sammy and headed to Rothenburg, the oldest walled city in Europe.  But that’s for tomorrow.  Enjoy the pictures!


Oberammagau

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Big Island Educational Rendezvous

This past week has been spent at Albert Lea, where the twenty-sixth rendezvous was held.  We have been there for about 5 or 6 years, I believe.  We had a chilly but great time.

Wednesday, we set up our tent in 80º weather.  Fortunately the wind was breezy enough to make it semi-comfortable.  It took us longer to set up because we had been moved from where we’ve been for nearly the whole time we’ve been at Big Island.  I requested (I guess ... everyone told me I did) to be closer to a weaver / woodworker named Blackie.  So when we got there, we had to figure out what way we wanted the tent to be, how far in the front, how far in the back.  I had to figure out where my brazier was, my kitchen was on the outside, where the bed and bathroom would go inside.  It took almost an hour to do the figuring (you don’t want to put the tent up and then change your mind).

Once the tent was up, we visited with Blackie and our new neighbor between Blackie and us; Norm took the van out and picked up ice and broasted chicken for supper.  As it got dark, we lit the candelabra candles, put a lantern on the table outside and settled down for the night.

The next day, Thursday, bright and early, we had to set up the school kids demo stations (I was in front, Norm was in back) and get ready for kids bright and early.  Norm wanted a good breakfast so I cooked while he cleaned up.  We had bacon, eggs and toast.  My favorite toast (and SOOOO good for you!), is fried toast - throw some butter (stiff and cold from the cold night air) in a small cast iron pan, melt it and put in a piece of bread.  Turn and put more butter on.  The whole piece of fried toast is covered with melted, browned butter.  Then jelly or bacon (or both) as a sandwich.

Lunch was cold chicken.  We had kids from 9:00 until 2:30, with a few breaks (especially lunch time) in the stretch.  I teach the history of material from the first yarn to machine made material.  Norm demonstrates spoon carving and talks about wood work.

After the kids left, we went visiting.  Wally, my favorite blacksmith (sorry, Blackie - I’ve known him longer), came over for supper - beef soup and egg dumplings.  I had pre-cooked and frozen the meat, then added it to beef broth and veggies in the cast iron Dutch Oven and cooked, then added the dumplings a little bit before Wally came.  Along with home-made rolls and beet pickles, it made a good meal.  Then I cooked some apples for a chunky applesauce for desert.  Wally (and Norm) ate so much that rolling away from the table was the only way to leave.

It started to get cold and the wind was “wicked fierce” so we started the stove inside and got the tent toasty warm before going to bed.  What with getting up several times a night, we kept the stove going all night and it was warm when we got up.

School kids again all day - with sandwiches for lunch.  We had hamburgers and baked beans, just we two.  I cooked them over the brazier but then we ate inside, as it was too chilly to eat outside.

Saturday morning, I made biscuits and fried sausages, then served the biscuits with home-made peach-peel jelly.  Our friend, Ole, came to join us for the traditional Saturday breakfast, as we had no school tours to hasten for.  Saturday was extremely cold (I even saw snow flakes); Joy and family joined us for the day.  Bitty and Bubba, because they’ve been raised in Living History, always feel strange and embarrassed when they are in “civilian” clothes at an event.  I talked to my neighbor, Robin, who is a seamstress, and she volunteered to loan them proper clothing.  Because of the cold, the girls put skirts on over their jeans and kept their tennis shoes on.  I had shawls and jackets and mittens for them to wear, so they were almost toasty warm.  Joy was cold, but she’s always cold, even in 70º weather.  Ken was cold, too.  For some reason his shoes got too cold, so his feet were cold.  They spent a lot of time in the tent warming up and stoking up the stove to sauna temperatures.  We also ate inside - I fried potatoes and onions and then fried pork steaks.  They caught the shuttle out to the parking lot later that evening and headed home.  We settled in for the night, again, with a very toasty tent to sleep in.

Sunday morning we had friend Steve come for bacon, toast and eggs for breakfast.  It was COLD that morning ... ice on the water buckets.  Our neighbor, Roy (Robin’s husband) brought his wash basin over - it had a stalagmite (upside down icicle) in it.  We don’t know the temperature - no one had a thermometer and few listen to radios or check their smart phone weather applications - but that stalagmite was might cold looking!

So, Sunday was like Saturday in that it was a public day.  But the weather was totally different - sunny and warm in the sun, cool and breezy in the shade.  I think I got a sunburn!  At 5:00, it was quitting time and the guests left, then the cars, trucks, vans, trailers came on to start the tear-down.  We, however, just slowly started packing, had leftovers for supper and went to bed rather early.  Norm went out to get the van before dark.

Monday morning we got up and started tearing down in earnest.  Even though the inside stove was still hot, we decided not to cook anything but have a cold breakfast and let the coals burn down so we could dump them out.

After we were all packed, we grabbed lunch at the local Arby’s and headed home.  It was great to be home but I missed sleeping in fresh air.  Even though we had heat every night, my face was pleasantly cool (sometimes MORE than pleasantly) and the air was not stuffy like it gets in the house.

It was a great 5 days but I’m glad to have a modern gas stove rather than an open fire for cooking and having a hot shower rather than having a spit bath at night.

Here are a few pictures of the week.  It was a beautiful time, even though it was cold several days.  It was a chilly, beautiful day today.  You have a beautiful day.


With their favorite (historical) grandpa

Bitty is demonstrating spinning, using Angora rabbit fur

An awesome bunch of clouds

Ice in the water basin (and on the scrub pad)

A beautiful tree in the beautiful sunshine


video
Our neighbors had an upside-down icicle.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

And On We Go

We left Schaffhausen and headed through the Swiss Alps and ended up in Innsbruck,
Austria.  We saw some awesome mountains!  I know that the Colorado Rockies are higher, but the Alps are steeper!  And even though I’ve been in the Rockies (some, not a lot), it’s a totally different feel in Switzerland and in Austria. 

After a lot (LOT) of mountains, we arrived in Innsbruck.  We found the hotel, thanks to our faithful Sammy (Dad got hooked on my tablet’s ability to navigate ... once I plugged in our destination in the morning - if we had wireless, we were able to arrive safely and securely at our evening hotel even if we took alternate routes).  Of course, Frankfurt would have been easier to navigate if we had plugged Sammy in to the hotel, but I had wanted to find the cemetery and had no wireless to continue on.  More about wireless later.

I had read reviews of our “Pension” - pronounced Pen-shi-on - and they weren’t too hot.  But I was impressed with the manager and the room.  It was clean (all of them were, by the way), on the main floor, so no steps for us oldies, and very comfortable.  I had a slight difficulty with wireless but the manager smoothed it out easily.  He also told us where to have lunch (we got there about noon) and where to go to get to the “old” part of town.

We ran into a glitch, money-wise.  In Steinbach in Linde, we went to an ATM.  The name for ATM is “Bankomat” but we never figured this out so had to talk about money machines.  Anyway, we found one and Dad put his debit card in to get money and it didn’t work.  So I got some out with my credit card for him.  But in Austria and Bavaria, neither of us could get money out of an ATM.  We went, in Innsbruck, to a couple of banks, but they couldn’t give us money because our cards didn’t have some kind of stamp on them.  Why we needed that, we never found out!  Oh!  What I wouldn’t have given to be even semi-fluent in German!

But we never had trouble using our debit cards or my credit card to purchase items or eat at a restaurant or pay for hotels!  Puzzling.  We even went so far as to Skype Jody and have her call Mom and have Mom ask the bank what was going on.  But Dad’s bank couldn’t answer that.  And my banker had no control over my credit card because it wasn’t a bank one!

However, going out of sync, here, we finally got money when we got to Rothenburg.  Guess Austria and Bavaria just didn’t like our cards!

Anyway, to get back to the story: we walked down to the “old” part of town and took in the sights.  When in the center of town, we could see mountains everywhere, if the buildings weren’t too tall.  The main street had mountains on both ends.  And there was a square that allowed you to see the mountains.  Breathtaking!

About that time I realized that I was going through batteries like gang-busters!  So, when we were at a shop, I would pull out a dead battery and ask where I could get more.  Eventually, as we moved down the street, the directions got a little bit clearer and I finally found a store that was very much like an old Woolworth’s or Ben Franklins ... a lot of stuff in one place - but not in a Wal-Mart feeling, if you get my meaning.  There were all kinds of things in two stories.  I went down an escalator to the bottom - and found batteries and all kinds of wonderful kitchen-ware ... I was tempted but got away with just two sets of coffee cups / saucers (for Jody).

We walked back to the hotel and got ready for the dinner / show that Dad had planned for us. I did not get any good pictures but this link http://www.tiroler-abend.com/de/fotogalerie.html will show you a lot of what we saw.  We had a wonderful taxi driver who had lived in the US for a while so was very fluent in English and told us about his life there in Innsbruck.  He skis nearly every weekend of the winter - cross-country rather than down hill.  He liked being in the US but loves being back home in Innsbruck.  We had a lovely meal and then were seated for the show, which was funny and marvelous.

After catching a taxi to our hotel, we collapsed for the night.  This hotel was the only one that didn’t have a breakfast in the morning, so the next day we walked to the little café that we had eaten lunch in the day before.

So, now is time for the pictures. 
We will now take a break for about a week.  Norm and I are heading to Albert Lea for the Big Island Educational Rendezvous tomorrow and won’t be home until Monday evening.  It sounds like it will be a beautiful week.  It was a beautiful day today - you have a beautiful day and a beautiful week.


Switzerland to Austria



Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baden-Baden to Schaffhausen

Okay, the trip continues.  My head is swimming with everything I’ve been seeing but it’s very exciting to drive through places I’ve only heard about.

When I was growing up, I listened to Danny Kaye; one song he sang was about triplets.  Nearly everything he said was in triplicate.  So he sang “Every summer we go away to Baden-Baden-Baden; Every winter we come back home to Walla-Walla-Walla.”  So when I heard we were going to Baden-Baden, I was pretty excited.

I will have to admit (sorry, Dad) that this little part of the trip was pretty disappointing.  I wanted to go to a spa (“Baden” means “Bath” and this town is the prime spa town in Europe) but found it was difficult to find one unless we were staying at one of the special hotels and the prices were outrageous (to me) for going.  Oh, well (sigh).  So we stayed on the outside of Baden-Baden, in a sweet little town called Steinbach in Linde, run by the Fiala family.  This is the family house and they have made it into a Guest House (Gasthaust); I met most of the family the day we checked in. Momma gave us our key, younger son told me the password for the wireless, older son helped me connect (a little bit of confusion) and Poppa told us how to get to Baden-Baden and also the best place to eat that evening.

We drove through the Black Forest, but it wasn’t very thrilling - the road was very much like a road in the Black Hills of South Dakota but the trees were a little bit different.  I think to get a taste of the Forest, we’d have to find some country roads.  The city was confusing and we never did find the center of town that was supposed to be tourist-driven.

But we enjoyed the ride through the little bit of Black Forest we saw.  Then went to a lovely restaurant.  The food, as usual, was good.  Even picky-eater (you wouldn’t know it by my size) liked everything!  Fish, pork, potatoes, dumplings, ham, cheese (and cheese and cheese).  I WILL have a blog on just foods, eventually (have PATIENCE, Glenda, I’m getting there!).

The next morning we got up, had a wonderful (as usual) breakfast and headed to Switzerland.  Our goal was to see the Rheinfall waterfall.  This is the largest and most powerful waterfall in Europe and is a busy tourist place.  At LAST I found tourist goods to purchase for home!  Dad had worried that we needed Swiss Francs to buy things with but everyone accepted Euros (but gave change in Francs).  Our Hotel Edelwiess was to be paid for in cash and Dad asked the owner where to get Francs, but he said he’d take Euros!  Relief!!!  We couldn’t find an exchange anywhere along the way! 

Speaking of the owner, he was a cutie ... not little, sweet, cute - he was pretty tall, but good looking.  But his personality was cute!  I would normally take Sammy and turn to the “wireless” page and ask someone if this was their wireless and then what the “passport” (password) was.  As it was being told to me, I would type it in, to make sure that I connected.    Mr. Mladen Basaric (didn’t get his picture - sigh) started to tell me the passport and I repeated each number after him.  He started to giggle (yes, giggle) as we went through the process.  “One one (I said after him - one one), two two (two two) three three (three three).” I can tell you the “passport” since I doubt any of you will be staying there anytime in the future.  When I asked him how to get to the Rheinfall, he was telling me and I made him draw a map.  As we got back for dinner, I asked him to draw a map to the restaurant.  He did, but said it was “very simple.”  I said “Don’t SAY that!”  But this was easy to find, just two turns in the street.  So when we got back, I had to tell him “very simple!”  I liked him!  But I liked everyone over there – they were all so nice and helpful!

Okay, the Rheinfall ... hard to talk about as there aren’t many words to describe.  I have a small video of it to show you the awesome-ness of it!  We parked in the third level parking lot - there were a LOT of people there - and walked down.  We had lunch and enjoyed the view, then did a little bit of shopping at the small gift shop, then slogged our way back UP the hill to the third parking lot.  It was great!  I could have stayed there for hours and hours, just watching the water. 

When we were getting ready for bed, I took a video (for the sound) of the bells.  The church bells rang every fifteen minutes just outside the hotel.  They were so beautiful!  However, the video didn’t turn out well, so I won’t share it - sorry - the sound didn’t come through as I had hoped.  But I can hear the bells in my head!

Tomorrow - the trip from Switzerland to Innsbruck, Austria.  Tired of the pictures and story yet?  There’s still four more days to come on this life-time adventure!


Baden-Baden

video
 

Happy Birthday, Bubba!

Today is the birthday of my youngest granddaughter, Bubba.  She is fourteen today.  And (yes, it makes me sound and feel old), I remember the day she was born!

Before she was born, I had enjoyed Bitty for over two years.  Being a grandma, to me, was the cat’s meow!  I didn’t know if I could love another grandchild as much as I did my first one.  Silly me!  I had forgotten that the heart grows to make room for more people to love.  When she was born, I forgot I was leery of not loving her enough.

So, now I have two favorite granddaughters.  Bitty is my favorite ..... with brown eyes.  Bubba is my favorite .... with blue eyes.  So I can tell each of them they are my favorite granddaughter!

Let me tell you a little about Bubba.  She has been a delight from the minute she was born.  She is funny, smart, sweet, lovable and entertaining.  She loves everyone and everything.  She is graceful and beautiful.  Bubba has been taking - along with Dad and sister Bitty - Martial Arts.  She has her purple belt and is studying for her brown belt.  Purple is third from the top, black belt.

Bubba has been the delight of my eyes ... she is clever, good with her hands and does a lot of crafty things.  She knows how to sew, spin, weave, knit and crotchet.  I have been blessed with having her in my life.  And, YES, grandmas can love more than one grandchild, just like moms can love more than one child (I should have known better!).

I love you, Bubba.  Have a great birthday and a great life!


At age six

She loves to climb trees - this is "her" tree on our place

She loves to demonstrate at historical events

She was excellent in soccer when they lived in Florida

She has grown up to be a beautiful young lady


Saturday, September 29, 2012

And now, back to our regular broadcast .....

But first of all, a short side-line.  Yesterday morning I went to my friend, Jody’s, house to help her with her computer.  I had arranged to have friend John hook up with us and fix her freeze problems.  With the miracle of modern technology, John could sit in his home in Wisconsin and take over Jody’s computer, where he found out the problems and fixed them!  So now she is breezing through websites and enjoying the non-freeze capability of her computer.  Thank you, John!

So, back to the trip.  We had been in Luxembourg and headed to Frankfurt.  Now, Frankfurt was the largest city we visited, except for Amsterdam (and I’m not sure which was largest).  It was also the most confusing for us.  It was also the most difficult for communication - most people we talked to had very little English; however, they would do their best to find someone who could speak well enough to give us directions.

But no one seemed to know where our hotel was. We had the name and address written down but we kept getting different directions.  We would follow one set of directions, realize we were lost, then find someone else to try to help; we would follow those directions and realize we were still lost.  Finally, after about four times, we found a taxi driver who said “For ten euros, I will lead you there!”  We went directly there, after taking only about twenty minutes!  He did as promised, not losing us in traffic and we went right to the front door of the hotel.

We got there rather late; we checked in, freshened up some, then asked where we could go eat.  We walked about a block and a half (American blocks) and found a lovely Italian restaurant, Portofino.  The first thing we always said in a restaurant was “Do you speak English?” Well, our waiter didn’t, so went into the kitchen and found the owner, Nino.  He came out and decided that HE needed to chose for us and served us, himself, with his wonderful young assistant, Francesco.  This was the best restaurant that we went to (in my opinion).  We had personal attention from the owner and very good food.  The fettuccini that he chose for us was very good.  The stuffed shells was “to die for.”  Nino brought out two pans with the pastas and served us himself.  The fish was a whole fish that was wrapped in foil; as he brought it to the table, he lit some alcohol and served us flaming fish!  Then he took the head and skin off and fileted it himself and served us de-boned fish.  He brought the wine (mine) and beer (Dad) and poured it himself - we let him chose the drinks but I asked for a sweet white and got a very good one.

He wanted to serve us a desert but we said we had to get to the Opera - finally got through to both of us that our “Opera” is their “Ooper-a” - and he ordered us a taxi to take us; he also told the driver where to go.  We arrived at the Opera House and showed our tickets.  We were shown our seats.  The usherette told us that the people on stage were giving a lecture and the “concert” would start at 8:00, so we made it in time (whew!).  But Dad was suspicious and showed the tickets again to the usherette and she said “Oh, no ... that is for “Ooper Frankfurt” ,, this is NOT the Oopera!”

We rushed downstairs and asked a ticket taker where we needed to go.  Then found a taxi driver who promised to get us there in five minutes!  Well, it took about seven, but he got us there.  However, it was just at the beginning of the first act and they let no-one in after the lights went down, so we sat outside and had a drink while waiting.  We then got in for the second (final) act.  Even though we missed the first half, I knew the story, slightly.  “Adriana Lecouvreur” is a new opera for me but the music is beautiful!  We got our seats and got comfortable.  Dad talked to a lady in the seat beside him who said “I didn’t see you at the first act.” Dad explained our problem and she got very upset.  She was a resident of Frankfurt who spoke very good English; she said “There is only ONE Opera House ... those people should not have Opera in their name!”  She wanted us to contact the taxi company and complain about the first driver who took us to the wrong place but both Dad and I said it really wasn’t worth the effort - we didn’t know the name of the driver or the number of the cab.

However, even half an opera was worth it to me.  I was in a “real” opera house, watching a “real” opera, not on TV or as a movie.  The opera was in Italian with subtitles (German). It was dizzy-ing to try to figure out what the words meant in Italian but to “read” the subtitles and not have words match was dizzier.  So I tried to keep my eyes off the subtitles on the top of the stage and just listen to the music and watch the singers / actors.

We got home rather late - Nino had invited us back to have coffee when we got back but we were later than he had planned on being open so didn’t.

A hectic day, a great dinner, a lovely opera and a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow we head to Baden-Baden.  And here is the slide show!


Visit to Frankfurt