Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I traveled to Venice during my college years.

It was ripe with intoxicating magic.
I feared that the Venice of 2012 couldn't match my enchanted memories.

I was wrong.

Coming into Venice BY SHIP was simply spectacular.

Bert, my 87 year old cabin mate and I savored every minute of it from our very own balcony.

Still in our jammies and robes!

Fortunately, it was a crystal clear morning and the Italian Alps were distinctly visible in the distance.

We sailed right by the Bridge of Sighs where convicts took their last walk before imprisonment.

It was fascinating to see how the transportation system works.

Small boats carry all goods into the city and all refuge out.

We tarried in Venice for three full days.

What an extraordinarily beautiful city, so lavish with artistic expression.

It seemed as if I encountered something totally AMAZING every time I lifted my eyes and looked around.

Venice is made up of 118 small islands, separated by canals and linked by bridges.

Some of the islands have very distinct flavors, such as the island of Burano with it's brightly painted homes.

It's a 40-minute boat ride to get to Burano from the Piazza San Marco.

It takes you well out of the tourist zone and into a much homier part of Venice.

On the return ride, I sat across from these two passengers who dozed off shortly after we left Burano.

This is how they looked, about fifteen minutes later.

Taking the Venetian vaporettos (water buses) provides a great way to experience the city on a dime.

We floated right by major sights while my travel-mates slumbered.

Just a few weeks later, my son and his family also made it to Venice . . .

following in my footsteps, once again.

They glided through the canals on a gondola, not a vaporetto.

My granddaughter Audrey is soooo British now. Apparently she said . . .

"I am feeling very giddy!"

Can't you see it in this photo?

They treasured their time in Venice as much as their mom.

I love this shot of Venice at night, taken by my son.

I really, really hope to return some day.

P.S. Did I mention that Venetian men are simply adorable?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

London Olympics

I have a TIMELY post,

overruling my professed plan to blog about Venice.

My son Arian and his family went to London and attended the Olympics.

Of course, it was only a train-ride away, since they live in Oxford.

And guess who went with them?

My goddaughter Victoria!

She's spending the month of August with my kids (and grandkids) in Great Britain.

Vic KNOWS she's a lucky gal to be attending these historic games.

I suspect that Sir Kenneth has NO CLUE about his good fortune . . .

One thing is for certain, he thoroughly loves ANY adventure - big or small.

So does his lovely sister Audrey.

And we mustn't forget baby Grace!

In fact, this Cosmopolitan Bebe has spent time in ten different countries -

U.S.A., England, Scotland, Italy, Croatia,
Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, Germany and Sweden.

Still, there are times when a SIESTA takes priority over travel adventures, even the Olympics.

During their time in London town, they also strolled around
Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens.

They simply don't miss opportunities.

In fact, they recently hopped over to Sweden for a wedding.

Jill & Grace in Sweden

It's a new world. A much smaller world.

In between all his extra-curricular activities, Arian fits in his graduate studies at Oxford.

Students are required to dress in their formal robes when taking exams, carnation and all.

Naturally, he has to CRAM before his tests.

As a mom, I'd rather he'd look where he's headed instead of studying 'on the go'.

(He's the student with the sunglasses & reading materials.)

But what can I say? He's over 5000 miles away and that's out of yelling range.


Jill and her new bike which appeared at their home on her birthday.

Now she's a bonafide Great Britain resident,
complete with a personal means of transportation.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lovely Lassies @ Camp & More!

This is my third year of going to Camp Jeremiah Johnson with the girls from church.

To see the posts from past years, go here and here.

I love the fact that my lassies learn stuff like archery and target shooting.

I'm not as thrilled about the fact that they eat oodles of candy.

This year the theme was Pioneering the Wild West.

They learned how to push and pull pioneer hand carts
which included the strenuous task of trekking up a major mountainside with their carts.

They picked up the skill of panning for gold. Yes. They found little flecks of the stuff.

They learned how to braid twine and make rope.

Once they handcrafted their rope, the jumping games began!

There was also a game which involved dunking a pail of water over the heads of WILLING volunteers.

You have to be ten years old to understand the THRILL of it.

A week before heading up to camp, we hiked up the canyon
which is located a stone's throw from our homes.

There are plenty of boulders for all sorts of creative activities.

The girls feel TOUGH and CAPABLE when they get 'out there'.

They also did a Forest Service service project -

. . . dismantling outlawed fire rings.

Have you ever seen a cuter bunch?

After hiking, everyone took a plunge in a neighbor's pool.

There is only one pool in these parts and the owners are ever so generous.

Can you tell I’m crazy about these girls?



. . . and just a bit about my Venetian boyfriend.

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