Eye Roller-Kid Spitter

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/eye-roller-clock-augenroller

Watch the eyes! Every hour his tongue sticks out.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/schangelbrunnen-fountain

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Catch Up

Still floating on the Rhine and taking some wonderful excursions. Yesterday was Heidelberg and Mainz

The Gutenberg Press

Today, Wednesday, we go through the Rhine Gorge with castles along the shore of the river.

So many castles along this stretch of the Rhine. Weather is much cooler – high of about 62. We sat on the upper deck for a couple of hours just enjoying the beauty. This is really the only beautiful part of the river as the rest is quite industrialized (but it is still great to see). This stretch is protected as a Unesco World Heritage site. So thankful it is!

Tonight we stop in Koblenz

All Aboard

We boarded the Avalon Vista in Basel Switzerland and on it we will be for the next 7 days. Beautiful boat and great services (except for the slow wifi).

The Vista is the dark ship next to shore. In many ports the ships tie up next to each other to allow passengers get to shore.

Sunday morning we woke up in Breisach, Germany, on the opposite shore is France. We chose to take a tour to Colmar in France- also known as the Venice of France. Lots of interesting history of this L’Alsace region of France.

We toured Old Town Colmar, great architecture and beautiful flowers. This is also the birthplace of Auguste Bartholdi- the man behind the Statue of Liberty. There are markings in the cobblestone roads commemorating him.

Another lovely day. Sunny skies and in the 80’s!

Carl and Lin headed off to a local castle this afternoon. The steep hills are a bit too much for me. I am very happy to hang back and enjoy the views and watch people!

Colmar…

We had to wait to cross the street because of a marathon/road race through town.

On a Mountain Top

Once upon a time 3 ‘mericans woke up in Zurich Switzerland, refound the train station and boarded a train to Lucerne. These same ‘mericans then found the boat station (actually right across the street from the train station) and boarded a boat to take them to Vitznau where we would then take a cograil train to Mt. Rigi, “Queen of the Mountains” 

This foray was not without incident…..on the ship to Vitznau, we felt lucky to find three seats on the stern of he upper deck . After enjoying the weather and views for over half the trip our tickets were checked only to be politely ejected from the 1st class seating down to our ticket 2nd class ticketed area aka steerage! Oops.

The train ride to Lucerne took about an hour and then another hour on the boat followed by about 30-45 minutes on the cog rail road to finally reach the top. It was well worth the travel as the views were spectacular and the skies clear and bright. Temperatures were probably in the 70’s….an all round beautiful day.

On the cog rail train

Mt. Rigi https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigi

On the way down from Mt. Rigi we got off the cog rail at the cable car station and took the cable car down to Weggis where we caught another boat to take us back to Lucerne. I would like to note the cattle car…I mean cable car, packed people on it like sardines…I had it in my head that it would make for great photo ops however we were crammed in so tightly there was no room to raise a camera.

We had about a 10 minute walk downhill to the port of Weggis to board the boat back to Lucerne.

We ended out day in Zurich at the local Coop- a grocery store chain where we grabbed items for dinner in the room. Huge pretzels, cheese and popcorn were the order of the day.

We did find a cheese very similar to one Carl enjoyed as a kid however this was was not as blue. It is a hard cheese that his family would grate over butter bread. It is a very pungent cheese and not one that I particularly enjoy.

Oh, I almost forgot this pic….Lin outside her Paradise.

Tomorrow we head for Basel

FYI…. cardboard tube to the rescue!

Come Fly with Me

….and so it began

First flight from Grand Rapids to Atlanta was a tight squeeze. No leg room, thankfully it was only a couple hour flight.

We boarded our flight to Zürich and found just a couple of inches more room. Not the most comfortable ride. We left Atlanta at 5:30 pm and arrived in Zürich at 8:30 am.

I was surprised by the services provided on Delta, a constant supply of drinks, water, soda, juices and “free” alcoholic drinks , beer and wine. Choice of 3 entrees for dinner and a box breakfast just before landing. Sadly none of us slept, but we made it to Europe!

We found the train station and figured out how to buy tickets and then a little more challenging…..find the correct train to get us to the main train station in Zurich.

We found our hotel and dropped off our baggage….(all ready know I packed too much even though we are doing carryon only. Lesson learned! ) and then set out to explore old town while waiting for our room.

Lots of cobblestone roads- beautiful but hard to roll luggage over.

Everywhere we look is wonderful architecture and we are hearing church bells often.

I wanted to try some true Swiss cuisine for lunch so we found the Raclette Factory (rated #1 on Yelp)

Check out Raclette

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raclette

We each chose a different menu item so the 3 of us could get a taste of the different cheese dishes.

Very rich but delicious.

At this point in the day we were all exhausted so we found our hotel, checked in and naps were taken. We had originally booked a triple room…we were pleasantly surprised when we were given a double and a single instead……until the phone rings and we had to change rooms….now in the triple. A bonus in the hotel is cold bottled water and ice cream in the lobby, breakfast in the morning, and free in room bar with a limited amount of water, coke and beer. Also, if we refuse housekeeping tomorrow we get a free bottle of wine!

Lin and Carl took off to head back to the train station to buy tickets to Lucerne for tomorrow’s adventure while I stayed back to rest my legs.

FYI……My pool noodle invention is now in the garbage…..back to the drawing board. But so far I have managed without too much trouble.

2017- A Year of Reading

 

 

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Even though the year is not quite over I been looking over the books I have read in 2017 and adding books “to read” to my Amazon Wish List for next year.

(Did you know that there is a Chrome browser extension that allows you to see, from your Amazon page, if a book is available from your local library?

So COOL!

If you use the Chrome browser just go to the 3 vertical dots on the right side of your toolbar and scroll down to “more tools”. From there open the extensions….then get more extensions. From there -search for Library Extension (or just click on this link Library Extension).  Choose your library and you are all set. This is an example of what you will see

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….and by the way, set up your Amazon account to an Amazon Smile account where a portion of your purchase is donated to a non-profit of your choice. Feel free to support Friends of Les Cheneaux Community Library! Amazon Smile -Friends of Les Cheneaux Community Library

Each year I join the Reading Challenge in Goodreads. My goal for 2017 was to read 40 books. Being a member of a book club that meets monthly and therefore 12 books a year, 40 is a very doable number. Turns out that I had a banner reading year reading 93 books! That is 25,002 pages across 93 books. The shortest book was 32 pages while the longest was 771. It is fun to look at these statistics

I thought I would make a list of 10 my top books read in 2017.

They are (in no particular order): I did link them to Amazon so you can read descriptions and reviews.

The Hate U Give– Angie Thomas

Ginny Moon – Benjamin Moon

When the Emperor was Divine– Julie Otsuka

George – Alex Gino

Everything I Never Told You– Celeste Ng

Turtles All the Way Down– John Green

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine -Gail Honeyman

Beartown– Fredrik Bachman

Textbook – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Faithful– Alice Hoffman

Looking forward to another great year in reading.

 

Let’s Celebrate

It’s a cake, it’s a pie, it’s a PIECAKEN!

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday and I wanted to make something special. His favorite pie is blueberry so I needed to find a cake flavor that would pair with it. I chose lemon.

Step one was to make and bake a pie.

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Next, I mixed up a lemon cake mix and spread about 1/2 inch of the batter on the bottom of the spring form pan. The instructions called to flip the pie upside down and place it on top the cake batter…a little frightening….but it worked.

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add the remaining cake batter and bake for 1 1/2 hours

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The finished product! A Bluebery Lemon Piecaken with lemon buttercream frosting

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Happy Birthday

I Can’t Keep Quiet

My new anthem.

MILCK Interview

Quiet -MILCK

Lyrics

“Quiet”
Written by MILCK and AG
Produced by AG

put on your face
know your place
shut up and smile
don’t spread your legs
I could do that

But no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, if I just lie still
Would I be that monster, scare them all away
If I let the-em hear what I have to say

I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

I can’t keep quiet
For anyone
Anymore

Cuz no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, take that dry blue pill
they may see that monster, they may run away
But I have to do this, do it anyway
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh I can’t keep quiet

Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
Must be someone who’ll understand
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now

I can’t keep quiet