Friday, November 20, 2015

To count it down or not...

that's the question.

I have always liked reading blogs at Christmas time.  I like seeing what people are working on, how they are decorating their houses, and what other holiday festivities they are partaking in during the holiday season. That's probably what inspired me to start counting down the month of December.  Not to discredit my love of all things Advent Calendar...just check past December posts if you doubt me.

So, why the conundrum this year?  Well, it's because of this....

We will be traveling east along the Danube River visiting Christmas markets in Germany and Austria.

While this trip will give me plenty to post about...what I am unsure of is if I will be able to post along the way.

So, what I think I will do is write some posts and schedule them to post while we are away.  I guess I am not ready to give up the count down just yet.

So, a riverboat cruise, you say?  Since the onslaught of popular PBS tv shows everyone knows about riverboat cruises and tell me how they've 'always' wanted to do that.  I don't think I fall into that category.  How it came to be was a combination of two things.

My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary almost 2 years ago and my husband thought we should take a trip.  Where to go and what to do with our school age children stalled the plan until now.  The 'where to go' question hung in the air as my husband was resistant to any European trips that included a tour group.

As it were, I've been on several trips to foreign countries involving a tour group.  I'd rather not travel to a foreign speaking country without a guide...whether it be a private guide just for the two of us or as part of a larger group.  It was while on one of these trips that I learned of the European Christmas markets.  Ever since then I've wanted to go.  Here is a good website to help you learn.  It's put
together by a travel company but not the one we're using.

So, while thinking about where to go I searched Christmas markets and came upon riverboat tours. Since traveling by riverboat means we can stay in our same bedroom 7 of the 10 nights we are away I presented the idea to the committee.  (Ha.  A committee of two where one is already 100% in favor.)

It took some planning and one false start where I got super excited and even chose which route we would take then learned we couldn't juggle the college Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.  My older children volunteered themselves to transport the youngest home from break but I just couldn't do it.  And, thankfully so, the weather was beyond horrible on the day she came home for break.  See, Christmas Markets only happen, obviously, at Christmas when most families are extra busy.  If you've always dreamed of a riverboat cruise...check it out...there are tons of things to see you've never even dreamed of seeing.  They don't have to only be at Christmas time.  I will express my opinion on the entire riverboat experience upon my return.  I will say, though, that visiting Europe is highly recommended.  You think you know what old means?  Forget it.  When the so called 'new' church is 500 years old then we can talk about old.

Or, how about this banner?  I took this picture in one of my favorite destinations in Spain.  The walled city of Toledo.  The banner talks about celebrating 450 years of educating children.  Since it's been almost 10 years since I took this picture they will be celebrating 460 years soon.  It isn't even possible to see something like that in the United States.

In less than a week we will board a plane and spend a restless night traveling to the city of our departure.  We have booked ourselves an extra hotel night before and after the trip so we can explore a little on our own.  I will save the specific details until I can post a genuine post with pictures and words of experience.

In the mean time I will find some holiday topics to post about and see what I can do to cover myself for the first few days of our adventure.  Don't miss out.  Come back and see what we've seen, what we loved, what we brought home, where I spent my 52nd birthday, and what I think about cruising upon a riverboat.


Monday, November 16, 2015

A birthday celebration.

Every year I have to say the same thing...I just can't believe how old this little boy is.

I think he is 8 in this picture.  Buttercup is 3 1/2 years younger but she looks much younger than 5 so maybe I'm wrong.  I have always loved this picture.  We were on vacation and aboard a tour boat in the Adirondack's.

A mere 15ish years later...we met him for lunch with his best girl.

Besides celebrating his 23rd birthday today...he is participating in No-Shave-November.

I will post more later this week.  The debate is count down to Christmas with a post each day until Christmas or not.  It's always been a fun opportunity to post but I will be taking a different approach to the start of the holiday season which I will post about soon.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A bit of hand work.

Months and months ago I picked up this lovely little piece to take when I met with my crafty ladies.  Sometimes, on a sewing day or in my stitching group, I want a simple little bit of hand work and wool projects are perfect.

Harvest Moon by Penny Lane Primitives.  

It is a bit different than most candle mat patterns I've seen in that it included a lot of embroidery embellishments.  Wool is so easy to stitch through and the work goes pretty quickly.  That doesn't really explain why I've had this in the works for almost a year but some projects just fall to the side.

The sun is shining bright and our temperature will reach near 70 today.  So bizarre for November in western New York.