Sunday, June 28, 2009

SF - Good Times

Michael had some summer basketball games in San Francisco this past weekend, so The Hubby and I decided to do a bit of exploration with Kathryn, Austin, & Ellery on Saturday.Our first stop was Mama's on Washington Square. They serve a heck of a breakfast, if you're willing to wait an hour or so to get fed. I had great eggs Benedict, J and A had various types of yummy french toast, and K had some bagels and locks. Breakfast's were all SUPER!
Heading up to Coit Tower on foot, with a stroller in tow was the next adventure. The kids had to carry it (the stroller) up some stairs, but it wasn't too bad. The view was spectacular and the day was perfect. Seems that we dodged some 100 degree heat back in the south bay during that day.
Ellery, who is now 5 months old, likes to play with her blankets, and eat them, etc. She is pretty transportable and a great little gal to travel around town with. She liked all the sites! tee hee
She especially liked how Michael Michael (that's what Uncle Michael has been dubbed by Lexy) shot 15 three point shots during the 2 games we watched. Wow ! Good job MM !
We went to Alamo Square and saw the many brightly colored Victorian Houses. They are called the "Painted Ladies" and I have seen them in pictures, but never before in person.
We finished the day by eating in Japantown at the Benihana's, one of A's favorites.
Fun, beautiful day! Thanks Hun, and kiddles!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SWK - doesn't always mean what you think.

I was blessed with a good father. He has always been there to support me in the things that are important to me, and I suppose those things are important to me because they are important to him. I learned from example.
Hiking along the Colorado River in Grand Junction

So Dad, know that I love you and am so appreciative of you. You are truly a man of God and I hope I am as much an example to my family and friends as the daughter of God that you taught me I am.
Thanks Samuel W. Kelly !!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's a Hard Knock Life

Just returned home from a week at "Girls Camp." It has become a habit for me each summer to attend the churchs' Young Women's camp.
I attended 5 or 6 years when I was a YW myself in Colorado.
Back then we would go up on Colorado's Uncompahgre National Forest or Glade Park which is above the Colorado National Monument area.
It was rustic tent camping and cooking everything we ate over a fire.
It was freezing cold mornings where we warmed our clothes inside our sleeping bags before carefully putting them on.
It was getting out to start a fire for breakfast. (okay the leaders probably ALWAYS did that for us.)
It was using a cattle watering trough with cold mountain water running through it for our watermelon cooler.
It was digging trenches around our old bottomless WWII tents so that if the rain started, it wouldn't come into our tent, but run through the trench and away from us.
It was camping just with our ward girls so we had young 1st years and older councilors to do various tasks.
It was huge campfires that we sat all the way around in a big circle and became mesmerized by the embers and flames.
It was Joanne Soelberg always in charge as our YWMIA Stake President AND the Stake Camp Director for something like 17 years.
It was always (except I suppose the first year I went) having my li'l sister Camille around and all her friends to bug and enjoy.
All-Camp Photo 2009
Our theme this year was "SS Friendship", hence the nautical shirts.
Now, camp for me is up in the Santa Cruz Mountains away from cell phone coverage and some technology. BUT ...
We have cooks and a mess hall with concrete floors and relatively clean tables.
We have a rotating group of women who take turns being in charge.
We have toilets with running water that flush.
We have showers that can be gross, but did you hear me? We have showers.
We have 6 years of certification, almost identical to my childhood certification requirements.
This is a view on the forth year hike. They go between Big Basin Redwood State Park and Wardel Beach on the Pacific coast. It is about 16 miles and through redwood trees and beautiful flora and fauna.
Here are my first year girls. I say "my" because I am their activity teacher on Wednesday nights throughout the year.
Jenae is one of the Junior Staff. They are in their 6th year and help us run the place. They make it fun for everyone else.
We are filling white nylon stockings with flour for a "California Snowball" fight.
This year I am a craft lady along with Jenette Wheelwright. Our projects included etching mirrors and making small photo memory books.
Here are examples of their cute little books. They chose pictures from my computer via my camera for the friendship booklets.We also had them making friendship bracelets.Very different and very similar from my childhood.

I have come up to this camp about 10 or 12 times. I have been to camps in Oregon about 5 or 6 times. I have cooked with dutch ovens and pit cooked chickens and pork (never a whole pig though). I have been in charge of certification, councilor to 3rd years, lead the hikes, been totally in charge, now crafts. I like the girls and the women I've been able work with, but I think I've had about enough of the sleeping on the ground in a mummy bag, and having dirty feet when I get out of the shower.
Maybe 22 - 24 times is enough service for me.
That is more than 1/2 of my years consisting of a week at Girls Camp.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Off the Boat-onto Munich

We left the ship before 8 am and travelled the 1 1/2 hours by van to the Munich airport (included in our travel fee) only to quickly grab a cab into Munich to our Marriott. They told us how to get to the metro and we were off to Marienplatz at the heart of the city. We arrived at the perfect 9:45 am time on a Sunday morning. Perfect because the bells of all the towers and carillons began chiming, ringing out, and calling us to church. We followed the most persistent and ended up at Frauenkirche for a high mass. It was the celebration of Pentecost as well as the 200th anniversary of the death of Joseph Hayden. The music was the best we had heard while in Europe, with an orchestra and beautiful operatic voices singing from a balcony high in the back rafters of the large modern gothic cathedral.
The Hubby was not supposed to take pictures inside -so he actually didn't, which was a first, so this is the only shot we got of the inside. The place was crammed full of worshippers and we stood/sat back by one of the small side chapels enjoying the sites, smells and especially the amazing music presented in the mass.
The carillon up above the neo-Gothic city building was a sight to see. A big, giant Glockenspiel high above the street to entertain several times a day. We saw it at noon. Then we joined a loud English speaking guide who was yelling across the plaza for anyone who was interested in a city walking tour. "Austin" was from Texas and entertained us for the next 2 hours around the city.
This is Asamkirche. It is as gaudy and thickly adorned as any room I've ever seen. A privately owned chapel, it is the ultimate statement in Rococo.
The new Jewish synagogue. Very modern in appeal, German Jews feel like it is a reminder that the Nazi's were not the victors in any way of thinking or being.
If you look above the large arched window to the right, you can see a round musket ball from the war in the early 1800's. They just left it.
Rub the lions head for "prosperity."
The famous Hofbrauhaus. We went in to get a feel of the loud "oom pa pa" music and feel the excitement of Munich's passion with beer. Fun, party going on!!
See the kid on the slack line? Reminds me of my Jonathan. The park (English Garten) also reminded me of him, with the crowds and activity everywhere you look. Must be as big as Central Park in NYC. Sunday afternoon was busy like I couldn't believe.
There were 2 huge Biergarten's in the park. You can see one across this pond. Thousands of people (and great gellato.)
Next day we venture on the train to Neuschwanstein Castle. Abut 2 hours away from Munich through beautiful forest, farmland, and alps views of Bavaria.
"Now we get to walk up there? No problem."
..... and Hoenschwangau Castle where King Ludwig II grew up, just down the hill.
Of coarse we get up to Marienbrucke overlooking the castle and find that the gorgeous castle is covered with ... you guessed it ... SCAFFOLDING. Amazing how much of this trip has been accompanied by scaffolding.
Gorgeous colors and decor in the "Crown room."
Hike back to town the long, watery way. Beautiful!!
The alps out the train window.

Back to Munich.
Back to a long plane ride.
Back to reality.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Stop for the Ship

Our Danube tour is coming to a close. We are in another quaint, smallish town called Passau in Germany, right over the Austrian border. Here the Danube converges with the Inn as well as the Ilz rivers.
In St. Stephan's Cathedral is a HUGE organ which we were able to hear in concert. It has almost 18,000 pipes and huge as well as small sound. Very impressive.
The rivers are almost everywhere you look, the buildings going right up to them.
.... and sometimes the river going "up to" and across the buildings. Here are dates and height markings of flooding.
This stained glass is in the Town Hall. The hall also has many beautiful paintings. Could be a church for its magnificence.
More of the cathedral and its grandeur.
Cool old sidewalk from the hill where the cathedral stands down into town. 

We took a field trip out into the Bavarian mountains to a heritage village showing the way the mountain people used to live.
They were shorter than I am, but had comfortable yet rustic furnishings. They definitely had to work hard physically.
Remember, I am a bowler. This is a little different alley than I'm used to. Boards are a bit warped.
Here you can see the rivers meeting with their different colors. The Danube is the dark one. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Linz and Salzburg

Coming in to Linz was quite a beautiful scene. The park on one side of the river goes for miles with skate parks, soccer fields, kiddie areas, jogging trails and lots of early morning activity. The castle on the hill is seen for miles and the industry on the other bank of the river is clean and productive looking.We hopped on a bus for the trip to Salzburg as soon as we landed. The guide on the bus was informative about this city and the countryside as we drove.
This gorgeous lake is multicolored and the rocky mountains around it really set it off. It is called Crescent Lake (actually I can't find the real German name - but it is like crescent or moon or something.)
We arrive in Salzburg after about 1 1/2 hours on the bus. The stream running through is called Salzach and it was a natural deterrent from enemies for the fortress on the hill in medieval times. The important salt mines and trade began this city centuries ago.
Now ... this is absolutely the most adorable pedestrian shopping street I have ever laid my baby blues on.  Don't you just LOVE the cute wrought iron signs and narrow cobblestones (oh, you can't see those) and great stores.  SOOO CUTE!!!
Oh, and this actually is where Mozart was born. 
..... and the 15th-century Dom Cathedral where he was baptized.
..... AND here is where Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp family hid from the Germans. See behind the stones in the gated area. (I think the middle daughter did good for just not freaking out here in the dark cemetery)
Oh, wait! A three story shop that is dedicated to CHRISTMAS decorations. John was in heaven!
Yet across the "street" was another little boutique with MILLIONS of decorated pastel Easter eggs.  Again, right up my alley.
All-in-all a very cute city, even though it rained on us as we were trotting our way back to the bus. (all 113 of us)