Tuesday, April 29, 2014
When you leave a hotel, you leave behind your wet, dirty towels.
You leave behind an unmade bed.
Who cares that the furniture is dusty or sticky from your snacks?
And what about the garbage pail full of trash?
But when you leave your "second" home for at least six months, it better be in good shape.
Clean kitchen with no perishable food anywhere!
Clean sheets on the beds!
No dirty clothes or towels slung around the place!
No one wants to come "home" next fall to a dirty apartment!
So this rain is the perfect weather for cleaning up!
Apartment with a view.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Got ya! You thought I had gotten tattoos, didn't ya?
Well, I was the one doing the tattooing!
"Tile tattoos", that is.
When we " took possession of /inherited/ bought" the Beltway Apartment in The Netherlands one year ago, we started planning how to modernize it.
We decided to update the kitchen appliances that were worn out (microwave, fridge, and cooktop) and keep the rest as is. The oven was virtually brand new, only having been used a couple of times. The dishwasher was a relatively new replacement one and in great condition.
The pale yellow late 1990's open kitchen helped sway us to a grey and yellow color scheme for the living room.
So I decided to look for something to subtley "jazz" up the white kitchen tile backsplash. This is what we found at Xenos:
Sunday, April 27, 2014
On Friday, April 25, 2014 the three of us visited:
More collectibles than just cars.
What do you get from a vacation?
A huge suitcase of dirty laundry!
My opinion: We actually came home with some clean clothes! I always over-pack and panic after three days that we did not bring enough clothes.
A dirty car (inside and outside)!
My opinion: We (I) got a little lazy about picking up after ourselves. I was the back seat person, and I made the most mess!
A hunger for home-cooked food!
My opinion: Italian restaurant owners need to work on their reputation. Way too pricey and not too tastey! The best pasta we had on the entire trip was Spaghetti Carbonara (microwave!!!) at a bar across the street from the Last Supper exposition.
A desire to sleep in your own bed on your own pillow and under your own sheets and your own blanket!
My opinion: The hotels ( in general) seemed cleaner than most American hotels we have stayed in. None of the linens looked like they had been washed and ironed on the premises. I think it also has something to do with the tile floors in Italy, since they are easier to clean than carpet.
Missing the peacefulness of your own neighborhood/place in the country sounds!
My opinion: I get freaked out by sirens in the middle of the night!
*****But for the two of us, this vacation in Italy was supreme quality time with our busy son!
*****J., we loved having you join us on our trip!
*****Love, Mom and Papa
Friday, April 25, 2014
Automobiles were to have been the "theme" for this vacation to Italy with our bachelor son. On his first full day with us last Saturday the two J's visited three car museums while I ventured into a new book about Quakers, needlework, and slavery. My book was good, as well as the museums.
Then the Easter holiday week set in, and car museums shut their doors.
Not being Catholics, we thought last week was the Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday). We of course knew that Monday was Easter Monday, but never dreamed that Holy Week would be this passed week (too). So instead of accommodating all of the tourists (including thousands of Italians) who might just finally have time to visit a car museum, the rest of the automobile museums we wanted to visit were closed.
So we had a change of plans! Instead of our son's beloved Cars and Coffee, we had Cars and Catholic Churches.
Oh, and for today (on last full day of our Italian vacation), we found a huge classic car exhibition near Milan! More about that later.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
History class was always my worst subject in school. None of my teachers told those really awesome stories (like my friends' teachers) about what happened long ago. History for me was "dry" and loaded with dates and facts!
But where would we be today without history? Well guess what, folks, we may be finding out sooner than you think. Oh, no, the world is not coming to an end, but recorded history may be.
Let's begin with correspondence. When was the last time you wrote a letter? Or a postcard? Or a thank you note (sore subject for me)? Or have you received a real letter lately? E-mail and text messages do not count. They can be easily deleted and whoosh, they are gone! If you plan to make an important statement, there will be little documentation to prove it in a deleted computer message.
Real history has been preserved and documented in letters. Having spent hours upon hours reading through letters saved by my MIL, I now feel like I know family members and friends that passed away long before even my hub was born. Make sure you leave behind concrete evidence of everything important in your life. Scrapbooks and portfolios are excellent " filing" places. We keep our really important papers/documents in our safe. Maybe I need a safe for letters, too.
We also have rich history from portraits and photos. Thanks to a huge collection of kept photographs, the figures of our family's past have become real.
I hear you. You take photos. And you take a lot! But where do they go? "Oh, I saved them on my iPad." Well, so what! Within a few years ( or maybe months!) that apparatus will be abandoned. Unless you save them on your PC and make sure that PC never crashes or gets dumped or they are saved in the "cloud,", those photographs are "nowhere." And unless someone besides you looks at your photography, you should have saved your time by simply taking a photo with your mind. You know what I mean.
Print off some of your favorite snapshots. Mount them in albums or at least stash them in a shoebox or drawer for someone to find after you have forgotten them or you have gone to a "better place." And if you are really good, you will make sure you leave captions to identify the persons, places, or things.
As an avid collector of vintage/old stuff, I am afraid that we won't even have a history if we stop recording it.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
My hub likes to tell me what to include in my blog. I have told him he should write his own blog, but that won't happen. Actually quite a shame, since he sees and appreciates things that I overlook. Such as the snow photos that we took Wednesday in Livigno, Italy and surroundings. Livigno is an Italian enclave on the Switzerland side of the Alps. And Wednesday it was chock full of snow skiers on Easter vacation.
Better shot of the ski lifts and skiers and proof that we were there. Hub in the shot checks off one item on his "bucket list." (To visit Livigno!)
On down the road (or up the mountain). I am freezing in this shot.
To all my northern blogging friends, snow is beautiful but too cold for this Louisiana gal.
Thursday (after sleeping in what Hub calls a "ballen tent") we drove to San Pellegrino, home of the popular bottled water that you see in most decorator ads and magazines. My mom says it tastes like AlkaSeltzer, but we drink it because we hate our home tap water.
The Grand Hotel is only "grand." What a shame to see such a huge deserted building!
Today is a "good" Friday! Our son will join us here in Milan in a couple of hours!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
When we realized that we had booked our stay tonight in the hometown of Pope John XXIII, we chuckled that this trip to Italy had included mostly religious places (Passion Play's Oberammergau, a cloister, and now this Papal birthplace).
I think at that realization things started going wrong.
We continued our drive up to a special vineyard at the top of the mountain near Bergamo, Italy. The road became steeper and narrower, and even a "guardian angel/ elderly gentleman" gave us advice to drive all the way to the top and not consider trying to walk the steep 800 meters.
The view from the parking lot was magnificent! (Sorry No Photo!!!)
Then we entered the beautiful facility and were warmly greeted by the kind owner who had some bad news. Booking.com had been trying to reach us to let us know that there had been a huge mistake. Our booking at this extremely extraordinary agritouristic establishment was not possible. The owner was hugely apologetic, tried to help us find another place, offered us a cup of coffee, phoned our new booking, gave us a bottle of wine, and showed us out the door.
So here we are. In a highway hotel! Pizza for dinner! And my hub swears the room is vibrating!
Do you think someone in a higher place is having the last laugh on this Holy Week?
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
20 C+M+B 14 is wriiten above the door of the chapel at the Kronsburg Cloister where we are staying near Zams, Austria.
We saw the same chalk written inscription above my husband's cousin's home in Germany. I asked her the significance of the numbers and letters and remember that she said something about a collection made by children on Epiphany (January 6-- the 12th day of Christmas). The notations were probably made to make sure no one else came by to "collect."
But I decided to Google this inscription, since the only part I could understand was the 14 (signifying 2014).
I found one site that explained that this chalk inscription signified a blessing on the home. No reference to a collection of any kind.
(I still can't read my blog or any other blogs due to the Internet provider blocking all blogs! But I can post my blog, so here goes!)
Monday, April 14, 2014
Tonight we are staying way up in the mountains in Austria at Klosterie Kronburg.
Access to my blog, as well as all blogs I follow, have been denied access due to inappropriate content. So I went back and changed my "provocative" title from Palm Sunday about the Passion Play (just down the road a few miles!!!) and the Romantic Road in Germany.
No luck! Blogs are blocked!
Which century are we living in? Oh well, I brought a good book to read.
Or maybe I will write one!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Now that got your attention!
Tonight we are in Oberammergau, Germany ( home of the world famous Passion Play).
Onion domed churches.
And today on the way here we did our best to follow the well-known "Romantic Road" of Germany. We saw lots of yellow fields of dandelions and rape plants and plowed fields waiting to be planted, but this village was the icing on the cake. Walt Disney never did this well!
The weather was perfect to show off the colors.
So there is the "passion and romance" of our second day of vacation on the way from The Netherlands to Italy.
Happy Palm Sunday! Easter trees all over Germany! Have you made yours yet?