Saturday, November 26, 2011

A few things I'm thankful for....

Help in the kitchen.

 Including a Cajun cook (Tammy from Baton Rouge) and daughter-in-law (Heather).

 Tammy's teenage son, Dusty, even got roped into helping.
 Perfect little nutter butter acorns.

 Neal got teary-eyed seeing his daughter-in-law emerging from the woods in her camo.

 An abundance of food.
An abundance of family.

Couldn't get much better.

Monday, November 21, 2011

C'est fini

After almost 3 months, I'm finally wrapping up my European journal.  Do I hear a collective sigh of relief?

Friday was our last full day and we definitely did not waste it.  Grand finale--Versailles!

Here are just a few of the 87 photos I took at the home of Kings Louis XIV, XV & XVI:

Entering the palace...

The chapel...

The gardens....

I had a crick in my neck for days after staring at all these ceilings.  I was just starting to recover from The Louvre!

Awesome sculpture in the gardens...

Awesome o.j. for some hot and tired tourists...

We left Versailles to return to Paris for an early flight Saturday morning.  Our timing wasn't great, as we ended up in 5:00 traffic in Paris, with an empty gas tank.  But every misadventure turns into a great story.  I'm sure someone (Susan?) has pictures of our mighty leader begging various Parisiennes to use their credit card to buy our gas, and let him pay them in Euros.  The credit card story is another debacle.  The U.S. has GOT to get on board with the "chip" card!!!  That will be my next crusade.

Thus ends the great European adventure.  Ready to go back next year.  Who's with me?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Thursday we reluctantly left Switzerland.  Destination--Mâcon, France.  And can I just tell you how excited I am to have finally figured out how to put the little carrot-top on the a?

Mâcon (I may have to type that word several times just cause I'm so proud of myself) was how you say....vewee dee-fer-ant.  Probably THE most strange/different city we visited.

The Saint-Laurent bridge was built in the 11th century!

Saint Vincent Cathedral
Base of towers constructed in the 11th century and octagonal tops in the 13th.

Here's something interesting.  The Wooden House--circa 1490-1510.

It was adorned with rows of these ugly carved monkeys.  In several different "awkward" positions.

They really kinda creeped me out.

And then we had dinner at the most extravagant, expensive restaurant of the entire trip. There were like 23 courses or something.  Janet dressed up for the occasion.  Wearing her SSCC VBS t-shirt (that she slept in the night before) with a pirate on the front...circa 2011.  We tried to nonchalantly fade her into the background. But she doesn't make it easy.

Next stop--Versailles.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


to Switzerland!

And our trip is far from winding down.

First stop is Thun, where we made the long climb up to the castle... 

and enjoyed the view of the lake (Thunness).

Then it was on to our destination of Lauterbrunnen.

Views from our balcony:

The next three days were all about scenery, nature, fresh Alpine air and relaxation.  We had seen--and would see--some beautiful places in Europe, but Switzerland, ahhh, Switzerland was the best.  

Good thing we were all still getting along.
This would've been the perfect place to throw someone over a cliff.
Not that the thought even occurred to me.
Just sayin'.  This would've been the perfect place.

Who knew such a small amount of snow could make so many snowballs? :)

 In the revolving restaurant at Schilthorn.

I picked up pinecones on this hike to bring back to Oklahoma.
The Customs agent had a different idea. :(

A brief stop at Lake Geneva for picnic lunch, then heading back to France.

Au revoir, Switzerland.  I still miss you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Neverending Story

I'm sure that's how it seems to my long list of readers.  Thanks for your perseverance, Mom.

Actually we were wishing that it WOULD never end.  Every new country, new city, new restroom stop, was an adventure.

This is the end of day 6 (Monday evening) and I think the girls still look pretty chipper.

We got even chippier when we discovered that this hotel had wi-fi.  And all our fb friends would now be inundated with every obnoxious detail and movement.

Tuesday morning, we began our journey to Switzerland, but we weren't done with Germany yet.  We spent some time in Freiburg...

...where they were busy setting up their daily market in the town square...

These waters are said to have healing qualities.

 And I'm pretty sure Gideon would choose me.

If my memory serves me, I think this is where the first breakdown in communication occurred.  Greg said to meet back at the car at 12:00.  Janet was sure he said 12:30.  So for 30 minutes, Greg was convinced that we were lost or kidnapped.  No such luck, Greg.  We're yours for the entire trip.

This is also where I purchased my infamous souvenir.  The one that I've now been informed is a replica of the German "Iron Cross."

The only thing missing is the swastika in the middle.  So here's my question.  Do I still wear it?  It's super cute!