Thursday, April 3, 2014

London, England

I am still trying to put into words, the magnitude of London.  Everything I saw was very ornate 
and intricately detailed. Everything was on a 'royal' scale. Makes sense, since they are ruled by a Queen. 
I was not prepared for what a melting pot of people this city is.  I was expecting what I see on BBC shows like "Call the Midwife", "Dr Who", and "Sherlock".  
Parts of it were very much what I expected, while other parts were nothing like I anticipated.  

One of my absolute favorite parts of the trip was the Underground.  So fun and exciting trying to navigate around the underground train tunnels.  As you step on to the train a voice says "Mind The Gap" in a British accent.  I am still saying it weeks later.

 We flew in to London on a very early flight and then took a 1 hour cab ride (on the wrong side of the road!!) to the city. By this time, we were ready for breakfast, so we made a stop at Starbuck's, for 'tea and cakes' and then straight to Tiffany's to have 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'! Very glamorous indeed.  
After breakfast we toured all four floors of the store.  Everyone who worked there was very kind and humored our shopping outing.


One of the teenage girls with us, Jessi, recognized the restaurant 'Nando's' as we walked by it, as a favorite place of some of the members of "One Direction".  The manager was extremely kind, and sat us at the exact table the band sat in.  He also let us take menus as souvenirs and gave Jessi a shirt and some of the Peri Peri sauce the restaurant is famed for.  It was a delicious lunch and made for great memories!

 Everyone had to get a picture in the iconic red telephone box!
 We had a great night going to a little Italian bistro and then to Novello Theatre to see 'Mama Mia' on stage.  They did a great job with it and we couldn't help but sing along! 

We spent the next day trying to cram in as many sights as we could 
before it was time to catch a plane back to Germany.

We planned a stop to 221B Baker Street.  Also known as the Sherlock Holmes Museum.  My husband and daughter are huge fans and I have to admit, I fan-girled a little bit!
We took a ride on The Original Red Bus Tour, which is a hop-on hop-off bus, two levels high, and open on top.  We were able to see many of the iconic London Sites in a short amount of time. St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the London Eye were just a few that we passed.

I felt like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's European Vacation where he says, 
"Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament"  We passed them about as fast as it took to say that.

The parts of London that were very modern seemed almost out of place to me, but were still amazing. The first one is overlooking Blackfriar Bridge, and then the next one is "The Shard".
I absolutely loved that the buildings that were almost on top of each other, could be decorated so differently, almost as to differentiate one from the other.  London is definitely a concrete jungle.  Residents take the opportunity to put green anywhere they can, so a lot of windows are greened up with baskets of flowers.

Easter Mini 2014

This year's Easter Mini Session is fully booked!  I am so excited to see all the little faces!  
I love spring, and wanted to incorporate the feeling of newness and freshness into the pictures.  
Here are some of the pieces that you will see there!

 I will have live baby chicks!! Aren't they just the most precious thing?  
Who can resist smiling with these in hand?
 The weather forecast looks good! Right now, the forecast calls for 71 degrees and cloudy.  
You just can't ask for better weather!  Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Heidelberg, Germany

After traveling for over 14 hours on a plane that carried me across the ocean and two continents, walking was just what I needed!  The smells, and sounds, and colors were so refreshing.  I felt at times like I had taken a step back in time (in a good way), then, other areas that I saw in Germany, were very modern.  Germany is a country that has managed to hold to very traditional values.  Evidence of this can be seen in the way they care for the land, the purity of the food, the lifestyle that so many live-seen especially on Sundays, and the sustainability of individual communities -seen in local markets, bakeries, and shops. They place value on the history that has taken place there and you can see remnants of it everywhere.  We have some wisdom to learn from Europe.


 Bikes are everywhere! Residents get around on foot, on bicycle, or in very small cars on narrow roadways.

Fresh produce and flowers are around every corner.

People leisurely spend time over a meal or drink to chat.

  On our way up to Schloss Castle, overlooking Heidelberg.

The castle property was grand!  This is only a small section of it.  
Everything there, even everyday ordinary things, are very ornate and almost magical. 

I got in some much needed best friend time.  This was the purpose of my trip.  
The Air Force took her away from me, and while I am grateful for FaceTime and iMessage, 
they just can't compare to face to face, and real physical hugs.

 This is her with her daughter and me with my daughter at the entrance to the castle.  To the right is my daughter and I in front of one of the 'small' wine barrels.  Legend has it that one of the kings who lived there, drank only wine.  When he had his first drink of water, he died immediately because of the shock to his system.

This is overlooking Heidelberg from the castle.  You can see the church steeple to the left.  
Every village in Germany has one. 

Spring came to Germany earlier than it did to Kansas.  They had a very mild winter, 
so every thing was blooming.  It was wonderful to see color again!