Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Milan and Venice

We were in Milan for 2 days and Venice for 3 - I didn't take any notes in my journal but I did snap some photos....

Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) is  the name of this building.
There are two towers like this - they are apartment buildings and office 
space and there are over 900 trees planted on the outside of the building!
Green living at it's best!

Entering through the arch takes you into the fashion district.

Here in Milan they love their coffee!

This is a picture of two identical churches that were built side by side
our tour guide told us a story something about two brothers and
when the second got married the wives didn't like each other
so he built an identical church for his wedding! In all
fairness that can't be verified.

While shopping in Milan we went into a little
jewelry shop and who was playing on the stereo?
Cat Stevens! I started humming along and then 
the shop owner started to sing along - so I 
joined in. She came from behind the counter
and we danced to the song together!

Oh baby baby it's a wild world
It's hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it's a wild world
I'll always remember you like a child, girl

Via the website "with locals" we booked a 
dinner at Francesca's home. She cooked us
an authentic Italian dinner and shared her
lovely, recently renovated apartment with us.
The picture above is her tiramisu
I think she used these in the tiramisu
The three of us after dinner.

The recently remodeled kitchen

Our after dinner drinks

I would be remiss if I didn't share our little
tiny courtyard - the apartments were quaint 
and it was nice to live a la Italiana

And now it's on to Venice

The view outside our hotel room.....
lots and lots of tourists...
too many, in my humble opinion

A nice 3 piece band playing in 
St Marks Square 
for all to enjoy

A very pleasant surprise!! We enjoyed a
fish dinner, deboned at the table
with caprese tomatoes.

The masterpiece

We had to leave the city and head out Croatia
via Grey Hound Bus!!
Now- that's a story - above is the picture....

Friday, November 16, 2018

France, Italy and Croatia

Friday May 25, 2018

Jean Brown and I arrived in Bordeaux, France. We got to the airport at 10AM in St Louis compliments of Margaret. We arrived I Bourdeux at 6AM St Louis time. We met up with some of the group and took a bus the hotel. Bordeaux was not pretty, but then we got the town center and yes, yes, yes it's cute. We took a nap when we got here, then went down and met our group. Mostly women and most are nice. I think we will have a good group. Our guide, Sandrine gave us a talk and some good wine.  Then on to dinner. Very cute, very French restaurant - red wine and water to drink, a nice salad, then duck, French fries and some good veggies. chocolate cake rounded off the meal. Then we went for a walk around town.

Sat. May 26, 2018

Bordeaux, France
The day began with breakfast in the hotel - typical European breakfast which I love. Lunch meat for breakfast - what's not to love? Today was "learn the history of Bordeaux" it was good, but couldn't understand half of what our guide said. Great lunch of wine and a chartercuerie tray. Then it was onto a museum - it rained - it pored - I went back to the hotel and a fine nap. Jean forged on with the grouop/ We went out to dinner with Vida, an art professor from NYU who is a member of our group. Jean got a wild hair and bought herself a bottle of wine and proceeded to drink the whole damn thing! I love it when someone out drinks me.
Bordeaux by day

Oh yes - I'm still climbing on horses

This is a fountain that fills up and then disappears

Charteriare done the French way

Monday May 28, 2018
Bordeaux, France
Today we took the bus to Saint Emilion France where a monk with the help of some others build an underground church. So the story goes. Soon after the church was built  the area was hit with the "Black Plague" so the church tought the smart thing to do would be bury the bodies in the underground church - usually burials were in the cemetery near the church - the closer you were buried to the actual church the better chance you had to get through the holy gates - but now the priests wanted to make sure the all of the germs were done to stop the spread of the disease. So this underground church has crypts dug in it. Then little, tiny crypts dug in the walls for the babies - it was pretty cool to see and hear the story. No pictures were allowed so you are going to have go there yourself to get the full experience.

Then we spent the rest of the day walking through the darling village, shopping and eating. We ate in a very old, small restaurant. We were served the French version of Shepards Pie - only with duck! It was quite tasty. Jean and I went shopping and bought more crap that we don't need then out to dinner where we enjoyed a wonderful Beef Wellington while sitting outdoor on the town square. Wonderful food, wonderful wine, people watching in Bordeaux, France  - living the high life is a fun thing to do!

Weds May 30th
Sarlot, France
Today was market day. What a treat that was!!! Some of us on the trip decided to each buy something and then we would have a "pot luck" dinner. Jean and I bought cheese, sausage, strawberries and olives.

Just a little cheese available at the market

Jean enjoying a walk through the market

Next we boarded our trusty bus and headed out to a darling little town where we got a cooking demonstration and then lunch. It was 5 - star all the way. The first course was a poached egg and asparagus surrounded by a creamy mushroom sauce - delish. The second course was phyla dough topped with fore gras and covered in a cherry sauce with potatoes and this crispy noodle with good cheese broiled on top. Dessert was fresh strawberries, strawberry ice cream all covered in the delicious glaze. Wow - Wow - Wow
From these simple ingredients the meal described above was created

The Second Course
The best dessert ever!

After lunch we went to a town called a "Bastide" meaning it's surrounded by a wall for protection against enemies. It was beautiful - did a little shopping - the the cutest pair of gloves and a darling lime green hat to cover my hair which looks like crap day after day.

It's just cute after cute after cute here...

Then we went to another darling village that was built into a hillside - really something to see. We ended the evening in our room surrounded by our new friends having a wonderful pot luck dinner.

Today I went to: The weekly market in Sarlat, France
I was feeling: happy and grateful that I got to experience such a cool thing
I will always remember: the large number of vendors selling wonderful French food.
I was grateful for: Pate - damn it was good.
Someday I'll: come here and stay someplace with a kitchen so I can go to the market and buy stuff and come home and cook it!

Thursday May 31, 
One week under our belts - Jean and I are good travelers together. Today we went to a museum
in Lascaux (pronounced Las-Co) It was Ok - I liked other one better. This one was a mock up of the real one. Then we went to a town and to another museum. I stayed on the bus. One a day is enough for me! Got back to darling Sarlat - kicked back awhile then Jean and I went walking. Surprise of all surprises - Jean found a darling outfit! Next we met the group for dinner - we enjoyed a great salad, pork loin and green brans with a mushroom gravy and lemon meringue pie for dessert. Great dinner at - you guessed a cute restaurant. After dinner some of us went for a walk around town. I hope to come back to this town someday - it is so very country charming.

A stroll through the village

Lots of hills and tiny, little sidewalks 

It is very common to see statues like the one above 
carved into the side of buildings

The lifestyle lends itself to outdoor dining as much as possible

Two weeks in France and this was the one only Childs
menu I saw - hmmm....not a chicken nugget in the country.

I've said it once and I'll say it again - 
this country invented shutters
and just for fun throw a flower box underneath.

This sums up a lot of the food choices in this 
part of France - it is so good!!!

Sat June 2
Finally something I didn't like! We went to another cave - for some reason they make me claustrophobic. They never did before but they do now. Everyone else loved it though - lots of primitive paintings on the walls - yes they are from 35,000 years ago but all they drew was the same animal over and over. Now everyone really seemed to like it thought it was very cool so I guess it's just me. Then on to lunch at a great restaurant in a cute village - great food - the meal started off with spreadable pate on hard bread and prunes baked in puff pastry. Then a seafood cassoulet which was delish!

Weds June 6
Sitting in the airport in Toulouse, France waiting for our flight to Milan, Italy. Across from us in the waiting area are 5 French women. All 75 or older. Five girlfriends heading for Milan. One of the 5 has on tennis shoes, one sandals, two are wearing ballet flats and one patient leather chunky heeled shoes. Four are wearing jeans, one is in capris. All have short, cute haircuts and all are wearing glasses. They are all dressed nice, not overly done but nice. 

The airport appears to be clean - no trash laying around. I think I would like living in a socialized country - People seems to move slower, they seem cleaner somehow and you can tell you are in a country where guns are not allowed. 

Back to the ladies - the oldest of the five had on the tennis hoes. She also has the most stylish haircut and the most stylish light tan suede jacket. I can only imagine succumbing to tennis shoes as a sacrifice. All five have on jewelry, necklace, earrings, bracelets - of the five 3 are skinny, one normal and one chunky. It's fun to observe women - they haven't stopped laughing and talking this whole time. I see no men anywhere in this vast room making any sort of conversation.....

Monday, November 13, 2017

A 60th celebration like no other

The cast of characters

Four turned 60 this year - only two could make the celebration.....and what a celebration it was....

The day began innocently enough at the commuter lot at Gravois and 270. With a 10:00 start time we out did ourselves when we were on the road by 10:02! Our first stop was Clancy's Irish Pub in Rosebud. OK OK maybe calling it an Irish Pub is taking the term 'Irish Pub' too far but it proved to be an excellent watering hole with big, juicy burgers. 

Next stop the White Mule Winery

Yes there really was a white mule....

And finally on to our final destination - We hadn't been there in 25 years - the place had changed a bit but no matter - the laughter and friendship proved to be richer and fuller this time around. Use your imagination to determine what you perceive fuller to mean!

 Now ladies - let the party begin!

She's as sweet as sugar til she gets ta drinkin'

Oh I love you so much Mary she says
Two minutes later

you, you white mule water drinker!!

Sweet little Mindy, get a few in her and she can not stay out of the camera!

And where would we be without our Mo Mo

And they danced all night...

they have been friends since grade school....
time can't tear them apart - 
but I think beer can - once Mary figures out that Glo
is double dipping in the cooler!

How many bell employees does it take to put on a CD?
Two with one Sr. Technical Director!

Sometimes we get a little sassy

Other times we may get a little gassy

But at all times we remain happy!

What? What? I saw nothing, I say nothing

And that's a wrap folks.