Monday, December 30, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
One of the things we did the first European Tour was visit Liechtenstein, unfortunately we forgot our passports. This time I was ready, we were getting a stamp and it didn't matter how much it cost. The drive through the Alps was beautiful and the kids missed most of it due to iPad time and naps. Ugh! Once we got to the small country to Liechtenstein we found some license plates to take some pictures.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The next day we took the Metro out to the main train station and out to Disneyland Paris where they are celebrating 20 years since they opened. It was fun to be back at Disney, a little different since the announcements were in English and French, not English and Spanish. The kids really enjoyed themselves and we never got rained on, it was just grey sky like the picture above. We ALL went on Big Thunder Mountain, the first time for the younger two. That is a memory I will have for ever, I got to sit by them and listen to them hoot and holler with excitement and then a little bit of fear set in. Really hope I didn't do too much damage to them. There was a classic Disney parade and the kids loved singing, dancing, and waving to all their favorite characters.
Then it was off to see more of the city, via the bus. We hopped off at the Champs Elysees and walked to the Arc de Triomphe. As we were walking back down the Champs, we saw a car on fire. It was amazing and the people around us thought it was something out of a movie, looking for the cameras. Silly tourists!!! We popped into Haagn Dazs for ice cream, it's now become a tradition to eat ice cream in each city we visit. Then it was back on the bus headed to the most iconic tourist trap in all of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. We walked up to the second floor, yes walked, looked around and headed back down the stairs. It was a great day and despite the rain we all had a great time in Paris. Adieu pour l'instant!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
The final port of the cruise was Ronne on the island of Bornholm in the country of Denmark. A quaint little town with the nickname of 'The Sunshine Island of the Baltic Sea'. The ship dropped anchor just short of the harbor and we took small tender boats to reach land. It was quite interesting since the seas were a little rough, the girls decided not to go ashore, so it was me and all my Boys. The island which located close to the Swedish and Polish coastlines is becoming a high-quality resort from it's fishing village past. Legend tells that the Viking God Thor created Bornholm for the 'left-overs' of other territories and the Baltic coast. During World War II the island was thought to have German U-boats, the Russians repeatedly bombed the island. As a result, some 80 percent of the island's buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. During the late 1940s all were restored or rebuilt. This is a picture of the Church of St. Nicolai, the patron saint of sailors and fisherman. The city square, once a fish market and venue for military parades, is not a popular meeting point and said to be the widest square in the Danish province. Such a cool little town to end the cruise, wish we had longer to just relax here.
There you have it... Our summer holiday. Sorry it has taken me so long to post, life keeps moving and I find myself more and more tired these days. The days are getting shorter and the night longer, soon we will be bundled up in the house, sitting around the fire dreaming of summer. Who knows what adventure we will be on next summer. Stay tuned, we have more trips and adventures coming our way. For now, it's down to the basement to get my crafty on, Halloween will be here before I know it and then Christmas. Ugh, someone make the time slow down! Happy Crafting!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
The picture above is of Sticky Boys at Peterhof, the summer palace of the Russian Tsar modeled after Versailles in Paris. Quite spectacular, the grounds has many fountains all run by a gravity-fed water system. It was quite impressive to see and play in some of these fountains. This being the favorite home of Peter the Great, you could see the gardens and fountains all around you and feel warmth even in the cold Russian winters. We also stopped at Tsarskoye Selo or Tsar's Village, at Cather's Palace to see the beautiful Amber Room. Then it was quickly by to the ship, through customs and set sail for our next port. Looking back, we wished we had more time in St Petersburg. Guess we'll have to try to get back in the next few years.
Check back next week, to see the final stops on our Summer Holiday. Until then... Happy Crafting!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
A quick overnight in Berlin and we were on the train heading to the port city of Kiel, Germany. One thing I sure do miss about living in Germany, everything seems so clean and runs smoothly. The train was packed and we ended up sitting in an open area by several windows, so everyone had a view of the German countryside. Once in Kiel, we walked down to the ship and started the check-in process. Traveling with so many kids got us to the front of the line and on board in record time. It was nice to be able to get settled check out our 'home' for the next 10 days and get to relax. The first night, I realized that I don't like being on ships, it was going to be a LONG 10 days.
The first stop on our cruise was Stockholm, Sweden. Having been to this beautiful city before we were excited about visiting with an old friend than really checking out the sights. Our first order of business was to hit H&M to buy cold weather gear. Silly me didn't realize it was going to be so much cooler up north, so it was jeans and jackets for everyone. Soon we were all set and ready to see parts of Stockholm that we didn't see the last time. We spent the day at Skansen Museum and Zoo, where we saw different parts of Sweden from different time periods and some really cool animals. The day went by too quickly and didn't get a chance to stop at the above picture of the ABBA Museum. It would have been fun to see, guess another trip to Sweden will be added to the ever growing travel list.
More next week as we travel to several other cities on our Baltic Sea cruise... It's too much to take in at once. :)
Sunday, August 4, 2013
I'm super excited about the new Idea Book from Close To My Heart, it's full of amazing new products and samples of projects. A couple of my favorites are the new Cricut Artbooking Collection ($99, Z1906) that has over 700 images; including Fonts, Mini-books, and Layouts, 3 D-size stamp sets and 3 pages of coordinating Dimensional Elements. Next week I'll post some of the projects that I'm working on.
My next favorite are the new Design Décor frames ($26.95). They come in black (Z1880) or colonial white (Z1865) and are great for decorating your home with all your projects. You can either use them as is with the wires to clip your artwork or take the wire out and use as a beautiful frame.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
After our first stop along the coast, we asked the kids what they thought about the drive so far. The 8-year old's response "It's pretty, but it's similar to the Amalfi Coast." Excuse me, little world traveler! Some people live their whole lives wanting to see these places and here you are (almost) taking it for granted. Yikes! We were back in the car and on our way to Monaco. This tiny country was just AMAZING! We had fun from the moment we drove across the border and loved seeing all the fancy cars.
Then it was off to the west in search of some lavender fields. We thought it would be easy, we were in Provence, all the pictures show lavender growing along the road. Silly us, we actually had to do some more research to just drive past the fields. Where we stopped was simply amazing. The 12th century Senanque Abbey was so beautiful both for the lavender fields and for the abbey itself. Not quite fully in bloom, the lavender plants were very fragrant, watching the butterflies hop from plant to plant was really relaxing. The smell was calming (sorry, had to say it) and the tour book we bought still smells.
We didn't realize until we got to Avignon that that weekend started their annual theater festival. So this active, college town, was even more alive. It was fun to walk among some actors and see them do little scenes from their plays in the streets. The other main attraction is the Palais des Papes (Popes Palace), that was built in the 14th century. Between all the halls, chapels, corridors and staircases we discovered that this was the capital of Christendom between 1305 and 1403. Not to go into too much history, 7 popes and 2 antipopes held office here.
Then it was time to be bid adieu to France and head back to Italy. We took the long was back and drove along the Cote d'Azur more, from Saint Tropez into Cannes. The beaches were beautiful (and free), everyone seemed to be having a good time and we really thought about booking another holiday to just spend time on the water. It's hard to believe that we live 5 minutes from the beach, because of pollution, trash, and price we don't go. So not what a family from Southern California is used to. All part of learning and helping us value what we have.
This was a quick and busy trip to the South of France, one that was filled with wonderful sights, sounds, smells, and food. We hope to go back... the bucket list keeps growing. Until next time... it might be a while, a big adventure is coming up and we have to prepare ourselves. Maybe some local travel is in order.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Since I have never been to Disney World or Florida for that matter, I didn't know what to expect. It is very different from Disneyland and California. I thought I was going to pass out from the humidity, even coming from southern Italy. I did manage to run a few days, get along with little to no sleep most nights, and did finish one project from the creative times. For me it was all about reconnecting with friends, making a few new ones, and getting my "crafty" back. I think I have found it and can't wait for the new products to arrive here in Italy for me to share with you all.
Like I said, I didn't really find another Sticky Boy. A friend of a friend (who had found 2) gave me this little guy. Now I have two traveling buddies and can't wait to show them (and you) more of Europe, starting this weekend. Check back early next week for more on our travels and I might even throw in a sample of what is to come in the new Idea Book. Until next time, happy crafting!
Friday, June 21, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
We (being a military family) never forget the true meaning of Memorial Day... we have too many friends to remember, who are always in our hearts and their families are in our daily prayers. It takes being in a foreign country to really appreciate how lucky we are as Americans. Until next time, Sticky Boy has been enjoying some yummy Italian food and experiencing some awesome local events. If I can get my act together, I'll get that posted before he and I go across the pond to hopefully find a friend at the Convention. Fingers crossed!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
So here are the two cards I made for them. Simple, easy, no one got hurt in producing these cards. My kids loved the idea of using the Surf's Up Paper Pack (X7168B, $9.95) since one of the B&T pages looks like shirts. I also used one of the cardstock sheets to cut out the #1 Dad sentiment. Thanks for checking out my cards, come back in a few days to see the where Sticky Boy went this week. I've give you a hint... It is something you eat and drink, famous here in Italy. :)
To start at the beginning of this blog hop go to Bren's blog!
Monday, May 6, 2013
The latest adventure of Sticky Boy took him to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here we enjoyed hearing English (the Queen's English), seeing the castle, walking around a palace, and running a Rock n Roll half marathon. It was a wonderful trip, full of adventure, fun, hard work, and typical Scottish weather.
First up getting settled into our apartment, with a great view of the rooftops of Edinburgh. On the few clear days we had, you could see down to the Firth of Forth and out to the North Sea. I loved seeing the rows of flats along the streets, so typical of city living. One of our first stops was the Edinburgh Castle. The castle is a complex of buildings that has been altered many times due to war and the demands of the military, it is now the headquarters of the British army's Scottish Division. The castle was the seat of Scottish kings and queens, and the royal apartments include where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to the boy who became James IV of Scotland and James I of England.
Next we walked down the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the official Scottish residence of the British royal family and closes when the Queen is in residence. Lucky for us, she was in London that weekend and we could have a look around. Founded by David I, King of Scots in 1128, who was out hunting one morning and saw a vision of a cross (according to legend) and decided a church should be built there, the original abbey is still on the grounds. This Palace has been home to many of Scotland's royal family, the most famous, Mary Queen of Scots. It is here that you can walk through her chambers and see where her private secretary David Rizzio was murdered. The palace has beautiful gardens and after walking through the ruins of the abbey, you can see where the Queen host her outdoor events. Just to the south of the Palace is Holyrood Park, where Arthur's Seat the highest point in Edinburgh is located, and was the start of our first half marathon in Europe.
The whole reason for our trip to Edinburgh, Scotland was to start our European Running Tour. Yes, we have decided that this year will be the "Year of Running", with 2 half marathons (Rock n Roll ones, so we can be World Rockers!) and the Original in Greece. We are doing all this running to raise fund and awareness for the Semper Fi Fund, which is a non-profit that helps our injured Marines and Sailors. I became involved with The Fund several years ago, not being able to volunteer my time in the office back at Camp Pendleton, I have decided I'll put my legs to work and Support through Sport. If you would like to help us in our fundraising efforts, please go to http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise/team?ftid=18357. The weather was less than stellar for running... cold, rainy, and windy! I'm talking 30-40 mph winds!!! We did it though, never once thinking about quitting. WHY, you ask... Well when I thought about the challenge ahead of me, I thought this is nothing compared to what some of our Marines and Sailors are facing. Then I thought about their wives, girlfriends, parents and other family members, who were giving their all in support for their injured loved ones. Running 13.1 miles in the crazy Scottish weather, was a walk in the park. I would do it all over again, wait we are in a few months.
So there you have it, Sticky Boy has another stamp in his passport and we are already planning our next adventure. Maybe he will have a friend to travel with come June, that is if I can find one at the next CTMH convention. Finger's crossed!!!
Monday, April 29, 2013
Second stop, Herculaneum. Much like the more popular Pompeii, the town was destroyed when Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. Unlike Pompeii that was covered with the ash, Herculaneum was buried under volcanic lava which solidified within a short space of time. Discovered by chance in the 18th century since the solidification of the lava tuned everything into hard, rock like strata. Herculaneum shows the intimate appearance of the buildings, how everyday life was preserved because of the closeness. Within this small area you will find a full variety of places: villas, baths, shops, streets-very thing you would see in an ancient town. Herculaneum, according to myth, was founded by Hercules. The town does have Greek origins, coming into existence sometime in 6th century BC. The Romans conquered the city by 89BC and soon became a high-class resort with many wealthy Roman residences.
Such different sites here in Southern Italy from the lavish to the buried. Amazing that between these two places is where we get to live for the next few years. Can't wait to discover more of the places that are only a few kilometers away, the food is amazing by the way. Next stop... PIZZA!!!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Venice is known for it's beautiful masks for Carnevale and I was one for my friend Miss M.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Friday, January 4, 2013
1. Become a better cook.
2. Craft more, work my CTMH business, and have fun being creative.
3. Run-Run-Run! We are going to try to run 2 half-marathons and the "Original" marathon in Athens.
4. Raise funds and awareness for Semper Fi Fund. If you would like to donate go to:
There you have it! I think these are all goals I can work towards in 2013! Stayed close to your computers for updates on these goals and if you can, cheer me along on my journey. I can use all the help I can get.