Friday, July 31, 2009

Fave Five #7

Each week I look forward to sharing my highlights.
The time flies by so quickly and here we are again.

Thanks again Suzanne, for sharing your site with us.

Sometimes it's easier to dwell on the difficult challenges of life,
and then I just have to take a ride down town Vancouver,
through the east side, where the homeless live and reality sets in,
"I'm Blessed"
This week I need to acknowledge those blessings.

#1 Just the Two of Us!
This summer has been busy hosting many out of town guests.
I always love it when the two of us can escape and
cycle around the Stanley Park Sea Wall.

#2 Lunching with my Daughter!
My daughter gifted us with birthday tickets for Les Miserables.
What an outstanding musical. It's a must.
The following day we had lunch with her on her noon break.
It's the first time I saw her in her "scrubs"

#3 Spending time playing Hide n Seek!
Is there any greater fun playing in the deep grass.
Booo! "I Caught You!"

#4. Another Celebration of Life
My aunt passed away this week at the age of 90.
We will all remember her with profound gratitude and deep humility.
She was an example of a life fully lived to the glory of God.
This brought together cousins from far and wide.
What a blessing!

#5 A Concert with MW Smith

I love the music of MW Smith.
Over the last 25 years, I have been able to attend several of his concerts.
I love and appreciate his music,
and have collected many of his CD's and music books.

This past week he was in our home town.
He not only shared his music, but he also shared his blessing with us.
He told a captive audience that his 74 year old Father,
always blessed him, all his life,
and that now he wanted to take the time to bless all of us.
His blessing is so heart felt.
Take a minute to return a blessing to your family today!
(to hear this video please turn off my play list,
by pushing the large middle circle above the word Title

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Venice ~ Jewel of the Adriatic

Venice via Train!
We travelled from Munich to Venice by train,
through the European Alps.
The German Alps provided us with breathtaking scenery,
unfolding before our eyes.
Alas after a 7 hour ride, we embark upon the Grand Canal,
which is approximately two miles in length,
and lined with approximately 200 marble palaces that were built
between the 12th & 18th centuries.

The waterways are filled with water buses, taxis and gondolas.
We felt so clueless as to what mode of transportation to use.
As advised by our travel agent we took the cheapest, the water bus.
We were cramped into this bus jammed with people and luggage.
It was hot, sweaty and humid,
and a bit uncomfortable....
I felt like this was a refugee bus!

Then, we finally found our hotel room in this narrow, dark alley.

It was evening and we were tired...

The next day we began to explore the sights of Venice.
We met up with our travelling friends at breakfast
and they introduced us to the water taxis.
A far better choice of transportation.

Our first stop was at the St. Mark Square,
where we found the 900 year old Basilica of St. Mark.

St. Mark's Basilica.
It contains mosaics, precious and rare marbles.
It was built in 830 as an original chapel for the Doges.

St. Mark's Square was crowded with pedestrians.
It was a place for live musicians, coffee houses, and quaint shops.
I loved this particular venue.
We were being serenaded by live music from the "Sound of Music"
which we had toured a few days earlier in Salzburg.
These were magical moments for me.

The rest of the day was spent finding the first seats in the water taxi,
and just cruising around the various waterways in Venice.

The Rialto Bridge.
It is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal.

It is the oldest bridge and probably the most famous.
I had no clue that there was an existing legend,
until everyone was poking us to get into the action.
This legend is by far very popular.

"Kiss under the Bridge"
If you kiss under the bridge, you will be assured eternal love.

We enjoyed the warmth of the sun as we navigated our way
through the narrow waterways, enjoying the beauty of Venice.

There in the distance is our cruise line,
Celebrity Cruise Lines were waiting for us.
This was such an exciting moment as we were now
ready to embark the ship for our 12 day Med-Cruise.

Magical and Romantic!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Sound of Music

"The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music."

Can you hear the melody?
Imagine standing in the Alps, looking, dancing and frolicking in the sun like the von Trapp family.
It's a must. Yes, we took the Sound of Music Tour which was has many of it's scenes filmed along the borders of Germany and Austria. It was first performed in 1959 and made a new awakening in 1964 when this musical was recognized as a Broadway Show and hit the streets of New York with a healthy 1442-performance run.
Do you know that many Europeans have not seen the musical?

Leopold's Crown Palace (Schloss Leopoldskron) The terrace scenes at the rear of the Captain's villa, overlooking the lake. Do you remember when Maria and the children stood up in the boat and fell into the water?

I'm glad that these family members decided to stay seated. Another beautiful forest with crystal clear lakes and snow-capped mountains in southern Germany. Do you recognize any of these people?

Here is a picture of the Glass Gazebo in the gardens of the Von Trapp Villa. This is where the song "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" was produced. It poured that day!!! And this photo gives true evidence.

You saw this picture earlier in my last post. The Untersberg Mountain rises majestically behind the area of the Hohensalzburg Fortress. (Konzert Venue) On top of the this mountain was the location, used to film the scenes of the von Trapp family dressed in traditional clothes as if they were hiking on an outing in the mountains. They were actually trying to flee for safety.

The von Trapp family dressed in their hiking clothes. I love Julie Andrews. What an actor!!

A trip down to Mondsee, a half hour drive through beautiful rolling alps. Here is where the wedding scene was filmed. I could of spent hours my wedding all over.

This is me, walking down to the music of Maria's processional in 1973. I was introduced to this musical in my early teens and it was a dream in my heart only to be lived out.
That's why there are many sentiments in my heart to this masterpiece.

Lest we forget the music of "Edelweiss." I found some dried flowers and brought them home as a memory. Let's all sing it together. Imagine the whole bus singing along in harmony.
"Bless my homeland forever."

"A Few of My Favorite Things" What are your favorite things? Can you hear the children laughing and giggling?

I can still hear Deniz voice, my young nephew, from Germany giggling and laughing,
"Let's sing that song again."
"Doe a deer, a female deer, ray a drop of golden sun, me a name I call myself...."

This little man knows where he is going...."I have Confidence"

"I Must Have done Something Good" "Here Tanta Marg, These are for you!"

And so Tanta Marg comes running, thinking, she is who? Julie Andrews? Just for a moment.... It's so much fun to live out our fantasies. This little one allowed me this privilege.

"Climb Every Mountain" What does that mean for a young child?

Thank-you for allowing me to share this theatrical musical with a modern day twist, as I had the privilege of living a true experience in many ways.

So long Goodbye, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye,
Good Bye, Good Bye, Good Bye...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Salzburg ~ One Enchanted Evening!

I have finally found some time to sort through photos and reflect about my European travels this past spring. Over the next few weeks, I would like to transport you into my world of travels and experiences. Get Ready. Here we Go! Are you all buckled up?

It's always been a dream to listen and experience a first class concert in Europe.
We first visited family in Southern Germany, and then proceeded to travel alone to Salzburg. I had an agenda..
A Live Concert!
Mozart's Birth House!
The Sound of Music Tour!


Far in the distance you can see the Hohensalzburg Fortress. In this place we were going to feel the magic of music. A small cable car carried us to the top of the fortress.

The Fortress Hohensalzburg is the landmark of the city of Salzburg. With a length of 250m and a width of 150m, the Fortress Hohensalzburg is the biggest still maintaining fortress in Central Europe. The fortress is located on a hill just before Salzburg. The hill is called Festungsberg.
The beginning of construction started in 1077. It was completed in between the 12-13th Century.

Salzburg is a small bustling city with a population of about 150,000 but in summer it hosts the Salzburg Festival which hosts over 2 million young musicians and tourists.
That's the place to be if you love music. I had always heard my music teachers talking about going to Salzburg during the summer times. Now I know why they went.
I never believed that I would drag my husband to a place like this.
He has always championed my interest in music.

Slowly and carefully we made our way up the narrow winding steps. When we arrived at the top step, he said, "Did you know that I counted 144 steps?" Since when does he count steps. Obviously he had been looking for an elevator.
I don't think they had them way back in the 12 Century.

We found our way to the Furstenzimmer. (Prince's Chamber)
There we found the marked door. What was behind those doors?
I was in another world...wondering in awe...

There it was. A grand piano just like I imagined. Imagine taking yourself back into another era and listening to Mozart play this piano.
What an enchanting hour. And there we were entertained by some of Europe's finest musicians.
We listened to "Das Kaiser Quartett" by J. Haydn, "Klavierkonzert D-Dur" by J. Haydn, and last but not least, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" by W.A. Mozart. (1756-1791)

When a row of lighted windows can be seen as evenng falls over Salzburg's world-famous fortress, you know that a concert is being performed in the Prince's Chamber.

"Music should go through you, leave some of itself inside you, and take some of it with you when it leaves. " ~ Henry Threadgill. This was truly experienced by both of us.

The following day we took the afternoon to explore and learn more about the history of W.A. Mozart, one of the world's finest musicians and composers. We visited his birthhouse. Just imagine tracing the footsteps of a classical composer who brought soothing hours of music to generations and generations. A young boy of five years of age composing and performing. Unbelievable! A musical prodigy!
A short life, but well lived, not without struggles and challenges. Thirty five years old.
He left the world in awe! Januay 27, 1756 - December 5, 1791.

Prior to the concert, we dined in an elegant atmosphere in the Fortress Dining Room.
This is the view from our window..A mountain in the distance...Everyone's eyes were focused.
Do any of you recognize it or know what it represents?

More to follow. Stay posted!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's a Hot One!

Birchwood Dairies is part of the Circle Tours in the Valley.
There is nothing better than driving out to the country,
knowing there is fresh home-made ice-cream at the other end.

While I was sitting licking my ice-cream cone,
I glanced up and thought,
Sheer Determination!
Nothing is going to stop him from enjoying a
grocery cart filled with ice-cream buckets.

It's been hot and he knows where to cool off.

Oh by the way, check out this Blueberrry Scone Recipe.
I made a batch yesterday, I think another one today....

Anneliese Blueberry Scones
It won't take any time and those will be scooped up!

Oh, by the way,
Happy Birthday Frank!
Don't Fear...You are scared of growing older?

There are three periods in life:
youth, middle age and “how well you look.”
~ Nelson A Rockefeller