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June 23, 2009

European Adventure


What a grand anniversary trip we’ve had in Europe! After Switzerland, we flew back to England where we lived for three years from 1976-79. We served as volunteers for our church

there and had so much fun finding old friends and greeting former missionaries after 30 years!

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Our favorite little castle is at Hever. It was the home of Thomas Boelyn, father of Ann Boelyn and was often visited by Henry VIII. The grounds are simply fabulous with an enormous man-made lake and moats to die for!

So much history!

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How great it was to see our friends from so many years ago with kids all grown up and even sometimes grandparents!

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From there we popped to Paddington Station and chatted with a couple of jolley English Bobbys as we headed for Scotland.

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It was such fun to speak at this fabulous old Hotel, a house first mentioned in history in 1213!  Here we did a three hour seminar with such lovely parents..

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From there we rented a car and drove down through the gorgeous countryside of Scotland and England to the Lake District.

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Here we visited the birthplace and other homes of one of our favorite people….William Wordsworth.  Here is Dove Cottage where he did most of his best writing!

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By Lake Grasmere

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Next it was on to York, where we had never been before. We were delighted to find the oldest Cathedral in England…The Minster:

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And The Shambles, the street that inspired J.K. Rowling to create Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.

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Next on to Richard’s ancesteral ground in a little village in Lincolnshire called Dowsby..

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That night we stayed at one of the most exciting spots in all of England….Cambrige University.  How amazing it was to see the spires of the colleges and the devotion to God as well as learning that was expressed in the architecture of that amazing place!

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St. Johns College where the famous opening race scene from Chariots of Fire was filmed.  Richard tried to “beat the clock” but failed!

Here is the gorgeous River of Sighs:

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The Landscaping was also breathtaking!  What a parade of fascinating thoughts and minds have passed through this incredible place!

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June 15, 2009

Old Relatives and New Relatives in Switzerland!

What fun we’ve had exploring the stomping ground of our my (Linda’s) ancestors in Switzerland. My grandmother was born in Schiedrued, Aargau, Switzerland and though we’d been there 20 years ago, it was delightful to see that gorgeous place on earth and even find some long lost cousins! There can’t be a more spectacular country with kinder more welcoming people!

My Grandparents were Samuel and Verena Goldenberger and we found their little village still full of Goldenbergers! Many were in the graveyard of the church

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But many were alive and well! It was so fun to meet distant cousins who were so welcoming and fun to know!

The town museum was filled with things from my great grandparents’ era and a delightful 86 year old guide who was the director of the museum, Herr Steppen:

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Our next exciting spot was to meet the parents of a darling girl to whom one of our sons has just become engaged. They are set to be married on September 8th and we had a delightful time in her wonderful village meeting her amazing parents who speak 5 languages fluently!

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Here we are excited to meet our new in-laws-to-be!

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What a view from their front entry!

BEAUTY everywhere!

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There is no way to tell that this is a tourist train wending beside the Rhine River about 3000 feet below the platform we were standing on!

After days filled with the grandeur of mountain passes and overnight stay at Lake Como in Italy we ended our Swiss journey in Interlaken, Grindelwald and Zurich!

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June 7, 2009

We Love Paris in the Springtime!


Can you believe that on July 30th, Richard and i will have been married for exactly forty year? 

I know, I know this really dates us, and I have to pinch myself as I wonder how could that be possible!   It seems like just a few years ago, that Richard put that diamond ring on my finger at the top of Old Main Tower at Utah State University, where we both graduated.  But here we are 480 months later, ready to celebrate with a long journey through Europe.

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We began in Paris at one of our favorite venues on earth:  Roland Garros!  It was the year of the early defeat of Rafa Nadal and three days of watching great matches even including seeing John McEnroe play in a senior’s match!

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Of course Paris is one of the most magnificent places to visit and after long days of tennis, and since it didn’t get really dark until midnight, we loved visiting those most historic places:

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Notre Dame always conjures “hunchbacks” towers, stained glass and flying buttresses!

Though we have been to Paris several times, I had never seen Sacre Coeur, which is magnificent and is a spectacular place to see the city at sunset.

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The Arc d’’Triumph is always an inspiration

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But my favorite day in Paris was the day we rented bikes and saw EVERYTHING!  It was a spectacularly sunny day and we just biked along the Seine and saw Paris from a new viewpoint!

Our hotel was near the Eiffel Tower and we had seen it “twinkle” on the hour twice, but we had never seen it from UNDER before:

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Since we’d already seen the Mona Lisa and the miles of artwork at the Louvre and the fabulous artwork of the Muse’ de Orsay several times, seeing them from the outside on the bikes was great fun!  Plus the bike paths made us feel as though we were the king of the roads!

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Something neither of us had seen was the Grand Palace which was built especially for the World’s Fair of 1900. 

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Sadly it was closed for renovation and all we could do is peer through the giant doors at the stained glass entry that filled that gigantic clear glass building with color!

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Luckily directly across the street was The Petit Palace, a fabulous building with more of the unending supply of gorgeous fine art in Paris!  One of my favorites was this Mary Cassatt, who was a contemporary of Monet and loved painting Mothers and Children!

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We turned in the bikes and took a train to one of the wonders of the world….Versailles!  “What the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve” always makes me wonder how anyone could conceive of such a gargantuous place both in terms of buildings and gardens.

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My arms below give you an idea of the scope of those backlit gates!

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Tomorrow we get to drive through the French country side, through Dijon and on to the homeland of my mother’s side of our family: Switzerland!

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