Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving-- An American Holiday

 I don’t know how it happened but somehow Thanksgiving began to be called “Turkey Day” in America.  I suspect this occured when children were taught that on the first Thanksgiving the Pilgrims thanked the Indians for helping them grow crops.  Yes, Indians were invited to the harvest feast, and I’m sure that the Pilgrims did thank the Indians for helping them, but it was God who they thanked that day, as they did every day.  See here.  I pray that this Thanksgiving in America everyone old, young, rich, poor will know that it is God who provided every good and perfect gift.  I pray that each one will humble himself and thank God for His provision.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


The state church is Lutheran even though the tour guide said they had freedom to worship in any way they choose.  Photo by Chris

The first time we traveled to Sweden it was September of 1992.  We flew into Stockholm and stayed at a hotel over night.  I noticed that the streets and sidewalks were torn up and being repaired just like in the United States.  The engineers were at it again!  But I think they have to do so many repairs because of the long cold winters.  In September it was already feeling like winter to me. 
Hotel Lobby.  Photo by Bobbi

We rented a car and drove from Stockholm to Gothenburg.  The roads had many work projects going on at the time.  We could not read the Swedish language on the signs but we were able to figure them out because everything was signed much the way as it is in the United States. 

When we traveled to Gothenburg in 1995, Jes accompanied us.  We did some sightseeing while we were there.  Here is what we saw:

Boat museum
Spice shop
University  All photo's by Bobbi
As I recall we visited the Royal Palace.  I remember the rooms opening up off of the long hallways.  It was almost as if the rooms were for display and not for living in.  Everything was very ornate.

Next stop was Elos.  We asked for a double room for Chris and me.  Here is what we got. 

Jes had a single and it was even smaller.  He had a black and white TV to watch.  All the TV shows were in English.
Note tables through the door
The buffet in the hotel cafeteria featured Swedish meatballs and rice.

We did some shopping and visited the boat yard where our boat was being built.

We attended the presentation by Jimmy Cornell.  See here.  He spoke in English.  We were the only English speakers, but most people who attended the talk spoke English.  Many spoke German.  The man sitting across from us was Danish and did not speak English so it was difficult for him.

From there we flew home.  I’m glad I was able to visit Sweden.  I can picture how life is for the people who live there.  Some day I will write about my trip to Japan.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


We flew into the Florence airport.  We hired a cab and were taken to our hotel where we had reservations.  We thought that possibly the cab driver ripped us off and overcharged us but we weren’t sure. 

We were very happy to find a restaurant where we could order what we wanted to eat.  They didn’t force us to order a 7-course meal.  We had pasta, salad, and bread.  When we left the restaurant we were told to take our receipt because the police might ask us to show it to them.  Apparently the police have to keep track of what everybody is doing or something. 

The next day we saw the following:

Bronze doors on the Baptistry of St. John.  Photo by Chris.
Santa Croce--burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo,Machiavedi.  Photo by Chris.
Burial place of Dante.  Photo by Chris.
Florence Cathedral.  Photo by Chris.

Restaurants don’t open until 7 in Florence but fortunately we found a gelato store and were able to have gelato every afternoon at 5 when we were hungry!

Only one gypsy tried to steal Chris’s wallet but we were able to quickly move away from the women who accosted him. 

Next stop was Rome.  The hotel where we stayed had a quant elevator. 
internet photo
We saw the following:
 Coliseum.  Photo by Chris.

Arch of Constantine. Photo by Chris.
Sistine Chapel.  Photo by Chris.
Trevi Fountain.  Photo by Chris.
Took a trip in there somewhere to Pisa.
Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Photo by Chris.

From Rome we flew home.  In the Rome airport were many military police carrying machine guns.  Next time I will write about our trip to Sweden.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


This is the third blog about our trip in 1992.  The lovely little hotel near the Paris opera house, where we stayed, featured breakfast, which included coffee with hot milk, croissant, and fruit, served on white bone china. (Neither Chris nor I can remember the name of the hotel.  My friend Nancy said it goes something like this—“ When you first show the pictures and the videos you know the names of all the places, bridges, buildings, etc.  The second time you show them you say—That is some building we saw, etc.  The third time you say—I don’t think we’ve ever been there!”)

Back to our trip.  In the narrow, brick walled, lobby of the unnamed hotel, we would gather each morning.  Seated comfortably on the French provincial style furniture we would enjoy our breakfast.  After breakfast Chris, and his colleague, David, would set off for the Microsoft headquarters.  David's wife and 2 daughters would join me for different tours around Paris.  A bus would pick us up at the hotel and deliver us back to the hotel after the tour.   We drove by the famous sights—Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Champ-Elusees, Arc Triumphe, Louvre, Napoleon’s tomb, etc.  One day we window-shopped. 

Chris was able to get away long enough to enjoy a river tour down the Seine, and to spend some time in the Louvre.  We enjoyed a few lunches outside along the Champ-Elusees.  One day we hiked up the winding streets of Montmartre where many artists sell their wares. At the top of the hill is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris.

One evening we entered a restaurant, which was empty.  We just wanted a bowl of soup.  The person who waited on us said we could not have just a bowl of soup.  We had to order a complete dinner.  We ordered steak, potatoes, onion soup, and wine.  It cost $40.00 for one plate of food.  This was in 1992.  I can’t imagine what it would cost now. Most people in France eat dinner at 8 or 9 PM.  We were always hungry by 5.

The next day I tried to buy stamps to mail post cards.  I was told they sold stamps at a café nearby.  Unfortunately they were only open for business after 11 am, and closed from between 1 and 4.  It was tricky but I was able to get a few stamps between 11 and 1 one day. 

We enjoyed a trip into the country with the McBride family.  David is a vegetarian so there isn’t much for him to eat in France.  He ordered rice.  The rest of us had calamari, meat and potatoes.

Photo by Chris

We visited The Château de Chantilly (pronounced: [ʃɑ.to də ʃɑ̃.ti.ji]). It is a historic château located in the town of ChantillyFrance.
According to legend, Louis Henri, Duc de BourbonPrince of Condé believed that he would be reincarnated as a horse after his death. In 1719, he asked the architect, Jean Aubert to build stables suitable to his rank. The château and the Great Stables were featured in the 1985 James Bond movie A View to a Kill, as the home of villainous Max Zorin (played by Christopher Walken) which was being infiltrated by Bond (played for the last time by Roger Moore) in his quest.

Photo by Chris

Chris and I took a side trip to Cannes.  The night train was very comfortable. 
Photo by Chris
We noted that the French have many dogs and they must pick up after their dogs.  
Photo by Chris
We found a laundermat and hired our laundry done—Chris was able to have the whole conversation in French with the laundress. It was a nice town but again we couldn’t find anywhere to have dinner before 8 pm.
 Photo by Chris
When we went to the train station to purchase tickets for the train to Italy we were told that we could not make a reservation.  It turns out that the train employees are not allowed to strike, but to do a strike anyway, they slow the work down.  We opted to fly.  Next blog will be about Italy.