Family Fun in Hilton Head

September 2, 2015

IMG_1676

Dale and me in front of The Salty Dog Cafe.
 Hilton Head, South Carolina
August 2015

Coordinating the schedules of 13 different people for a “family reunion” is an not easy task. Yet, last month my family happily succeeded, all converging for one week, upon a spacious rental house in Hilton Head, South Carolina. What fun it was for Dale and me to spend a relaxed week together with our grown offspring and their families.

  The Ava Gardner Museum, Smithfield, North Carolina

IMG_1642I’m all smiles outside of the Ava Gardner Museum.

I had one criteria for our nine hour road trip to South Carolina; stopping at the Ava Gardner Museum, just off Highway I-95, in Smithfield, North Carolina. Not only did the hour break help revive us, but the old movie buff in me delighted in viewing Gardner’s costumes and movie memorabilia.

IMG_7054

Ava Gardner‘s life reads like a movie script, starting out as a small town North Carolina girl,
to rising as a star during Hollywood’s golden age of
the 1940’s and 1950’s.

IMG_7401
My son and I attempt to identify all of the MGM stars, including Ava Gardner, in this photo taken in 1949.

IMG_7065IMG_7057

I loved Gardner’s costumes from Showboat (1951) and Mogombo (1953).
I was amazed at how very tiny her waist was-18 inches!
Read more about Ava Gardner here.

IMG_7055
Ava Gardner was married three times:
to actor Mickey Rooney (1942–1943),
to band leader Artie Shaw(1945–1946),
and most famously, to actor Frank Sinatra (1951–1957).

IMG_7570
A dvd copy of my favorite Ava Gardner movie, One Touch of Venus,
became my museum souvenir. :o)

To read more about the Ava Gardner Museum, click here.

Savannah

Our crew began arriving from Minnesota by plane, from Florida by train, and from Charleston, South Carolina and Maryland by automobile. Meeting the Minnesota contingent, we spent the first night in Savannah, Georgia.

IMG_7084

IMG_1645IMG_7074 (1)Enjoying the sights, smells, and tastes of The Peanut Shop and Candy Kitchen on River Street.

IMG_7090
Our daughter and her husband stand under the majestic Live Oak Trees draped in Spanish Moss.

IMG_1652IMG_1654
The Olde Pink House Restaurant was a delicious spot to dine for lunch.

IMG_1658
A trip to Savannah would not be complete without a quick stop to
The Paula Deen Retail Store.
 :o)

IMG_7112
Our daughter sits in Chippewa Square, one of Savannah’s pretty park-like squares, where a Forest Gump scene was filmed in 1994.
The actual bench where Tom Hank’s, Forest Gump, sat was a movie prop
and now resides in Savannah History Museum.
To read more about this movie location,
read here.

IMG_1664
We left Savannah for Hilton Head in the early afternoon.
Dale made the trip back to Savannah, later that evening,
to pick up our Florida son from the train.   

Hilton Head!

Our Palmetto Dunes Digs


IMG_7371
Our “Family Reunion” home for the week.
We found this house through here.

IMG_7143 (1)
The backyard pool was enjoyed by all.

Bridal Shower

IMG_7132 (2)

IMG_7123

While the whole gang was together, we had an informal family bridal shower, with an Alice in Wonderland flair,
for Trevor and Tanya. They are getting married in January.

IMG_7116

We began the morning with these “diamond ring” doughnuts. :o)
To get the free printable, go here.

IMG_1666

IMG_7126IMG_7131IMG_7128 IMG_7130IMG_7129
Of course there were party hats, eats, games,

IMG_7134 (1)
…and a cute slide show, put together by our daughter.

The Beach

IMG_7246

Sunrise

IMG_1702

IMG_7247

IMG_1698

IMG_1692
Our group took turns on various mornings,
heading to the beach to view the beautiful sunrise.

IMG_7146

IMG_7190

  IMG_7189

  IMG_7203  

IMG_7319

IMG_1715

IMG_7326

IMG_7405
Our time at the beach was always enjoyable; morning, daytime, and evening.
Hilton Head’s beaches have compact sand, making it easy to walk on,
or even to ride a bike on.

Food and more Fun

IMG_7216IMG_7285
On most nights, the individual families took turns preparing dinner.
On our day to cook (see the right-hand photo), we served breakfast instead,
with Dale’s buttermilk pancakes.
(See the recipe below.)

 IMG_7242
The family relaxing after another great meal.

IMG_1674IMG_7237
Lunch at Hilton Head’s Salty Dog, and Salty Dog souvenirs, too.

IMG_7576IMG_7301
Hudson’s, a Hilton Head institution, was delicious,
and my favorite restaurant of the week!
Our family of thirteen took up the whole, long table.  :o)

 IMG_1680

IMG_7180

The iconic red and white light house is Harbour Town‘s, centerpiece. 

IMG_7373
The penalty for losing at miniature golf?
Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf 

IMG_7292
Yes, I found Mickey Bars on Hilton Head Island!

IMG_7379
Martese found a few items to purchase at the
Disney Hilton Head Resort Store. :o)
(She and her hubby stayed here on their honeymoon in 2013.)
Martese can make arrangements for you to stay here,
or at any other Disney property.
For details to her free Disney travel service,
refer to the links at the bottom of this blog.

Recipe

Dad’s (Dale’s) Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups buttermilk (whole-fat works best)
2 eggs. well-beaten
1 stick of real butter, melted

PAM spray, or vegetable oil

Real maple syrup

Directions:

Mix together dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda.
Add buttermilk, stirring together.
Add well-beaten eggs.  Mix together well.
Add melted butter, and stir just until mixed.

Pour batter into 350-degree electric skillet that has been
sprayed with PAM. or a Tablespoon of vegetable oil.

Serve with real maple syrup.
Serves 4-6.

Thanks so much for reading. :o)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, so look for my next post around September 18.

A giant thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!!!
If you are not currently getting my blogs via email, I’d love for you to do so!
PLEASE, join my blog following for Free!!!
Sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or go here.

Planning a Disney Vacation?

11011957_457661781068664_3074475171862932485_n
Our Daughter, Martese, is a Magic Maker® for Off to Neverland Travel,
an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for any Disney Destination.
She is extremely Disney Park knowledgeable! :o)
Martese’s vacation planning services are totally FREE!!!
Her website is here.
Her Facebook site is here.

IMG_7574

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Istanbul in 48 Hour

June 27, 2015

 Istanbul in 48 Hours

IMG_1374
I enjoy the rooftop view from our hotel in Istanbul.
July 2015

I have a confession to make. My house is a mess!  Two and a half years of shuttling back and forth overseas, and now recently moving back home, has taken its toll. Frankly, it has left my usually tidy abode in a state of disarray, and finds me transfixed in a sea of overwhelmedness (Yes, that IS a word. I just made it up. :o))

More on our move home, life abroad, etc. in a future post,
or as the Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch would say,
“All in good time my little pretty, all in good time.”

For now, I will crawl into the relative safety of my, somewhat organized, blogging world.  (In other words, I choose to procrastinate.), and regale you with a tale of our recent Istanbul adventure, far from the disorder that currently surrounds me.
And of course, with an iced tea in hand.  :o)

  IMG_5607

Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Istanbul, the Ataturk Airport that is, has become a familiar layover stop for Dale and myself over the past few years. I am not just sure how many times we were there, coming from overseas, or going home, every few months, but we know it well.

IMG_3954
Dale and I, on one of our numerous overseas flights that took us
through Istanbul.
November 2013

Each time, we would peer out our plane’s window at the city’s impressive urban expanse, populated by over 14 million citizens. Each time we would insist that on one of our overseas transits, that we would actually step outside of the airport’s confines to explore the City by the Bosphorus, where part of Istanbul lies in Europe and part of it in Asia.

(Just this last month, Turkish Airlines began to offer international passengers a free service, during layover time, where quick tours of the city are provided.
Click here to read more.)

IMG_0774 (1)
Looking out of m
y airplane window at the vast city of Istanbul,
just prior to landing.
May 29, 2015

IMG_5457 (2) Enjoying a Turkish Sesame Bagel, crisp on the outside
and soft on the inside,
at the Turkish Airline Lounge in Istanbul.
May 18, 2015

IMG_6471
This Turkish Lounge chef prepares delicious Turkish Pizza, or pita.
I believe that it is also sometimes called Lahmacun.

IMG_6473The staff kindly gave me this recipe, written in Turkish.
Here is the Google-translated result :
Vegetable Pita Recipe
2 eggplants, 2 zucchini, 1 red 1 yellow pepper them fat brown for thyme and salt mixed cooled parsley are mixed
pita dough in 1 kg flour 20 g salt 20 g yeast 20 g sugar
pita dough is kneaded with half a liter of water
after the presentations are made with basil pesto.

 Istanbul (not Constantinople)…la la la…

To be honest, except for the catchy 1953 tune Istanbul (not Constantinople)
 by The Four Lads (much before my time, of course), I knew very little about this vibrant Turkish city of Istanbul. (In 1930, Constantinople officially was renamed Istanbul, which is what this silly song is about.)
After two fun-filled days, however, I now have an appreciation for some of what beautiful Istanbul has to offer.

IMG_6458
Dale and I enjoy the view from Topkapi Palace.

To listen to the hit Istanbul (not Constantinople), click here.

 The Hotel

Thanks to the recommendations of several friends, who had been to Istanbul before us, and a kind Turkish passenger who Dale befriended on a previous plane trip, we were well informed on lodging options and things to see here. (Thank you! You know who you are. :o)) Dale and I opted for the wonderful Four Seasons Hotel, Istanbul at Sultanahmet, celebrating our return home. It was the perfect choice, and also the perfect location, within walking distance to the Istanbul sights that we looked forward to seeing.

IMG_1117I stand outside of the beautiful
Four Seasons Hotel, Istanbul at Sultanahmet.
At one time this beautiful hotel was once the Sultanahmet Prison!

 IMG_1113
Dale and I were delighted to find this view outside our hotel window;
the Hagia Sophia with protected Roman ruins in the foreground.

 The Sights

Please join me on a brief photo tour of our trip, touching upon the highlights of our Istanbul experience.

The Blue Mosque

First on our list of Istanbul sights to visit, was the Blue Mosque with its six minarets (towers). We visited this landmark twice. Visitors of all faiths are welcome to enter here, even during prayer times. All are asked to remove their shoes, and scarves are provided for women visitors. (I brought my own socks and scarf.)

IMG_1133

The Blue Mosque, so named for the blue tiles within,
is a famous Istanbul landmark.

IMG_1365

Built in the 1600’s, the Blue Mosque has over 200 stained glass windows,
and its interior is lined with more than 20,000 tiles.

IMG_1367

I explore the architecture of the massive Blue Mosque,
being mindful that my hair and shoulders are covered.

Basilica Cistern

Built in the 6th century, The Basilica Cistern, once provided water for Istanbul. This underground locale was also one of several Istanbul locations in the 1963, James Bond film, From Russia with Love, starring Sean Connery.

IMG_1137
I visit Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern, just like in a James Bond film, in July 2015.

For more Istanbul locations featured  in
To Russia with Love, check out this post

Hagia Sophia

Constructed from 532-537 (In other words, this museum is very old!) the Hagia Sophia served as a Greek Orthodox cathedral, and later a Roman Catholic cathedral.In 1453,  the Ottoman Turks overtook Constantinople  and converted the cathedral into a mosque.
In 1935, Hagia Sophia became a museum of the Republic of Turkey.

IMG_1422I stand outside of the Hagia Sophia.

IMG_1163

The mosaics on the walls of the Hagia Sophia glitter with gold,
well 
actually they glitter with gold leaf called tessera.  

IMG_6161
These mosaics beautifully shimmer in the light.

Bosphorus Cruise

Dale and I enjoyed a leisurely and inexpensive hour and a half cruise on the
Bosphorus Straight.

IMG_6176
It was a beautiful day for a cruise.

 IMG_1198 
The sights were many on our relaxing trip.

Taskim Square Area

Dale and I found the Taskim Square area bustling and energetic.

IMG_6218Monument of the Republic sits in Taskim Square.

 IMG_6197 IMG_6199
This photo of Dale and me in front of Galata Tower was taken by an Iowa teenager walking by, who was visiting Istanbul with his family!
( I grew up in Iowa!)

IMG_1261
The streets near Taskim Square were decorated for the month of Ramadan.

Hippodrome of Constantinople

Just outside of the Blue Mosque sits the Hippodrome area.
This was once Constantinople’s sporting area for events, such as horse and chariot races.

IMG_1343

The Obelisk of Theodosius was built in the 1400’s BC. and was moved to Constantinople in the 300’s AD.  It was originally taller than it is now.

IMG_1350

The pedestal depicts an emperor giving a laurel wreath to the winner of a game.  This base was discovered buried in dirt in the 1890’s.
It had been buried over time . 

For a good write-up about the Hippodrome, read this blog post.

Topkapi Palace

I first became aware of the Topkapi Palace and it’s “crown jewel” via the 1964 movie, Topkapi.  Although, I am not a big fan of the film, I became mesmorized by the Topkapi Dagger featured in the movie.

Visiting the Topkapi Palace allowed me to see the dagger in person, as well as the fourth largest diamond, the Spoonmaker’s Diamond.
To view these jewels in a short video, click here.

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 10.09.43 PM

Topkapi takes place in Istanbul.
Originally released by United Artists, it is now available on dvd, and is occasionally shown on Turner Classic Movies.
The Emerald encrusted dagger is the star of this film.

IMG_1429

I stand at the grand entrance of the Topkapi Palace Museum,
from the 1400’s to 1856, the royal residence to the sultans.

IMG_6429
Stepping inside, the Topkapi Palace doorway frames the Blue Mosque.

IMG_6248

IMG_1300

The ornate tile work was evident throughout the Sultan’s Harem section of the Topkapi Palace.

To hear a brief description of life in the harem at the palace, click here.

IMG_7026 IMG_7027

Bathed in dark light, and photography forbidden, I bought these post cards of
the famous Topkapi Dagger and the 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond.

IMG_6264Overlooking the Bosphorus, the Topkapi Palace has spectacular views of Istanbul.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

With just hours to spare before heading to the airport for home,
Dale and I took a quick run through the
Istanbul Archaeological Museum.  There are some really old things there!

IMG_6434
Dale stands amoungst the impressive collection of artifacts that reside in the outside area of the Archaeological Museum.

IMG_6444
The inside exhibit includes this early Roman statue of Poseidon,
from around the 1st century.  (There is actually a lower portion of this statue, but in keeping with this blog’s PG rating….:O))  


The Shopping and Dining

“Catering” to its tourist industry,  Istanbul had plenty of places to shop and dine (catering-dining, get the pun? :o))

The Grand Bazaar
In all honesty, Dale and I found this famed tourist destination less than stellar.
After a quick 20 minute look-around, we were looking for the exit.
The Grand Bazaar had the feel of a giant flee market.

IMG_1361Dale and I stroll the historic Grand Bazaar .

IMG_6306
We found the spices and tea for sale interesting, especially the one in the lower left corner.

Rugs
IMG_7025

One, of the two, lovely wool Kilim Turkish rugs that we purchased from Herke Hali  in Istanbul.
In Istanbul, beware of “friendly” strangers who approach you!
We had a rug salesman begin following us around
and then invite us into his rug shop for tea.
We did look in his shop, but did not buy anything.

Dale and I went back to our hotel concierge and asked for a recommendation for a reputable Turkish rug dealer.  The hotel uses and highly recommends
Herke Hali.
We bought two rugs from Herke Hali for the same price that the first merchant was asking for just one rug.

IMG_1355
I sit with two employees of Herke Hali after purchasing our rugs.

Pottery

IMG_7030

Another recommendation by our hotel concierge was for reputable pottery (some pottery is machine reproduced, yet passed off as handmade) at
Iznik Classics.

I got these fun little bowls.

IMG_7031

Not all pottery is safe for food, so I was happy to find these.
They are even dishwasher (but not microwave) safe!

Jewelry

I love jewelry, and I often buy jewelry as a souvinier from where I have been.  I found this cute little jewelry shop in the Galata/Taskim Square area of Istanbul.  I bought a wonderful and unique pair of earrings there, and upon purchasing them, I found out that the owner of the shop, was also the designer and creator of my souvinier!

IMG_6209IMG_6208
Petra Designs, my new favorite jewelry store in Istanbul!
The owner and designer playfully poses for a photo.

Food!

Here is just a sampling of some of the delicious food that we ate in Istanbul.

    IMG_6169 (1)
The Turkish Ice Cream, or  Dondurma, differs from American ice cream.
It is thicker and melts more slowly due to the thickening agent made from orchid root.

IMG_6213 (1)IMG_6287
Turkish Delight is plentiful in Istanbul.
My favorite flavor is orange dipped in dark chocolate.

IMG_6174IMG_6170IMG_1193
Doner, a yummy grilled meat wrapped in flat bread.

IMG_1356 (1)
Pistachio filled pastries!

IMG_6317Turkish Tea!
Black, my favorite (shown above), and a lightly colored and lightly flavored apple, always served in a tulip-shaped glass.
 

IMG_1204

To hear more about Istanbul,check out this video, Rick Steves’ Europe.

Thanks for reading! :O)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, but in the interest of a cleaner domicile…. look for my next post on, or around,
August 30.

A great big thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!

If you are not already an “I’m Annette” blog follower, why not sign up today? You will receive each blog via email, upon publication for free, yes, I said FREE!
Please, sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or go to annettehoffman.wordpress.com

IMG_6083This beautiful flower arrangement greeted us, and bid us farewell,
 at the entrance of our Istanbul hotel.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 3b, A Small Part of England

June 23, 2015

 Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 3b
A Small Part of England

IMG_0454
I stand on Steep Hill, with the beautiful Lincoln Cathedral
towering behind me.
March 2015

England is a treat to explore. Happily tagging along on my husband’s business trips, I have been blessed to be able to visit England’s northeastern area on a few occasions. Being an avid (iPhone) photographer, I share with you a photo album highlighting my two visits to the Lincolnshire area and beyond, from this past year.

IMG_0957
My husband, Dale, and I enjoy an evening stroll on the Cleethropes beach.
Due to the nippy June temperatures, I had to buy a stocking cap!
June 2015

St. Patrick’s Day and a Solar Eclipse
Forest Pines Hotel, Scunthorpe

I awoke March 17th and thoughtfully dressed in my sage green sweater and jeans before heading downstairs for breakfast. It was St. Patrick’s Day, after all, and as any self-respecting former elementary school teacher knows, green is the color of the day. So, imagine my surprise when I walked into the restaurant, and nary a green clad Brit could be found, nor even a shamrock decoration! After a conversation with a local on the subject, I found that St. Pat’s celebrations do happen in this part of the world, too, but mostly in the pubs. I was, however, treated that afternoon to a beautiful rainbow, befitting of the day dedicated to the “wearin’ of the green” and the legend of the leprechaun’s pot of gold.

IMG_4932I spied this St. Patrick’s Day rainbow outside my hotel window.
Maybe I should have followed it to the end, for my portion of the leprechaun’s pot of gold! :o)
March 17, 2015

 Three days later, another phenomenon appeared in the sky, a solar eclipse. This astronomical occurrence took me by surprise, and like most of my fellow breakfast diners that morning; I could only watch live Internet and TV coverage, as nature put on its display. (Viewing a solar eclipse with the naked eye can cause irreparable damage.) With almost 90% coverage of the sun, an eeriness set in. Daylight’s colors faded into sepia hues. There was an uncomfortable, attentive, mood that predominated the restaurant, as patrons began to speak in hushed tones. We waited and watched. Slowly the world, as we know it, returned to its colorful and sunny state.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.51.20 PM
This photo perfectly captures the unusual color that blanketed the area during the solar eclipse.
Lincoln

March 20, 2015

This photo was used with the kind permission of photographer,
Shradha Mishra, who took this photo in Lincoln.
Many, many thanks, Ms. Mirshra!

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.51.41 PMHow sweet is this eclipse illustration by English children’s book illustrator, Mark A. Chambers?

A great big thank you to Mr. Chambers for allowing me to use his illustration in this blog post!
To read more about Mark A. Chambers, click on his website here.
(Special limited edition prints of this may be made available soon on this website.)
You may also follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/markAchambers.

Chips, Fries, Crisps

 When not chasing rainbows, or being mesmerized by an eclipse in March, I was often enjoying food served at the Forrest Pines. There were some delicious dishes prepared there, but one night it was just that cuisine which proved a humorous moment.

IMG_4940
This Onion Veloute soup was one of my favorite dishes served at
Forrest Pines.
You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

Dale and I had just arrived at the hotel, and being travel weary, and only slightly hungry, we decided to have room service bring up a sandwich for us to share. Not wanting French fries that night, I requested that we would just like chips.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 8.03.28 AM
Walkers is an English variety of crisps for sale in local stores.

 As I said, I was tired, I really did know better, but I had made a blunder when ordering. Chips to the English, would be to us (Americans) French fries. Our American (potato) chips are to the English, crisps. When our sandwich order arrived, to my dismay, we received not potato chips, but a double order of French fries, what the English call chips! (Bacon is another word with a different connotation here. English bacon is similar to our American Canadian bacon.)

IMG_4965English “chips” and a hamburger with American-style bacon at
London’s Heathrow Airport’s, London Pride by Fuller’s.
March 2015

Lincoln
March 2015

We were hungry. One evening, after Dale had finished work, we set off to nearby Lincoln for dinner and a bit of sight seeing. Although it was a brief trip, we enjoyed our time spent there.

IMG_0466Dominating the Lincoln landscape is the beautiful Lincoln Cathedral,
first built in 1092.
To read  about the cathedral’s history, click here.

IMG_0460
You may recognize this cathedral from the 2006 movie, The Da Vinci Code. Read more about that here, and here.

IMG_4947

Dale and I were on Lincoln’s Steep Hill, weighing our dinner options, when the wonderful smell of this barbeque caught our attention and drew us in!We found ourselves surrounded by American flags and delicious American cuisine at Ribs n Bibs.

IMG_4948
Dale is all bibbed and ready to dig in to our yummy dinner.
I apologize for my blurry photo. I guess that I was more concerned about eating than about photo clarity, at the time. :o)

IMG_0468
At the parking lot (or car park, as they are often called in the UK), I pose with the Lincoln Castle in the background. It is home to an original copy of the Magna Carta.

 York
March 2015
 York is an historic old city with a lot of charm. I had a clear-cut agenda for my short visit there in March; shopping at Cath Kidston’s and lunch at Betty’s Café Tea Room!

IMG_4924
I spotted this colorful print, inspired by a vintage Railway poster, in a clothing store. Unfortunately, no one could tell me where I could purchase one to take home.

IMG_4908
Looking down the historic street of Stonegate in York.
Cath Kidston’s is located where the blue sign is, on the left hand side.

IMG_4909
I love the British-based Cath Kidston shops, even more so during a sale! :o)

IMG_4910
I thought that the name of this pub, The Yorkshire Terrier, was cute, sitting on Stonegate.
Note the photo bomber on the left hand side of this picture!

IMG_4925
Many of the shop display windows in York, were filled with eye candy.

IMG_4911 IMG_4914
Eating at Betty’s Café and Tea Room, when in York, is always a treat!

My friendly Betty’s server recommended her favorite dish, so I went with her recommendation.

IMG_4917
The Haddock, Salmon and Prawn (shrimp) Gratin was delicious.

To read my past blog post about Lincoln and York, please click here.

Cleethorpes
June 2015

IMG_6013
I bought this cute print to remind me of Cleethorpes,
a replica of a vintage rail poster.

 IMG_0948
Dale and I enjoyed our stay at the Dovedale Hotel.
The hotel’s location in Cleethorpes made it possible for me to walk
around town each day.

IMG_5910
Our hotel room looked out onto this quaint English street.

IMG_5847
My daily walk to town took me by the water.
This photo was taken in the morning, during low tide.

IMG_5851Cleepthorpes is situated on the mouth of the Humber, an estuary.
During low tide, the sand separates the beach from the water.

IMG_5885
Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.04.31 PM
A whimsical kite sculpture named Festival “flies” near the beach.
 

IMG_5848
A sign welcomes visitors to shop on Seaview Street.
IMG_5892
Seaview Street, as it wakes up to a new day.

IMG_5822
Spotted this as I did my daily walk. Isn’t it cute?

IMG_5827
I enjoyed my share of fish and chips while in Cleethorpes.
The haddock, at The Captain’s Table,
complete with mushy peas, was the best. YUM!

IMG_5824
I left an American iced tea wake, wherever I went in Cleethorpes. I would ask the waitress for hot English Breakfast, or black tea, and a couple of glasses of ice. Although, my request produced some mystified looks, the iced tea was wonderful! 

IMG_5854
I usually resisted dessert, while having lunch, unlike this sweet little girl.

IMG_5946
This little donut guy sits outside a shop by the water.
 

IMG_5941

Fishermen in their little huts, dot the beach.

IMG_5869
 The evening sunsets were stunning.

IMG_5917
A ferris wheel sits idle by the water. 

IMG_5942

A fisherman gazes at a lone ship sailing along the horizon. 

IMG_0954
A luminous moon shines over the water.

 Recipe

IMG_4942

I have not had the opportunity to try this recipe for Onion Veloute, yet. It was delicious and was very different from the onion soups that I have eaten before. Many thanks to Forrest Pines chef for sharing this recipe!

To read my previous posts on my European adventure, click on the links below.

https://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/annette-and-dales-excellent-european-adventure-part-1-germany/

https://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/annette-and-dales-excellent-european-adventure-part-2-france/

https://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/annette-and-dales-excellent-european-adventure-part-3a-england-a-day-in-london/

Thanks for reading! :O)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, due to a happily full upcoming calendar, please look for my next post around July 24.

A great big thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, receiving each blog via email, upon publication for free, yes, I said free, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page, or go to annettehoffman.wordpress.com. 

IMG_4970
“Emergence”
March 2015

I was fascinated by this light enhanced sculpture at
London’s Heathrow Airport.
To read more about it, click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Anniversary in Scotland, The Director’s Cut

June 11, 2015

Anniversary in Scotland, The Director’s Cut

It was four days ago that I posted Anniversary in Scotland. At that time, I had hoped to include a brief video that my hubby took of an Edinburgh bag piper. Being a youtube newbie, I gave up.  After a little studying, however,  I am now ready to give it a try.  The quick video is included below.  For my wonderful group of email followers, I apologize for an earlier attempt that you received that had gone awry.  Here we go…….

 IMG_0797 - Version 2Dale and I enjoying the Dalhousie Castle grounds.
May 30, 2015

Wedding Anniversaries-I am of the belief that each and every wedding anniversary should be commemorated in a celebratory manner by the esteemed couple. Over the years, for Dale and myself, this date has most often meant a nice dinner out, or occasionally a romantic weekend away.

2013-05-28 10.56.55
Anniversary #35-Dale and I enjoy a rare dinner out while overseas.
May 28, 2013

Unfortunately, last year our special day was spent apart; over 6,000 miles apart! Dale was hard at work overseas. I was tending to things at home, including getting to know our precious new grand daughter, who had been born in April. :o)

IMG_2199
Dale and I leave the church on our wedding day. May 28, 1978
To read last year’s post, “Annette and Dale Get Married, or Someday You’ll Look Back on this and Laugh”, click here.

Getting There

This year on May 28, Dale and I were together overseas, anticipating a flight out at 6 am the next day (Friday) for England (…another business trip for Dale). First though, we would enjoy the weekend celebrating our anniversary in Scotland. Embarking upon our adventure, we would land at the Manchester Airport, then rent a car, and drive the 4+ hours to Edinburgh.

IMG_5938
The distance from Manchester to Edinburgh looked a lot closer on the map! :o)

That UK journey proved to be a beautifully enchanting canvas of varying degrees of green and dotted with fluffy white sheep, enhanced by a background of clear, brilliant blue sky interspersed with large, billowy white clouds.

IMG_5523
I was enjoying the beautiful English countryside, and happy that Dale had that whole “driving on the other side of the road” thing under control!
May 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 1.09.55 PM
Fluffy white sheep were in abundance throughout the
English and Scottish countryside.

IMG_0777
One of the many awe-inspiring scenes that we had the pleasure of witnessing on our drive from Manchester to Edinburgh.

Our Destination

Our destination in Scotland was the Dalhousie Castle. It has always been a dream of mine to stay in a castle, so my sweet hubby booked one that I had found online.
It was located in Bonnyrigg, just a few miles outside of Edinburgh.

IMG_5772
I was extremely giddy when I got my first glimpse of the castle, from the road.
To read more about The Dalhousie Castle, click here.

IMG_0782
As we neared the castle, we were treated to a vision of medieval architecture. Although, it was past 8:00 pm when we first arrived (as shown in this photo), the sun would not set until almost 10 pm.

IMG_5724
Our canopy bed was both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, too.

IMG_5562Check out the decorated inside of the “roof” of the canopy.

IMG_0783
Every room Dalhousie Castle was beautifully decorated.

IMG_0915
We were delighted to find the castle hosting a wedding reception in this room while we were staying here. The young men in the bridal party all wore traditional Scottish kilts.

IMG_0922
Prior to eating in the castle’s Dungeon Restaurant, patrons are seated in this cozy library, where drinks and pre-appetizers are served and orders for dinner taken.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 4.29.33 PM
Dale and I pose in the castle’s Dungeon Restaurant.
We enjoyed our anniversary dinner here after the day in Edinburgh.
May 30, 2015

A Castle in the Movies

Dalhousie Castle was built in the 13th century. It has been beautifully preserved and was an idyllic setting for our anniversary weekend, complete with delicious gourmet food and all of the modern day amenities.

IMG_5727
The unusually delicate croissants, made on site, were my favorite breakfast item at Dalhousie Castle.

While staying at Dalhousie Castle, I was reminded of another castle, although this one was English, and part of the 1944 movie, The Canterville Ghost. (In actuality, much of the film was shot in Busch Gardens in Pasadena, California, and the rest at the MGM lot.)

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.38.34 AM
A glimpse of the Canterville Castle in the opening of the movie.

This film, based on a short story by Oscar Wilde (Remember this author from high school English class?), is an enjoyable bit of escapism. Charles Laughton stars as the humorously tender hearted, and cursed ghost, along with the cute Margaret O’Brien playing the ghost’s descendent, and Robert Young as a likable American serviceman during WWII.
To learn more about this movie, click here and here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 6.18.45 PMMargaret O’Brien, Robert Young, and William Gargan sneak a peak at ghost Charles Laughton, in The Canterville Ghost.
This film is available on DVD,
and is occasionally shown on Turner Classic Movies.

Edinburgh

IMG_5595
Dale and I enjoyed the double decker bus ride into the city,
and even got some Edinburgh tips from friendly locals seated next to us.

IMG_5702
The Scottish and English countrysides were painted bright yellow
with fields of blooming rapeseed.
This photo was taken on our brief bus trip into Edinburgh.

IMG_5600
We spied Edinburgh Castle upon the hill as we rode into the city.

IMG_5621
Imposing Edinburgh Castle was extremely busy, with an hour and a half wait just to purchase tickets to go inside. Dale and I opted instead to survey the outside of the castle, and instead headed toward town and to another famous castle. (See below the Canongate Tolbooth photo.)

IMG_0889
Heading away from Edinburgh Castle,
the way was lined with shops and historic buildings.

IMG_0808
Tartan-clad bagpipers play beautifully along the Edinburgh streets.

IMG_5617

To hear  this bagpiper, click on the youtube video below.

IMG_5629
Kilt makers could be found throughout Edinburgh’s busy streets.
I snapped this wedding kilt and lovely Scottish wedding dress in
John Morrison’s display window.

IMG_0818
Dale, who has the name Burns in his linage, had to stop for a photo here.

IMG_0819
Canongate Tolbooth, now a museum, was built in 1591.

IMG_0824
I was very excited to have the opportunity to see an authentic royal castle!
Palace of Holyroodhouse,
is the official residence of Her Majesty, The Queen in Scotland.
Thanks to the audio tour, Dale and I learned that Mary, Queen of Scots
had once lived here.

IMG_5639
The 12th century gothic ruins from Holyrood Abbey on the Castle grounds are hauntingly beautiful.

IMG_0838
I fell in love with this gold tiger with rock crystal eyes and teeth at the
Gold Exhibit, displayed at The Queen’s Gallery of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This piece came from India, and was made around 1785.
To read more about this gold tiger, and the rest of the collection,
click here and here.

IMG_5659
We went from a gold tiger’s head to a real roasted hog’s head!
This was in the window of OINK, the Scottish hog roast sandwich restaurant.

IMG_5657
As you can tell from Dale’s expression,
the OINK pulled pork sandwiches were good!

IMG_0843
Having spotted a post card of this cute little pup in an Edinburgh gift shop,
I immediately recognized him from the Disney movie, Greyfriars Bobby, and right there and then, wanted to locate his statue! My ever-patient husband assisted me in tracking down the Edinburgh monument, erected in this
legendary canine’s honor.

MV5BMTY0MzE5MzIxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTgwMzYyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_
The 1961 Disney movie, Greyfriars Bobby, about this famously loyal dog
is available on DVD.
To view a photo of Walt Disney with this four-footed star,
and read about other Disney films set in Scotland,
click here.

Dale and I had seen much of Edinburgh for just one day, and I was one tired Annette.
I was anxious to head back to Dalhousie Castle to relax and partake of our scheduled anniversary dinner in The Dungeon. Dale, having spent one day in this charming city, several years earlier, implored me to take in just one more sight.
It required a hike up quite an incline to Calton Hill.
I must say, the climb was worth it.

IMG_5674
Dale stands on Calton Hill with a stunning view stretched out behind him.

IMG_5675
Another beautiful view of the Firth of Forth (Try saying that one
10 times very quickly in a row!).
This is an estuary, or firth, of the River Forth, and flows into the North Sea.

IMG_5694
The impressive Holyrood Castle from the perspective atop Calton Hill.

IMG_5678
The unfinished Scottish National Monument stands tall on Calton Hill.
To read more about this monument and Calton Hill, click here.

IMG_0897
It had been a wonderful day in Edinburgh!

The Rosslyn Chapel of The Di Vinci Code

Sunday morning came too quickly. Our anniversary weekend was rapidly coming to a close. Dale and I sadly bid the captivating Dalhousie Castle good-bye, setting out to find one final Scottish landmark before hitting the highway (or carriageway, as they say in the UK) toward England. A 15-minute drive from our temporary castle digs, led us to the stately, 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, best known for its part in the 2006 movie,
The Di Vinci Code. Steeped in legend and intrigue, some believe that the Holy Grail is buried within Rosslyn Chapel’s walls . An interesting aside; Rosslyn Chapel is privately owned by the chapel founder’s descendants. To read more about Rosslyn Chapel, click here and here, and click here for an interesting article about the chapel and the legend.

IMG_0940
Finding our way to Rossyln Chapel proved a slight challenge,
due to it’s out of the way location, but it was well worth the effort.

IMG_0942
Rosslyn Chapel is amazing from every angle, Holy Grail, or not.

IMG_5781
A Celtic cross grave stone (center) is one of many in
the Rossyln Chapel Cemetery.

IMG_5779
Collegehill House, a building just outside of the chapel,
displays a plaque in honor of the building’s original use as The Rosslyn Inn, naming some of its distinguished visitors. Click on the photo to enlarge.
A renovated Collegehill House may now be rented out
for lodging, and sleeps 6.

Thanks for reading! :O)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, please look for my next post around June 25. A huge thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, receiving each blog via email, upon publication, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page for free, or go to annettehoffman.wordpress.com.

IMG_5549
Love and special thanks, to my hubby for contributing several photos for Anniversary in Scotland, and my previous blog posts!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Anniversary in Scotland

June 7, 2015

Anniversary in Scotland

IMG_0797
Dale and I enjoying the Dalhousie Castle grounds.
May 30, 2015

Wedding Anniversaries-I am of the belief that each and every wedding anniversary should be commemorated in a celebratory manner by the esteemed couple. Over the years, for Dale and myself, this date has most often meant a nice dinner out, or occasionally a romantic weekend away.

2013-05-28 10.56.55
Anniversary #35-Dale and I enjoy a rare dinner out while overseas.
May 28, 2013

Unfortunately, last year our special day was spent apart; over 6,000 miles apart! Dale was hard at work overseas. I was tending to things at home, including getting to know our precious new grand daughter, who had been born in April. :o)

IMG_2199
Dale and I leave the church on our wedding day. May 28, 1978
To read last year’s post, “Annette and Dale Get Married, or Someday You’ll Look Back on this and Laugh”, click here

Getting There

This year on May 28, Dale and I were together overseas, anticipating a flight out at 6 am the next day (Friday) for England (…another business trip for Dale). First though, we would enjoy the weekend celebrating our anniversary in Scotland. Embarking upon our adventure, we would land at the Manchester Airport, then rent a car, and drive the 4+ hours to Edinburgh.

IMG_5938The distance from Manchester to Edinburgh looked a lot closer on the map! :o)

That UK journey proved to be a beautifully enchanting canvas of varying degrees of green and dotted with fluffy white sheep, enhanced by a background of clear, brilliant blue sky interspersed with large, billowy white clouds.

IMG_5523
I was enjoying the beautiful English countryside, and happy that Dale had that whole “driving on the other side of the road” thing under control!
May 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 1.09.55 PM
Fluffy white sheep were in abundance throughout the
English and Scottish countryside.

IMG_0777
One of the many awe-inspiring scenes that we had the pleasure of witnessing on our drive from Manchester to Edinburgh.

Our Destination

Our destination in Scotland was the Dalhousie Castle. It has always been a dream of mine to stay in a castle, so my sweet hubby booked one that I had found online.
It was located in Bonnyrigg, just a few miles outside of Edinburgh.

IMG_5772
I was extremely giddy when I got my first glimpse of the castle, from the road.
To read more about The Dalhousie Castle, click here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 3.16.29 PM
As we neared the castle, we were treated to a vision of medieval architecture. Although, it was past 8:00 pm when we first arrived (as shown in this photo), the sun would not set until almost 10 pm.

IMG_5724Our canopy bed was both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, too.

IMG_5562
Check out the decorated inside of the “roof” of the canopy.

IMG_0783
Every room Dalhousie Castle was beautifully decorated.

IMG_0915
We were delighted to find the castle hosting a wedding reception in this room while we were staying here. The young men in the bridal party all wore traditional Scottish kilts.

IMG_0922
Prior to eating in the castle’s Dungeon Restaurant, patrons are seated in this cozy library, where drinks and pre-appetizers are served and orders for dinner taken.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 4.29.33 PM
Dale and I pose in the castle’s Dungeon Restaurant.
We enjoyed our anniversary dinner here after the day in Edinburgh.
May 30, 2015

A Castle in the Movies

Dalhousie Castle was built in the 13th century. It has been beautifully preserved and was an idyllic setting for our anniversary weekend, complete with delicious gourmet food and all of the modern day amenities.

IMG_5727
The unusually delicate croissants, made on site, were my favorite breakfast item at Dalhousie Castle.

While staying at Dalhousie Castle, I was reminded of another castle, although this one was English, and part of the 1944 movie, The Canterville Ghost. (In actuality, much of the film was shot in Busch Gardens in Pasadena, California, and the rest at the MGM lot.)

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.38.34 AM
A glimpse of the Canterville Castle in the opening of the movie.

This film, based on a short story by Oscar Wilde (Remember this author from high school English class?), is an enjoyable bit of escapism. Charles Laughton stars as the humorously tender hearted, and cursed ghost, along with the cute Margaret O’Brien playing the ghost’s descendent, and Robert Young as a likable American serviceman during WWII.
To learn more about this movie, click here and here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 6.18.45 PM
Margaret O’Brien, Robert Young, and William Gargan sneak a peak at ghost Charles Laughton, in The Canterville Ghost.
This film is available on DVD,
and is occasionally shown on Turner Classic Movies.

Edinburgh

IMG_5595
Dale and I enjoyed the double decker bus ride into the city,
and even got some Edinburgh tips from friendly locals seated next to us.

IMG_5702
The Scottish and English countrysides were painted bright yellow
with fields of blooming rapeseed.
This photo was taken on our brief bus trip into Edinburgh.

IMG_5600
We spied Edinburgh Castle upon the hill as we rode into the city. 

IMG_5621
Imposing Edinburgh Castle was extremely busy, with an hour and a half wait just to purchase tickets to go inside. Dale and I opted instead to survey the outside of the castle, and instead headed toward town and to another famous castle. (See five photos below.)

IMG_0889
Heading away from Edinburgh Castle,
the way was lined with shops and historic buildings.

   IMG_0808
Tartan-clad bagpipers play beautifully along the Edinburgh streets.

IMG_5629
Kilt makers could be found throughout Edinburgh’s busy streets.
I snapped this wedding kilt and lovely Scottish wedding dress in
John Morrison’s display window.

IMG_0818
Dale, who has the name Burns in his linage, had to stop for a photo here.

IMG_0819
Canongate Tolbooth, now a museum, was built in 1591.

IMG_0824
I was very excited to have the opportunity to see an authentic royal castle!
Palace of Holyroodhouse,
is the official residence of Her Majesty, The Queen in Scotland.
Thanks to the audio tour, Dale and I learned that Mary, Queen of Scots
had once lived here.

IMG_5639
The 12th century gothic ruins from Holyrood Abbey on the Castle grounds are hauntingly beautiful.

IMG_0838
I fell in love with this gold tiger with rock crystal eyes and teeth at the
Gold Exhibit, displayed at The Queen’s Gallery of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This piece came from India, and was made around 1785.

To read more about this gold tiger, and the rest of the collection,
click here and here.

 IMG_5659
We went from a gold tiger’s head to a real roasted hog’s head!
This was in the window of OINK, the Scottish hog roast sandwich restaurant.

IMG_5657
As you can tell from Dale’s expression,
the OINK pulled pork sandwiches were good!

IMG_0843
Having spotted a post card of this cute little pup in an Edinburgh gift shop,
I immediately recognized him from the Disney movie, Greyfriars Bobby, and right there and then, wanted to locate his statue! My ever-patient husband assisted me in tracking down the Edinburgh monument, erected in this
legendary canine’s honor
.

    MV5BMTY0MzE5MzIxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTgwMzYyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_
The 1961 Disney movie, Greyfriars Bobby, about this famously loyal dog
is available on DVD.

To view a photo of Walt Disney with this four-footed star,
and read about other Disney films set in Scotland,
click here.

Dale and I had seen much of Edinburgh for just one day, and I was one tired Annette.
I was anxious to head back to Dalhousie Castle to relax and partake of our scheduled anniversary dinner in The Dungeon. Dale, having spent one day in this charming city, several years earlier, implored me to take in just one more sight.
It required a hike up quite an incline to Calton Hill.
I must say, the climb was worth it.

IMG_5674
Dale stands on Calton Hill with a stunning view stretched out behind him.

IMG_5675
Another beautiful view of the Firth of Forth (Try saying that one
10 times very quickly in a row!).
This is an estuary, or firth, of the River Forth, and flows into the North Sea. 

  IMG_5694
The impressive Holyrood Castle from the perspective atop Calton Hill.

IMG_5678
The unfinished Scottish National Monument stands tall on Calton Hill.
To read more about this monument and Calton Hill, click here.

IMG_0897
It had been a wonderful day in Edinburgh!

The Rosslyn Chapel of The Di Vinci Code 

Sunday morning came too quickly.  Our anniversary weekend was rapidly coming to a close. Dale and I sadly bid the captivating Dalhousie Castle good-bye, setting out to find one final Scottish landmark before hitting the highway (or carriageway, as they say in the UK) toward England. A 15-minute drive from our temporary castle digs, led us to the stately, 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, best known for its part in the 2006 movie,
The Di Vinci Code. Steeped in legend and intrigue, some believe that the Holy Grail is buried within Rosslyn Chapel’s walls . An interesting aside; Rosslyn Chapel is privately owned by the chapel founder’s descendants. To read more about Rosslyn Chapel, click here and here, and click here for an interesting article about the chapel and the legend.

IMG_0940
Finding our way to Rossyln Chapel proved a slight challenge,
due to it’s out of the way location, but it was well worth the effort.

IMG_0942
Rosslyn Chapel is amazing from every angle, Holy Grail, or not.

IMG_5781
A Celtic cross grave stone (center) is one of many in
the Rossyln Chapel 
Cemetery.

IMG_5779
Collegehill House, a building  just outside of the chapel,
displays a plaque in honor of the building’s original use as The Rosslyn Inn, naming some of its distinguished visitors.  Click on the photo to enlarge.
A renovated Collegehill House may now be rented out
for lodging, and sleeps 6.

Thanks for reading! :O)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, please look for my next post around June 25. A huge thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, receiving each blog via email, upon publication, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page for free, or go to annettehoffman.wordpress.com.

IMG_5549
Love and special thanks, to my hubby for contributing several photos for Anniversary in Scotland, and my previous blog posts!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 3a-England, A Day in London

May 22, 2014

 Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure:
Part 3a-England, A Day in London

 IMG_0407
I enjoy the sights of London, with the famous Harrods,
the domed department store, in the background.
March 14, 2015

I apologize. I find myself a month behind in my blogging schedule, having stated in my last post of April 12,

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, look for my next post around April 22.

 I ran into a couple of blogging obstacles…

 An unexpected bout with strep throat,

dibujo1
In How to Marry a Millionaire, Betty Grable, has her temperature taken by Fred Clark, upon coming down with the measles.
Unfortunately, I did not look this elegant when battling my week of illness. 

a quickly planned, but enjoyable, long weekend trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts,

IMG_5317
Posing on the beach with my mother-in-law (on her 90th birthday!) and son, on beautiful Cape Cod.
May 2, 2015

 and just plain lack of time and energy. :o)

IMG_4892
The majestic Big Ben keeps time on a cold evening in London.
March 14, 2015

 A Day in London
March 14, 2015

 Paddington

 Dale and I had arrived at London Paddington Train Station, eager to begin the third/England leg of our European adventure. We would enjoy one day of fun in London before heading north, the next morning, for a week of work for Dale.

Please, join me in looking through my photo album from our enjoyable London day.

IMG_4902
When in London we enjoy staying at the convenient Hilton Paddington Hotel, just steps from the Paddington Train Station and the Underground/The Tube (subway).

IMG_0438
Paddingtonscape, by illustrator Hannah Warren, sits in the lobby of the Paddington Hilton Hotel. This statue is one of many Paddingtons, designed by celebrities, and sold, to raise money for charity.
To read more about the fundraiser, click here

IMG_4819
The view from our hotel window overlooked Paddington Train Station.

IMG_0406
I stand in front of the entrance of The Tube,
London’s Underground Metro System.

 Harrods

IMG_4820Riding on The Underground with Dale.
First stop, Harrods. 

  IMG_0418
Harrods!


IMG_0409

Shopping at Harrods for my souvenir; a necklace by London designer 
Alex Monroe.

osn1-s1.

I chose Monroe’s famous bee design in silver.
love the detail on the front and back.
To see more of his designs, click here.
Photo courtesy of Alex Monroe.

IMG_0411
Being a fan of the British designer Cath Kidston

I had to check out the goodies sold at Harrods.

IMG_0413
After a 45-minute search of several of the seven floors of Harrods, Dale and I, finally and happily, located the cute restaurant that we had eaten at in 2013.
We now know that it is called the Galvin Demoiselle Petit Bistro.

IMG_4821
To read more about this restaurant located on the ground floor, click here.

IMG_0414
The Princess Diana Memorial in Harrods
To read more about Harrods and the memorial, click here.

 Sightseeing

IMG_0422
We enjoyed a quick trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

IMG_0425
I was excited to stumble upon this sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Bashaw, ‘the faithful friend of man’, as I had seen it in the film
“If It’s Tuesday, It Must be Belgium”.

 Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 8.34.09 AM
The sculpture Bashaw, ‘the faithful friend of man’, as seen early in the film
If It’s Tuesday, It Must be Belgium”.
To read more about this sculpture, click here.

IMG_0428
 Not enough hours in the day to tour it this trip,
but the Tower of London was an impressive sight.

IMG_0435
Dale and I arrive at the Tower Bridge at sunset.
To see a live view of the bridge via webcam, click here,
scrolling down to the bottom of the page, then click on the red LIVE button.

IMG_4852
The sweet scent of candied roasted nuts permeates the Tower Bridge.

IMG_4853
Dale gave his hearty approval of the vendor’s culinary skills.

 IMG_4861
As the sun began to dip, I soon missed the hat that I had left behind in the hotel. A quick stop at a souvenir shop netted me a Union Jack stocking cap, complete with pompom, and a much warmer head. :o)

IMG_4872
The Tower Bridge at dusk.

IMG_4864One of London’s newer buildings, The Shard, overlooks the Thames at sunset. 

IMG_4876
Dale and I stumbled upon this great restaurant; Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant in Covent Garden in the theatre district.
We later found out that it is quite historic, having served guests for 60 years, with the walls covered in photos and autographs of celebrities who had eaten there before us.
To read more about it, click here.


   IMG_4884

Before heading back to the hotel, we had to take one more look at London. With the London Eye behind me, and Big Ben in front of me.

IMG_4883
Dale and I at Big Ben, bidding goodnight to beautiful London. 

To read my previous blog post on London, please click here.

To read my past two blogs from the
Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure, click on the links below.

 https://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/annette-and-dales-excellent-european-adventure-part-1-germany/

 https://annettehoffman.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/annette-and-dales-excellent-european-adventure-part-2-france/

Thanks for reading! :O)
Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, please look for my next post around June 15.

A giant thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, receiving each blog via email, upon publication, please sign up on the right-hand side of this page for free, or go to annettehoffman.wordpress.com.

IMG_0442
Dale and I stand in front of St. Pancras Railway Station, before walking into King’s Cross Station, as we prepare to leave London.
Movie fans may recognize this site from Harry Potter.
March 2015

  IMG_0445
Another Harry Potter sighting at King’s Cross Station, as we find our train to northern England.
Platform 9 3/4

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 2-France

April 12, 2014

 Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 2-France

 IMG_5048

Dale and I enjoy the sights on the main street of Thann,
in France.

 I have come to love the pretty village of Thann, in the Alsace region of France. I count myself fortunate to have been able to join my hubby on business trips here on several occasions. Dale’s company’s plant in Thann is home to the oldest chemical plant in Europe. In fact, proudly displayed on the plant walls is a document signed by Napoleon, approving the establishment of the plant in 1808!

IMG_0379

Napoleon signed this document in 1808.

Thann’s web site, here, states, In 1808, Philippe-Charles Kestner from Hanover established a chemical business in Thann to answer to the needs of the textile industry. This chemical factory, which operates on the original site, is now the oldest chemical plant in Europe.

 Our time spent in Thann was enjoyable, as always.  In addition to walking around the town, taking in the local beauty, I also visited the local stores, always while making sure that I allowed for the daily mid-day closures. (Everyone, including school children, go home to eat their noon time meal.) One day, while shopping in a local dress shop, a woman began speaking happily to me in French. I replied, in English, that I was sorry, but I did not speak French. Then she stopped short and spoke to the shopkeeper. In English, the shopkeeper explained to me that the woman had mistaken me for someone else. The next day, a similar exchange happened with a man, also mistaking me for someone else. So, it must be true; maybe everyone does have a twin somewhere in the world! Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to meet my French “twin”. :o(

IMG_0356_2

Do I have a unrelated “twin” living in Thann?
To read an article about the “twin” theory, click here

 It is at this point that I must make a confession. I have a photography crush on Thann! (Yes, it’s a real thing! I saw it on the Internet.) While there, something new always catches my eye, and the sights that I enjoyed before, change with each season and visit. Please, join me on a photo tour of my recent, March 2015, stay in this picturesque village, below.
To read my 2013 post on France, please click here.

 Our Hotel

IMG_4745

 The front entrance to our Thann hotel.

IMG_4748

 Staying at the Hotel du Parc is always an enjoyable experience. Some famous guest have been in residence here, including Charles de Gaulle, former prime minister of France and WWII general. 

 IMG_4757

Enjoying our hotel room view of the Rangen de Thann vineyards on the hill,
awaking from the winter slumber.

 The Sights

 The Vineyard and River 

IMG_4669   

The Rangen de Thann Vineyards, known for their fine Riesling wine

IMG_4671

The Witch’s Eye, ruins from the 13th century Engelbourg Castle,
stands watch over the vineyards.
Read more about it here.

IMG_4676

A village sign announces the Thur River. 

IMG_4733 

With the Vosges Mountains in the background, the Thur River flows through Thann.

  IMG_4786

 The Witch’s Tower, on the left, was built in the 1400’s as part of the old town wall, with the roof that was added in the 1600’s, overlooks the Thur River. 

 IMG_4717

 Colorful houses sit on the Thur River and near the local vineyards.

 

The Cathedral: St Theobald’s Church

 IMG_4688

The catherdral dominates the Thann landscape.

IMG_4654

 The imposing gothic cathedral proudly stands on the main street of Thann.

IMG_4709IMG_4708

Construction of the cathedral began in the 1300’s.

IMG_4773IMG_4768

 The organ is impressive, and the high ceilings, pillars, and stain glassed windows adorn inside, as well.

To read more about St. Theobald’s click here.

 The Tastes

At times, Dale and I found ordering food a challenge in Thann. Neither Dale, nor myself, read, or speak, French. All menus being written in French, and most locals not knowing English, we became somewhat of an amusement to the local wait staffs in our attempts to order food. Fortunately, through their patience, we were usually able to decipher enough to order.

Dale and I also found dining times in France different than those when we were in Germany. While in Bacharach, it was not yet the height of the season. Many restaurants were not open, and those that were, closed at 5:30 pm. In other words, if we wanted to eat dinner, we had to eat by 5:00 pm. Fast forward to Thann, where dinner is not served before 7:00, or 7:30 pm in all of the local restaurants. Needless to say, we had to readjust our stomachs/dining clocks to a bit later. :o)

 You can read about our trip to Germany here.

    IMG_4805

A cute café on Thann’s main street serves up tasty breakfasts and lunches.

IMG_4696

Menu easels annouce the day’s menu (in French) up and down the Main Street.

 IMG_4762

The placemats at Au Petit Rangun were fun, saying
“A Pierrier with fine bubbles!”.

IMG_4763

This quiche at Au Petit Rangen was delicous!
Please, excuse the blurred photo.
I was just so excited to dig in! :o)
Although, French, quiche is seen less frequently in this Alsace part of the country.

IMG_4778 

Croissants at Au Petit Rangen are wonderful!

 IMG_4701

 The server at the Le Caseus Café recommended the sausage and sauerkraut plate to Dale, an Alsace dish. I enjoyed this yummy quiche.

IMG_4643

 Dale, shown here, and I had several meals at the restaurant of Aux Sapins.

IMG_4645

 The Alsace “pizza” Tarte flambée was yummy there.

IMG_4678

The desserts at Aux Sapins were always a treat!

IMG_4646 Often the desserts were a work of art! 

Dogs

 Dale and I always did a double-take when we saw a dog in a restaurant, a not uncommon practice in France. We were always amazed at how well behaved these four-footed patrons were!  

IMG_4777 IMG_4780

 A gentleman enjoys his coffee and newspaper while his dog rests nearby.

 IMG_0357

We did not see this cute dog until their party got up to leave.

 Thanks for reading! :O)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, look for my next post around April 22.
A big thank you to my faithful blog followers!!!

PLEASE, JOIN MY BLOG FOLLOWING FOR FREE!!!

Please, become an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and you will receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, immediately upon posting. Sign up on the right-hand side of this page today. :o)

IMG_4677

I love it that Perrier is offered in cans and in vending machines throughout France!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 1-Germany

March 20, 2015

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure: Part 1-Germany

IMG_6183-1
Dale and I pose in front of Stahleck Castle, now used as a hostel,
in Bacharach, Germany.
To read more on Stahleck Castle, click here.

 I was overwhelmed! 
The thought of packing bags for 8 weeks was daunting enough, but packing for five different countries, and two very different climates, had thrown me into a tailspin.
My hubby’s business trip would take us to Germany, France, England, and Switzerland for stays of one week each. The final four weeks would find us back at our “home away from home”, overseas for the past 2+ years, near the desert.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 5.42.18 PM
I, like Mickey Mouse in Moving Day, packed furiously.
To view this 1936 Disney short, click here.

It was now Sunday morning, our flight was scheduled for late that evening, and the pressure was on. I began furiously stuffing suitcases, giving little thought to any organization, or any hope of a wrinkle-free look upon arrival. Saying a prayer, and filled with terror, all of the required resources needed for our excursion were hastily stowed in the various suitcases strewn throughout my bedroom. Somehow, miraculously, all was packed in time for our departure.
Our excellent European Adventure was about to begin!

 IMG_4756
Meet our luggage for this trip (minus Dale’s work computer satchel).
This photo was taken at our hotel in France. 

 Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Thanks to the wonder of air travel, Dale and I found ourselves in Frankfurt/Germany just a mere eight hours after taking off from Washington Dulles International Airport.

IMG_4405_2
Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians
was one of the film options shown on our flight from
Washington DC to Frankfurt. 
I also enjoyed the offering of
How to Marry a Millionaire on the flight. :o)

To read about my recent One Hundred and One Dalmatians
trip to California, click here.  

Upon retrieving our luggage, it was time for us to navigate the first train system, of many, on this adventure. Although, at times finding the correct car and track could be confusing, we found European train travel, on the whole, quite efficient.

IMG_4407_2
Dale studies the tickets as we wait for our train from Frankfurt to Dusseldorf.

IMG_4410_2
A view from our train’s window provided us with glimpses of the pretty German landscape.

Arriving in Dusseldorf, and weary of lugging our bags, Dale and I next opted for a taxi, rather than another train, for the final leg of our journey to our Dusseldorf hotel.

Feeling a bit travel fatigued, walking into The Golden Tulip Hotel provided us with a bit of a surprise. The hotel lobby accorded us a view of the connected Espirit Arena, a 50,000+ stadium.

IMG_4428_2Espirit Arena, connected to our hotel in Dusseldorf.
To read more about Esprit Arena, click here.

IMG_4419_2A light rain fell, as we got our first glimpse of the famous Rhine River from our hotel room.

 Schnitzel!

We had arrived at our first German destination. Traveling by plane, train and automobile/taxi, and we were a little on the tired side, but not ready to hibernate for the evening, as it was also my birthday! I had determined weeks earlier, that my birthday meal in Germany must consist of schnitzel. Armed with advice from hotel staff, and their instructions on how to navigate the city’s transit/train, we were off again. We were on a schnitzel quest; to find delectable German cuisine at a recommended restaurant called Schweinske in the old town/Altstadt area of Dusseldorf. And find it, we did!

IMG_0641
Cold, but happy, that we found our schnitzel destination,
Schweinske’s, in Dusseldorf.
March 2, 2015

11041752_1058393600843977_4307110278059301311_n
Although a bit travel weary, due to only four hours sleep
from the night before, I thoroughly enjoyed my German-style birthday with a mushroom schnitzel.
March 2, 2015
 

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 8.39.39 AM
My birthday dinner would be the first of several schnitzels that I had the happy occasion to eat, while in Germany, and they were all delicious! 

Relaxing along the Rhine, or “It’s Just Like in the Movie!”

I love old movies! On more than one occasion, a movie has dictated the destination of a side trip, or an entire vacation, that we have taken.
(Read about my The Quiet Man-inspired trip to Ireland here and here.)

1969’s, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, revolves around an eclectic American tour group, and their eighteen day trip from London to Rome. While this movie does not exactly rate in the blockbuster category for film, it does serve as an informal travelogue for some of Europe’s most scenic spots, with a few amusing stories thrown in.

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 8.15.13 AM
If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium, 1969

As this film aired on Turner Classic Movies recently, it was a certain scene that caught Dale’s attention; a river cruise on Germany’s Rhine. It was this particular scene that became the impetus for the three day, vacation portion, of our German trip. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 3.54.38 PM
The inspiring Rhine River Cruise as shown in the film
If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium.

To view this scene, click here, and fast forward to about 34-35 minutes into the film.

With Dale, wanting to go on a Rhine River cruise, and me wanting to visit a castle (and eat schnitzel), we turned, via the Internet, to the master of travel, Rick Steves.

It was through Steves’ suggestion, that Dale and I decided that we would spend our three free days in and around the German village of Bacharach.

RickGermany
Travel expert, Rick Steves was a wealth of information on the
Rhine River area.

To view Rick Steve’s 25 minute piece
Germany’s Romantic Rhine and Rothenburg click here.

After another (luggage-lugging) train trip, we made our way to the quaint German village of Bacharach. Much of this area closes up throughout the winter months, including the hotels. While researching lodging, we were pleased to find that the Hotel Kranenturm was open and accepting reservations. We requested a room with a Rhine River view. Arriving at the hotel, and after a friendly greeting from the proprietor, Suk, Dale and I were happy to see that our room not only had a water view, but a castle view, as well!

 IMG_0260
Dale photographs me,
as I look out the window (with the castle view),
from our room at the Hotel Kranenturm, Bacharach

IMG_4566
I photograph Dale from the Rhine side window of our hotel room.
(Although, the trains/train tracks go right by the hotel, we did not find it  bothersome.)

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 8.10.53 PM

The castle view and the Rhine River view from our hotel room windows. 

IMG_4567

Dale peers up through the staircase of the landmark Hotel Kranenturm.
To read more about the historic hotel, click here.

Dale and I learned, upon arriving, that the Hotel Kranenturm is a landmark in town, and  serves as lodging for the various Rick Steves tour groups that visit Bacharach throughout the tourist season.

IMG_4636 A Rick Steves patch is proudly displayed at the Hotel Kranenturm.

Photo Gallery
Please join me, as I share with you some images from our fun mini-vacation in Germany.

Rhine River Cruise: Castles and Scenery

   IMG_2327

IMG_4478_2 IMG_4471

IMG_4476_2

IMG_4514

IMG_4488

IMG_4497

 IMG_0173

IMG_8609

Koblenz: The city where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers Merge
To read more about Koblenz, click here

IMG_0232

IMG_0236

IMG_0224_2

IMG_4533

 IMG_4554

IMG_4529

IMG_0238

IMG_4540

Bacharach: the quintessential German town along the Rhine

IMG_4495 

IMG_0338IMG_4456IMG_6342

IMG_4555

IMG_4559

IMG_0251

 IMG_4569

IMG_4577

IMG_4574

IMG_0309

IMG_4594

IMG_4585

IMG_4592

 IMG_4576

IMG_0333

IMG_4606

IMG_4618

Thanks for reading!

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, look for my next post around March 31. A great big thank you to my faithful blog followers!!!

PLEASE, JOIN MY BLOG FOLLOWING FOR FREE!!!

My goal is to boost my follower number to 100 in 2015.

Please, consider becoming an “I’m Annette” blog follower, and you will receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, yes FREE, immediately upon posting. Sign up on the right-hand side of this page today. :o)

IMG_0320On the road leading to Bacharach

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Girls’ Disney Weekend

February 25, 2015

A Girls’ Disney Weekend

Photo Feb 07, 18 16 33My Daughter and I Meet Up with Mickey at Disneyland
February 7, 2015

I started it.
I innocently forwarded an email to my daughter, Martese, from D23, the official Disney fan club.  There would be a special showing, at the Walt Disney Studios-Burbank, California, of the animated 1961 classic “101 Dalmatians“, in conjunction with the re-release of this movie on DVD and Blu-ray. This Disney film has always been Martese’s favorite, since taking her, as a one-year old, to see it in the movie theatre in 1991. With this in mind, I often send Martese 101 Dalmatian sightings that I come across.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 10.04.41 PM
It all began with this one email from D23.
View it here.

Just minutes after sending the email, Martese text (or is it texted?) me that she had purchased two tickets to attend. This, despite the fact, that she lives in Minnesota! After discussing the trip with her husband, it was decided that I would be asked to join in on the dalmatian hijinks/trip.  I happily accepted, despite the fact that I live in Maryland!

IMG_4350 - Version 2
Martese (with red dalmatian balloon in hand) at her
101 Dalmatian-themed, 4th birthday party.

November 1994

1186905_4908391442605_1028124300_n20130727-193008.jpg
Martese and Mike’s wedding;
the table decor included a touch of 101 Dalmatians,
and the wedding photos included a touch of Mickey Mouse.  :o)
May 12, 2013
(Original photos taken by Caleb Jamin Studios)

The Fun (long) Weekend Began!

IMG_4200
Warm weather greeted us when we arrived
at LAX/Los Angeles Airport.

IMG_4201
Martese volunteered to navigate through the L.A. Traffic.

After Martese and I found each other at LAX and rented a car, our weekend adventure began. We faced the evening, bumper to bumper, LA traffic, found the Disneyland exit, and checked into our hotel, situated directly across from Disneyland. Wasting no time in immersing ourselves in Disney, Martese and I immediately walked the short distance to Downtown Disney for dinner. Downtown Disney requires no admission fee, yet surrounds visitors in a festive Disney atmosphere. Throughout the weekend, when not visiting Disneyland parks, we took our meals in Downtown Disney, or the nearby Disneyland Hotel.

Downtown Disney and The Disneyland Hotel
February 6-9, 2015

Downtown Disney– an array of family friendly shops, and restaurants that offer everything from fast food to higher end “table service” meals.

IMG_4203
The Earl of Sandwich offers quick delicious soup and sandwich options at Downtown Disney.

Photo Feb 07, 08 02 47
“101 Dalmatians” pillow pet was adopted by Martese from Downtown Disney’s World of Disney shop.

Photo Feb 06, 22 28 14

IMG_4225IMG_4226
Having fun, trying on the new Star Wars Mickey Ears.

When not choosing Disneyland, or Downtown Disney fare for our meals and shopping, the Disneyland Hotel offered fun browsing, food for our breakfasts and an additional shopping alternative with their gift shop.

IMG_4285Photo Feb 09, 08 50 30 
Venturing into the Disneyland Hotel area (above),
we enjoyed yummy Mickey Waffles in the dining area, whimsical tea cup chairs in the lobby area, along with colorful Mary Blair artwork.(below)
(To read more about the talented Mary Blair, see below- It’s a Small World.) 

IMG_4209

IMG_4204

Photo Feb 06, 21 51 06

Photo Feb 06, 21 54 06

 Saturday-Disneyland!

May 7, 2015
Disneyland Park and California Adventure

 Disneyland Park

IMG_4284
The Entrance to Disneyland, early in the Morning

Photo Feb 07, 10 14 57
A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, and a beautiful day, welcome Martese and me to Disneyland.
The castle in the background was covered in an illustrated tarp for renovations to prepare for this year’s,  60th anniversary year celebration for Disneyland, beginning this May. 

 Photo Feb 07, 10 44 20IMG_4211

 Martese and I are both fans of the It’s a Small World ride. (The facade of this attraction was under renovation and covered in illustrated tarp, too.)

IMG_4344
Martese and I each bought a soft,
fleece  It’s a Small World throw, as our Disneyland souvenir.

Read about Mary Blair’s contribution to this ride and Disney, here.

IMG_4218IMG_4217

Martese sips her non-alcoholic mint julep, as we both savor delicious Mickey-shaped beignets (sort of like a doughnut) near the Haunted Mansion.
Remember, calories don’t count at Disneyland! :o)

Photo Feb 07, 12 43 03Martese and I share a much anticipated, and luscious, Disney (pineapple) Dole Whip, and proudly display our
“I’m Celebrating Dole Whips!” buttons.

IMG_4224
I loved it that my Starbucks Iced Tea sported
“Annette” on it!

Disney’s California Adventure Park

IMG_4279
Martese stands at the entrance of
Disney’s California Adventure park,
early in the morning before the crowds arrive.

Photo Feb 07, 13 25 44
Martese and me with Mickey’s Fun (ferris) Wheel in the background.

Photo Feb 07, 13 29 44 Photo Feb 07, 14 13 23
Disneyland cuisine must include one of their tasty, and famous corn dogs. 

IMG_4222

Photo Feb 07, 14 46 20IMG_4220
Martese and I tried the oft-talked about, and addicting,
dill pickle popcorn in the cute Car Land area.

Photo Feb 07, 15 15 47
Photo Feb 07, 17 31 09
One of my favorite attractions of the day was the
Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek ride.  This attraction is unique to Disneyland, and is not offered at
Walt Disney World.

The photos of this ride, below, are courtesy of Martese on a previous trip that she took to Disneyland.

100_2569

  100_2573

To view this ride, watch it on youtube here. At around 2:10 on this video,you can see all of the doors that decorate the ceiling above, just as they do in the Monster Inc. movie.

For a nice write up on Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek by mice chat.com, and more photos from this feature, click here.

Martese and I finished our Disney day with an elegant meal at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. This beautiful Disney restaurant is designed as a nod to the once grand, but now unfortunately demolished, Carthay Circle Theatre of Los Angeles. Walt Disney’s first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in this theatre in 1937.

 IMG_4228
My delicious meal included this exquisite
Carthay Autumn Salad (see the recipe that
I, sort of,  have for this salad,
toward the bottom of this post)
and Carthay Signature 
Fried Biscuits
(filled with cheese and bacon) .

IMG_4230

My grilled Angus New York
with Chimichurries (pesto)
was perfection! A Chocolate
Crème Brûlée Tart delightfully
rounded out the meal. 

IMG_4235
Martese and I loved dinner at Disney’s
Carthay Circle 
Restaurant

A Look at Disneyland of the Past

51S2zh9Af6L

For a glance of the Disneyland that once was, in 1962 to be exact, snag a dvd copy of  the cute movie, 40 Pounds of Trouble, (I bought mine here.). Tony Curtis plays a Reno casino manager (in this remake of the Shirley Temple film Little Miss Marker) who finds himself caring for the five-year old daughter of a customer, and in the process treats her to a day at Disneyland. To see the Disneyland clips from this film, click here  and then here. I also found a fun post on miceage.micechat.com which shows, via movie stills, many Disneyland scenes from the movie. Did you know that at one time, you could take a helicopter from LAX  straight to Disneyland! Check out this entertaining Disneyland blog post here.

al020910mm
This photo from 40 Pounds of Trouble,
courtesy of miceage.micechat.com

 Sunday-Hollywood and Walt Disney Studios
February 8, 2015

With a wonderful day at Disneyland behind us, Martese and I looked forward to the new day in and near Hollywood.  Our Sunday schedule had been in place, for awhile, with all activities scheduled around the much anticipated  2:00 pm showing of 101 Dalmatians.  

We set out early for Hollywood to stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Graumin’s (now known as TCL) Chinese Theatre, Tour the
El Capitan Theatre, and the Hollywood Costume Exhibition.

Photo Feb 08, 11 04 12
Clad in 101 Dalmatian sneakers, Martese stands next to
Walt Disney’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .

To read more about The Hollywood Walk of Fame,
click here.

Photo Feb 08, 10 20 45
I’m Annette!
I pose by Annette Funicello’s star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame .

Read about my mouseketeer connection. here

Photo Feb 08, 10 11 25

Photo Feb 08, 10 02 07
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is famous for stars’ footprints in concrete.(above photo)
Martese and I pose next to one of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre’s two imposing, and authentic, guardian lion 
statues.(below photo)

To read more about Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, click here.

Fun Fact for ya- When Grauman’s went under renovation a few years ago, the theatre could not locate their original blueprints.  Then someone thought of contacting Walt Disney World.  It was Grauman’s who had given a diagram of their theatre to WDW to recreate a Grauman Chinese Theatre style front for their Hollywood Studio’s The Great Movie Ride. Grauman contacted Disney and was able to borrow back the blueprint to renovate their theatre.

 Photo Feb 08, 10 09 36
While viewing John Wayne’s famous cement footprints in the theatre courtyard,
I could not resist recreating an iconic I Love Lucy moment. (above)

Lucy and Ethel decide to take a souviner back to New York, in the form of John Wayne’s footprints from
Graumin’s Chinese Theatre. (below)
l Love Lucy: Season 5, Episode 2
Lucy and John Wayne (1955)
lucy-and-ethel-at-graumans

 The El Capitan Theatre is a beautifully restored old movie theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, and just down the street from Grumman’s.  Built in the 1920’s, the El Capitan Theatre, is now owned by Disney, and has been renovated to its original splendor.  Martese and I enjoyed a brief tour of the theatre, and were treated to freshly popped popcorn and drink.  While there, the El Capitan was preparing for the next day premiere for the movie, McFarland, USA. In addition to that, the theatre was also getting ready for the Academy Awards which would occur two weeks later. (After watching the red carpet arrivals at the Dolby Theatre across the street on Oscar evening, the crowd makes it way to the El Capitan to watch the Academy Award program broadcast on the theatre’s big screen.)

IMG_4244IMG_4241
The ornate ceiling of The El Capitan Theatre, on the left.
On the right, Martese stands under the El Capitan marquee, on part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which dons the sidewalks on both sides of Hollywood Boulevard

IMG_4239
Across the street from the  El Capitan Theatre is this view of the historic Hollywood Sign.

Photo Feb 08, 10 55 21
The Dolby Theatre, the setting of the Academy Awards Ceremony, is also across the street from the
El Capitan Theatre.

Thanks to the Turner Classic Movie Channel, I learned that the Hollywood Costume Exhibition was in Los Angeles, for a limited time, not far from Hollywood. This exhibit began at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  In fact, I had tried (on two different occasions), but failed to see it when I was there. Happily, this time we were able to secure tickets, ahead of time, to view this treasure trove of Hollywood costumes.  My favorite piece was a pair of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, along with Dorothy’s gingham dress . 

To read more about this wonderful costume exhibit, click here.

IMG_4255

Martese and I wait to see the amazing
Hollywood Costume Exhibition in LA.
This particular site will eventually become the
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Our next stop was the Walt Disney Studios!  We arrived early, chatting with other D23 members, as we anticipated the opening of the gates and the showing of 101 Dalmatians.

Photo Feb 08, 18 41 13
The Walt Disney Studios six-legged water tower.
Roy Disney, Walt’s brother and business partner, thought that a six leg design looked better than
the standard four-leg design. For a “tour” of the
Disney Studios, read http://www.disunplugged.com, here.

Photo Feb 08, 14 54 18
The Walt Disney Studios street sign.

Photo Feb 08, 14 53 25
Martese and I pose in front of the
Walt Disney Studios Animation Building.

IMG_4271

IMG_4262
The big screen welcomes us to 101 Dalmatians.

IMG_4256
A happy Martese is glad to see her favorite Disney movie in the same theatre where Walt Disney sat.

We met Robert, sitting next to us. He has a Disney Instagram site findingwaltdisney.  To view his photos, click here.

IMG_4334
Martese and I enjoyed second row seats.  :O)

IMG_0619Before the movie, guests were treated to an interview session with (from right to left) Lisa Davis (the voice of Anita), Mimi Gibson (the voice of Lucky),
and legendary Disney animator of the movie, Floyd Norman.

To read more about the day’s event, click here.

It had been a fun afternoon, and we were basking in the glow of all things Disney, as we walked toward the gates to leave. It was then that we spotted historic animator, Floyd Norman .  He was kind enough to speak to us for a moment, and allow us to take a photo.  He was delightful.

IMG_4274
Mr. Norman takes time to pose for a photo with Martese.
Can you believe this man is 80-years young!?

To read Floyd Norman’s blog, click here.

A Mickey Bar and Good-bye
February 9, 2015

Our Girl’s Weekend, filled with wonderful memories, seemed to come  to an end way too quickly. Martese and I breakfasted on our final Disney meal of the weekend. While munching on Mickey Waffles at the Disneyland Hotel’s Tangaroa Terrace , it suddenly occurred to us, that we had not eaten the one “must have” Disney delicacy that weekend, Mickey Bars.  So, for dessert that morning, after a breakfast of Mickey waffles,  we enjoyed our early morning Mickey Bars, and our awesome Girl’s Weekend was complete.  :o) IMG_4293

IMG_4295

IMG_4297

IMG_4296

IMG_4300

Sort of a Recipe

Below is a “recipe”, as best as I could get,  for the delicious salad that we had at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. 

Carthay Autumn Salad-
Mizuna (a type of lettuce), crisp Pears, and spiced(candied) Pecans with charred Orange Vinaigrette.

IMG_4354

Free Printable 

Print out and enjoy one of these free printables that Martese and I designed.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 3.57.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.09.27 PM

To read about my family vacation to Walt Disney World in June 2014, click here.

Thanks so much for reading and have a magical day! :o)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, but things are busy around here, so look for my next post around March 20, if not before.

A giant thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!!!
If you are not currently getting my blogs via email, I’d love for you to do so!

PLEASE, JOIN MY BLOG FOLLOWING for Free!!!

It is my hope to boost my follower number to 100 in 2015, so….

Please, pretty please, become an “I’m Annette” blog follower. By doing so, you will receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, yes FREE, immediately upon posting, sign up on the right-hand side of this page today. :o)

Planning a Disney Vacation?

1621805_259645820870262_43649048_n

Our Daughter, Martese, is a Magic Maker® for Off to Neverland Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for any of the Disney Destinations, and other vacation locations.
Martese’s vacation planning services are totally FREE!!!
Website: marteseehm.offtoneverland.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Martese-Ehm-Off-to-Neverland/258249034343274

Photo Feb 09, 08 58 45Saying Good-bye to the Disneyland Hotel Restaurant, Tangaroa Terrace
February 9, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Thinking of Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2015

IMG_4188

Valentine’s Day: noun
a holiday that reminds spouses to do the romantic stuff that they should be doing anyway.

I had to chuckle when I recently saw this definition online about Valentine’s Day  ( I paraphrased it just a tad.)  While there is certainly  truth in this statement, I like to think that Valentine’s Day is for everyone to enjoy (especially the movies)!

Pour yourself a cup of tea, grab a candy kiss, curl up on the couch, and read my not-overly serious, and at times random, thoughts on this day before Valentine’s Day, 2015.

IMG_4327
Pour yourself a cup of tea, grab a candy kiss and read along.

Random Valentine’s Thoughts

These items fall into the random Valentine’s category…

I found this heart-shaped potato chip! Then, I ate it. I love the Cape Cod reduced fat variety!  :o)

IMG_3760
A heart-shaped potato chip

In the late 1980’s, before the advent of iPhones, laptops and home computers, I staged my two oldest (two more little cupids would bless my hubby and me in the next five years) in this Valentine pose to send out with our Valentine’s Cards to grandparents. Although, Trevor’s cupid wings are a bit crooked, and Spencer looks a bit tentative, I still think this Valentine montage is precious.

IMG_4325
My two little cupids

Being a fan of classic movies, I love the comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). This scene from the song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” with Marilyn Monroe in her bright pink gown, surrounded by  hearts and backdrop in red, just screams Valentine’s Day!

men-dont-have-a-clue-what-women-want-for-valentines-day
Marilyn Monroe stars in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Kisses

In last year’s blog, I focused on hearts at Valentine’s Day. (You can read that blog here.) Kisses are this year’s focus.

Kiss On My List (1980)

I always think of Hall & Oates 1980 song, Kiss On My List,  when the smooch topic comes up.  The catchy tune and lyrics are still fun to listen to thirty-five years later.

Your kiss is on my list of the best things in life….

images

 Click here to listen to this easy rock classic.

Three of My Favorite Movie Kisses

Since the beginning of the movies, the kiss has been an intregal part of  film magic.  Here are three of my favorite movie smooches.

Gone With The Wind (1939)
You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how. Rhett Butler

Clark Gable, as Rhett Butler, provides audiences with more than one memorable kiss throughout the 238 minutes of Gone with the Wind. This kiss is one of the best that Scarlett/Vivian Leigh receives during the movie classic.

nick-and-jess-kiss-w724
Rhett and Scarlett
To watch these clips, click here and here.

The Quiet Man (1952)
If anybody had told me six months ago, that today I´d be in a graveyard in Inisfree, with a girl like you that I´m just about to kiss…Sean Thornton

John Wayne has had his share of admirable kissing scenes throughout his years in the movies, with lucky Maureen O’Hara on the recieving end. In The Quiet Man, this romantic kiss takes place in an Irish graveyard between Mary Kate Danaher and Sean Thornton.

John%20Wayne%20&%20Maureen%20O'Hara
Sean and Mary Kate
To watch the clip of this scene, click here.

The Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Disney’s Lady and the Tramp find themselves lip to lip while slurping up Italian spaghetti, and being serenaded with romantic music.  This is a truly sweet moment in movie history.

lady-and-the-tramp-530x300
Lady and Tramp
To watch the clip of this scene, click here.

  Valentine Movies

I have a fun movie to recommend for your Valentine Day viewing pleasure.  Undercover Blues(PG-13) is a 1993 romantic comedy that does not take itself too seriously.  It features Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner as Jefferson and Jane Blue, married ex-spies, attempting to live the normal life with their baby daughter, on vacation in New Orleans. The story is cute, and it is enjoyable to witness the rapport between this movie’s husband and wife team.

For my Valentine movie recommendations from last year’s post, please go here.

518Z65VKRPLview_13_UNDERCOVER-BLUES_jpg`
Undercover Blues stars Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid as married ex-spies. 

Free Valentine Printables

As I mentioned last month (here), I often use printable on my entry table to coordinate with the current season and holiday.  It is easy to print them up on card stock and slip them into my basic black frame.

IMG_4321
This February’s entry table

Christi, from her cute blog Love From The Oven, offers many cute printables, and kindly gave me permission to share this one with you.
To print this Black, White And Gold Valentine’s Day Free Printable
click here.

Free-Printable-Love-Sign-at-Love-From-The-Oven-450x630

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I also created a free printable that features one of my favorite lines from the movie Rocky.  For more on this movie in last year’s Valentine post, go here.

mv5bmty5mdmzoduyof5bml5banbnxkftztcwmtq3ntmyna@@._v1._sx640_sy960___span

Print this free Printable, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rocky quote

Thanks so very much for reading! :o)

Annette

I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, but things are busy around here, so look for my next post around March 20, if not before.

A giant thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!!!
If you are not currently getting my blogs via email, I’d love for you to do so!

PLEASE, JOIN MY BLOG FOLLOWING!!!

It is my hope to boost my follower number to 100 in 2015, so….

Please, pretty please, become an “I’m Annette” blog follower. By doing so, you will receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, yes FREE, immediately upon posting, sign up on the right-hand side of this page today. :o)

IMG_1240
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments