Sunday, September 12, 2010

What has been happening lately

Sooo... we are still working on the details for the wedding and a date is still up in the air.

It is back to work season and with that I hope to keep a regular schedule with my painting. I had some work recently documented and hope to post some of the pics very soon.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Happy News! We´re Engaged!

Some Pictures From Munich and Cologne

Arrived in Koln, or Cologne, or Kuelen (you pick)

So we had arrived in Cologne early this afternoon, after a good four and a half hour train ride from Munich. We thought we were ready to take the city by storm and do as much as we could (since we only had an afternoon), but we ran out of energy. After a short nap, we ventured out into the city. The big attraction here is the cathedral, and I mean CATHEDRAL. This thing is huge, and is the reason why we decided to stop here on the way back. It was very impressive. We made our way inside and paid a small fee to walk up the steps to one of the spires. The truth is that they really should have paid us, or at least advertise it as some kind of work out marathon. The spiral steps put any stepmaster to shame (509 steps), but we made quick work of it, also working up a sweat.

The views from the top were pretty amazing. I will post a couple pictures.
After the trek to the top, we wandered the city for a while. We eventually decided on a place to eat. I was happy as it was an `all you can eat` asian buffet. Which brings us to now. Nancy and I just stopped off at an internet cafe, before heading back to our hotel.

Tomorrow we are taking a morning train from Cologne to Utrecht then another train right into Schipol Airport (Amsterdam) and catch our flight back home. We have really enjoyed our trip and can´t believe all of the great experiences we have had during the past few weeks. However, there is some relief realizing we are getting closer to being back at home.

See ya´ll soon!
JR and Nancy

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Munich Pictures

Pictures from the day trip in London

Northern Ireland Pictures (Banbridge, Newcastle, Belfast)

Munich Hotel Change

Ahh, just a quick check of our email and a update.

We have been loving Munich. We didn´t know what to expect, but we have been enjoying it so much we decided to stay an extra two nights. The only problem appears to be that other people feel the same way, and our hotel was completely booked. That meant searching for a new home. This got a little involved, as a number of hotels either were completely booked or a wee bit pricey. We eventually settled on one and it wasn´t too far from the train station. The hotel is much simplier than the Kings Hotel, but it will do the trick.

All this moving around has made us all the more appreciative of the comforts of our stay with Will and Meaghan. There we found the rest and relaxation we needed to be able to do this part of the trip. We do miss the morning cup of tea and porridge, gazing the beautiful view from the kitchen window, and the friendly morning smiles from Will and Meaghan. Thank you Will for taking the time to share your part of the country with us. :) Your family was great!

We`re now off to see a couple of art galleries and maybe stroll the streets for German goods.... and perhaps take in a dinner at Hofbrauhaus (beer hall & garden) tonight. Only 2 days to go before we're back home.
We look forward to seeing the family at home and can't wait to share more details of the trip in person!

Hope all is well!
nancy and JR

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Hop, Skip and a Jump - in Munich

The past couple of days have been fun-filled and busy. We enjoyed our incredible stay in Northern Ireland with Meaghan. We can´t thank her enough for the hospitality she gave us. We were sad to say goodbye, but it was time for us to move along.

On Wednesday we took the bus to Belfast. Met up with Meaghan for lunch and a wee bit of shopping for Nancy. We said our goodbyes and "until next time" and made our way by train to Carrickfergus. With perfect timing, Nancy´s cousin Lorraine pulled up with her son Stephen. They took us back to their house to meet the rest of the family.
We were warmly welcomed and treated to drinks and snacks as we chatted and caught up. The family then took us to cousin Margaret´s farm. We had a lovely spread and met Arlene, Claire, Victoria, Linda, Margaret and John. After dinner, we had fun playing football with the kids. Eventually, the night had to come to an end, and meant more goodbyes. We headed back to Arthur and Lorraines for a short sleep before we woke up early for the flight to London. Arthur was so kind to drive us to the airport, which was at the ghastly hour of 4:30am. Thank you, Thank you, thank you Arthur.

We had a great flight into London. Took the train back to the downtown, and met up with Ling. Ling totally looked after us, even taking us to Royal Albert Hall to attend a BBC prom of Chamber choir music by Mozart and Dvorak. We really enjoyed our short stay with Ling. Thank you LING!

Again, we had to get up super early at 4am Thursday to make our way back to the airport. It was all worth it, as we had a terrific time.
We had another good flight, landing in Munich on time. The weather was great when we landed, taking the train to the city centre and finding our hotel. We made it to the King´s hotel. We were happy to see the bed and quickly fell asleep.

We are looking forward to enjoying the next few days here in Munich. We are planning a visit to the gallery for Saturday and possibly a couple day trips just outside of Munich for Sunday and Monday.

- JR and Nancy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A wee bit from Northern Ireland

Hello! This will be a short update as we're off to see Carrickfergus and see Nancy's cousins before we head back to London on Thursday.

Having a chance to slow the pace down a bit, sleep in and relax in N. I. has been terrific. On Sat. we travelled to Newcastle to take in a piping contest, complete with Highland Dancers and Drum Majors. It was quite the show and we heard LOTS of pipes!! We also went into Belfast to check out the Ulster Museum which has recently opened after a refurbishment. It was really good, lots to look at and learn about N.I. On Monday we got on a train to Dublin to check out as much of the city as we could in a day. It turned out to be a beautiful day, so we were actually a little over-dressed for the weather if you can believe it!

Yesterday we went back into Belfast and JR met up with an artist and was able to view some local galleries. He was definitely impressed with some of the works (Freud, Moore, Picasso), and Nancy met up with Meaghan to view some of the local shops.

Today's our last morning in Banbridge. Then off to Carrickfergus. Thank you so much to our hosts. You guys are the best!!!

Hope everyone is doing well at home!

all the best,
Nancy and JR

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More London Pictures

London Pictures


Had a bumpy bus ride into London, and it was much hotter than we expected. But, we found the residence in downtown (Bankside to be specific) and we were able to settle in quickly. In looking over all the things we wanted to see, we quickly realized that we wouldn't have enough time to do it all. First on the list was St. Paul's Cathedral (it opened earliest), where we saw amazing architecture, the Duke of Wellington's tomb, and Lord Nelson's tomb. The whispering galleries were closed in the top, so we weren't able to experience that, but we headed off to the rebuilt Globe theatre. We had a very cool tour there, and then we went to a "London Bridge" experience. It was funny, and creepy, with actors that play out all the dead zombies stuck in the tombs of london's dungeon and bridge. Then we went to the Tower of London. It was really interesting, except there were 1 million other visitors and it was difficult to move about the grounds. We were able to view the Crown Jewels and various prisoner rooms where royalty lived when stuck in the tower. From there we headed to the National Portrait Gallery and Trafalgar Square. JR thought it was amazing and Nancy liked the royalty portraits. Our attempt in viewing the Canada House was thwarted because the common area was closed for some 3-day function. Too bad. We then headed out to get theatre tickets for the Tuesday night. We decided to see "Oliver". It was a fabulous show the next evening. We both loved it.
Back to Monday though... we met up with JR's friend, Ling, and were able to hang out for the evening at a restaurant on the Thames. Very nice. :)

Tuesday morning - Nancy slept in a bit and JR went off to view the British Museum. There was an exhibit of Renaissance master drawings which JR was able to see, as well as the Rosetta stone, an Easter Island head, and some Acropolis statues. That afternoon we headed to Buckingham Palace and went to the Queen's Mews (were her horses and carriages are kept). When we left, we saw many people dressed up in top hats and fancy dresses and Nancy thought the Queen could be having an afternoon tea party... and she WAS! Nancy loved it and JR had to take lots of pictures of all the bustle around the gates of Buckingham Palace. We left the gates of the palace and went to the Queen's gallery. Lots of amazing artwork, including the piano that Queen Victoria and Albert played, as well as original music that Mendelsohn wrote for them to perform together. (Nancy was thrilled!)

We walked back through St. James park and headed to the Parliment buildings and Big Ben. After the requisite pictures we headed back to change and rest before Oliver. Like we mentioned earlier, Oliver was superb. Definitely lived up to the hype of "West End London broadway". That was our last evening in London, but when we fly back on our way to Munich, we will meet up with Ling again, and maybe get some more sights and sounds of London.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Canterbury, England

We had a wonderful time in Canterbury! It was a pleasant surprise in our trip! We landed in Canterbury on a busy day and luckily had the good fortune of staying at the Acacia Lodge. The hosts were spectacular and friendly, making us feel like family. We were able to use their computer and phone, going above and beyond anything we would have expected, and even helped with our travel plans to London. Thanks Mark and Tam!

Check out the leaning building (bookstore) in one of the pictures -Charles Dickens even wrote about it in one of his books!
The Canterbury Cathedral was stunning -hope you can see that in the pictures!

Dover to Canterbury

The Cliffs of Dover!

Taking the Ferry from Calais to Dover