Second Visit to Heidelberg, Germany

February 12th, 2010

My husband and I visited Germany to see our new grand daughter, Katie,  in August, 2009.  The plane flights were uneventful, thank God!  Katie was the main reason  we travelled to Germany and it was worth it!!  My son and his wife were and are so enthralled with her,  it made me feel good. 

We all travelled  to Rothenburg which is a medievel village with ornate buildings with tons of history near the Tauber River.  The roofs had small windows jutting out on the roofs that the towns people used to protect and fight the enemies.   There were towers at the entrance of the village that were also used for guarding and fighting.  The village looks like it did centuries before with the cobblestone streets and unique architecture.  The absolute best building was the original Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store.  I was going to take a picture inside because it was like  Santa’s house with elves, lights, and Christmas trees glistening all over, but there was that sign “No cameras allowed”.  I guess you’ll have to go see it yourself.

We took a night boat cruise up the Neckar River from Heidelberg to Neckarsteinach.  The Neckar is one of the major tributaries of Germany with  gorgeous green lush hills.  Neckarsteinach’s has four castles, which stand on crags or the slope leading down to the Neckar. They are the Vorderburg (“Fore-castle” or “Further Castle”), the Mittelburg (“Middle Castle”), the Hinterburg (“Hind-castle” or “Hinder Castle”) and the Schadeck (also called the Schwalbennest, or “Swallows’ Nest”). The castles were built between 1100 and 1230 by the Landschad von Steinach family.  The night we travelled to see the four castles was the last Saturday in July which is Guest’s Day.  Every year on this day the castles are flooded with lights that make them appear as if they are on fire, then lights that look like water pouring down on the fire.  Interesting.

Lastly, we drove to Strassburg, France, and took a boat ride around the canals surrounding the city.  This city throughout the centuries has been German or French depending on who won the battle.  It has tons of history!

The food in Germany appealed to my palate more than in France, but then we have only been to one French city. 

Neckar River, Strassburg,Neckarsteinach,travel,castles,Christmas

Doldrums after the Holidays

January 4th, 2009

I am finally getting back to a normal life after the holidays.  It’s a let down, but then again, it’s a relief.  It’s time to start looking a vacations for the next year and relaxation.

My family went to Heidelberg, Germany, this past year to visit my son and his wife.  She is a doctor  serving in the Army.  I am going to write a few upcoming blogs about the castles, food, etc. that we experienced there.  All I can say is that it was fantastic for my first trip abroad.  Thank goodness the Germans can speak english.


Midway State Park Not Slowing Down

June 8th, 2008

Midway State Park has started it’s 110th year on the sunny shores of Chautauqua Lake in Maple Springs, New York.  Originally established  in 1898 as a trolley  park after the Jamestown & Lake Erie Railroad introduced a trolley stop at the popular steamboat dock.  Midway Park is the 16th oldest continually operating amusement park in the United States.

Over the years Midway Park expanded with several amusement rides, miniature golf, water wars and more.  Patrons can take a nostalgic ride on the vintage 1946 Allan Herschell Carousel or the 1958 Dodgem Ride, take a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl, ride the go-carts and bumper boats or watch their children enjoy themselves on the many kiddie rides.  While some folks may prefer to relax while enjoying an old-fashioned candy apple or a bag of cotton candy, others can test their skills at classic midway games.  The Midway Arcade still features an assortment of arcade legends including Skee Ball, and Whac-a-Mole, as well as the 1980’s hits Pac-Man and Galaga.

 I went as a child, my three sons had a blast there, and I hope to take my grandson for his first visit this summer.  Hope to see you there.

Day Out with THOMAS-The Great Discovery Tour

June 1st, 2008

My grandson (2-1/2 years) went on the Thomas the Train tour and was totally enthralled.  He toured in Medina, NY.  Thomas will be travelling all over the country and elsewhere.   If you want to see a smile on a childs face, try this tour.  It is not an all day affair, so parents and kids will not be over whelmed.  The tours for 2008 go up into December.  Have fun!!

 Find a Place to Stay  DatesThomas Tour


Cruise with the Soap Opera Stars

May 23rd, 2008

Would you like to mix and mingle with some of the hottest stars of daytime television? We can help you make it happen, on an unforgettable 4-day cruise from Miami in January.

It’s called the Soap Cruise, and heartthrob Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery on All My Children) will serve as host on this unique voyage of the Celebrity Century.

As you sail to Key West and Cozumel, you will enjoy private access to Cameron and 14 other soap celebrities from popular shows including Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, General Hospital and Guiding Light.

There will be no velvet ropes at this event, it’s an up-close-and-personal experience.

You’ll be taken to a private room to meet the celebrities as soon as you step onboard. During the cruise, you will mingle with your new friends at private cocktail parties, autograph and photo sessions. There’s even an opportunity to get up on stage and act out a script you have written for the stars!

You’ll find these stars approachable and friendly, but don’t just take my word for it, click here to watch the Soap Cruise 2007 highlight video and see for yourself.

In addition to Cameron, seven of the celebrities on the upcoming cruise also sailed on that first Soap Cruise: Alicia Minshew (Kendall Slater on All My Children), Winsor Harmon (Thorne Forrester on The Bold and The Beautiful), Don Diamont (Brad Carlton on The Young and The Restless), Jacob Young (J.R. Chandler on All My Children), Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe Lane on Days of Our Lives), Christian Leblanc (Michael Baldwin on The Young and The Restless) and Austin Peck (Brad Snyder on As The World Turns). Seven other stars will be taking their first cruise.

To learn more about the Soap Cruise, or to reserve your space now, click here. There are a limited number of cabins available to Soap Cruise participants, and you must book the Soap Cruise package through Vacations To Go to join the fun. Celebrities and Soap Cruise activities will not be available to other passengers on the ship.

Sounds like alot of fun to me!!!



Great Vacation Spot in Western New York State

May 9th, 2008

Holiday Valley is adding 2 million dollars of improvements this summer.  It is one of the areas premier resorts with ski slopes, health club/spa, a year around heated pool, an 18 hole golf course,  the Tamarack Club (a 78 unit, four star condominium-hotel), and restaurants.  There is the Ellicottville Brewery that makes their own beer which is very tasty.

The resort is upgrading their snow making system, installing an outdoor music system, constructing a picnic/ wedding pavilion on Sugar Plum and a picnic shelter at Spruce Lake.  An upscale housing complex is being built at the heart of the resort.

Holiday Valley had over 500,000 visitors during the past winter season and is financially in great shape.  It is located in Western New York State.

Holiday Valley

Casino Trips

April 4th, 2008

 I don’t know about you, but once or twice a year I like to go to a casino in hopes of winning the BIG prize and retiring from work.  HEE! HEE! There is a casino  close to my hometown of Jamestown, New York.  It is in Salamanca, New York.  The casino is fairly new and expands everytime I go. 

There are two casinos near Niagara Falls, also.  The casino in Niagara Falls, Canada that is huge and alot of fun to visit. Of course, as a bonus you can see the Falls.  They are amazing to see, and I highly suggest you go.  The other casino is on the United States side of Niagara Falls in Buffalo, New York.  It is much smaller, but you can still site see and enjoy the Falls without needing a passport.

What do you think about this sort of entertainment?

PS. I am still working! 

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Do you love Lucy?

March 29th, 2008

Lucy fans will have some new memorabilia to admire when the Lucy-Desi Museum opens its expanded exhibit in August.

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center received a shipment of items on March 28, 2008,to add to its collection of Lucy memorabilia.  The items are on indefinite loan to the center from the Arnez family, and include items from Ms. Ball’s Beverly Hills home, including her RV console,  one of her backgammon tables, and a swag lamp with an unusual modification made by Lucy.  The items had been on display at Universal Studios.   

Ric Wyman, center executive director, said “It’s kind of like Christmas”,  referring to the many boxes of Lucy-Desi items that were still unpacked.

The center hopes to have everything complete by Lucy’s birthday celebration in August.  Come to Jamestown and have a good Lucy laugh!

Radisson Hotel  Chautauqua Institution 


March 19th, 2008

A “story idea” on the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website reads:

    “SPRING BREAK NO MORE”"What do Cancun, San Padre Island and Daytona Beach have that South Florida once had, but does not want again? The six week ritual known as ‘Spring Break.’ Fort Lauderdale is no longer ‘where the boys are’ but where well-heeled Europeans, sophisticated Northerners and laid-back Mid-Westerners come to relax and vacation. From the late 1980’s into the early 90’s, Greater Fort Lauderdale was a destination in transition. The area’s success at ridding itself of Spring Break has made it one of the fastest growing travel destinations in the United States.”I can’t believe anyone would have the audacity to turn down business in this economic state.  I know some of  ”the breakers” are abit on the wild side and maybe a distraction to some folks, but I wish I were that age again. I have a cottage in Bemus Point, New York, on Chautauqua Lake.  When I was a teen, we spent hours standing in front of the local ice cream/hamburger shop.  A few summer people arrived every year as soon as school was out in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Then the fun began.

    Today, summer has brought in hundreds of people for weekly Sunday concerts on the floating stage at the Italian Fisherman, aka, The Fish.  The Fish used to be the local ice cream/hamburger shop.  New Condos are going up with a beautiful view of Chautauqua Lake.  The activity has brought in alot of revenue and FUN to the area.  When September comes , it settles down and the town empties out with mainly locals frequenting the See Zurh House (great food),  the Casino (not a gambling place), the Italian Fisherman and the Hare and Hounds.  

    The youth of today are no different than the previous generations.  Most of the problem is the news coverage.  We only hear the bad things.  Sure bad things happen, but look at all of the good spring breakers bonding with their friends. 

    Come to Chautauqua Lake, Bemus Point, or Western New York.  Spring break would not be fun, however.  We are still getting snow/rain.  We have ski resorts for winter fun and the lake for summer fun. 

    Go here for Savings  Chautauqua Lake  Bemus Point 


March 3rd, 2008

Weddings are a lot of fun, especially for those that don’t have to plan them.   My three sons got married within a four year period, and their weddings were planned by themselves and their future wives.  The weddings took place in Cleveland, Ohio, Amherst, New York, and Erie, Pennsylvania.  If you want to know about   their weddings, give me a return blog. 

After doing   some research, I found a few interesting spots on the east coast for weddings and receptions.  Anything near the ocean is fun!

(1) Fort Fisher, NC -Fort Historical Site

Fort Fisher, located south of Kure Beach, North Carolina, has two gazebos overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Both are great for smaller weddings, less than 50 people. The most romantic times for ceremonies are dawn and dusk. The sunrise and sunsets there among the historic hills and trees is beautiful. There are no buildings to get out of the rain, just an open area under the trees to have your reception. There are grills and picnic tables already set up, but you will probably want to bring more. For your application to use one of the gazebos, please visit the Historical Site’s office.

(2) Wilmington, NC -Airlie Gardens Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina has 67 acres of the most picturesque flowers, plants, trees, and lakes. Although there is a church at Airlie, it is not available for weddings. Springtime is the best time for a wedding in the Gardens because the flowers are in bloom and it’s also not too hot and sticky. There are no reception areas at Airlie Gardens, but this site is within 2 miles of some of the best seafood restaurants inWrightsville Beach that host wedding receptions.  Airlie Gardens books ceremonies 18 months in advance. (3) Charleston, SC – Battery Park

You can have a gazebo wedding in White Point Gardens in Battle Park, a magnificent and historical
Charleston park right on the water. The park is full of live oaks draped with Spanish moss. Its surroundings are old historic Charleston dwellings and businesses. For
weddings in the park, you are limited to 25 people including you and the groom, and you have to get a permit from the City of

(4) Savannah, GA – Forsyth Park Inn

The Forsyth Park Inn is a bed and breakfast overlooking Savannah’s Forsyth Park.Forsyth Park is said to be the most beautiful park in Georgia! The Inn features elegant and extravagant decor indoors and outdoors. Your garden wedding will definitely feel intimate and relaxed as you are surrounded by beautiful landscape and fountains. The Queen Anne – style Inn has 11 rooms for housing your wedding guests. The Forsyth Park Inn would make a great location for small weddings.

(5) Outer Banks, NC – Mallards Marsh

Mallards Marsh is a plain building on the outside, but a large open area on the inside. At the Mallards Marsh, your wedding guests will enjoy views of the 22-acres of sound and wildlife adjoining the building. For your reception, Mallards Marsh’s floor plan allows for the dining room to open to the dance floor. There is a wooden walkway going from the main building to a unique glass chapel – perfect for having your wedding outdoors but still be sheltered from the elements.

(6) East Coast Yacht Cruises

Have the wedding of your dreams on one of the East Coast Yacht Cruises boats. They offer all-inclusive packages on certain yachts. A 4.5 hour cruise aboard a Manhattan East Coast Yacht for 75 guests is $13,000 but includes a wedding coordinator, DJ, invitations, ice sculpture, wine and champagne, open bar, and wedding cake just to name a few 

(7) Orlando, FL – Disney World

Get married at Disney World! Disney allows you to choose from one of four types of weddings: wishes collection which is the most elaborate, couture collection, escape collection for less than 18 guests, and a cruise collection which is obviously a ceremony on a Disney cruise ship. From the elegant decorations to friendly atmosphere, Disney World can give you and your groom a truly magical ceremony! 

(8) Coconut Grove, FL – The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa

The Grove Isle Hotel provides the perfect background for your wedding. It is on its own private island which overlooks the Biscayne Bay. At the Grove Isle Hotel, you can choose which indoor facility you want for your ceremony, or you can have it outdoors. Outdoors would be pretty at sunset! There are several ballrooms and banquet rooms to choose from for your reception too. The views of Miami from this hotel are amazing.

Enjoy the day!  All the preparation is worth it, and your family and friends will have a good time no matter what.  Remember, something bizarre is sure to happen.  My husband forgot to bring his tuxedo pants to the church, so his brother had to madly dash home and get them.  In the meantime, the photographer’s brakes on his parked car released and the car rolled down the street. We laugh, now.

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