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Friday, August 30, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 8/30/13

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I have done quite a bit of traveling in our lives but we were always glad to return home.  Here is a picture of our part of the world, eastern Washington, in the spring.  We moved from Washington state to Cuenca, Ecuador five years ago.


Right now we are out traveling the world again, but it will be so good to get back home to Cuenca.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lubeck, Germany

Dear Family and Friends,

Today Chuck and I took a train from Copenhagen, Denmark to Lubeck, Germany.  (Lubeck is spelled with two dots over the u, but I don't know how to make that happen on my laptop.)

Here is Chuck waiting for our train to arrive at the Copenhagen train station.

Our train ride was about three and a half hours long.  The train had to cross water to get to Germany.  See the map below:

I drew a red line showing the route of the train.  Notice it had to cross water to get to Germany.  There is no bridge, although it looks small on the map it is many miles of water.  

We got across the water on a ferry.  The train drove into the belly of the ferry.  Us passengers got out of the train, went up on top of the ferry for the ride.  When it was time for the ferry to dock, all us passengers went down and got back on the train.  After the ferry docked, the train proceeded off the ferry and continued our trip into Germany.  There was train track built into the belly of the ferry.

We arrived in Lubeck about 2:00pm.  Just enough time to walk the city and eat lunch.

Here are some pictures of Lubeck.

The gates leading to the city are still standing and being used since they were built in 1477.

Lubeck is a well preserved city.

Some streets are so narrow that they can only be used by pedestrians.

The back side of some old buildings on the river.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we take the train to Kiel to board our cruise ship.

After tomorrow, our internet access may be non existent.  There is on-board internet but it is very expensive and we will only use it to check our email.  Trying to do the blog with the ships internet service would cost us a fortune.

I will take pictures at every port.  I will post them when I get a chance.  So if you do not see any posts for a few weeks it is not because we are lost a sea.......I hope.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Copenhagen, Denmark

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I had a nice flight to Copenhagen.  On Wednesday we flew KLM to Amsterdam and then to Copenhagen.  We flew overnight and arrived in Copenhagen about 5:30pm on Thursday.  After a stroll around our hotel and a nice dinner we were tired and ready for a good nights sleep.

Since Chuck and I started juicing vegetables my energy level has soared.  We spent today walking all over Copenhagen.  Therefore, I have many pictures to share.

This first picture is of a young lady offering candy outside a store.  I called her a Danish Chola girl.

Like many cities in Europe, Copenhagen has it's distinctive style.

Narrow streets and a lot of outdoor seating for coffee, tea or Carlsberg (beer).

Copenhagen has coffee, tea, beer and a sense of humor.  This is sign that was outside one establishment.

We loved the architecture.

Here is  Chuck enjoying a view of iconic Copenhagen.

And here is Chuck taking a break and enjoying a beer.

Looking through the fountain and through the Amalienborg Palace courtyard to the marble church.

A couple of guards at the palace.

Here is another picture of the marble church.

Copenhagen has many beautiful parks.

Here is another Copenhagen icon.....the mermaid.

This last picture is of a statue Hans Christian Andersen looking toward Tivoli gardens.

Saturday we take a train to Lubeck, Germany.

Sunday we board the cruise ship.

We are exhausted from a day of walking and are now headed out for a nice dinner and then bed.


Friday, August 23, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 8/23/13

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and his friend, a water buffalo, in the rice fields in China.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rest Time is Over .... Time for Another Trip

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck said after our retirement, ten years ago, that our new vocation was travel.  If I ever had doubts, after the past ten years, I don't anymore.

So our rest period is over and it is time to get going again.  One thing about aging is that you begin to realize that there is a race with the clock to get all the things you want to do in this lifetime done.  The Scandinavian countries have been on our bucket list for quite some time.  This trip will check them off.

We fly out this Wednesday morning for Copenhagen. I am packed and ready to go.

One carry on and one medium size suitcase.  Not bad considering we will be gone for about 5 weeks.  It would be nice if I could do all my traveling with just a carry on but all my electronic gadgets take up too much space. And besides, we will be on a cruise and you have to pack some dressy clothes.

I will blog about our trip as much as possible.  Since we will be on a cruise ship most of the time, it may be somewhat of a challenge.  Of course, there will always be the Foto Friday going on. 

This is what the first part of our trip looks like.

After spending a couple of days in Copenhagen, Denmark we will go to Kiel, Germany.  There we will board a cruise ship.  The red stars are our ports of call.

1. Stockholm, Sweden
2. Helsinki, Finland
3. St. Petersburg, Russia
4. Tallinn, Estonia
5. Riga, Latvia
6. Kalipeda, Lithuania
7. Gdynia, Poland
8. Ronne/Bornholm, Denmark
9. return to Kiel, Germany

When this cruise is over, we will stay on the ship.  We will cruise the western European coast next. Again, the red stars are our ports of call.

The second part of our trip will look like this. 

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
2. Dover, England
3. Cherbourg, France
4. Vigo, Spain
5. Lisbon, Portugal
6. Cadiz, Spain
7. Malaga, Spain
8. Savona, Italy

The third part of our trip will be by train.  We will train along the coast of France.  We will spend a few days in Nice and a few days in Avignon.  Before coming back to Ecuador, we will spend a few days on the coast of Spain.

So that is about it.  This is what we will be doing for the next few weeks.  We plan to be back in Cuenca by the first of October.

Have a nice weekend.


Friday, August 16, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 8/16/13

Dear Family and Friends,

Today a little bit about the giant panda.

On our first trip to China we went to Chengdu Panda Research Center, located in Sichuan.  We saw the work they were doing to preserve one of China's most endangered spices, the giant panda.

We were able to visit the nursery and see baby pandas in incubators.

When they are first born they are all pink.  The black coloring comes later.

It is not unusual for a giant panda to give birth to twins.  In the wild, likely because the mother does not have milk for two, only the most fit panda survives.  At this research center both babies survive because they switch the pandas between the incubator and the mother panda.  Both babies are able to bond with mama.  The siblings are fed by hand with a bottle and are kept warm in an incubator when they are not sharing time with mom.

After they are old enough they are transferred out of doors to enjoy life with other pandas.

If you are interested in this research you can go to the center's website:

While we were there we saw these little guys.  They were called red pandas.

Actually they are not pandas at all but look like they could be related to racoons.  They are also endangered.  You can learn more about them at this website:


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Almost Every Sunday in Cuenca, Ecuador

Dear Family and Friends,

One thing that makes our lives in Cuenca, Ecuador so enjoyable is sharing it with our friends.  We have been sharing Sundays with our friends, Rich and Nancy for going on five years.  Every Sunday we walk to the city center and have breakfast.  Then we saunter over to Parque Calderon to enjoy the "goings on."   It is a wonderful tradition that means so much to us.

What a good looking group....sans me, the photographer.

One of our friends that we love to see on Sundays.

Thanks Rich and Nancy for enriching our lives.  Here's to many more happy healthy years walking on Sunday mornings.

Nancy and Chuck

Friday, August 9, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 8/09/13

Dear Family and Friends,

One of the things we love about living in Cuenca is seeing the children looking so well dressed in their school uniforms. On one of our trips to Japan we spotted these cute school children.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Staying Healthy with Green Juice

Dear Family and Friends,

After I had surgery a few weeks ago I had some down time. While recuperating I found a documentary on Netflix that really had a huge impact on me. The documentary that I am speaking of is called Food Matters. The information in the movie was nothing new to me, I think just having it presented and tied together in the film really turned a light on in my brain. I shared this documentary with Chuck and he too was impacted by it. We were so impressed that we have sought out more documentaries about health related subjects.

The next documentary we watched was Hungry for Change.  In this documentary we were introduced to juicing vegetables to concentrate our intake of good nourishment.

The third documentary we watched was Fat Sick and Almost Dead.

It was after viewing this documentary that we went out and purchased a juicer.  Chuck and I walked over to the market and purchased the darkest greenest leafy vegetables we could find.  We also bought carrots, yellow squash, tomatoes and other veggies to make our first juice.  We have both pledged to ourselves that we will drink one glass of healthy juice a day.  It has been a month now and we have kept to our pledge.

We both take additional fiber because of the fiber we do not receive by juicing.  Our typical day starts with breakfast...for Chuck that is a fruit smoothy with added fiber.  For me it is oatmeal or a scrambled egg.  We are both staying away from potatoes, rice, bread and other items high in carbohydrates.  We have a smart lunch and have our juice about 4pm or 5pm.  We have found that we are not hungry for supper. 

I do not use a particular recipe when juicing. I have learned that if I add an apple or pear and always a lemon the drink will taste better.  I will not lie to you, sometimes I have to sip on it because I do not like my creation, but other times it is quite good.  At any rate I drink it for my health.

Here are some veggies that are drying after being soaked.

The bottom line is that we as humans have been given this food to eat and we have evolved as a species being nourished by it.  What I have learned from the documentaries is that if we only eat processed food and high calorie fried food we are going against nature and it will shorten our lives and take away from our quality of life.

Here I am 66 years old and I am just getting this message imprinted into my brain.  I am thankful that I have finally gotten the message.  I feel it is never too late to start nourishing my body.  I have learned that with the right kind of food our body can heal itself.  Blood pressure can go down, sugar levels lowered, and cholesterol lowered.

When our motorcycle friends were staying with us last week, they decided to juice themselves.  What a pleasure to have a juice fest with our guests.

Here is Erin juicing for her and Zach.

Here is a nice healthy glass of juice. 

A healthy snack of colorful cauliflower add an onion dip and it is great.

We are so lucky to be living here in Cuenca where wonderful locally grown vegetables and fruits are available at a reasonable price all year long.

If you cannot find these documentaries on Netflix and are interested in how to see the videos that made such a big impact on us, I know that they are available through Amazon on DVD.  I know this because I ordered a copy for my brother, sister and all five of our children.

Wishing all a good healthy life!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Motorcycling through South America

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I were honored to have Erin and Zach stay with us last week.

They started their southward journey from Lake Tahoe, California.  They have been traveling on their motorcycles since last November.

Their aim is to travel most of South America.  What an adventuresome pair.

We waived goodbye to them Friday morning as they headed off toward Chordeleg.

You can follow their adventures on Facebook.  Erin is a wonderful photographer.


Friday, August 2, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 8/02/13

Dear Family and Friends,

What a sweet Foto Friday to share.  Every little kid should have an Uncle Matt is their life.  He takes time to listen, explain and is loving and kind. This photo is of Matt with his nephew Cannon.