North America, Europe ·
14 Days ·
140 Moments ·
16 August 2017
Dinner-not good calzone.
Guinness brewery tour
More sights from tour bus
Book of Kells inside Trinity college.
Definitely worth seeing
Yes those are all books.
Dublin by hop/hop off tour bus
Not as much to see in this city. There are some old churches (cathedrals) you can see but we are tired of those.
Sams Breakfast (lunch for most folks given its 12:45 pm).
Avocado and egg sandwiches and hash worms.
And a mocha.
Check out toe sign.
15 August 2017
Sheep just in the other side of the fence on private property.
And a black sheep. One in every family
Absolutely spectacular site well worth the drive. So glad we went to the trouble of rearranging everything to go today. Weather tomorrow will be rainy and we would not have gotten the views or pics we have seen today.
After you add it all up it's an all day trip. You spend 1.5 hours up to the airport .5 hours getting rental car, 3.5 hours driving. Then quick dinner in way bAck. Don't forgot to refill with gas. Return the car and then the Shuttle back to hotel . It's a 14 hour day and we didn't even stop in Gallway.
Next time rent the car and spend the night in Gallway after viewing the cliffs.
Yes that's Sam sitting on the edge over hanging the cliff. Tried to talk him out of that. Saw lots of people sitting up there so it's stable. But oh so close.
He was taking pics and had his face in his phone posting to social media so I was successful in getting him to move away from the edge while texting and walking simultaneouslytaneously.
He's 19 now and if he falls victim to Darwins
Yiu get these views if you hike toward the other city.
We only hiked maybe 15-30 minutes. It takes about an hour to fully hike non stop to the other city. Doolin
Ticket to park to visit The Cliffs of Moher
Yes, we have a rental car and yes...
-steering wheel On wrong side
-manual car (not automatic)
- gear shift is on your left side (must shift with left hand)
- Must drive on left side of road
-lots of round abouts.
-thank goodness Sam is here to navigate.
Very interestingly shaped bridge.
Honestly say it's the first time I have been in a double decker airport shuttle.
Breakfast this morning while Sam sleeps in. Excellent! Very good sausage. Everything is good but especially the sausage.
Also a girls soccer team came into the art cafe Dublin where I was eating and they must have a daily honor for a team mate. They got up and said she had done all these good things so she gets to wear this honorary costume all day. Hilarious.
The benefits of travel at 2:30 am.
No crowds for the photo spots. And no mindless people in your pics.
14 August 2017
Boarding plane to Dublin 2 hrs late
Finally got to hostel and to bed at 3:00 am
Sam sleeping in this AM
Examples of houses in the area.
Debentures entrance for center court
The VR experience is extra cool. Feel like you are standing right. Whims the player. I expect the future of TV will be this type of feel. As if you are right there court side.
They go through 52,000 balls during the tournament
Bud Collins famous outfit.
What an incredible place.
You can see the places where the tv commentators sit, the royal box, score boards, retractable roof, not a bias seat in the house.
Seats here are called debentures. They cost $50,000 per seat for a period of 5 yrs. so about $10k per year. They sell out very quickly and you get tickets to every match in center court plus access to all the food etc.
Sam and sitting in the actual seats where players are interviewed after a match. It's a mandatory 15 min interview in front of 125+ journalists.
In this pic you can see some of the actual members playing. They didn't look too good.
Membership is exclusive it not aich as yiu might think. It's it a money thing. Membership is only $95.00 yes $95 per year. The club makes so much money off the tourney they don't need to charge dues. Bit you have to be voted in to be a member and recommended by 2 members. There are only 350 members. They are looking for people who live close by and who live the game and those who will get along with others. They hold social events all the time where in members can mix and mingle in hopes of making connections etc.
Members. Plus any winners is an honorRy member.
Note one of the doors is prize money! That's actually where they go to claim their winnings.
The umbrellas are this area for players.
They have everything.
Super nice locker room, -which we could not see because members were using it today.
But they have everything hair salon, nail
Salon, private dining area, gym, saint, ice baths, you name it. They want for nothing while there.
In the restaurant they can order what ever they want. super healthy or pizza and burgers.
Players entrance and they must sign in at this desk.
Also transportation desk
This is the players entrance. Every single player has complimentary transportTion limousine provided by jaguar and this is they enter
This is the famous hill. Henman hill that seats 3500 people who bring their own picnickes etc
During the event there is a giant screen behjnd them.
This is how they rebuild the courts. Hey shave off the very top layer and re seed always with a special blend of perineal eye grass. The roots of eye grass grow 9" deep and the old roots provide nutrients for the new seedlings.
Sam is standing in front of court 18. It's been reseeded already. This the court where John isner played Nicholas mahut in the longest match ever.
Also pic of BBC television set for 2017
They change every year
They keep the score boards up until next years tournament.
The big cranes are construction in new improvements to court one
History of tennis
Never knew where name came from and I think that made a good choice not calling by its former name.
Also never knew how the scoring got its names.
Train to Wimbledon
Of note, don't take the train all the way to Wimbledon. You get off two stops before and walk 15 minutes to get to the museum.
The Wimbledon stop is for the town.
He's starting a new hair style trend. They call it the "Mr Clinton" look.
I taught him to smile
13 August 2017
Jack the Ripper tour.
Sam loved it. Was best friends with the tour guilds by the end of the night.
This was Tower bridge. Often confused with London bridge. Tier is much prettier and yiu can go up in the top part. They have a see through floor so you can see the bridge traffic below.
Awesome views of the city from up high.
Part of the London pass and well worth our time.
Tower of London.
Part of London pass so we skipped ahead of everyone waiting to buy tickets.
The best tour we have taken so far.
We took two mini tours in the inside which told us about its history etc.
also toured the chapel (no pictures allowed)
Then we waited in line and say the Crown Jewels (no pictures allowed).
You could easily spend 6+!hours in a busy day in this tour. Lots to see and we skipped some of it to make sure we got to the tower bridge tour in time. Thankfully they are very close to each other.
Tower Bridge from a distance.
Very good breakfast this AM for $6
Great ham(they call it bacon), sausage, egg, bread, hashbrowns. All Excellent.
Never had beans for breakfast. Tasted like you would expect. Baked beans except the sauce is not really sweet or spicy.
We have been very blessed with good weather. Today is going to be beautiful. Now, just need to get Sam out of bed....
12 August 2017
Double decker busses everywhere.
Apparently we were in Trafalgar Square last night (and did not know it). Big statue with GIANT lions at the base.
The London Eye
Thank goodness I bought skip the line tickets.
The lines are terribly crowded.
But once we figured what line to get in we were up in 10 minutes.
Really neat. Wry high view of the city. Not scary.
This was a guy we ran across and he was marching back and forth and stomping as he marched guarding something. Not sure what he was guarding. There were actually two of them. One on each side.
Churchills war room bunker.
I was really looking forward to this and it was just not that interesting.
It's pretty large and
Did get to look at all the rooms... map rooms, meeting rooms, sleeping quarters, kitchen
All of that for both Churchill and also his staff and the workers.
Also a museum dedicated to the life of Churchill. It's just not laid out well and so it's hard to follow.
Toured Houses of Parliament.
We did audio guide and it was not as interesting as I had hoped.
Did get to go in the actual champ nets where they actually debate.
Interesting how they make them face each other and how not everyone fits so the other delegates decide their votes in back rooms.
Mail box in London
Are here fir lunch yesterday. Really fast and really good. Had this Thai green curry bowl with chicken and it was awesome. Sam got 2 sushi rolls and ended up going back and getting what I had as well.
They will not let you take pics inside
London pass for us in free with audio guides
It's worth doing
Absolutely beautiful inside. Lots of stained glass and carved wood.
Very historic in terms of the people buried there
In line waiting to get into Westminster Abbey
Viv would appreciate this little girls hair
Train station at Kings Crossing England in the Camden subdivision
This place is not designed for tall people
11 August 2017
Dinner last night.
A sort of fancy fish and chips place.
I had h. Haddock and Sam had grilled halibut
Both liked our meal
These are the bathrooms everywhere in Europe
Yiu have to pay to use but that have an attendant and they are super clean.
It's a good deal unless you are broke and then it's not so good.
This the free ferry we take from our hotel to city center Amsterdam. Very neat and very quick.
The scooters and bikes get in the middle so they can be the first off and it's like the Indy 500 when you dock. Stay clear, They come shooting off the boat.
10 August 2017
Our dinner last night not super expensive. Nice view of the canal in an outdoor cafe. Fries were the best part. They give you this sauce kind of like mayo which does not sound good but it's awesome. everybody smokes so you get this smoke waifing over your way occasionally which is s bit of a bummer.
You can't Simone inside so all of the chainsmokers are forced outside.
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Bike tour of Amsterdam
Yes he took us everywhere.
Some places you don't want to go including the red light district. But we rode through their only for a minute... enough to know I don't want to down there.
9 August 2017
Augustiner beer garden.
Wiener schnitzel is Austrian.. Germans just say schnitzel
Neat church we stumbled into.
A down day for us
Sam slept until noon
I washed all our clothes
Afternoon we tried to go to Dachau and got lost and then ended up at a museum that was recommended to us. It was a dud.
Terrible displays and the explanation plaques were all in Sherman -very little English)
After that Wiener schnitzel at the Augustiner brewery.
Very neat place and huge. And it's all outdoors under trees.
And the schnitzel was great. Much better food and atmosphere and service than hofbrauhaus
Train to Dachau
Sam loved this lunch
It's a shaved beef or chicken (sort of like a gyro) they put in a wrap or a bowl along with onions, lettuce, tomato, yogurt sauce and spices.
8 August 2017
Hofbrauhaus beer hall.
Poor service- took forever to order a beer and about an hour to order dinner.
Pretty rowdy inside
Chinese beer garden Munich
I had pretzel and sam had Mac n cheese
Bike tour of Munich
Not as good a tour as the Paris tours.
Did have some interesting factoids in Hitler and how the Nazi pasty formed.
The Chinese beer garden was not that great. Very expensive for food and the beer was average at best.
The English garden is massive. Actually it's a giant city park. Lots of green space etc. a river running thru that people swim in. They bring their blankets and beer and have a picnik. Guise said naked people are in the park all the time. Thankfully we did not se any.
Did see guys surfing in the park. That was cool
Just not enough stuff to see
Next time only one day her then move to Salzburg etc. or spend and extra day in the Swiss mountains.
Wish weather was better. Cloudy so can't see mountains which look like they would be awesome on a clear day.
We are near Sankt Margrethen and Lindau.
Tell Jess we are coming very close to his birthplace.
Windmills!!! They get it over here.
Just a few pics of Zurich from bus. Gloomy day so not so good pics.
Definitely like train travel better.
Much more room. This is cramped like an airline.
More room to spread out on train.
Only vending machine that takes euro coins only.
Trains have a small cafe with drinks, coffee and snacks. and some have a full restaurant.
We had to run to catch our DB IC Bus. They do not play around over here. No time for dumb Americans who need to figure out you have to go outside and across street and up the street. A bit. . We found someone to help us otherwise we would have missed the bus. We had about 3 min to spare.
It's a double decker. We got a seat on second level toward the back. Next time try to sit at front of second level. View out front of bus.
Also don't push the red button in the toilet area if the bus. They have to stop the bus if you push the red button. No we did not.... but of course Sam like all kids his age had on headphones during the announcement portion of the journey so I had to make sure to call it out to him.
Nice view of interstate from up top.
Bus has wireless and power connections.
Zurich train terminal
Very nice, new and clean.
Funny we needed to use the bathroom or as they call it the WC(water closet). So we follow the signs and we get to this partition that looks like how you enter and exit the subway. Nope!!! You have to pay €1 each to use the toilet.
But they were very nice and clean.
Our seats in train in the 2nd story area of 2nd class
Train from bern to Zurich Switzerland
Train from Basel to Bern Switzerland
It's a double decker. Meet are in second class but found this cool sofa area withi a table and across is another sofa.
No time this trip but would be nice to plan so that you could connect and spend 4-5 hours in bern.
Looks really neat. River through middle of city and people hop in and flit from one end of town to the other. In one of the pics look closely you can see someone swimming and it's 10:00 am.
Did have power connection
Train from interlaken to Basel Switzerland
Very scenic views along lake
Not as pretty today due to clouds and rain.
Train station in Lauterbrunnen
Also a church in interlaken on the walk to and from our hostel.
Today we leave Lauterbrunnen and the Jungfrau area of Switzerland. It's absolutely stunning.
Today It's cloudy and raining. The mountains are still pretty. It makes you realize just how beautiful yesterday was. Our only day high up in the mountains and it was sunny and beautiful.
This was our view from our hostel (valley youth hostel)
Our room had been remodeled. Spartan but nice and clean.
We rented a 4 BR and it was very large.
View from our balcony was awesome yesterday as sun was setting in the valley. Would have been nice with a bottle of wine and some cheese.
7 August 2017
My phone is having issues charging.
All is good.
I hope it will charge tonight?
The charging situation is different over here with converters and throw in my phone acting up again and it's be n a challenge.
I'm also using my phone for pictures and that's putting even larger strain in my battery. My backup battery pack is now empty.
But Sams is working and we will have pics of mine fails to charge tonight
This is the waterfall at the end of town in Lauterbrunnen. It's just a 5 min walk from our hostel and all the restaurant and shipping.
It's called the stauback falls.
There are about a hundred waterfalls in this valley.
This is one of the larger ones.
A giant waterfall inside rock. Sort of like a tunnel of water that you can climb up inside and see.
The valley and area around trammelbach falls.
Yiu take the bus from Lauterbrunnen like you are going to Steckleberg.
In the train down from jungfrau (the top of Europe)
One of the small towns (stops in the way down from jungfrau). You have to change trains here.
Poster for tennis match they played at the top of jungfrau. They have held many exhibition events up there. Boxing matches, soccer exhibitions, cricket
We are out in the glacier at jungfrau.
Sam did a couple of activities. Sledding and riding this ski bike. He had fun.
There is a little escalatorpeiplemover to bring you back up each time. So it's easy.
They also have kids tubing etc. lots if kids having fun.
The ice cave at the jungfrau.
You literally walk thru ice cave complete with ice floors not sure why they are not more slippery.
They had all kinds of ice sculptures in there
This is the view from the top of the jungfrau where you can see all the way to Italy and France.
It's a 360 degree view.
View inside the welcome center at Jungfrau
Train ride from Lauterbrunnen to jungfrau
1) its absolutely beautiful. Definitely worth it. The views all the way up are incredible. You will see cows in fields with the bells on and just incredible views of the mountains and the glacier. The whole way up is a picture postcard
1c) but it will only be nice if the weather cooperates. We were extremely blessed. Need to plan real with flexible days
1a) t's Pricey. You can buy the eArly bird for $150 each. Which we did it missed so we had to exchange for the regular ticket which is $67 additional each.
2) you have to prebook your train and time then it's first come first serve.
3) there's a good side to sit in for the best view and you want to be facing forward.
4) the more expensive ticket does reserve you a seat in a certain reserved part of the train but. It's not a specific set. be aggressive in getting on first. Try to sit in the last seats (not the most forward because that seat is partially blocked by the train car in front of y
Views from cog wheel train up to jungfrau.
This is wengen.
Note you are supposed to take one way up the mountain and another way down.
We did. It know this and took the same route both times.
Views from the town of Lauterbrunnen.
You can yiu this as a launching point for many things.
Outdoor activities- canyoning, white water rafting, parasailing (which looked awesome due to views of valley and mountains). They are all pretty expensive
Several gondolas- one yiu can take up and over to mitten and then I thin there is one down to interlaken.
They were expensive so we did not do them.
This is what you look like when your Dad wakes you up too early to catch a train (which you miss).
6 August 2017
Casino in Interlaken. Tried to go in but we needed our passports which we did not have at the moment.
Sam's meal in interlaken at a place with a. Wet unique character for an owner.
He comes out and visits you at your table and tells you jokes.
Sam also met a young couple (30) from Australia who were in their honeymoon. They told him all about Australia and how he should come visit.
They were in an 8 week honeymoon of Europe.
When we returned from canyoning, the weather cleared.
Interlaken is absolutely beautiful.
You jump and slide into the water in these freezing cold canyons (with a wet suit)
Very cool experience.
Did not take phone for obvious reasons and it was raining.
Train from Bern Switzerland into Interlaken OST
Sam like his mom never meets a stranger) met some Jewish pastors from Israel, NY and Miami. They all layer their hands in him and said a prayer for him. Gave him their card and said if he's ever in Israel he can stay with them.
Backpackers villa Sonnenhof- winner of best hostel in Switzerland 2017
I found this amusing
We returned from our day topped off with night time visit to the Eiffel Tower. It was rather late but Sam insisted in going downstairs to socialize.
He came back and said it was strange. I asked why and he said because everyone spoke a different language and only one guy spoke broken English. He said I need to learn a language. All the French people were dancing and having a good time because they could talk with each other.
Train station in Strasbourg.
Lots of small shops and restaurants.
Got breakfast complete with cappuccinos
This segment is Strasbourg to Basel Switzerland. riding in class 2 (coach).
Hard a hard time but finally found a seat with table.
Sam likes the trains. Great way to travel. Very relaxing and so nice not having to deal with X-ray scanners etc.
Lesson - pick out seats that face forward. Sam picked out backward facing seats. In his defense it's hard to understand the train direction unless you know to look for it. We can't move because some girl came and sat down across from us.
Hard to make out but there are windmills on the fields. Giant big windmills generating electricity fir free.
TGV train to Strousbourg-Basel-Bern-interlaken
Kept telling Sam he had to hurry
We did not know the layout of the train station and we were walking 10 min
Had to run to catch. Literally sprinting is the station once we figured out what train and platform.
and made it with about a minute to spare.
The conductor was blowing his whistle.
Like I told him, they don't play around here. If it says it's leaving at 7:44, it's leaving at 7:44
We are seated in first class for first train, then coach. Not sure why that is the case.
1st class is nice and the seats are spacious and they recline really far back.
This train is REALLY moving fast. Zooming along the countryside.
Sam's phone says 194 mph.
Once again the skip the line tickets we well worth the price.
A little windy and chilly at top. great weather
This was perfect time to visit. Twilight. Could still see city but also see city lights emerging and sun setting.
5 August 2017
Arc de Triumph
Museum de Orsay
1) massive. 8 miles of art. If you spent 30 seconds looking at each piece it would take you 2 months to complete and then you would have to start over because they circulate pieces from basement storage. You just can't gain how big this is.
2) the asians are taking over the earth and this is proof - Atleast 50% of the thousands here are Asian.
3) you needed to have played street ball in Harlem to view the Mona Lisa. Need to Throw some elbows to the tiny Asians who are so freaking aggressive with their cameras. They really ruin the moment for everyone. I recommend going as soon as it opens to maybe avoid as many of them as possible.
4) this is the only place where people can't smoke. Nice
5) we bought skip the line tickets and it was totally worth it.
6)saw a cute pug on tube into Paris this AM
6) sam crashed at end of our tour. I think the sculpture art was too much. He said "this is just a bunch of dishes and plates-let's leave"
4 August 2017
More pics from nigh time bike ride and boat tour
Nighttime bike ride in Paris
EVERYONE in Paris smokes.
Pics don't do it justice.
Viv and Ben would like these. All sorts of pastries and custom waffles. Saw someone order Nutella waffles.
The yellow one is a giant flan pie
Notre dame cathedral.
We were there for a very special day. They walk through the church with one of the three sacred relics of Jesus. The original crown of thorns. Then they have a special service complete with the incense etc.
This is a McDonalds.
You order on a screen
Check out the pastry case.
Lunch at a real sidewalk cafe in Paris.
Check out the name. Cafe Benjamin
Send to Lauren
Fancy Sephoria in Paris.
Sam holding up the Louvre
Buildings here are really amazing.
This is some type of giant courtyard adjacent to the Louvre
On train into Paris from CDG. Next we have to take the tube.
Arriving in Paris - Charles de Gaul airport
3 August 2017
Sam is so excited.
Got lucky and the plane has 100 open seats.
We were able to spread out.
Sam enjoys a cappuccino in the admirals club.
Got us into the Admirals Club as we wait 4 hours for our next flight.
Sam Asks " this is REALLY NICE, how did you get us in here"?
Boarding passes to CDL Paris
A very long quest to get thru security.
Food at chipotle
And so it begins
After dreaming for many years...
And planning for many months...
We start our journey.