Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Heritage Days In Amish Country Pt 1


On Saturday we went to the tiny farming town
of Yoder Kansas where they were celebrating
'Heritage Days'.


This is a small rural town that has a large
Amish community
in the surrounding country side.

You can always tell an Amish
homestead by the lack 
of electrical lines
leading from the roadside
to the farm and there is 
usually a buggy or two
in sight.

You are pretty much guaranteed to
see a horse and buggy trotting
along the country roads
the closer you get to
the town.


Above is a typical sight when you drive
through Yoder.


On this day we were greeted by this
friendly fellow.

He was the traffic controller
as people came from all over to watch the
parade and catch the buggy races
and other fun events that were on that day.


Now how many towns have you been to
where the roads are scared up from
horse and buggies???

We arrived about half way through the
parade....for a small town they have a 
VERY large turnout as people enter
from all over the State and some even 
come from other States. 

Here are a few of the sights we enjoyed.


This lady was riding a huge mule!


I've always been very careful about taking
photo's of the Amish as I know many of 
them don't appreciate you photographing
their faces. 

There are two groups of Amish
in this area...one group is more
conservative than the other.
I was surprised by all the Amish who 
took part in the parade and other
activities where people 
were snapping pictures all over the place.
They didn't seem to mind at all.

Once I saw that I felt it was ok to snap away.


This little Amish girl enjoyed riding on 
grandpa's tractor in the parade.



See the tractor below?
It's MUCH larger than the photo shows.


Look at who is driving this monster!
And he was in the cab alone!




After the parade we headed over
to where the buggy races
were going to take place.


No these big guys weren't in the races!


The people were just starting to line
the road where the races were to take place.
Last year we stood over there in the sun
but this year it was 101 in the shade so we 
decided to sit under the trees on the bleachers.

See the house in the background?
It's an Amish home
and if you enlarge the photo 
you'll see a lot of the Amish gathering
to watch the races.

By the time things started you couldn't see 
the road at all!






Taking time to relax between races.


We headed home before the races 
were over but we went back later to
enjoy the music, kettle corn
and watch the fun.

This Amish couple was heading 
heading home too.


I think we're very lucky to live so close
to these friendly people.

Part 2 coming soon!

Maura :)










Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ooo La La Paris 99


In my last post I shared with you scrapbook
pages that I made in 2002
of my trip to England in 1999 to see my sister 
and her family.
This post is from that same scrapbook.

While I was visiting my sister
Jan surprised me with a WONDERFUL
trip for just the two of us to
PARIS!

It was a bus tour.
I never thought I'd enjoy one but
I would HIGHLY recommend it as you 
don't have to worry about watching the road...
you can just look out the windows and start
snapping pictures of the
beautiful scenery..

We caught our bus northeast of London
just as the children were heading
to school. It was fun seeing
them dressed neatly in their
uniforms ...each school 
with it's own colors.

We drove to Dover and boarded
the ferry which was huge.
The trip took about 90 minutes
to reach Calais France.

We all loaded back on the bus
and off we went on our journey
to Paris.

My first glimpse of the 
Eiffel Tower
took my breath away.

This was like seeing the Grand Canyon...
pictures just don't do it justice.
You FEEL it...not just see it.



Our tour guide was a sweet
Englishman who looked like
David Niven.
He wore a beige trench coat...
wore a fedora...
had a thin mustache and carried 
an umbrella. He was fluent in French
and a lot of other languages.

He was SO much fun and was full of interesting
information and tidbits that we would have 
missed had we been driving ourselves.

He made sure we didn't miss a thing.

We arrived at our hotel in the afternoon
and they let us get settled in our rooms
before we all headed out walking
to a quaint little restaurant district 
near the hotel.

We could wander off where ever we 
wanted to go ...exploring shops and/or finding
places to eat for our first supper in
Paris.
Jan and I picked an Italian restaurant
of all things!

We had wine.

Later once everyone was back at the hotel
and rested the bus picked us up for a 
tour of
Paris at night!

The Eiffel Tower was all lit up 
and had the countdown to the
millennium. 

If you think the Eiffel Tower is 
beautiful during the day...
you should see it at night!


The next day we drove all around the city
seeing different areas and landmarks.
Then we were dropped off near
the Sacre Coeur.

We wandered around and I took tons 
of photo's.


We then walked the steps to the top
and wandered around to the top of
Montmartre.

This is the place where many 
of the artists of the day
hung out such as
Monet, Picasso, van Gogh
Dali.



Behind the Sacre Coeur there are many little
cafe's and restaurants with tents and heaters
and tables and chairs
so Jan and I along with tourists from
 around the world...had supper.

It was WONDERFUL!
There were waiters and waitresses with 
white aprons scurrying around with 
round trays carried by one hand.
The tables were covered with
red checkered tablecloths.

And like the old days...there
were artists with easels set up
in the narrow street and around the restaurants
and they were painting portraits of
paying tourists or scenery which
they had for sale. 
French music played in the background.
I soaked it all in.

Below my sister poses at our 
outdoor table.



I'm afraid I got my days mixed up...
the day after we arrived we
actually went on a boat ride down the 
river Seine. 

Unfortunately for me that first 
morning after arriving in Paris
I had reached over to pull a table in our room
over a bit and I put my back out! 

I mean I REALLY put my back out...
I couldn't sit or stand up straight!
It was terrible.

Anyway I worked through it and off 
we went down the river.

I'm smiling below as we boarded the boat
but believe me...I was in PAIN!


Here are a few photo's taken from the boat.
Paris has the most gorgeous bridges. 


One evening we were taken to 
a French restaurant on the Left Bank.
We were taken down into the cellar
where there were the most beautiful 
old brick walls and arches and the tables 
were all set up with red and white 
checked cloths.

Each table had 3 bottles of wine.
One red...one white and one 1/2 bottle of Rose.

The two of us nearly finished all 3 bottles!!!
Neither Jan or I drink much wine or other spirits
but hey...when you're in Paris...!!!

Another day we traveled to 
Versailles.
We started off at the Palace
which was very beautiful 
and had the most gorgeous fountains.



But by far the the village
of Versailles was my favorite
part of this day. 

Jan and I walked around the narrow 
streets and looked at all the shops.

We had lunch at an outdoor cafe
and then went to the outdoor 
market.


The colors were BEAUTIFUL and it
was wonderful hearing the French
voices calling out their wares.

In the picture above this old
gypsy lady was playing 
French songs on her 
accordion and a little girl 
started dancing.
You can see the woman's face
smiling at the little girl. 


The fruit and vegetables were
bright and colorful and everything
smelled SO good.

Jan and I stopped at  
la pattisserie
and bought some beautiful 
chocolates to take home.
See the little chocolate flower pots
in the middle picture on the left?
Those found their way to Canada. 


The picture below is my sister
in the alley of trees 
at the Palais Royal.


Our last morning in Paris was spent
at the Eiffel Tower.
This was the highlight of my trip.

We took the elevator up and my 
sister described it as being
like the 'Tower Of Babel' 
as it was packed and everyone seemed
to be speaking a different language!

If any of you have ever been on the 
Eiffel Tower 
you know what I mean when I say 
the view is spectacular.

This too is like the Grand Canyon...
you have to experience it. 

I'm afraid I lost my photo's 
of the Eiffel Tower in my move to Kansas.
Maybe one day I'll get back there again.

It was hard to leave Paris
but harder still to say goodbye 
to my Sister.
I haven't seen her since that trip in 1999.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed 
that she comes to visit this fall. 

Well...now you've seen my first 
attempts at scrapbooking way
back in 2002.
It was a lot of work but well worth it.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Maura :)



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Scrapping England 99


Do you Scrapbook?

I discovered Scrap-booking in 2002.
I was in heaven. I had all these pictures
from my trip to England and France in 99
and I thought...what a great way to 
remember my trip!

I bought some card stock and a few 
patterned papers, glue stick,
stickers and some good
scrap-booking pens.

I didn't have a clue what to do really
so I just started playing around
until things looked ok and then
started gluing.

I started running out of paper so I
started cutting frames 
and little pieces of paper to cover
corners.
I even cut photo's!!

I had so much fun I often worked into the night
sometimes...I didn't want to quit!

When I was done...this is what I had.





These old pages are from a
trip we made from near London
where my Sister and her family lived
to Cornwall. 

We did this whole trip in 4 days!

The first day we stopped in the Cotswolds
to visit my sister's good friend Marilyn.

Oh my...I loved the Cotswolds 
and Marilyn and John's home
was a typical Cotswolds stone cottage.

From there we went to a little village
not far from them to get some photo's 
and then on to Bath where we just
drove around and stopped for a few 
photo's shoots. 

Brian was wonderful.

We arrived at Brian's brother's
cottage late that evening.

The next day we were off to
Tintagel Castle.

Legend has it that it was one
of King Arthur's castles ;)






Port Isaac



We also went to St Ives...
I didn't include those pages
but it was a BEAUTIFUL 
little village.


My favorite stop in Cornwall
was Padstow
as we hit it when the sun was
shining and they were having a 
celebration called
Fish And Ships Day...
how English is that!


A trip to Cornwall just doesn't 
get any better than this!

If you enlarge the photo's you
can read what we did
and what we saw.




On the way home we stopped
in Devon.

Unfortunately that last day it was raining
so I added these postcards of
what we missed.


I was still thrilled...narrow streets, 
quaint shops, ocean views
thatched roof cottage everywhere!

Even the rain didn't dampen 
my spirits...I was in 7th heaven!




And it was here in Sidmouth
where I had my very first 
Devonshire Cream Tea
which included tea and of course
currant scones with clotted cream 
and strawberry preserves.
Oh my...words can't even describe
how delicious this was.

Maybe my expression says it all.



Last but certainly not least
was seeing 
Stonehenge
as we came over a hill
on the way back to Hornchurch.

It took my breath away.


So this was my last trip
to England and first attempt at
scrapbooking.

I hope you enjoyed a little
glimpse of England....

...would you be interested in 
a little trip to Paris?

Maura :)




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