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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas

We have been blessed with good health and the energy to make the most of our retirement.       I hope you have enjoyed sharing our adventures with us.      I will continue posting as we have no plans to slow down any time soon.     Time with family and friends is just that, but when we hit the road, I will take you along Thru Martis Eyes.

I hope you enjoy the beautiful lights of the La Crosse Rotary Lights display.      We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful display for all to enjoy.     I didn't get pictures of the live Nativity, the choir, Santa or the reindeer because there were so many happy children in front of me.      It was a joy to let them have center stage.







Most of these displays were in motion, but I did not have my tripod or good camera to capture the motion.     You will need to use your imagination.....

















There have been so many proposals and marriages in the park during Rotary Lights they decided to prepare a special area for the occassions.


















I wasn't able to get the dragon with the fire coming out of his mouth, but please believe me, I gave it my best shot.....





It was very foggy when we walked thru the park











Merry Christmas from Bob and Marti



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Family and Friends


We just finished a wonderful journey visiting RJ's brother in Arkansas and then on to Raleigh to visit our good friends, Ron and Mary.

Paul has a beautiful magnolia tree in his yard.    I couldn't  resist taking a photo of one of the seed pods.




We visited a chicken farm.     A LARGE one.     The process is in place to obtain fertilized eggs to create baby chicks.      This young man works on week-ends sorting and grading the eggs.




This is the inside of one of the chicken houses.     Amazingly, there was very little odor.      These chickens and roosters get very specialized feed and the temperatures are regulated very carefully.     After a few months the chickens are removed and used to make chicken soup.     The houses are dismantled inside and carefully cleaned before the new chickens arrive.
    




We went to a parade with other family members.     The kids really enjoyed grabbing all the candy that was thrown.      This float was the only unusual one.



On our way to North Carolina we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains.     That is always a beautiful drive.





This little mountain stream was outside our restaurant in Gatlinburg.     The sound from the stream was wonderful.    I'd like to go back in warmer weather and sit at the outdoor tables to fully enjoy this stream.




Our friends' cat loved to perch in this live plant.    I missed the shot where she was chewing on it.





These performers were at the American Music Jubilee Christmas performance outside Raleigh.    The female singers were very good.      This was quite an experience, best described as a combination of Hee Haw, Lawrence Welk and a Southern Revival Meeting.     Don't think I will need to repeat this next year......





Good friends, good food and good wine - does it get any better than this?



Monday, November 24, 2014

Milan

We had part of one day in Milan.      We chose to walk around and visit the cathedral.      The interior was beautiful, but not unique.    However, the outside had many spires, each topped with a statue and most had many more statues along the spire.      There were statues around windows, doors and everywhere they could possibly place them.












We decided to go to the roof of this beautiful cathedral.     We did, however, cheat by taking the lift most of the way.      




In this shot you can see the mountains around the city.




You can see the crowds in the square.    This shot is at the point we got off the lift.    





This is along the roofline where we were walking.















After climbing a good number of steps, we arrived at the top of the roofline.    





This "appetizing" pan of fish was on sale in an open air market.











This Rossa Peroni was the best beer I've had in some time.     I doubt they have it back home, though.




We are heading back to England to visit family.     From there, back to the U.S.A.    We are ready!



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Florence

We spent a few days in Florence since our trip to the Cinque Terre region was cancelled.     Florence is a beautiful city (although November is a very wet month to visit)    

This is the old bridge over the river.    When you walk across it is non-stop jewelry shops.     The glitter is almost blinding.    Apparently a lot of people spend serious money when they visit.      This is the back side of the bridge.     You can see how they have just built their shops out over the river.











Another restaurant displaying their fresh seafood.





Dinner was a new adventure for me - Pappardelle fatte in casa sul cinghiale - it was incredibly delicious.     I have to admit I wasn't sure if I would like wild boar, though.     Plus, the pappardelle was hand made.




We were told that the Steak Florentina was even better than Kobe Beef.     Bob just had to try it.     These are ordered by weight.....





Some local Chianti Classic with dinner






We stopped by Eatalia - it's a fantastic Italian products only food store.      It would be so much fun to have this nearby.       Their package of Lardo Tuscano caught my eye.     I would have to dig out an authentic Italian cookbook to use some of these items.






Another Wild Boar - this one is a statue





Anyone who has joined the Le Jardiniste ladies on our bus trips knows how much we enjoy our chocolates.    Couldn't resist visiting this shop.





I thought this was a unique street sign.





We stayed in a boutique hotel.     RJ is sitting in the breakfast room.     There are paintings everywhere,       There was also a large ceiling painting in our bedroom.  





If you are in Florence, you must visit the Duomo - a beautiful cathedral.       I am always drawn to the beautiful ceilings.














The exterior was more detailed than most




All of the officers patroling this city wore these white handbags (although I'm sure they have a different name for them)







Rubbers come in many colors






 More sidewalk art, again in chalk that will disappear over night.





You can't come to Florence without visiting the famous statues in the city.    

















We'll say goodbye to Florence with some night shots....










We are off to Milan......