Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kylemore Abbey

Carolyn & Elaine in a perfect picture spot. Wayne liked this view so well you will see he posed some of our other travelers here as well.

Judy & Barb look a little more windblown than Carolyn & Elaine.

A typical Irish garden path.

Karen & Maureen

The Abbey's garden and outbuildings


Judy's loving the beautiful flowers that thrive in Ireland's weather which allows for the"Thousand Shades of Green."

After the first nights highlight pub crawl (where Wayne forgot to take pictures) we started the next day with a tour of Dublin and visit to Trinity College.

Maureen is enjoying the sunshine and beautiful church.

Trinity Cathedral

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chateau St. Jean & Canine Companions

We finished with a wine tasting at spectacular Chateau St. Jean, a beautiful winery with lovely gardens.

Our morning was spent at Canine Companions, the world's largest service dog training organization. They train dogs for the hearing impared, physically disabled, companion dogs and dogs used in physical therapy.

The Canine Companions campus was donated by the Charles Shultz family. Here I am with a statue of Snoopy.

Chateau St. Jean is one of Sonoma County's most beautiful wineries. We enjoy an outdoor wine tasting.

Ca' Biance & Vineyards Inn

A trip to Sonoma County must include good California cuisine. We had dinner at the lovely Ca'Bianca, servine Italian cuisine in a lovingly restored Victorian home.

Lunch was at the Vineyard Inn, with the world's best artichokes, locally sources seafood, organic beef and home raised vegetables.

Wine Country & the Coast

Fall on the California coast is spectacular. After a picnic in Point Reyes we visit Bodega Bay before driving along headlands to the Russian River.

Fresh salt air, the sound of the surf, beautiful scenery, what could be better?

Bill checks out a Great White Shark caught off Bodega Bay

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Miramonte Winery

Miramonte is a delightful family-owner winery that provides a great experience - outdoor wine tasting, picnic luncheon in the gardens, and a tractor ride through the vineyard.

Olive Oil & the Serbian Church

97 year-old Bob Porovich was our docent at the Serbian Orthodox Church. During WWII he worked as an engineer in the Pacific building airstrips for McArthur. When I asked a question about the church's religious icons he replied "enough about that, now more about me." Bob is an original and the very best person to give the history of the church.

The church's exterior.

Olive oil tasting in Copperopolis. Unlike wine, olive oil does not improve with age. Buy California extra virgin olive oil to get the freshest.

Ed Rich explains the differences in taste by variety of olive as well as his recipe for lemon olive oil - 3 tons of olives to 1 ton of meyer lemons.

Broadway Pops at Bear Valley

Relaxing at the hotel before the performance.

The scenery changes from the agricultural valley to rolling oak-covered hills to the pines of the Sierra Nevada.

The Broadway Pops performance is a highlight of a wonderful and diverse festival.

The festival features a nice display of local artists, wine tasting and tables and chairs to relax in the clean mountain air.

Up Close with Clydesdales

Marge visits the 3 month old clydesdale colt. All draft horses have their tails docked so they don't get caught in the rigging.

Jim says hello to this spectacular stallion.

Several of the ranch hands were raised in Amish families where they gained lots of practice working with draft horses. Here a pair are put through their paces learning to match their gait.

Margaret and Becky on the buggy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Joe DiSessa's Alaska Pictures

Joe & Jean e-mailed us some of their Alaska pictures. More are available on in the Alaska folder on our website. Here they enjoy the train ride from Denali to Anchorage.

Joe spent time on the platform between cars to capture photos without having to shoot between the glass. The air was fresh and had that wonderful forest scent.

These newborn Husky puppies are so small their eyes have not yet opened.

Joe & Jean cuddle a larger pup, which looks like he would prefer to be running instead of interacting with visitors.

We passed the Palin home on the lake in Wasilla.

Joe's Alaska Pictures

Alaska travelers Joe & Jean DiSessa e-mailed us trip photos which we have added to the Alaska album on our website.

Here Joe & Jean enjoy the train ride in the dome car from Denali to Anchorage, a beautiful route.

We passed right through Wasilla and caught a glimpse of the Palin home.

Our visit to Husky Homestead was a trip highlight.