Friday, April 29, 2011

 Good Morning and welcome to my new followers.  This is typically a stitching blog but today it is a travel blog.  I have been traveling in Eastern Europe with my mom.  My husband won two ticket to Europe on American Airlines last spring at a charity event.  He was not willing to fly to Europe in coach so he gave his ticket to my mom.  We chose Eastern Europe because it was an area of Europe that neither one of us has visited before and mom wanted to go on a tour.  I did not think I could tolerate a bus of seniors and moving luggage daily though Italy so we went on a river cruise. 

Our trip started with a three day visit to Prague.  Prague has been a city that I have wanted to visit for a while.  It is beautiful.  You have to be careful in Prague.  One person on our trip had her passport pick pocketed and another couple was mugged.  You could not take taxi's because they were not all safe so it made you walk.  It was not an easy walk because everything was cobblestones.  I bought a pair of ugly Birkenstocks and they were wonderful for walking on cobblestones.   
 Our first tour was included on package and it was a general overview of Prague.  Above is Prague Castle.  Mom was all about the tours.  We ended up taking about every optional tour.  We felt money spent on tours was better spent than buying trinkets along the way. 
 This is the town square in Prague.
One thing we found very interesting about Prague and the Czech Republic was the formally communist aspects of the country.  Many of our guides would not talk about communism and they would not talk about the communist housing that was everywhere.  I really did not put everything together that the Czech Republic has only been free of communism since 1989.  The picture of the square is bright and colorful, the picture above is how most of the buildings looked in 1989.  They did not have the supplies to maintain the buildings so you still see buildings being rehabbed and a few are in disrepair.  

Most of our trip was on this ship.  River cruising is a neat way to get around.  I would take another river cruise someday when I am old enough to travel this way.  The people on the tour were generally old enough to retire without penalty.  I knew it would be another generation when I signed up for a tour but it was nice to have everything planned for you.  

 This is the town square in Nuremberg.  The clock went around in a song and dance at noon.
 This was a optional tour that took us down the Danube Gorge.
 Cesky Krumlov was one of our favorite cities on the tour.  It was an optional day tour from Germany back into the Czech Republic.  It was a quaint town with a castle and twisted streets. 
 Above is Schonbrunn Imperial Palace in Vienna.  This Palace did have some beautiful embroidery and needlepoint chairs.  Schonbrunn was having an Easter market that was fun to walk through.  We were just a little early in the season for the spring flowers.  Vienna was mainly just a city with tons of high end shopping.  You really have to question why Burberry and Escada need to be on every corner.  You would think that such a specific target market could walk around the corner to the nearest store.

Above is the Hungarian Parliament building in Pest.  It was such a beautiful building.  The government was in session so we could not go inside.  Many people do not realize that Budapest is actually two cities, Buda & Pest divided by the Danube.  We only got to spend a day in Budapest but I will be back.  This is an amazing city.  I want to spend time at the spas and doing more exploring.  I wish now we would have extended our stay by a day or two.  Oh well, it gives me and DH a place to visit.  Below is a picture from their Central Market which was a foodies delight.  They also had lots of Hungarian needle work but I was sceptical of what was real and what was made in China.  Anyway, what am I going to do with a doily in a loft in Chicago. 

I we visited several other cities in Germany and Austria but I am not going to bore you with any more travel pictures.  If you ever get a chance to visit Eastern Europe it is well worth the visit. 

It is a good thing I had the travel pictures to show this week because I have not picked up a needle since Monday.  I have been busy with work and little things after work.  This weekend has both of our large charity events.  Tonight is the fundraiser for Lincoln Park Community Shelter and Sunday is the Chicago House Brunch, an AIDS charity.  It is a shame they both fall on the same weekend.  I don't have a dress for tonight so I think I will wear what I wore last year.  The dress I bought to wear on Sunday will look ridiculous in 50 degree weather so I am going to have to do something else for that party. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for taking the time to read this long post.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back to Blogging

Danube - on the way to Vienna
 Good morning!  I am back from holiday.  I have a ton of pictures which I will not make you suffer through all of them but I would like to talk about a few places I visited.  It was fascinating to visit formerly communist countries.  I will show you the pictures a little later this week because I don't have my pictures on this computer and I could not get them uploaded to the Internet this morning.  Let's just say it was a wonderful trip and mom and I are still speaking to each other after two weeks together.  That would not have happened twenty years ago...
I did get a tiny bit of stitching done on holiday.  Last night I finished Be Merry on 40 count silk gauze.  I loved this project!  It got tons of attention when I was stitching in airports, on planes, on buses, and on boats.  I also started a Princess and Me ornament but I have very little progress to show so no pictures.  I have another trip in early June which will be much more relaxing and I should be able to get some stitching done.

Things are slowly getting back to normal.  Work is under control, I my sleeping patterns are normal, I have said Hi to lots of friends, laundry is done, the house is clean, and tomorrow night is a massage.  The Hawk and the Bulls are in the Playoffs so that will keep me busy.   Maybe tonight we can flip between the games and I can work on one of my larger projects. 

Thanks for visiting and happy stitching!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Brief Blogging Vacation

 Good morning,  I wanted to have one quick post before I leave for vacation and I am not taking a computer.  I made some progress on my silk gauze project.  I really wanted to have this done before I left but that is not going to happen.
I am on row 10 of Walking on Waters Edge.  I have pulled all my threads together for rows ten through fifteen.  This project is too much fun.  I just need some more time with it. 

I leave tomorrow night for a 12 day cruise down the Danube from Prague to Budapest.  Now any would be robbers reading my little stitching blog, the house will not be left alone.  DH is staying behind on this trip to work.  I am going on this trip with my mother and I am sure I will have stories to tell you when I get home about how two people that have not lived together since the mid-80's get along for an extended period of time:)  Thanks goodness for wine included in the trip price.

Thanks for reading my blog and commenting.  I will be back in a couple of weeks. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

 This week has been prety productive.  I started on row 9 of the wave project.  This project is fun to work on.  For the rest of the rows I will go over four canvas threads so this will not take a whole lot of thought.
I must need brainless in my life right now because the basket weave on my silk gauze project does not require much thought either.  I am hoping to have this project done before I leave on holiday.

Right now I am trying to get everything in order so I can go away for twelve days.  I plan on packing this weekend so I can make sure I have everything I need.  We have parties to go to both nights this weekend and our friends are moving home from Brazil this weekend so that will most likely lead to a Sunday Funday!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend with lots of stitching!