Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Early morning departure - 5:00AM!! A great group of travelers, 46 in all, ready for two weeks of leaf peeping...the color is really starting to turn along the Ohio turnpike since I was last through here 4 days ago returning from Washington DC. Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire should be at peak and as long as we can avoid the nasty weather heading up the coast from Florida we should be in for a great two weeks.

Everyone has enjoyed dinner, relaxed in the pool, bar, or lounge, and are now heading for a good night's sleep (me included). I love this time of the year...crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, and cool evenings - mother nature at her finest:)


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Today we traveled 2 hours to Salzburg for a guided tour of this fabulous city. Christiana, our guide showed us such places as: Mirabell Gardens (seen on the Sound of Music), the quaint Getreidegasse (site of Mozart´s birthplace), and many other highlights. Marcie and I explored the many squares of the "old" city for shopping and sightseeing. Our dinner was in the centuries-old St. Peter´s Restaurant, Austria´s oldest, which may have hosted both Charlemagne and Columbus. An hour spent in the "bier garten" waiting for others in our group made for much laughter. Jim & Kathy Thiel have finally figured out how to enjoy bottles of local wine AND keep the lights from going off in the bathroom. Philip & Mary Kae took two days, but can open and close their door all by themselves. Marcie NO longer hears voices when she goes into the bathroom. WOW what a 5-star hotel with all these extra amenities...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today we traveled the picturesque highwaýs of Switzerland to the Austrian border and the striking Olympic city of Innsbruck, the Capital of the Tyrol. We made a stop in Leichenstein before crossing the border with NO problem at all. The Austrian officials didn't even ask for our passports...guess we look honest and American. We had a great city tour with a local guide and that was followed by an indepth walking tour. We have walked, climbed stairs, and moved more in the past 4 days than I can remember doing on a tour in a long time. The group is having a great time, and finally found a bar you can imagine a group from Wisconsin trying to teach an Austrian bartender how to make old-fashioned it was crazy!
Meals have been interesting and good...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Wow what a couple of days we have had...yesterday we spent the day traveling to Lucerne, the Swiss Paradise on the Lake. Weather cooperated nicely as we walked the historic squares with our guide and enjoyed being there on a Tuesday for the farmer's market...some items we didn't know...very interesting. The afternoon was spectacular - we took the cog railway up Mt Pilatus for a fabulous view and returned by way of aerial gondola...not found of heights I even enjoyed the ride.

Dinner was great - we (Marcie Schmitz, Mark and Cheryl Schmitz and myself) ventured to the other side of Engleberg and had a delicious Swiss, beer, and great conversation...even tried to convince the waitress to smile - not so much luck there. If Mark's suitcase is a little heavier it may be due to angels...and we found the best way to kîll flies when out and about.

Checking out today and crossing the Austrian border into the town of Innsbruck for the next three nights. Depending on computer access, we'll keep you informed of our travels...

Jet lag is disappearing for most of us today...others have handled it better than some. The elevation has been an issue for a few - but today everyone, me included, feels and looks better.

Getting used to the cheese and meat breakfast is tough for some so croissants have been the favorite on the breakfast buffet.


Sunday, September 5, 2010


It's been a few years since I was in this part of the world...actually my son Ryan was 14 and next month he turns 26, so several years. Certain things you remember once you arrive like: washcloths are considered a personal item so you are expected to bring your own (like a toothbrush), and showers have a hand-held faucet - which is not desirable if you are like me and enjoy having two hands free...but especially now with a broken wrist it really limits mobility and tests your skills. The keyboards are different also due to the language...the z and y keys are reversed and all the cap locks, and control shift keys are different...something to get used to.
When I got out of the shower my roommate was all bundled up...I was surprised and asked her why - she said the paper said it was going to be 20 degrees - I laughed and converted it for her and said you might be a little's going to be 70 today! Thank goodness I paid attention during math class when learning the metric system...
Last night my travelers slept well - just wish I could say the same. Three sleepless nights in a row...starting to run on empty. My roommate slept very well and didn't hear our neighbors every cough, sneeze and visit to the bathroom...I kept thinking: "Thank goodness they aren't on their honeymoon."
Well we are off to Bern, the capital for a full day of touring....more later.


A great welcome dinner for our group this evening and we all took a short walk to clear our heads for a full day of touring tomorrow. The bed is gonna look wonderful tonight....



Well we made the long flight across the pond. Not much sleep, full flight and a little rough due to the east coast hurricane winds. Trying to keep the group from napping since their jet lag will be so much worse if they nap before our dinner tonight. Walking around like zombies...but it will be worth it tomorrow after a good night's sleep. Hotel is very nice - centrally located here in the quaint village of Engelberg. We are here for the next 3 nights so it will be nice to unpack and settle in. Weather is fantastic!