Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The hotel in Cascais, Portugal is located across the street from the ocean. The view is panoramic from the terrace. The temperatures are approximately 72 year round in the day and in the high 50's early 60's at night. It seems very similar to the year round temperatures in San Diego, CA.

Images at the hotel in Cascais, Portugal.

Part of the terrace in the hotel.

Jane having coffee on the terrace.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Every once in a while an unplanned opportunity comes along and that is how we ended up in Portugal. We originally planned to go to Minneapolis and Chicago to visit family and the vacation extended to a week in Portugal. Jane called and asked Bob and I if we would like to go with her since Ben and Jake were not going. After about an hour of checking into things like our miles and etc. we called her back with a YES! Jane had to organize a work related sales meeting in Cascais.

What a fantastic opportunity! Not only did we get to spend some additional time with Jane but we got to share an adventure in a place that none of us had been.

We boarded a plane at O'Hare and flew to London and spent the night. To our regret we didn't have enough time to explore London but we did get some much needed rest before continuing to Portugal.

If I had to describe Portugal in one word I would say TILE. There is tile in the streets and sidewalks, tile on the outside of buildings, on the inside of buildings, tile uniquely designed around windows, tile in painted murals and tile everywhere. Much of the tile is painted in blue and white seemingly to be from a Holland influence.

For the next several days I will post photos of Cascais, Lisbon and Sintral Portugal.

Hotel Real in Cascais Portugal

The Larger Room

Jane was very gracious and gave us the larger room with the very large bed. There is Bob checking out the phone system.

Jane's Room

Jane seemed to be happy with her room because she also had everything she needed.

The Bathroom in the Hotel at Cascais Portugal

I really liked this room. It was so rich and elegant.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

After spending a few fantastic days in MN. with Bob's family we flew to Chicago to visit Jane, Ben and Jake.
We had a barbecue at Sy and Hollie's on Memorial Day. Have I mentioned before that Sy is the King of Grill Masters. Hollie gardens and has a beautiful yard. To my regret my pictures did not turn out but maybe I can get her to send us some photos. With the combination of Sy's food and Hollie's gardening they create a paradise for spectacular dinners. Lisa and Nick were there along with some friends of Sy and Hollie's.

We also had dinner at Lee and Maria's which is always fabulous. John and David were there. Maria is an excellent cook and has a blog with recipes and beautiful table displays of food, place settings and etc. I think it is becoming her specialty. It is called "Dreams and Epiphanies"

Mary Ann brought lunch to Jane's house from Panera Bread (one of my favorites). It was nice to see Mary Ann and Lee and Maria's family once again before we would leave Chicago.

I just realized that I have been centering most social events around food. What can I say. What a better way to spend time with the ones you love.

Denise, my niece ( I love to say that, "Denise my niece") visited us at Jane's. She made a beautiful flower for my hair. At some point I will get someone to take a photo of me wearing it. It's very dramatic and makes a statement. I adore spending time with my nieces and nephews. I think I have about thirty five of them on my side of the family and several on Bob's side of the family. I hardly know some of them and that saddens me.

Below are some shots of Jake's baseball game. It is a rare occasion that we can attend one of his activities. Because of bad weather Brent could not fly and was detained in Val Paraso Ind. It is about an hour and a half from Jane's so he drove up and spent the evening with everyone and also attended Jake's baseball game. I think Jake was loving the attention from his visitors and we loved being there.

Ben (with his arms folded) Jake up to bat

Jane and Jake

Jane, Brent, Sy and Bob

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dianna's Graduation!

Over Memorial weekend Bob and I flew to Minneapolis for a few days to attend our niece's graduation and celebrate with half of Bob's family.

Dianna graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Biology. Dianna's mother Angela scheduled an itinerary for everyone which included some dinners, a brunch, the St. Olaf's Choir performing and the St. Olaf's Band Concert in addition to the graduation. The events took place on the beautiful campus of St. Olaf. It was wonderful visiting with everyone and sharing in Dianna's graduation.

We were all very proud of Dianna and her achievements. We all wish her the best in her future. I couldn't help but remember what seems like yesterday flying to Grand Forks and celebrating Dianna's 1st birthday. Now she is a beautiful young adult. It is unbelievable how quickly time goes by.

During the flood of Grand Forks ND Dianna and her two brothers spent a couple of months with us in Texas while her parents took care of the flood damage to their home. They even enrolled in school here. Sometimes something good comes from something bad and in this case Bob and I had the chance to get to know our neice and nephews and established an unforgettable bond and love.

The images below are of the graduation weekend event and some photos of other members of Bob's familiy who were able to attend.


St. Olaf Band Concert

Doug, Dianna, and Angela

Mary Ann, Andy and Bill


Lee and Maria

John and David

On Friday evening upon the arrival of most of us we celebrated David's birthday at dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. David is Bob's God Son. It was great to be there to celebrate. We don't get to see John and David very often.

Dianna, Me (Barb) and Brian

Dianna, Brian at the top and Doug and Angela below

From left to right: John, Maria, Lee, David, Dianna, Doug, Joyce, Andy, and Bill

Part of Bob's Family on the Stair Case at the College

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bob had another birthday yesterday. We were teasing him saying "Oh the places you can go!" He can now get discounts at Denny's, I-Hop, Ross on Tuesdays, and many other stores and restaurants. If you know Bob like I do you will know that he is very excited about this.

We had a small gathering for pizza, salad and ice cream cake to celebrate. Happy Birthday to my loving husband.

The photo below was taken at Cascais Portugal at our hotel last week.

Happy Birthday Bob!