Trip Journal: Paris Update #9

Paris Update #9 (Last day in London)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:38 AM

Dear Friends and Family,

We learned one thing for certain -- four days is not enough in England...:-(

It hadn’t dawned on us six roomies that we would all be going our separate ways later in the day, but in actuality, the cab ride to St Pancras Station was the beginning of saying goodbye. Four of us, Susan, Robert, Isa and Sarah, bag-checked our luggage at the train station -- and two of the ladies, Karen and Jean, went on to their next hotel for the remainder of their stay in London.

Sarah was heading on to Plymouth by way of Paddington Station for the start of the next six weeks of her vacation. She has two months of holiday -- you've got to love the Australian time-off system!

Susan had acquired a bad blister during the walking tour of Bath, and I was determined to try and keep her off her feet as much as possible, so off we went via cabs to Buckingham Palace. The main street leading into the Palace was lined with British Union Jack flags in preparation for the Royal Wedding in two weeks. There were grandstands being put up, flowers being embedded into the gardens, electrical wires being connected via men in manholes, and TV platforms being erected. Quite interesting to watch!

So many people have said to us: "Why didn't you plan your trip two weeks later so that you could be in London for the Royal Wedding?"

The answer is simple...we've had this trip planned for a year and a half, and Will and Kate only announced their engagement in January! So the question should actually be directed to them! Why didn't they decide to get married two weeks earlier? :-)) Ah, well...

You may reference my "romance" admission from our Bath update...and I will also admit to setting my alarm for 4 am to watch Charles and Diana get married. So, yes, I will do the same for Will and Kate. Without apology! 

After seeing the Palace, we hopped into another cab and went over to Piccadilly Circus, where Isa wanted to show me a particular shopping alley. It was pretty amazing, and worth the look, but well out of my price range! After walking a little further, we found a place for lunch.

After lunch, the group kind of realized that everyone was headed in different directions -- and the tears began to fall. After some long hugs and many goodbyes to new friends, Susan, Sarah and I headed off to Regent Street to check out some of the shopping there. Both Sarah and Susan did this for me, as I hadn't had a lot of opportunity to shop while we were touring the MI-5 scene locations.

London is filled with shopping, and Regent Street is just one area packed with shops. If shopping were an Olympic sport, it would be held in London. After stopping in a few stores and making a purchase or two, I remembered my resolution to keep my wife from having to walk too much -- so we three caught a cab back to St Pancras Station. We collected all our luggage and waited happily for Isa -- off our feet for the first time in SO many days. It was great, actually!

Sarah caught her train to Plymouth after another difficult goodbye, and once Isa arrived, we boarded the Eurostar, just the three of us, headed back to Paris for the rest of our adventure.

Which leads me to my French phrase of the day: “Triste bebe canards” -- which means “sad baby ducks” -- the others all had to leave Isa, and go off on their own adventures.

Lucky us, to still have “Mama Canard” with us to guide us back home to Paris.

My French Phrase -- The colorful American expression: "My dogs are barking" -- used when our feet are tired, is unknown in France. In fact, using it made Isa laugh at the picture it presented. The literal translation into French is: "Mon chien aboie"...and Robert and I used it quite a lot toward the end of the trip! Isa, however, had a bit of trouble getting the phrase into her head, and was fond of saying that her "legs were barking"...:-)) We understood...ours were too!

And now, after our numbers had gone from three to six to twelve...our little group was back to three again. I don't suppose we can say that we had only just met, as we've been chatting online for so long together -- and the chatting will continue as it always has. But we'd gotten used to seeing each other's faces and hearing each other's voices...and it was very hard to say goodbye...

So we just said, "A bientot," which means, "see you soon!"...

Much love
:- )) xx
Susan and Robert


Trip Journal: Paris Update #8

Paris Update (Bath, Somerset, England) #8
Monday, April 25, 2011 12:25 PM

Dear Family and Friends,

Sunday the 17th found us navigating the public transit system of London to board a train to Bath...

We started off the day by: 1) catching the Docklands Light Railway from Limehouse station to Bank station where we could 2) catch the Tube from Bank to Oxford Circus Station where we could 3) change Tube trains and hop on one headed to 4) Paddington train station, where we were to 5) catch an actual train to the town of Bath for the day! *phew*

This is very common for people in both Paris and London -- they think nothing of this and just go about their day. For Susan and me, and for Jean from Alabama, it was quite extraordinary. I asked Jean at one point if she felt like she was lost yet -- and she said, “Nope.” I said, “Really?” and she said, “I’m not lost. I'm right behind Isa.”

She had it right -- if it weren’t for Isa or Sarah guiding us through the subway systems of Paris and London, we might still be there! But both of those systems are world-class and they left an impression on me, for sure. The train from Paddington to Bath was, in a word, awesome. Compared to the trains that I've been on in the U.S., this one felt like a race car. It was smooth and fast and sleek.

It's a good thing you all know I'm a complete sap, because I'll probably embarrass myself here. Bath is all wrapped up in Jane Austen for me...and Jane Austen is romance, English gardens, long satin dresses with gloves to match, and misunderstandings that lead to happy endings...*sigh* (You may shake your heads and roll your eyes here)...:-)

Except for being just a tad bit hot for me (but what part of the world south of the North Pole isn't, really?)...Bath was all of the above. Strolling along the Royal Crescent, talking with friends, watching people laze in the early spring sunshine -- it was, as the English like to say, lovely. Or, as Catherine Morland says in Austen's "Northanger Abbey"..."Oh! Who can ever be tired of Bath?" (a perfect place for another eye roll if you wish) :-) And now for some sanity from my level-headed husband!...

This place has been popular going all the way back to the Roman era and even before the Romans. The natural hot spring that feeds the bath house was considered a very sacred place and is known for its healing powers. The tour of the bath house is quite remarkable -- the way they have it set up is part museum tour, part archaeological dig, and then the actual rooms and baths themselves.

The pictures, as good as they are, can't do it justice. Beyond the baths, the town is beautiful with a great church, river, cafes, shopping, and walking paths. We only scratched the surface of what to see and do in Bath. It's a great place to walk and just be -- and a place I would love to see again.

We were going to catch a later train back to London but we were all so “done” -- because of all the walking and sightseeing both in Paris, and here in England, that we decided to catch the 6:15 pm train. This is where my phrase of the day comes into play.
It's another French phrase (although we're in England): “Six oeufs au plat”...it means six fried eggs, and it described us perfectly. Exhausted!

My phrase of the day? Hmmmmmm...I have two -- both from Jane Austen...

"My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company." (And that's exactly what we've had on this trip, plus LOTS of laughter)

And, "To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment." (Not to try to improve upon Jane, I'd add, "...with a cup of good English coffee and a piece of delicious carrot cake from a small shop in Bath")

Much love from the travellers...
Susan and Robert


Trip Journal: Paris Update #7

Paris Update (London) #7
Saturday, April 23, 2011 11:51 PM

Dear Friends and Family....

We've gotten a bit behind on these updates -- losing a day every now and then, until we're nearly a week off -- mostly because we've happily crammed as much into these two weeks as we possibly could...;-)

In fact, we've just touched down in Seattle after flying for a total of 14 hours, and it's 5 am Paris time, so I hope you'll bear with us...but we wanted to get another email off to you. The rest of the trip will come to you over the next few days...:-)

This one is for London, and due to our current lack of sleep, we'll let the pictures speak for us -- but there is one story we'd like to tell...

We took a boat trip on the Thames, and as this was what Isa called a "water taxi," they do a safety talk much like the one you get on an airplane. It was just at sunset on a lovely evening, after we'd walked ALL day. It traveled under London Bridge in leisurely fashion, but then was due to speed up significantly until it reached our destination of Canary Wharf for dinner.

You'll have to imagine these safety instructions being given in a VERY dry British accent -- and if there hadn't been so many people laughing around us, I'd have thought we were all just exhausted and punchy...but the man actually got applause when he was finished!

This was the end of his talk..."That thing on the back of the boat is a railing. If we'd wanted to make it a seat, we would have put a cushion on it. The water in the Thames is 40 degrees, which means you have a life expectancy of 4 minutes should you fall in. By the time we've noticed you've fallen in, we're a quarter mile, at least, down the River, and it takes us 3 minutes to turn around. *pause* What I'm saying is...we're not coming back. And if you sit on that rail, you're bloody stupid."

So, this is just to let you know that we weren't bloody stupid...we sat warm and safe in our seats and watched London go by...

More anon...
Cheers! And now, off to sleep...
Much love,
:-)) xx
Susan and Robert


Trip Journal: Paris Update #6

Paris Update (London) #6
Thursday, April 21, 2011 5:26 PM

Dear Friends and Family,

Off we go on the train to London!

Theme for the day--Starstruck

The day started off with us getting up early, which was not easy after the long walking trip through Paris the day before. We were headed off to a four day adventure in London, so Mama Canard gathered up her ducks at Gare du Nord and we all got on the Eurostar.

Two hours later, having traveled at the top speed of 208 miles per hour in some spots and having gone through a twenty-minute, twenty-mile-long tunnel under the English Channel, we arrived at St Pancras Station in the heart of London. 

Before this trip, I knew something of the the TV show MI5 (or Spooks as it's known in the UK), and the extent of the dedication to the show that all of these ladies have, but I really had no idea...

The TV show is all about MI-5, which is a Sister Service to MI-6 (James Bond).  MI-6 is concerned with UK security from threats outside of the country, and MI-5 is charged with security within the UK (i.e., MI-5 will handle security for Will and Kate's wedding).  Needless to say, it's a show about spies...:-))

You would have thought WE were all spies -- eight women gathering intel and placing themselves in the best position possible to see someone, anyone, from the show...and we hit the jackpot.  The female lead, Nicola Walker, not only walked past us, but she stopped, on her own, and spoke to us -- allowing us to take photos with her.

Understand that Nicola is a high profile television star on a very popular TV show, so this was quite an event for the girls, and for me as well. For me, knowing how far everyone had traveled to have that possibility of seeing someone from the show, and then having it realized with Nicola being so gracious with her time and so interested in everyone's stories, made me an instant fan of hers -- and more of a fan of the show.  I'll admit I was somewhat starstruck!

For the girls it was a great moment. Once Nicola left, we all needed to get back to our hotel -- but first we needed a drink to digest what had just happened. So we stopped at our first English pub and I had my first English ale, which was very good. We all made our way back to our hotel and settled in for the night -- having realized the universe had delivered the goods on the beginning of our London adventure. What a Day!

Two years ago, Robert and I decided we wanted to see the Eiffel Tower together.  We had no idea how that would happen...but I bought a necklace with the Tower on it, and charms that said "Dream", "Be", and "Do"...with the idea that I would form the trip in my head and it would somehow happen.

I watched the first episodes of "MI-5" on YouTube just a little bit later, then sought out a website to find out more, then a forum to talk to other fans -- and it was there that I met Isa, a fan from Paris.  After chatting for six months, Isa shared that she and her family wanted very much to see Glacier National Park and Yellowstone -- and we began planning her stay with us.

It was then that I shared Robert's and my dream, and this trip was planned....

I suppose my theme for the day would be -- things may not happen the way you think they will, but, as long as you stay open...they CAN happen.  And yes, I play the lottery!

The meeting with Nicola fell right into place with all of the above...:-))

Much love from London...
:-)) xx
Robert and Susan


Trip Journal: Paris Update #5

Paris Update #5
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 4:39 PM

Dear Family and Friends,

Ah, Paris...and the longest day yet!

Isa is the best tour guide ever, with stories to go with every sight, but the woman never seems to need a break!

All the girls finally got together in the morning. Five women who have been chatting online for over two years, never thinking we could coordinate a meeting, and yet, it happened. Robert was the only man, and long ago in the planning we had been calling ourselves his "harem"...:-)) He has been so wonderful -- allowing us to chatter away and giggle, and I never once heard him say, "I'm sorry, I don't know them..."

Jean from Alabama sent a text to Isa from London before coming to Paris, asking "Do you have all your ducks in a row?" Isa showed it to me, and asked me to translate...and from that point on, Isa was "Mama Canard"...or Mother Duck. We tried to stay single-file, but failed miserably...

My French phrase of the day is: "Mama Canard" pronounced "cannes-ard." *embarrassed, he says* I have been making the mistake of saying "Mama Connard" which is pronounced "Co-nard." In French per Isa this means...ahem...*Mama ass*!

We started off the day by meeting Sarah at Gare du Nord train station and then met the two other ladies that were coming in on the Eurostar named Jean and Karen. Jean and Karen, Sarah, Isa and Susan had never met face to face before so it was quite a moment. Karen and Jean were joining us for the day tour of Paris in which we were to walk most of Paris seeing a lot of the major tourist attractions.

None of us were aware of the amount of walking we were going to do on this day, but for me, having been bused into places like Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre Museum thirty years ago while with a student tour of France, walking up to these places was very special. You feel as if you just happen to turn around the corner while you are walking and Bam! There is Notre Dame or the other sites. I can't describe what we saw this day, and only some of the pictures do it justice.

These memories will be with me till the moment I leave this world and probably beyond. Walking Paris with someone who knows it so well is very special. Thank you so much Isa -- "Mama Canard."

Robert said that one of the benefits of being with so many women was that he never had to ask where the "facilities" were...and at one point, just at the Place de la Concorde, all five of us paid our 40 cents in Euros and descended the stone steps to the "Ladies"...

...only to find...a male attendant. The well-traveled Sarah and Karen, and the native-French Isa didn't bat an eye, but Jean from Alabama, and Susan had a momentary look :-) Turns out we needed him, as they were having some plumbing problems. As we ascended the stairs again, Karen said with typical aplomb and in her lovely kiwi accent: "Well, he had his screwdriver at the ready, didn't he?"

So, my French word for the day is screwdriver: "tournevis" (which means literally, to turn a screw). And my thanks to the French for being so resourceful, and for being not too modest to have a necessary man in the Ladies...:-))

A bientot (see you soon!) and love from...
Robert and Susan
:-)) xx


Trip Journal: We're Very Busy Travellers!

We’re very busy travellers!
Monday, April 18, 2011 5:01 AM

Dear Friends and Family,

Yes, still alive and well! We've now toured all over London, and will be going back to Paris tonight after a day of seeing Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, among others.

Tomorrow we're taking a day off in Paris, during which I'll organize all our photos and get some emails off to you...thank you for the messages you've been sending back -- we're glad you're enjoying these!

Much love,
:-)) xx
Susan and Robert


Trip Journal: Paris Update #4

Paris Update #4
Friday, April 15, 2011 7:24 PM

Dear Family and Friends,

We apologize for being a bit tardy on this one, but honestly, we've hardly stopped except to eat and sleep. Robert is holding up well because he walks all day at work, but I must say...my dogs are tired! We must have walked dozens of miles over the last two days, and I'm not exaggerating!

But I'm also not complaining -- Paris is a city that needs to be seen on foot. The Metro will take you where you need to go, but once up on the street, you feel the essence of Paris. It's the first city I've been in, including New York, where the pedestrians truly don't have the right of way. You take your life in your hands when you step off the curb, but surprisingly, Isa says that there are very few pedestrian fatalities. The ones most in danger are those on bicycles.

We are understandably reticent to step out, but Isa says you must "impress" the driver that you're serious, and they'll stop -- and it's true. If you didn't do that, you might stand forever on the same corner!

We're beginning to use the landmarks now (the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame) as we step out from the Metro, and generally, we can triangulate our position in the city. These fantastic structures are really the only very tall buildings around Paris, so they're easy to find.

On Day Three, we began our day by picking up a friend, Sarah, from Canberra, Australia, as she came in to Paris on the train at Gare du Nord. Sarah was at the end of 40 hours of traveling, with various layovers in Sidney and Kuala Lumpur before arriving in London and then taking the train to Paris. She was surprisingly awake, and we all drove to the Palace at Versailles, where we spent the rest of the day. Words can't describe the beauty of this national French historical treasure so we'll let the pictures do the talking. And yes, we took those photos. Versailles turns anyone into a photographer!

Robert's French Phrase of the Day. “A DROIT – A GAUCHE”
Robert writes: "Driving in Paris is quite a rush -- an amazing event. Having driven in LA, San Francisco, and Seattle -- and for Susan, New York -- we both can honestly say that we would not even attempt it. But Isa and Dom make it look so easy, and they've worked out a system for getting all around Paris. On Day Three, Isa sat in the back of the car and Dom was our driver for the day for our 'le tour de jour.' Throughout the journey I was hearing Isa and Dom saying 'a droit, a droit, a droit' or 'go right, go right, go right' -- or 'a gauche, a gauche, a gauche' or 'go left, go left, go left.'

Isa and Dom were constantly talking and deciding about what was the best route to go. At one point, Dom got into a bus lane by mistake which was on the right side lane, and Isa used 'a gauche' again. When Dom makes a mistake, he gets very Italian-sounding and says, 'Mama Mia!' We made it to Gare du Nord no problem after much zig zagging through traffic.

On a side note, traffic is displayed on the overhead electronic signs on the freeways in France as 'Fluide' or fluid, if it is moving, and 'Bouchie' or stuck, if it is stopped. Isa will use an iPhone app to see if the color of the highway is green (Fluide) or Red (Bouchie). The iPhone app is not always correct but Isa and Dom are without a doubt some of the best drivers I have ever seen. No wonder they had no problems driving all over the Nortwestern US when they came to visit us!"

Susan's French Phrase of the Day: "ça lui glisse dessus" -- which means "it slides right off" This is used to describe a person, or people, who are easy to get along with, for whom troubles or worries slide right off their shoulders. We'd like to think she was talking about us!

Much love, and we hope we'll have more tomorrow!

Susan and Robert


Trip Journal: Paris Update #3

Paris Update #3
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 5:38 PM

Dear Friends and Family,

Day Three in Paris! As you'll see from the photos, the theme yesterday was shopping. Most of the time, the idea of "going shopping" is enough to cross my eyes -- but, as has been the case so far, Paris had a few surprises for me!

We started by walking the Rue de la Paix and Rue Saint Honore and up to La Place Vendome, seeing the Paris shops for Gucci, Chanel, Tiffany, Ralph Lauren, etc. Then, we went from the impossible to the simply expensive, when we moved on to the Galeries Lafayette.

There's a family connection to the Galeries for Isa -- as her husband Dom's uncle was the manager of the Paris flagship store for many years. Consequently, both Isa and Dom have worked there at various times, and know it well. To call this a department store is to simplify it far too much -- seven floors of every brand you can imagine...everything -- and more -- than you could possibly need.

So, yes, I managed to find the refrigerator magnet of the Eiffel Tower, and the Paris snowglobe to add to my collection, and only spent $30 doing so...:-)...but the most stunning part of the Galeries is the intricately crafted stained-glass dome that graces the full seven stories. It literally takes your breath away. And as the floors rise up under it, they look less like a store, and more like a grand old theater, with gold balconies looking like the loges overlooking the stage.

And the rooftop...indescribable...and not a known location for most tourists, as Isa explained. Just a handful stand at the railing looking out at a panoramic view of the entire city. Rising up from the sea of buildings are Notre Dame, the Pantheon, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.

It was the first time Robert had ever heard me say that I could have stayed at a department store all day...;-)

When I mentioned to Isa about the number of cheeses I saw in the Intermarche, taking up aisle after aisle of a section that for us would consist of only a few shelves, she quoted something that Charles de Gaulle had said just before WWII..."Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?"

The translation is: "How do you want to govern a country that has 258 different types of cheese?" Isa explained how de Gaulle had stood up to Eisenhower and Churchill in WWII even when he was practically unknown in France, and he went on to become a great hero. His point was that there was such rich diversity in the country, it would be impossible to try to impose unity out of the blue. He thought it could only happen through "common peril"...which WWII unfortunately provided...

Robert writes: "We went to La Place Vendome which is what Rodeo Drive copied for Beverly Hills. The unique thing about Place Vendome is that all the most expensive watch makers and jewlery makers of the world are in and or around the Place Vendome. These products are out of reach for normal human beings, which is apparent by the lack of shoppers in the area.

One block away at the "Galeries Lafayette" thousands of shoppers line the streets and flow into the "mall" for lack of a better English word. Once inside the Galeries Lafayette you enter a world of Parisan shopping you can not believe. I paid almost $4.00 ea for two bottles of Sprite and the watches were hundreds to thousands of dollars. But compared to Place Vendome, where items start in the tens of thousands of dollars, Galeries Lafayette seems quite reasonable for the French products sold there. Both of these places are indescribable. One must see them to believe them.

So, we walked away with a few items, and hadn't taken a second mortgage out on the house...:-) Another great day in Paris...

Much love,
Susan and Robert


Trip Journal: Paris Update #2

Paris Update #2
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:01 PM

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday was what Isa called "a completely Parisian day..." After a lazy morning, we drove into Paris through the nearly ever-present traffic -- although, honestly, it's no different from the type we've seen every day going into San Francisco. Getting used to the gauges on the car takes some work, however -- kilometers per hour vs. miles per hour made it look as if Isa was hovering between 90 and 120 mph...(yikes) But, in fact, she's an excellent driver, and can park in a space the size of our closet without batting an eye :-))

We left the car in just such a space in the Latin Quarter and walked for the rest of the day. And Paris is, as we've always heard, a "walking" city. So much to see...and hear. We're trying very hard to speak as much French as possible, but we fall back on our English often -- so the cacophony of languages we hear as we pass people on the street is comforting. It makes us feel like we're not the only ones learning French. And speaking of which...

Robert's phrase: "Cornichon" - the word literally means pickle, but it's used as well to describe a person who is "a bit dumb"...or as Isa says "il n'ya pas de lumiere au plafond" (there is no light on the ceiling)...This would correspond to our "not the sharpest tool in the shed" or "the elevator doesn't go to the top floor"...:-) This lesson came up as we were actually eating pickles!

Susan's phrase: "ateliers de peintres" - painter's lofts -- generally found in the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse. If you look up at the buildings in these areas, you'll see that the windows on the top floors are huge, and very different from the other windows in the building. They're the high-ceilinged, light-filled apartments of painters. They cost millions of Euros to purchase in Paris -- consequently, they belong to the successful ones! :-)

And finally, after a very illuminating trip to the Intermarche (the equivalent to Safeway, but with more and different types of cheese than you could ever imagine), Isa made us a "very French" dinner..."Saute de Veau," an amazingly delicious savory stew of veal, carrots, potatoes, and peas served with French bread (of course)...

Quelle journee...which translates to "What a day!"...although it sounds to us like "What a Journey," which is also true...

Much love,
Susan and Robert


Trip Journal: Paris Update #1

Paris Update #1
Monday, April 11, 2011 7:02 AM

 Hello all!

We thought the best way to let you all know how we're doing is to send some updates...these may turn out to be long and boring, or short and sweet...or, if we get too busy -- nonexistent! But we'll do our best...

Arrived in Paris yesterday at 1:30 pm after 10 hours on two planes, and a stopover in Iceland...we were happy and safe, but very punchy. Construction at Charles de Gaulle Airport caused us to wander a bit before meeting up with Isa, Dom and Guillaume, but we were finally in the car, driving through Paris.  Dom is extremely good at it, which is a good thing, as it reminded us very much of the Los Angeles theory of "eat or be eaten..." :-)

Our first view of the Eiffel Tower through trees, in the distance, was thrilling.  Then the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concord, the Pantheon, Champs Elysees.  Then on to a lovely Parisian sidewalk restaurant, "Cafe Sofflot," watching the Sunday tourists and locals strolling in what Isa called "unseasonably warm" April sunshine.

After lunch, with the lack of sleep and the French beer catching up with us, we headed off to the suburb of Yerres, where Isa and her family live.  The comfort of their home, the hospitality of these lovely people, along with a glass of good French wine and a soft bed, took us off to sleep and blissfully on to French time.

This morning we have lazed around, drinking coffee and acclimating, and are now on our way out to see more of Paris, have a cafe lunch, and do some grocery shopping.  As I look at the clock on the computer, I see that it's just 4 in the morning Pacific time...we're looking at 1 pm sunshine, and hearing birds sing in French!

Robert's: "Haute Horlogerie": Which describes couture watchmaking...yes, he's in heaven! :-))
Susan's: "A tes amours": What you say when someone sneezes...it's like "bless you!" and it means "to your love"...very sweet!

Au revoir for now!
We'll send some pictures along...but we promise, not TOO many!

Much love to all of you,
:-)) xx
Susan and Robert