Monday, July 31, 2006

Ah…the summer wind came a-blowin’ in, from across the sea…

Can you name that tune? Covered by many artists but my two top favorite artist renditions include “Old Blue Eyes” himself, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Buble.

The lyrics are indeed appropriate because a cool front came blowing in from across the Channel on Sunday evening. When I say cool, I mean the temperature high today was 75 degrees. Simply glorious. On top of the temps, a nice cool breeze has been blowing all day….

We had been a bit dismayed. The mid-80 degree temperatures in the apartment had become old. I mean, come on, we were tired of the hot weather. Tired of no air circulating. Just plain tired of the heat. We were downright cranky.

So on Sunday we took matters into our hands, like any good red-blooded American would do who has been accustomed to A/C all her life…we decided a road trip was in order.

• It was a pretty day, and we had cabin fever. You know, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
• We are always up for sightseeing.
• The car is air conditioned…need I say more?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Kirmes, Round 2

This was not our first trip to Kirmes…we were actually waiting for it this time. We were longingly remembering the corn-on-the-cob, cotton candy, chocolate covered fruit, pickles, hot dogs, potatoes…OK, this list could go on and on. Basically, we were looking forward to “fair food”.

Kirmes is the German version of the State Fair of Texas, only smaller, no exhibits, and it is basically portable. Then again, it is nothing more than just a traveling fair, so is it really akin to the SFoT? Budman and Hachie Gal are on opposite sides of that fence. Still, it was only a 5-minute walk from our house, so sure, we were up for milling around with the masses, if for no other reason than as a diversion from the heat.

Yes, it has hovered around 84 degrees in the apartment….even at night. Surely there is a break in the weather, a small rainstorm, cool front, something to look forward to in our weather future? Sorry, I am digressing.

Over the 2 weeks Kirmes graced the banks of the Rhein River, we made multiple trips…some of the highlights of our visits.

Rides and games ...I love neon…

Kirmes July 2006 008

Kirmes July 2006 009

Kirmes July 2006 025

The corn-on-cob booth...yes...we thought it was funny!

Kirmes July 2006 011

Queing up for corn-on-the-cob!.

Kirmes July 2006 012

And one of the more strange rides…entitled Mystery. Aptly named because I have no clue who this Buda-like guy is. Guess this is what you get when you cross Buda with Yoda and throw in a dash of Vulcan and Vampire for good measure. His eyes glowed in the dark, while one ear was remarkably “Star-Trek-ish” and the other was more like Buda. He even had the Buda pose, but the internal organs exposed was a bit startling. His voice sounded just like Yoda, and when his mouth moved, this caused the skin underneath his chin to flap like Jabba the Hut. Then, there were the pointed fingernails and the vampire-ish fangs. Yep, it was a mystery to us, too.

Kirmes July 2006 015

Buddy and Holly along the Kirmes version of the “midway”.

Kirmes July 2006 013

Kirmes July 2006 029

Buddy is eyeing the cotton candy machine.

Kirmes July 2006 026

Ah…cotton candy!

Kirmes July 2006 027

"Chinese" fortune telling booth…the fortune teller looks decidedly…European.

Kirmes July 2006 019

Kirmes July 2006 020

Kirmes by night.

Kirmes July 2006 030

Kirmes July 2006 036

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I’ve been remiss

Sadly, a business trip often does not afford one much opportunity to check out a new destination, no matter how grand the trip may be or exotic the locale. Often, the extent to personal sightseeing is often limited to offices, meeting rooms hotels, airports, and taxis.

Thus, the Budman’s recent trip to India did not afford him too many chances to capture the spirit of India, let alone Mumbai. And for those of you who are not aware, Mumbai is Bombay. The city has been renamed, as many of India’s cities have to take back their Indian names.

So, a few of the sights of Mumbai.

India 0606 006

India 0606 016

India 0606 017

India 0606 013

India 0606 011

Gateway to India.

India 0606 008

Cricket - the national past-time.

India 0606 023


India 0606 003

India 0606 004

Mumbai by night.

India 0606 030

India 0606 029

India 0606 026

Now, this is a place I want to go to….

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Travel photos can't be complete without…

Those of you who regularly check out the blog site know that no Budman/Hachie Gal trip can be complete without the obligatory search for THE night shot(s). True to form, we’ve tried not to let anyone down….

London BY 0706 042

London BY 0706 041

London 0706 035

London 0706 043

London 0706 001

London 0706 024

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This just in

A German medical team gave 22 midpack runners (yep, that's where I fall) a knee MRI before and immediately after they completed a marathon. The researchers concluded that "marathon running does not cause severe, acute lesions of cartilage, ligaments, or bone marrow of the knee in well-trained runners." Source: European Radiology.

Bottom Line: No harm done; marathon running doesn't hurt the knees.

So, I can now spout medical findings, courtesy of those German doctors, to combat all those well-meaning friends who have concern for my knees in my later years. No need to worry.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Westminster Abbey and Parliament

The beautiful weather allowed for some nice photo opps…pretty recognizable places…we interspersed out walking with plenty of pit stops for shopping and refreshments.

Budman and Hachie Gal and the Houses of Parliament.

London BY 0706 067

London BY 0706 063

Westminster Abbey.

London BY 0706 003

London BY 0706 008

London BY 0706 013

Big Ben.

London 0706 016

London 0706 014

Piccadilly Circus.

London 0706 082

God save the Queen…or something like that

We’d decided to use a different touring approach…just sorta "go with the flow when and where the spirit moved us”. A slightly different approach for this Type-A travel organizer. The strategy paid off as we stretched our legs a bit in the city, saw some familiar as well as new sights, and had a bit more leisurely weekend than we often do when we are travelling. Some lovely photos from around Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace from St. James’ Park.

London BY 0706 069

Buckingham Palace from the Mall.

London BY 0706 073

Budman and Hachie Gal at Buckingham Palace.

London BY 0706 074

Queen Victoria's Memorial.

London BY 0706 075

Red, white, and blue flowers outside Buckingham Palace.

London 0706 081

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The London Eye

We’d been to London a number of times, and had seen a lot of the main tourists sights before. Still, we did do a bit of city walking just to see how the old sights were looking…to come later, though.

Sunday morning started off with a lovely brunch with a work colleague of Buddy’s. Thanks Chip, for taking the time to visit and touring us about your neighbourhood (he lives in Kensington/Knightsbridge area).

London BY 0706 048

Interestingly enough, the Queen’s horse stables are near by his place, and we got to see them being exercised this morning.

London BY 0706 046

Something we’d never done, though, was the London Eye, the big ferris wheel sponsored by BA. Since the weekend was a clear, almost cloudless, and a brigh sunny day, we couldn’t have asked for a better day to see all of London …from the sky. It was mighty hot waiting in that line, though.

London 0706 012

Views of London from the London Eye.

London BY 0706 052

London BY 0706 057

London 0706 047

Buddy on the London Eye.

London 0706 050

Those little capsules aren’t so little. They can hold up to 32 people, but that is packing it pretty tightly. We had about 25 or so in ours this day.

London BY 0706 053

London 0706 052

Budman and Holly…on the London Eye.

London BY 0706 059