Previous month:
November 2009
Next month:
January 2010

Holidays - London, Cologne, Rome, Brussels

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

IMG_4439

 

Grand Place, Brussels

 

Our holidays were very busy, starting off with a trip to Horsham and London for Thanksgiving.  Dave & Allison invited us to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.  We were making our plans when D got the word he had to be in London England on Dec 2nd for a meeting.  Perfect timing!

Allison made a wonderful feast for the four of us.  A very traditional Thanksgiving meal, with turkey (had to be special ordered), stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry and lots more.

 

 

Don and Cathy November 2009 007

 

D2's upcoming holiday party was a costume party, so we all went to the "fancy dress" store to help him pick out a costume.  Little did we know how much fun this outing would be!

 

IMG_4551

 

What we call costume parties, in the UK they call them fancy dress parties.  D jumped right in to help D2 find his fancy dress.

 

 

Don and Cathy November 2009 018

 

How about these shoes?  This may be a new look for D.

 

 

IMG_4554 
 

Quite the dapper Sir Walter Raleigh......

 

 

IMG_4570

 

 

A gladiator....

 

 

IMG_4579

 

and we are not quite sure what this is.....rocker dude?

 

 

IMG_4589

 

a few friends......

 

 

IMG_4577 

Sir Walter and Austin Powers....."yeah baby"

IMG_4571 

and last but not least.....rocker dude finds a date -  cat women!

IMG_4595

 

D had to help me take off my boots as I could not bend over in this outfit    :   )

We decided that D2 & A should add the Fancy Dress store to the "must see" list for guests who visit them in the UK!

Now for some traditional British food, fish and chips.  Greasy and good!

IMG_4603

and Father Christmas cookies

IMG_4609

The best news we heard this weekend is that D2 and A have extended for two more years!  Yeah!!

IMG_4606 

 

On to London and their Winter Wonderland to see Father Christmas.

 

Santa

and the toy soldier

 

 

IMG_4624 

I do believe in Santa Claus!


IMG_4616
 

Harrod's, the famous department store in London, had a Wizard of Oz holiday theme with giant ruby red slippers coming out the side of their building.

 

IMG_4668

London had beautiful holiday lights in the main shopping district.  Umbrellas - how appropriate for London!

IMG_4656 

 

Cologne Germany

I took a one day bus trip with a group of women I do things with in Brussels to Cologne Germany to visit the Christmas market.  We had a crisp sunny day for our outing.  As with most European cities, Cologne has a beautiful old cathedral.  Construction of the cathedral started in 1248, and with interruptions, was completed in 1880 - over 600 years later!  It is one of the world's largest churches and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

IMG_4681

 

Cologne has seven Christmas markets spread throughout the city.  One of them was the Gnome market.
 

IMG_4688

 

IMG_4689

The German markets have beautiful ornaments.

IMG_4695

All hand blown.

IMG_4700

 and a few very interesting characters!

IMG_4702

 

Rome

Early the next morning, we hopped on a plane and headed to Rome for a five day business trip.  There were several of D's co-workers from the states on this trip.  Ahmad and I are standing in front of the beautiful and famous Trevi fountain.

Rome 4907 (126)

I think this is a funny photo, the Trevi fountain looking like one of the junk trinkets for sale.

Rome 4907 (127) 

Roman Ruins with a colorful blue backdrop. 

Rome 4907 (55)

There are Steelers fans around the world.  D is standing in front of the one and only Steelers bar in Rome.  The owner plays all the games live, and if it is a late night game, that means it would be on at 3 am!

Rome 4907 (76)

One night we were in a restaurant (not the steelers bar) and we noticed the waiters watch.

  IMG_4393 

Turns out he was a huge Steelers fan!  Here I am with Donald's co worker Mike, also a huge Steelers fan, the waiter in white, and Mike's wife Pam.  We had a fun night talking about football with the Italian waiter!

.
 
IMG_4394

  

They do not decorate in Rome like they do in other European cities for Christmas.  I did see a few glass balls hung in the street.
 
IMG_4885 
 
but these looked as if they might stay up all year long.

IMG_4892



They did have a Christmas market with interesting street performers.
 

Rome 4907 (104) 

We dropped some money in his can and we became fast friends!

Rome 4907 (103)

She was very graceful.  We think we saw her last time we were in Rome where she was a ballerina.

 IMG_4813

They stay completely still until you drop money in their cup and then they preform.

IMG_4808 

Rome is predominately Catholic so there were many religious decorations at the market.

Rome 4907 (30) 

It was a rainy night which made for an interesting sky.

Rome 4907 (90)

I love this photo of D - shopping bags in hand, cool old car passing by.

IMG_4907

One thing you can not skip in Rome is the Gelato!!!!

IMG_4406

 

BRUSSELS
   

And a visit to our very own Brussels market which has the most fascinating carousel round I have ever seen.

IMG_9202

I cannot find any information on the artist who created this creation.

IMG_4418 

IMG_4420

Children can sit in the back of this crazy lizard.

IMG_4416

 

I was very disappointed when I found out the merry-go-round was for children only!

IMG_4434

IMG_4431
 
 

Goodbye 2009!