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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir:http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Vancouver British Columbia, Canada in 1996 and back again in 2018

A long time dream of us, was to go once back to British Columbia, Canada for sight seeing.
We did work in the Vancouver area, Fraser Valley in 1996.
Driving our rental car from the Vancouver airport to the Sheraton hotel in Surrey we fell in love with the surroundings.
This photo is from June 15, 1996...
The Province of British Columbia, Canada has a very special meaning to both of us.
After all, Pieter's adopted daughter Liz is born there!
You can read more about her in a previous post, link you find below.
For the 12th North American Mushroom Conference held in Vancouver, husband Pieter got invited as a speaker.
So here we are in July of 1996, back in Vancouver once more!
Staying at the Vancouver Hotel which is now the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Pieter's lecture went very well and it was even called the Highlight of the Conference!
On the final day, I checked as usual the telephone book for any VandenMunckhof or Vedder names.
No VandenMunckhof here but as usual several Vedder names.
Then I checked for the biological father of Pieter's adopted daughter, his name was Jeurissen...
There was but ONE Jeurissen T and we presumed that would be Tony, her Dad...
See name at bottom above.
Pieter made the call around 6:00 PM and was quite surprised to hear a woman's voice: Thelma... Liz's biological Mother.
She was long presumed dead because all searches through Rotary International and the Red Cross, never yielded any result.
She kept her married name, even after the divorce - just in case any of her 3 kids would ever look for her!
She came to the hotel, by Skytrain and we met.
Here she is holding Pieter's arm, in the lobby of Hotel Vancouver.
Mama Thelma is part Scottish and part First Nation (her Mother's side).
These photos are not the best but still they remain very special memories to both of us!
Biological Mom meets Step-Mom who together with Liz's Dad put her through the Royal Academy.
We talked a lot, over a cup of tea in the restaurant, with some dessert.
For a good ten years we stayed in touch, mostly via phone calls and letters.
Mama Thelma passed away in September of 2006...
All the above text, I've written on her Birthday, October 6 - coincidence?!
Recently we did go on September 23, to the Atlanta Airport to spend the night at Hyatt Place Airport North as our plane to Vancouver would be departing at 7:25 AM and for driving from home on a Monday morning with heavy traffic was a no-no.
Now we just got up at 4:00 AM, had some home baked waffles with maple syrup that we had with us and we left with the hotel shuttle from 5:00 AM to the airport.
Via Minneapolis/St. Paul on Delta Airlines, we arrived in Vancouver.
We only had carry on, no checked luggage so it was light and easy traveling.
Just as Mama Thelma had done to come to our hotel in 1996, we too took the Skytrain...
Click on it below to see the 43 second video from the Skytrain ride and our 300 m walk from the Downtown station to our Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

      Here is Pieter standing with his carry on in front of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, just outside of the Skytrain station downtown.
Crossing this street and walking only a total of 300 m.
Here we are! Back again at the very same hotel after 24 years...
The weather in Vancouver was sunny and rather warm!
16ºC or 60.8ºF on Monday, September 24, 2018
We did enjoy a delicious, romantic dinner at Notch8 Restaurant & Bar...
The bed and down pillows and duvet at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver were HEAVEN!
Here I am at 6:30 AM on September 25... in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver where we met with Mama Thelma in July of 1996...
Wearing my Kipling backpack and my hiking boots.

We are checking out - stay tuned for more...

Related link:
{Our Daughter Liz} | previous post by me

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sea Pines Hilton Head Island, South Carolina BIKING

Yes, on August 30, we went again for this lovely bike ride at Sea Pines Resort Bike Trail, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
We did stay at the Hyatt Place Savannah Airport and from there we went for our biking trip.
Like on October 27, 2017 we started out more or less from the Lighthouse area.
Here I am, wearing my Alo Yoga short that just arrived the day before departure!
The sun was so very bright here at Harbour Town Yacht Basin!
You can click below this post for going to my previous post from last year with map and more info about Sea Pines Resort.
 It is such a lovely area!
Well worth the fee for entering with our car + 2 bikes.
This is where we biked... from our Strava App
We stayed for 2 nights at this lovely Hyatt Place with generous sized rooms and kitchen area for breakfast.
Our green KIA Soul is parked next to the Hyatt Place sign with the 2 TREK Bikes on the bike rack.
On the day of arrival we were at the pool by 4:00 PM...
It was still HOT... and very sunny, I could not even see the screen of my iPhone due to the glare, hence these finger marks!
33ºC is 91.4ºF
It actually was a lot warmer than the forecast said...
At 7:20 AM from our room...
YEP, this is serious...
Just the week before, a woman that tried to rescue her doggie, got pulled down in the marshes by such an alligator and killed. Very sad and only the doggie survived.
Both evenings we walked across the street to 201 Seafood Restaurant and had delicious fresh seafood.
My 2nd day was my favorite: TUNA STEAK* GF
Carrot-ginger purée, seasoned red rice, cucumbers and carrots.
Pieter opted for the ATLANTIC SALMON* GF
Seared salmon served on a bed of fingerling potatoes, bacon, shallot, spinach with crema.
Just lovely to merely cross the road back to our hotel...
On our final morning we did bike around the hotel, well not full circle as there is the Interstate on one side and a lake. But they sure enough are working hard to get that road extended!
This is the route that we biked around (almost) the Hyatt Place hotel. The Interstate 95 is seen to the left.
Enjoy our main bike ride by clicking on this very short 40 second video below:

Related link:

Friday, October 12, 2018

211 Countries Visited - Welcome Marshall Islands & Hurricane Michael visited us...

On October 5, my humble blog got visited by the 211th Country - Welcome Marshall Islands! 
According to the World Factbook, Marshall Islands are situated in Australia-Oceania.
Yep, from the Panhandle of Florida, Hurricane Michael traveled through South Georgia right over our area.
This we got in the morning...
This was the Hurricane Warning on October 10 with strong SouthEast wind of 77 km/h or 47.8 mi/h
A 4-fold warning...
By midnight it turned into a five-fold warning!
It was just past midnight on October 11 at 12:16 AM when I read the above and especially the EastSouthEast wind of 85 km/h or 52.8 mi/h looked scary so I decided to stay awake till it would pass over.
Temperatures are in C, it was quite a bit cooler than the previous days.
Dublin is right in the darkest area...
Husband Pieter was sound asleep and I could hear the wind all around the house and heard some big noises, of a tree that came down. 
Turned out several big pine trees from a back neighbor's property had come down.
By 12:30 AM the power went off... and it was pitch dark!
Winds still were beating up anything that came in its patch.
We were only 19 hours without power and a couple of hours today...
Lineworkers are still working hard for restoring power back as soon as possible.
Even lineworkers from neighboring states have come to the South for helping out!
The above map gives you the dates or having power back on: October 12, Midnight, October 13, and October 14, October 15 and October 16...
We cannot complain! 
Our 6-year old Drake Elm - Ulmus parvifolia had snapped off...
It looked so dreary and gray next morning! 
Our Pecan tree had come out...
Our Pussy willow snapped off...
TONS of green leaves have been snatched off and little branches are everywhere...
This is on the edge of the lawn and on our driveway... so many green leaves are off!
Also our Leyland Cypress is leaning over the fence towards the street and needs to be cut down... 
At the end of our property line in the corner with the neighbors...
This needs to be cut down!
But NO damage to our home, not even to our greenhouse!
Lucky, compared to so many others in the Florida Panhandle; our prayers are with those people!
Proud of our community that is feeding 375 linemen (lineworkers) for lunch tomorrow!

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Related links:
210 Countries Visited - Welcome Sierra Leone | previous post by me
{Pussy Willow from Cuttings} | previous post by me
{Our Drake Elm - Ulmus parvifolia} | previous post by me
{2004 Hurricane Francis - Our Garden Before and After} | previous post by me
{Our Damage from Tornado spin off of Hurricane Earl, 2003} | previous post by me

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

My Favorite Ice Cream is Häagen-Dazs

Still NO POWER at  17:50
Yay, Power came back on at 19:30 so it was off for only 19 hrs...

Each and every time we go to Sawgrass Mills in Florida, we treat ourselves to a delicious Häagen-Dazs ice cream! 
Always I have a Pineapple Coconut Häagen-Dazs...
And so does husband Pieter!

What is your favorite taste?

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Related link:
{Last Call Outlet Score of Etienne Aigner Sandals} | previous post by me showing you the ice cream flavor

Friday, October 5, 2018

Hyatt House Miami

Even on a rainy day, we always do enjoy our stay at the Hyatt House in Miami, Florida.
This was on our walk around the hotel, after a rainy day.
It is close to 8:00 PM but feeling so fresh along the water.
The light looked almost magical...
These Muscovy ducks with ducklings were quite happy with all the rain, they live alongside the water.
There is lots of water, aside from the canal that runs behind the Hyatt House on Blue Lagoon Drive, Miami.
But there are other critters that are NOT that friendly!
Such a beautiful end of the day...
Quite refreshing after such a day with rain and more rain!
In our complete kitchen we had made a simple supper with beef tenderloin from Whole Foods Market, baked in butter with potatoes in the skin and some broccolette aka broccolini.
Next day we had a turkey burger with fresh salad...
Using our favorite Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar...
Of course we also did visit with our dear friends in Miami!

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Related links:
{Hyatt House Miami With Sweet Garden Residents} | previous post by me
{Hyatt House Miami, Florida - Our Home Away from Home} | previous post by me
{Muscovy Duck in Miami, Florida} | previous post by me


Monday, October 1, 2018

Easy Oven Baked Taco Recipe

On certain days we need to be able to make a quick and easy meal. This can also be prepared ahead of time so you only need to do the baking in the oven and serve a meal!
On August 2, I did think about making a photo once they came out of the oven!
I did use ready made Trader Joe's Taco Shells (box) from yellow corn.
Also the 90% lean ground beef I got at Trader Joe's.
The recipe you can find here: Oven Baked Tacos just click.
I've also found it real easy for using just red beans and did run them through my small Braun blender.
Yeah on July 19, I'd taken this photo but forgot to take one when they came out of the oven...
These are the ones from August 2nd before they went into the oven...
Next time, I have these Stainless Steel Taco Holders for easier filling.
Found them on Amazon....
Just a listing of the main ingredients...
Great when served with a salad on the side!

From a dear blogger friend, I got in the comments a great tip to make your won Taco Seasoning: DIY Taco Seasoning Plus 8 Others - just click on link to go to her post!

Thank you for your visit!


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