About Me

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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom 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. I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bathroom Renovation Completed by Bassett Home Improvement

Oh the joy when all the dust and noise is over with and you finally can clean your new bathroom!
Loved working with the men from Bassett Home Improvement but it was great to see them depart...
So happy for having it shiny and clean on Wednesday, before Thanksgiving.
A shiny new bathroom... matching our treasured white lacquered Italian vanity cabinet!
Our shower is wider than previous.
We did have to wait 1.5 week on the custom ordered shower door from Dublin Glass and Window Co.
The MAIN reason we redid our bathroom was because of the sliding door from 6 years ago getting STUCK!
Lowe's is NO LONGER selling this DreamLine Mirage Frameless Sliding Shower Door!
Guess we both were not the only ones that got stuck...
Below post you find link from our previous bathroom renovation.
Direct wire got installed for this shaving/makeup mirror with LED light.
Love the glossy paint on the walls, after they'd removed the wall paper.
We also opted for this very special American Standard 2034.014.020 Champion-4 Right Height One-Piece Elongated Toilet, White (Amazon).
Our contractor said it was the easiest toilet he ever installed!

It is also supposed to have a special 'EverClean surface' and we hope that it will not get water stained under the rim like our previous Toto did.
Our water quality is such as with rust stains... We use a water filter system but still.
Hate things that are not clean-clean.
Our Hotel Cabinet with Cubbies moved now to this side of the bathroom.
We of course kept our Danish Damixa faucet and shower head.
Next to window, with a glimpse of our white lacquered Italian vanity cabinet.
Grab bar got installed this Monday morning...
It is not a huge bathroom but cozy, with a bathroom heater fan above, and practical!
It can serve us for many years to come.

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related links:
{Our New Shower with Dreamline Frameless Sliding Shower Door} | previous post by me

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sentimental TREASURE from Mom...

While having the contractors creating 'dust' inside our home, I took it upon me to scan the final box of letters that Pieter found in the storage room under our front porch. TREASURES as those were Mom's letters from 1983 through 1988. Not only Mom's but also my Mother-in-law's and Pieter's brothers who no longer are with us.
We both treasure them so very much. But it was quite a task.
Yesterday I've completed the 1,187 scans by aligning and cropping them and filing by date. 
Pieter did read them before they got tossed out but I have not yet had the time!
One sentimental treasure from Mom, that got sent with her mail in 1985, I would like to share here.
Even though it is in Dutch, I found the English wording as well. It is below...
is de gang des tijds:
dralend komt
de toekomst nader,
pijlsnel is vervlogen
het heden,
eeuwig stil staat het verleden.
The future comes slowly, the 
present flies and the past stands still forever.
~  Friedrich Schiller on my Pinterest

Dreifach ist der Schritt der Zeit:
Zögernd kommt die Zukunft hergezogen,
pfeilschnell ist das jetzt entflogen,
ewig still steht die Vergangenheit.
~ Friedrich Schiller on my Pinterest

When I translate directly from the original German, it reads like this:
Triple is the step of time:
hesitantly the future comes up,
arrow fast the present is gone,
eternally still stands the past.

Love such sentiment!

And yes, our bathroom is DONE! So happy with it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Gratitude for Thanksgiving 2018 like the Mayflower Pilgrims 397 Years Ago

All of us have so much to be grateful for, as compared to those Mayflower Pilgrims that left Leiden, The Netherlands on July 22, 1620
Leiden, Holland click link to visit this interesting site about the Province of South Holland in The Netherlands.
Leiden American Pilgrim Museum click about the start of New England from this beautiful preserved home from 1365-1370
Where the Pilgrims settled in New England, we nowadays enjoy delicious cranberries coming from the region...

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Related links:
{Gratitude for Thanksgiving 2014 - Like the Mayflower Pilgrims in 1621} | previous post by me
Samoset 1590-1653 | information about this great Native American Diplomat!
List of Mayflower passengers | check those names of passengers that came from Leiden, South Holland in The Netherlands
Mayflower Compact | list of 41 male aboard and list of those that died at sea 

Friday, November 16, 2018

212 Countries Visited - Welcome American Samoa + UPDATE Fairmont Château Lake Louise

On November 9, my humble blog got visited by the 212th Country - American Samoa! 

According to the World Factbook, American Samoa is situated in Australia-Oceania.
 As for our renovation, bathroom is almost done, we are waiting on the glass shower door which had to be custom ordered. The threshold and safety bar need to be put in and DONE!
Bedroom painting is done also.
Office will get some painting done next.

AND a late reply from Fairmont Château Lake Louise in regard to the error about H.R.H. Princess Louise...
 From Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise via Banff to Calgary click the above link and scroll down as I've put it in.

Again an update was received on December 28, please click the above link to see the added 'corrected text's' photo!

Thanks for your visit and comment!

Related link:
211 Countries Visited - Welcome Marshall Islands  & Hurricane Michael visited us... | previous post by me

Monday, November 12, 2018

Tiggy-Tiger in her Basket + Update

About time to post something...
Well, we've had quite some weeks to live through!
Pieter had a bad bronchitis for a very long time, he's doing great again.
Got so worried...
Our tiny Tiggy-Tiger girl made me smile, we ought to learn form our felines!
She found herself a new spot to sleep in.
Pieter's Mushroom Science books are all gathered in the big box below and on top we placed an empty basket, to get it out of the way.
She LOVED it!
The above photos I took on October 26, needless to say that I was too late for capturing her sleeping...
On November 11, when I worked in my office, scanning the old letters that Pieter had found when clearing the storage space under our front porch, I slowly went over and GOTCHA!
I'd used old fashioned wooden clothes pins to fasten the flannel square (a table topper) for her to sleep on.
She's in HEAVEN.
After some lovely 3 days north of Atlanta, for a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Day and a nice Birthday Breakfast, we came home on Sunday afternoon.
That Monday the tiles of the shower and floor got taken out.
This was on Tuesday, the wall paper got removed.
NICE MESS and you ask if we got any DUST?
For ONLY 2 months this special toilet sat in its box in our hallway...
WAITING to get build in!
Those are times that you just have to put your brain on zero and move ahead.
LOOK, after only 2 months the toilet finally got placed on November 7.
So happy we now at least have our upstairs toilet again.
No more trips down the stairs into the Rose Suite.
The other bathroom is functioning as a closet space for Pieter's suits, shirts, pants.
We hung broomsticks and metal rods over the tub doors and wall unit.
Looking so much forward to CHRISTMAS for having again a spic and span home!
More relaxed days ahead.
Meanwhile I did finish the mega task of scanning additional letters.
Still need to align some scans and crop them, date them and file them away.
Have been tutoring also for the months of September and October.
Busy and that is good, time is moving rapidly that way!
But I'm sure looking forward for all renovation projects coming to an END.
Waiting on the glass for shower...
Today the faucet got placed and other things hung.

Thanks for your visit and comment - visit your blogs soon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

From Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise via Banff to Calgary

Our final day, as organized entirely by Canada Rail Vacations - bye bye Rocky Mountains!
 Also this 6th day got organized excellent!
This photo I've taken from our room 237 at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise at 7:29 in the morning.
Not quite daylight... but later that morning I felt so good for having captured this as it was rainy and rather cloudy!
The Victoria Glacier in the center is visible here.
View to the left... with still the Victoria Glacier visible to the right.
View to the right with the Painter Wing of the hotel visible.
An almost magical surrounding!
This was the early morning view from above... Finding Pieter's iPhone.
It is a huge hotel, with the Glacier Wing to the right of our Barrott Wing as well as the newest Mount Temple Wing.
We were in the BARROTT WING
Our room 237 was more than likely below room 537 in this layout...

We both felt like having half a day vacation so we stayed in and went for brunch at the POPPY BRASSERIE.
That was quite a treat and we felt pampered for not having to rush!
Check out at 1:00 PM and we had to wait still till 2:00 PM till the Brewster Express came to pick us up and brought us to Banff from where we left on a big Brewster Sightseeing bus to Calgary Airport.
Both of us found the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise rather drafty...
Constantly when the big double doors in the parkade or big entrance went open you got treated by very cold air.
Also the previous night, when we dined in the entirely open Lakeview Lounge with spectacular view but very drafty entrance around the corner.
They should learn from the Alpine style double vestibule.
So, avoiding all that draft, we went to the Lower Level of Mount Temple Wing, where no doors opened.
Here, husband Pieter even could take a nap close to the Beehive Room...
Also some time for using my MacBook...
This wing of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise also was kind of a museum, with so much on the wall to study...
Early Trails - Of Steel
Trails can also be made of steel. The railway was completed in 1885 and within a few years the Canadian Rockies culture was forever changed. Tourists came to the area, resorts and trails were built and word of this beautiful place spread to the rest of Canada, the United States and Europe.
There even hung a photo from H.R.H. Princess Louise
Princess Louise Duchess of Argyll, G.B.E., was the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, The Princess was born March 18, 1848 and lived until 1939.
She was married in 1871 to the ninth Duke of Argyll, and they had no children. The Princess was left a widow by the Duke's death in 1914
Photograph March 18, 1935

The highlighted eldest daughter of Queen Victoria is WRONG!
Princess Louise was the Queen's 4th daughter.
On September 13, blogger friend Debbie did write a blogpost about her: Princess Louise, Duchess Of Argyll and it is quite interesting to read, just click the hyperlink.
For both of us it was great information about the very hotel, named after her, we soon were going to stay on our trip through the Rocky Mountains.
But surprising to see that at the hotel they got it WRONG!
Glad to add that as of today, November 16, just received a reply about this error:
Hoping to be able to once check it out in person...!
Yay! Today, December 28, received an update about the correction on this.
Have to say that Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise provides the highest courtesy in every way!
Great customer service.

We'd booked us a room at Delta Hotels by Marriott, at the Calgary Airport.
One only needs to cross the road for entering the airport terminal - very convenient!
No photos made during the trip, except our Relive video of 1 min. 44 sec.
This was the entire trip with Brewster Sightseeing, on Express bus and large bus, just click the link below:
The next morning we got up early and it was cold!  
-3 ºC or 26.6ºF...
Departing from Calgary International airport was a breeze.
Clearing through US Customs and through Security Check went fast!

Thanks again for your visit and comment!

Related links:
Entire Day with Brewster Sightseeing from Banff to Lake Louise, Mountain Lakes & Waterfalls | previous post by me
Exploring Banff with Brewster Sightseeing | previous post by me
Our Kamloops to Banff Trip Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer via Canada Rail Vacation | previous post
Our Canada Rail Vacation Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver to Kamloops | previous post
Vancouver British Columbia, Canada in 1996 and back again in 2018 | previous post by me

Friday, November 2, 2018

Entire Day with Brewster Sightseeing from Banff to Lake Louise, Mountain Lakes & Waterfalls

Okay, we start Day 5 of our trip with Canada Rail Vacations and today that is an entire day with Brewster Sightseeing.
We get picked up in the morning at our Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and start out on our journey, lunch is included and ending at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise...
Yep, this is our final destination: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
The weather at 6:04 in the morning was 1ºC or 33.8ºF...
The maximum for the day only 6ºC or 42.8ºF
Light Snow Showers today...
At 8:15 AM in downtown Banff with beautiful light on the surrounding mountains!
Very special lanterns, in regard to heavy snowfall in winter they are kind of roofed for handling the weight.
This is where the photo got taken. Heading towards the bridge across Bow River.
Banff is only about 8,000 homes and they restrict any expansion as it is in the Banff National Park with even some Grizzly Bear residents!
Here we're crossing the Bow River...
Since we're right in the middle of Banff National Park here on the Trans Canada Highway, there are about six Wildlife Overpasses being build within the Province of Alberta.
Here we are on Lake Louise Drive
Yep, this IS Lake Louise! often known as the 'Jewel of the Rockies'
Such crystal clear glacial lakes. There were still low hanging clouds at 10:08 AM...
Now with the lake behind my back, I'm facing the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise where Pieter stands near a huge bench.
Yes, this sure was another day for indulging in my Escada down muff.
Hands free for my iPhone and it hangs around my neck on its own chain.
It was still 1ºC or 33.8ºF by 10:15 AM!
Lots of special shrubs feed wildlife such as bears, wolfs etc.
At 10:39 AM we continue on Lake Moraine Road...
A little stream running down from the mountain but it is ICE now.
At 10:47 AM we continue on Lake Moraine Road.
They don't let more traffic going uphill than available parking spaces!
In winter time this type of road is closed for traffic.
Right now it is already closed!
A couple of minutes later on Lake Moraine Road we at least get a clear view of 'part' of the mountain.
Clouds are hanging very low today.
At 10:49 AM almost near the parking lot at Moraine Lake!
This photo is taken through the side window at same spot as the above photo straight ahead.
Too bad that the clouds obstruct the spectacular view...
Being warned about the rather steep trail with steps for a fabulous view of Moraine Lake, I let Pieter go to the coffee shop and stay below... his heart is no longer up for climbing.
So here I start my Trail to Consolation Lakes...
Same spot as above but looking now ahead onto the trail where it still is level.
Clouds hanging low.
Here you can see where I was in the previous photo.
WOW, that view indeed was spectacular, minus the clouds covering the mountains surrounding Moraine Lake!
There were still people rowing in a canoe on the lake, regardless the chilly temperature.
LOVE the green glacial waters at these lakes!
Below is a short 41 seconds video from my solo Morning Hike...
    At 11:29 AM Pieter took this photo from Moraine Lake Lodge where he also found the coffee shop area, due to the unique orange colored Douglas fir being used.
At 12:10 AM back on the Trans Canada Highway and regardless of the clouds, we get a view of the surrounding mountains.
At 12:14 AM we are leaving Banff National Park in the Province of Alberta, Canada and now are entering into Yoho National Park which is in the Province of British Columbia, Canada.
Nice mountain views here!
Welcome to British Columbia, Canada!
Those mountains got a generous dusting of snow and I guess that remains there permanently.
At 12:18 we are back on the Trans Canada Highway and also in British Columbia they have added Wild Life Overpasses.
Beautiful view!
So happy that the weather has changed a little bit and at least the low hanging clouds have disappeared.
Here they are working frantically on road work that needs to be finished before winter.
Spiral Tunnels near Kicking Horse River... the very tunnels we came through when aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train.
Here you see the Kicking Horse River above the picture on the Trans Canada Highway.
Castle Mountain where the Spiral Tunnels also loop through...
Look at the beautiful yellow leaves!
This is the spot from the above photo.
At 12:37 we are in The Kicking Horse River Valley
At 12:38 we are at Natural Bridge over Kicking Horse River
Natural Bridge
Indeed, a Natural Bridge over Kicking Horse River!
Looking now to the other side of Kicking Horse River, past Natural Bridge
At 12:42 sign pointing out Mt. Stephen 3199 M or 10,495 Ft
Mt Dennis 2541 M or 8,337 Ft
At 13:19 I took this photo through the window at the restaurant for lunch at Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake view from lunch stop...
At 13:51 we walked a little bit towards the lake... Beautiful fall colors and mountain views!
Lower left in photo you still see some of the emerald green of the lake...
Emerald Lake...
Our After Lunch Walk at Emerald Lake
Our walk back to the bus, alongside Emerald Lake and over a narrow bridge, only for small and light vehicles.
Still people canoeing on the lake!
At 15:22 we start our short hike to Takakkaw Falls...
Husband Pieter near bridge on our way to Takakkaw Falls
At 15:28 we came across these Mountain signs:
Vice President 3,066 m or 10,059 ft
Michael Peak 2,695 m or 8,842 ft (just click on link to see them all...)
Cathedral Mountain 2,766 m or 9,075 ft
Takakkaw Falls are Canada's 2nd highest waterfall, plunging from above at a heights of 380 m (1,246 ft) with a 254 m (833 ft) free fall. 
Fed by the Daly Glacier above, Takakkaw Falls is at its peak in July when glacial meltwater runs freely.
The Yoho Valley access road is closed during winter due to high risk of avalanches.
Takakkaw Falls
So there is Takakkaw Falls...
Looking the other direction... Pieter standing closer to the stream, visible to the right of his shoulder.
Our driver and the tour guide had hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate for us upon return to the bus + cookies!
Brewster Sightseeing is TOP in every aspect.
At 16:24 our bus driver had to manoeuvre down these hairpin curves on the mountain road!
One curve had to be done backwards but it worked well.
There you see the hairpin curves...
BUT we sure did make it safely back to our Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for another cozy night.
Thanks to Canada Rail Vacations making such great deals for offering affordable LUXURY!
Hope you enjoyed these images of our tour through beautiful Banff and Yoho National Park.
Did you know that Banff is a UNESCO World Heritage site?
Of course I did create another Relive short video of 1 min. 59 sec.
Please do click link below:
On September 28, you bet that I did sleep tight after having been active on my feet!
Thank you for your visit and comment and stay tuned for day 6...

Yoho National Park - Takakkaw Falls, Natural Bridge, Emerald Lake - Canadian Rockies | short video
TOP 10 Tourist Attractions in CANADIAN ROCKIES.Full HD | video and we did see #s 1-3-5 and 10
Exploring Banff with Brewster Sightseeing | previous post by me
Our Kamloops to Banff Trip Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer via Canada Rail Vacation | previous post
Our Canada Rail Vacation Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver to Kamloops | previous post
Vancouver British Columbia, Canada in 1996 and back again in 2018 | previous post by me

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