Posts Tagged ‘christmas markets’

Grand Circle

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Well, like so many things in life, it’s not about what you did or saw but the people that you met along the way.

Our awesome 10 day cruise was a joy and a delight. We were pampered and over-fed, entertained, surprised, and educated.

The crew from the captain on down ran a tight ship but made sure to learn our names and something about us; starting with the waiter who knew we didn’t like coffee and brought us tea each morning, to the cabin steward who tidied around us when we were ill, to the teen choir that came on board to serenade us , and the the zany crew who found time after a long day to put on their own talent show.

My photo album from this trip will show many friends for a time, who experienced it all along with us. but for now, here’s the crew of the ‘River Harmony’.


Market Meltdown

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The nights are crispy-clear, the lights twinkle, the smell of pine, the scent of spices …add to that the tastes of bratwurst, gingerbread, mulled wine, rich chocolate, things to buy, ornaments, carvings,glittery things. This is the essence of European Christmas markets; THE place to meet, eat, gather, shop, meander, and anticipate.

Each village, town, and city have their own version and the bigger the city the more markets they have. These can be sponsored by civic groups like Kiwanis, or a church guild, or have themes such as “Angel market or “Gnome market.”

But just like that first Christmas cookie that makes your mouth water and doesn’t disappoint, the 6th to 8th cookie is not enjoyed with the same gusto.

Some of the markets seem like a carbon copy of the last one and some are just imports, some have made no effort to be unique and magical. But it’s what I came for and it has been fun…but just like after too many cookies, it’s time for a diet.


Let Advent Begin!

Saturday, November 29th, 2014



All the anticipation has been worth it.

The “Christkirdelmarik”, or Christmas/Advent markets are finally open.

The mayor or dignitary plugs in the towering Christmas tree, the oompah bands play, and the little kiosks are open to selling their handicrafts, warm drinks, chestnuts, bratwursts and just about anything you can think of. Add a ton of evergreens, twinkle lights and sweet smells and you have the recipe that inspires one to be a little kid again.

Two years ago I gave to a local thrift shop all my holiday decorations. It was very freeing. And because of my store, and all the decorating it demanded, my family gave me grace, and I haven’t put up a tree for almost 15 years! NO I am not a Grinch.

All my holidays were consumed by the flower shop and all the church music I was responsible for as organist and choir director.

This year I am decorating for Christmas in my heart by filling all my senses with the sparkle and delight of the coming of the Christ child. I have seen two markets and each was different. THE oldest one since 1570 and rated #1 is in Strasbourg. Two more days!!!

This is a once in a life time experience and I’m loving it!!