On The Go: 1993 - 2002                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

ON THE GO  1993 thru 2002

January 1993  We flew to Naples and  closed on the condo at Naples Bath & Tennis on  January 8, 1993.  We stayed until the end of the month.

Arizona 1993   In early 1993 we attended an Executive Committee at the Regency in Scottsdale. Drove up to Tucson to spend a day with Don's favorite boss Jim Bruce and his wife Beedee.  In February we attended David and Shelley's wedding at the Blacksmith Tavern in Glastonbury, CT  n February 1993   See pictures

We had then  planned to attend an actuarial meeting in Banff and go on to Whistler/Blackcomb for skiing...but Don had a double by pass  at Dartmouth/Hitchcock Hospital instead. His first warning attack of angina occurred skiing at Sugarbush with the Josephs, Kemlers, Greenmans, and Mary's buddy Sue "Flash" Gordon.

Vermont to Florida 1993  On April 4,1993, we drove south 1845 miles to our condo in Naples.  We stopped in Clifton, VA to visit Don's cousin Doris Bell, Richmond, Savannah and  Amelia Island.  In the Clearwater area we visited Dave and Fran Wakely and cousin Art and Irene Burton. We left Florida on    May 10, 1993, stopping at St. Simon's Island, visited the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC, Blue Ridge Parkway, the Sisley Exhibit in Baltimore, Garden Tour in Newcastle, stayed at Dupont Hotel, visited Brandywine, Longwood Gardens, and Winterthur.  Managed to log in 2085 miles on the return trip.

 Quebec City and Nova Scotia 1993  In June 1993 we attended an actuarial meeting in Quebec City at the Frontenac and then retraced our honeymoon with a trip around the Gaspe Peninsula followed by a few days on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia (Halifax and Peggy's Cove) and the Blue Nose Ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor, where we slept in the former viewing room of a funeral home that is now a motel. From there we visited John, Connie, and Evelyn Towne in Waterville and Karla in Harrison, Maine.

Stan Joseph is 60 in 1993   On September 12,1993  we drove to Mt Kisco,  New York to help Stan Joseph celebrate his birthday.  He attributed his long life to his "genes".  Later in September we visited Don's buddy Curt Rosser, and wife Bobbie in Orleans, MA on Cape Cod.  Curt is so happy in retirement (10 years ago at age 55) with his painting and Bobbie is very involved with the theater.

Ron and Marian Champion from Melbourne in 1993   On October 5, 1993 Ron and Marion Champion surprised us with a visit to Hubbardton, Vermont.   Ron  is President of the Institute of Actuaries in Australia and President of an insurance company in Melbourne that funds teachers retirement plans. Ron and Marion are on a trip around the world (A Safari in Africa, London, Wales, Italy, NYCity, VT, Chicago, and Hawaii).  Ron  and Marion subsequently entertained us with a  tennis "barbie" (barbeque) party with two other actuaries and their wives on Ron and Marian's backyard clay tennis court when we were in Australia in March of 1994.

New Mexico and Colorado in October 1993  Mary flew from Burlington Vermont to Albuquerque New Mexico on October 7, 1993 to tour with the Old Broads. Here she is with Brita Tate, Ilse Krisst, Pat Barry, and Cesily Singer.  Another with Rema Krisst.  Mary bought a turtle sculpture in Santa Fe.  Don met her at the Newark airport a week later on October 14, 1993.

 London and Germany 1993   In November 1993 we attended an actuarial meeting in London, England so spent some time in Europe.  In London we renewed our friendship with Pablo Noriega and his wife Amy from Mexico, flanked in this picture by  Walt Rugland and Mary Sondergeld.  We then flew to Berlin and also visited Potsdam.  Drove to Unterhaun and Oberhaun in Hesse to visit the Sondergeld relatives and flew home from Frankfurt. A nice ten days.

Mexico1994   In January 1994 we took a five day cruise to the Yucatan Peninsula from Tampa and visited "Chicken Pizza!".

 Australia and New Zealand 1994  In late February 1994 thru early April we spent three weeks in Australia  followed by  three weeks in New Zealand. We were about a week in Port Douglas spending time on the Great Barrier Reef and on a nature safari.  We then had a wonderful week with Don's cousin Neville Sondergeld and his wife Joy in Toowoomba west of Brisbane.  Queensland pics. Then beautiful Sydney where we did the lunch boat cruise of Sydney Harbor with a US actuary, Steve and his wife Janice Niehaus. We  drove from Sidney to Canberra and then through the Snowy mountains to Melbourne  where we visited Ron and Marian Champion.  We visited three state capitals: Brisbane in Queensland, Sydney in New South Wales, and Melbourne in Victoria.

We then flew to Auckland, New Zealand.  Map  We thoroughly enjoyed  one week on North Island in New Zealand and two weeks touring South Island.  On North Island we toured Auckland, saw a Maori show in Rotorua and  loved "windy" Wellington.  Then two weeks on South Island where we visited Christ Church, rode in a helicopter that landed on a glacier on Mount Cook, took a super jet boat ride in Queensland (where we also saw bungee jumping), took boat trips on both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, and saw an Albatross colony outside Dunedin.  We then flew from Christ Church to Auckland and then back home.  We liked  everything about New Zealand.  If you walk around Auckland with a question on your face, a Kiwi will come up and say "Can I help you, Mate?"  One of the few places in the world where we are not "Ugly Americans".

Don and Mary in Kuranda               Neville and Joy Sondergeld in Toowoomba

California in May 1994  We flew from Florida to California to visit David and his family for the last ten days of May.  We did the usual tourist stuff: Fisherman's Wharf, Point Lobos at Carmel, Monterey, Muir Woods, Napa Valley, and watching David parasail.

Don's Broken Ankle in June 1994  Don was playing tennis with RJ Contant, Steve Earl, and Tom Spangenberg. on the day after Mary's 60th birthday.  In attempting to drive RJ's second serve thru RJ's navel, Don's left foot did not move and the torque snapped the small bone in Don's leg requiring an operation to insert a plate and eight screws. Don was back on the court in a month with his bionic ankle.

Neville and Joy Sondergeld arrived from Australia 1994  Don met his cousin Neville at the Albany airport on July 24, 1994.  They spent a week with us sightseeing Vermont (Middlebury, Queeche, and Trapp Family Lodge near Mt Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont )and two days in Boston, where we went to a Red Sox game.  They then flew from Albany to New Orleans for three days, four to five days in Salt Lake City, four to five days to see Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon before flying home from LAX.  Australian Invasion pictures.

Germans: Herlinde, Hermann, & Alexander Eimer-Sondergeld    1994              On August 5, 1994 we met their plane at JFK and arrived back in Vermont late. We did some sightseeing in Vermont.   On August 9, 1994  Don drove his "German cousins" over the scenic  Kancamagus Highway to Conway, New Hampshire where we camped.  The next day we did the Cog Railway up Mount Washington, with dinner, at the lodge in Pinkham Notch, and camed at Covered Bridge.  The next day we camped neat Freeport, Maine and visited Pemaquid Point and Boothbay Harbor, with dinner at the Cannery in Yarmouth.  The next day we did the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine  and visited Karen and family in Beverly, MA.  Don got a ride with Karen to Vermont and the Germans  stayed in Beverly for a few days: took the train to Boston, and also visited Rockport and Gloucester. They then drove to Vermont where they did more sightseeing until August 25, 1994 when we drove them to NYC.  Stayed at the Sheraton.  The next day we took a sightseeing bus, followed by a  trip to the top of the World Trade Center.  That night we saw Carousel.  The next day we went on  a boat trip around Manhattan and visited museums .before flying back to Germany at 6:05 pm on August 27, 1994.  A lot of sightseeing in three weeks. See German Invasion 1994.

Colorado, Utah, and California 1995  In March 1995 we skied one week with Steve and Sandy Earl at Steamboat Springs.  Loved skiing with: The Over the Hill Gang.  We were even invited to their banquet.  Tom and Barb Aicher, from Rutland were also at Steamboat that week. We then flew to Salt Lake City for one week at The Peruvian Lodge at Alta skiing with Walt and Millie Rugland. Had drinks with a retired actuary, George Swick and his wife Lois at their home at Alta.  As Don had an actuarial committee meeting on elections in San Francisco, Mary flew to Vermont and Don flew to SF, where he spent a week, sightseeing SF and also skied one day at Squaw Valley and one day at Alpine Meadows before Don flew back to Burlington, Vermont.   Don and Mary in Alta, Utah

Actuarial Meeting at the Waldorf Hotel in NYC  late May 1995  Spent three days there and saw many old friends: Liz and Jim Reisktyl, Yuan and Mary Chang, Curtis Huntington, Bob and Diane Berin, Dave and Faye Holland. We saw Showboat.  One night we had dinner at the Algonquin Hotel and went to the top of the Marriott Marquis with Dave and Fran Wakely.  We also went to our favorite gay Piano Bar: "Don't Tell Mamas".  The last night Dave and Fran Wakely plus Steve and Sandy Earl had a great dinner at Rene' Pujols.  After dinner the Wakelys went to Showboat and the rest of us saw Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard.  After spending the night with Steve and Sandy Earl we drove to CT where we had lunch with David and Lois McDonald and David beat Don 6-1 on Dave's tennis court.  We spent the night with Eric and Cindy Sondergeld before returning to Vermont, thru North Adams (where we drove to the summit of Mt Greylock) and Williamstown (where we visited the lovely Clark Museum)..

Washington and Vancouver 1995   In June 1995 we flew to Seattle and then drove the Olympic Peninsula. (Quinnault Lodge, Hurricane Ridge, Port Townsend, and Bloedel Preserve on Bainbridge Island).  We booked a super whale watching trip with lunch at Friday Harbor  in the San Juan Islands. We then took a train to Vancouver and did the usual garden tours in Vancouver.       Deer on Olympic Peninsula        Orcas  

 Florida 1995  In November 1995 we met the Whitneys in Orlando (Magic Kingdom, Watermania, EPCOT, and Sea World), also visited Busch Gardens in Tampa, and then spent some time in Naples with a boat trip to Keywaydin Island.  They helped Don celebrate his 65th birthday at HBs on The Gulf.     Stan and Harriet Joseph  in Naples

Costa Rica 1996  In January 1996 Mary went with the Old Broads of West Hartford, CT to Costa Rico for a week.  Loved it. 

Sun Valley 1996  In March 1996 skied Sun Valley with Stan and Harriet Joseph.  We stayed in a tiny condo at Warm springs.  Here are some pictures of Stan and Harriet's family and friends.  We even met John & Jenny Whitney on the slopes.

Bahamas April 1996  We flew to the Great Abaco island  in the Bahamas and stayed with Mary's brother John and wife Connie Towne on their large power boat.  Here are seven pictures:  One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven

Karla's Bridal Shower at the Earl's on May 18, 1996 A nice Bridal Shower at 35 The Fairway in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Megan Donahue Bridal Shower on June 1, 1996  A nice Shower at the Davison's in West Hartford, CT.  Here are two pictures:  One  Two

ALASKA 1996   In June and July 1996 we spent three weeks in Alaska with Jack and Bev Grald and Stan and Harriet Joseph.  A super trip. We flew to Anchorage and stayed at the Copper Whale Inn. We flew to to Brooks Lodge on the Katmai Penninsula to see the bears catching salmon. 

We flew back to Anchorage and then flew to Fairbanks, where we stayed at the Cloudberry Lookout B & B, a massive lovely log building. We took a riverboat trip in Fairbanks on the Cheena River. We had breakfast with our Innkeepers, Shawn and Susie.  Next, we took a 120 mile train ride to Denali, where we stayed at the North Face Lodge, 90 miles from the train station.  We took short hikes to see wildlife, but only got occasional views of Mt Denali (Mt McKinley).  We returned to Anchorage (240 mile train ride) and again stayed at the Copper Whale Inn. 

Next was a super drive around the Kenai Peninsula.  (First we dropped Stan & Harriet at the airport, as they had done the second half of our trip first, and flew home). We drove along the beautiful  "Turnagain Arm"  south to Homer.  We stopped for lunch at Cooper Landing at the Kenai Princess Hotel, with it's terrific view, high on a bluff above the Kenai River.  We stayed in Homer at Bob & Gayle Ammeron's lovely Halcyon Heights B & B  (240 miles from Anchorage). We had dinner at Land's End on the "Spit" of land that sticks out into the Bay.  Inhabitants of the many tents pitched there, are called "Spit Rats".  The next day we took a 4.5 hour boat trip around Gull Island and saw many types of birds, including puffins.   That evening we took the "Danny J" for a one hour boat trip to Halibut Cove on an island for dinner.  The next day we drove north and had lunch again at the Kenai Princess followed by a terrific 3 hour rafting trip steered by Meryl Streep (Actually, "Leah" from Texas & Oklahoma). We then drove to Seward and stayed at Stoney Creek B & B.  The following day we boarded the Kenai Fjords Boat at 0930 and returned at 1830.  Saw glaciers, a humpback whale, eagles, steller sea lions, mountain goats, black oyster catchers, puffins, etc.  Our next day was a drive to Anchorage, stopping at 3900 foot high Mt Alyeska, a ski area with a 2100 foot vertical.  At 6:30 pm we flew 1.5 hours to Juneau.

Watched the Wimbledon final: Richard Kracjek beat Malvi Washington in straight sets.  At 11:30 am we took a 20 minute flight to Gustavus where we boarded a small boat and took a 2.5 hour tour, seeing sea otters, a humpback whale, and eagles.  We were then bused to Glacier Bay Lodge.  The next day we boarded the Spirit of Adventure at 0700, returning at 1615.  A great trip where we saw: 3 glaciers (none calving), a black bear, some brown bears, sea otters, steller sea lions, eagles, horned and tufted puffins, black winged kittywakes, raufus hummingbirds, etc. etc.  The next day we went with Bev & Jack Grald sea kayaking, with our instructor Michelle of Spirit Walker Expeditions.  Our sea kayaks had pedals to turn a rudder.  At 5 pm we flew to Juneau and stayed at the Westmark Juneau.

The following day we toured Juneau: too touristy with lots of huge tour boats.  The next day we took a bus to see the 80 foot high Mendenhall Glacier.  Small as compared with the 100 feet high glaciers at Glacier Bay and the 200 feet high glaciers in Seward (the height is measured at the foot of the glacier). At 3 pm we flew to Seattle and had a great dinner at Etta's in the Pike Street Market.  The next morning we flew to Chicago, where David, Shelley, Owen, and Kyle arrived and we all flew to Burlington.  The next day Jenny Breckenridge and David Mendenhall were married at the church in Sudbury, VT with the reception in a tent on the lawn west of the church.

 Anchorage & Brooks Lodge    Fairbanks & Denali    Kenai Peninsula     Glacier Bay & Juneau

Jenny's Wedding: July 1996  On July 13, 1996  Jenny Breckenridge and David Mendenhall were married at the church in Sudbury, Vermont.  The reception was held in a tent on the west side. Here we see  the mother and father dancing.

Karla's Wedding:  July 1996  A week later, on July 20, 1996, Karla and David Principe were married by Molly Lowden at the Lilac Inn in Brandon, Vermont.  Many pictures.

Allison's Wedding: September 1996  Attended the wedding of Allison Towne and Chris Di Matteo in Maine.  Here is Don and Mary with Mary's wicked stepmother: Evelyn Towne:

Thanksgiving 1996  Don attended his first National bridge tournament just for a few days in San Francisco.  Visited Don's fraternity brother and college bridge buddy Larry Allen and wife Caroline.  The Whitneys were also in San Francisco so Karen and David and their families were also invited to have Thanksgiving dinner at Anne and Wells Whitney's home in Sonoma Valley.

Germany Austria Italy in 1997  In February and March 1997 we visited Germany, Austria, and Italy.  We flew to Frankfurt, visited the Roessels (Jane Sondergeld Roessel from Australia), the Ronnaus in Marburg, the Sondergelds in Unterhaun and Oberhaun, and the Sondergelds in Munich. We met Steve and Sandy Earl there.  Peter Sondergeld went with us for a skiing week that started in Garmisch, Germany and Innsbruck, Austria and ended in Cortina, Italy. When we were in Garmisch we went to dinner and a yodeling show in Partenkirchen, where Don astonished everyone by volunteering to play a huge "alpenhorn".  We had a very expensive (and not good) dinner with the Earls at Harry's Bar in Venice before they flew home.  We then toured the lovely, but small, Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and the nearby glass blowing island.  We then toured  Florence, San Gimignano, Pisa, Portofino, San Remo, Monte Carlo, Aosta, Lake Como and Verese.  Returned from Milano.       Sophie Sondergeld and Heinrich Schott in Oberhaun Germany              Peter Sondergeld in Italian Alps        Here is  a Slide Show of the pictures.

Houseboat Trip on Lake Champlain August 1997  On August 7, 1997 we had a pre 40th wedding anniversary party by renting a houseboat at Plunder Bay on Lake Champlain.  There were 17 of us wearing T shirts that said Happy 40th August 3, 1997 with two smiling faces.  The 17 sleeping at Beebe are Don and Mary, five children, four spouses, and six grandchildren (Zach, Erin, and Alexei had not been born yet).

Wyoming and Idaho 1997  In the summer of 1997 we flew to Salt Lake City and visited Jackson Hole, Wyoming and went rafting on the Snake River.  We then stayed at the beautiful Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, and toured Yellowstone for a few days. We then went to Sun Valley for Richard Joseph's wedding to Maggie at Trail Creek.  We also took a glider ride over Mt Baldy.          Don and Mary Rafting on the Snake              Mary in Yellowstone    

Gordon River early 1998  The Breckenridges and Morans visited us in Naples, Florida.  We took a boat trip on the Gordon River to Keywadin Island.

Skiing and bridge March 1998  In March 1998 we skied in Sun Valley with Stan and Harriet Joseph and then stayed at Chinquapin in Tahoe City with David and family and skied Tahoe (North Star, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Heavenly Valley)..  We then went to a bridge tournament for two days in Reno and with Mary's help and two ladies from Prince George, British Columbia, Don became a Life Master in bridge.

Anna Hetrick is 100 March 1998  On Friday March 27, 1998 Don and Mary flew from Burlington, Vermont to Cleveland, Ohio, rented a car and returned the following Thursday. We stayed with brother Ralph and June in Sandusky, Ohio.  On Saturday March 28, 1998 went to Aunt Anna Kinsel Hetrick's 100th birthday celebration.  There were 90 attendees including all living nephews (except Bob Kinsel) and nieces. The Mayor of Port Clinton declared this day Anna Hetrick Day and gave her a plaque.  Anna also received letters from President Bill Clinton and the Governor of Ohio.              Anna's 100th              Anna and Otto

Don and Mary also visited Kelly's Island to see the lot Ralph is planning to build on.  We also visited Anna in Port Clinton and Uncle Lester Sondergeld in Genoa, Ohio.  Also visited Uncle Otto Kinsel in Bellevue, Ohio.  He cooked lunch for us.  Then Mary won two games, and Otto won one game of pinochle.  We visited with George and Pete Andrews in Oberlin, Ohio and drove them to the Cleveland airport.  Their plane to San Francisco was at the gate next to ours.  We flew to Ft Myers, Florida.

Turkey & Greece  Spring 1998   Mary went to Turkey and the Greek Isles with the Old Broads...loved Turkey. 

Scandanavia, Russia, Rome  June 1998  The name Scandinavia comes from the Skandage body of water that lies sandwiched between Norway, Sweden, and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark.  We went to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia (St Petersburg and Moscow). We also had a stopover for a day and a half in Rome. Our tour guide, Frits, was absolutely terrific. 

Denmark June 1998  We spent three nights at the Scandic Hotel in Copenhagen, which is on the large island of Zealand (or Seeland). Toured the beautiful city, which included a canal trip, changing of the guard at Amelienburg Palace, and viewing the Little Mermaid. We learned all Danish Kings are called either Christian or Edward. We took a day trip to Elsinore and visited Kronborg (Hamlet's) Castle, drove by Fredensborg (Peace) Castle and visited Fredriksborg Castle..  We left Copenhagen driving west and went over the second longest bridge in the world and stopped in Odense and visited the home of Hans Christian Anderson. We then drove to the Jutland Penninsula and spent the night in Randers at the Hotel Randers. Our next stop was in Ribald which had lovely old houses with thatched roofs.  Saw many windmills that produce 60% of Denmark's power.  We then took a three hour ferry from Fredrikshavn across the Baltic Sea to Gothenburg Sweden and took a five hour bus trip to Oslo Norway.      Here is a SLIDE SHOW OF DENMARK

Norway June 1998  We stayed at the Royal Christiana Hotel in Oslo. We visited Frogner Sculpture  Park and viewed the bronze and granite sculptures that represented mankind from fetus to death.  Very moving.   The park covers 80 acres and features 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland who personally sculpted every figure out of clay and individual craftsmen were contracted to fabricate the pieces into what they are today.  Then did a city tour and visited the National Gallery and saw "The Scream" by Edward Munch. Visited two museums on  the Bygdoy Peninsula: Thor Hyererdahl's Kon-Tiki Museum (boats made of papyrus and balsa wood) and the Viking Ship Museum (three ships from the 9th century dug out of blue clay in the Oslo Fjord). We then left Oslo and drove to Gol where we had lunch and then crossed the Hardangar Fjord on a ferry and then drove up 13 hairpin turns to Hotel Stahlheim.  The next day we took a boat ride on the Sognefjord, Norway's largest fjord. Terrific views. We drove through the Vang Lake district and then stayed at the hotel at the Beito Ski Area. Don loved the paintings in the hotel by local artist Grete Marit Mork. See See page 20-21 of http://ferieinorge.dk/downloadsektion/kunstguiden_2007.pdf  The next morning Mary swam 38 laps in the Olympic sized pool.  We then drove to Lillehammer, site of the 1994 Winter Olympics. There we watched ski jumpers land on green plastic.  Our tour bus then crossed into Sweden.  Did not have a passport check.  Here is a SLIDE SHOW OF NORWAY.

Sweden June 1998  We arrived in Mora on Saturday June 20 at 6 pm. We stayed at Hotel Mora beside a lake. As this is the eve of the summer solstice, we saw a May Pole, two carnivals, many antique American cars, and cars and boats decorated with birch leaves.  Much partying and there was a line to get into the disco at our hotel. We departed Mora in the morning.  First stop was in Nusnas, where the Dala Horses are made, and then on to Upsala and visited the University and the Lutheran Cathedral. Arrived in Stockholm and stayed in the Scandic Park Hotel. The next day we took a City tour.  We visited the hall where the Nobel Prizes are awarded.  We took a ferry to the Tivoli and visited the Vasa Museum, which houses the huge Vasa warship that sunk in 1628 due to insufficient ballast.  The next morning we took a boat trip through  some canals, as Stockholm is on 14 islands. In the afternoon we went through the National Gallery.  We then boarded a ship to Helsinki Finland at 5 pm.  Had a sumbuffet with free beer and wine.  Played four rubbers of bridge with the Schlenders, won by the girls.  We then went to the discotheque and danced until 11 pm.  The boat trip was smooth over the Baltic Sea.  The harbor in Helsinki is beautiful.  We had breakfast and debarked about 9 am.      Here is a SLIDE SHOW OF SWEDEN.      

Finland June 1998  We boarded a Finnish bus in Helsinki at 9 am for a City Tour of Helsinki.  We enjoyed the visit to a stunning modern Lutheran Church inside a rock with a young woman playing Chopin on a Steinway piano. We moved our clocks ahead one hour. We then drove to the Russian Border and spent an hour in two lines, one to show our passports and one to show our Visas.  Then on to St. Petersburg.    Here is a SLIDE SHOW OF FINLAND.  

 Russia July 1998 We noted the unpainted houses in need of repair, poorly dressed people, and many pot holes in the road to St. Petersburg. We drove through towns with huge apartment buildings, built in the 1980's, that appeared to be falling apart. We also saw a number of Jaguars and Mercedes, likely owned by the Mafia. We moved our clocks ahead another hour (so we are 8 hours ahead of Vermont). St. Petersburg is beautiful with its canals, boulevards, and classical buildings that are elegant from afar.  Up close they are in great need to be repaired.  We stayed in a huge hotel.  Had dinner in the hotel at 9:30 pm. 

The next morning we visited The Hermitage, one of the world's greatest museums. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermitage_Museum  The Hermitage is a palace built by Peter The Great in the 18th century.  After lunch we took a City Tour, the highlight of which was St. Isaac's Cathedral that is now a museum so the upkeep can be paid by admission fees. Before dinner we visited the Palace of Tzar Nicholas to watch a terrific Russian song and dance group. We had a late dinner at our hotel.

The next morning we visited Peterhof whose palace and gardens were laid out by Peter The Great.  It is referred to as Russia's Versailles.  We had lunch of mystery meat at a hotel and then went to the Peter and Paul Fortress.  The Fortress was also built by Peter The Great. In the middle of the fortress stands the impressive Peter and Paul Cathedral, the burial place of all the Russian Emperors and Empresses from Peter the Great to Alexander III. A tomb is being prepared for Tzar  Nicholas II and his family whose bones were recently confirmed by DNA  testing.  After more mystery meat for dinner, we went to the Alexandrisky Theater to see the Russian Ballet perform "Giselle".  Lovely!  The next morning we walked to the War Memorial and then visited the five star Hotel Europa.  We saw a Communist Party Rally before boarding our train to Moscow MOCKVA).

The train left St Petersburg at 5 pm and arrived in Moscow at 9:30 pm. We passed through many small villages that appeared to have no cars, with people living off the land. We were whisked to the Cosmos Hotel and had "shutkaker" meat balls for dinner.  In bed at 12:30 am.   Moscow The next morning we visited Red Square: Saint Basil's Cathedral and Lenin's Tomb. Don in Moscow We then visited the Tretyakov Gallery, the National Gallery of Russia.  The next morning we returned to Red Square and walked around.  Bought a Moscow Bear for Aleksey.  After a quick supper we went to the one ring Moscow Circus.  It was splendid...espectially the tumblers and acrobats. That evening, at our guide Fritz's suggestion, we went to the bar in our hotel and watched the "dollar girls" pick up johns.  In bed by midnight.  The next morning we had a "subway tour" of the Metro and saw historic mosaics, stained glass windows, frescos, and statues.  We then took an 80 minute bus ride to the airport, arriving 4 hours in advance of our flight to Milan and then to Rome (which departed 45 minutes late).  We arrived in Rome at 11:45 pm (1:45 am in Moscow).         Here is a SLIDE SHOW OF RUSSIA.  

Italy July 1998  We arrived at the Sheraton in Rome rather late.  The next morning we took a taxi to the Vatican and got in a line to visit the Sistene Chapel. Michelangelo's ceiling is stunning and timeless. We then went to St Peter's Square and saw the Pope from afar giving a sermon. After lunch we visited St Peter's Basilica which stands on the site where Peter - the apostle who is considered the first pope - was crucified and buried. St. Peter's tomb is under the main altar and many other popes are buried in the basilica as well. Originally founded by Constantine in 324, St. Peter's Basilica was rebuilt in the 16th century by Renaissance masters including Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini. A highlight was viewing Michelangelo's Pieta.  After seeing the changing of the Swiss Guards at the Vatican we took a bus to the Collosseum originally the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical structure in the centre of the city.  It was  the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. We flew from Rome to Newark to Burlington.  After various delays, arrived in Hubbardton at 1:15 am on July 3.      Here is a SLIDE SHOW OF ROME ITALY.

California & Tahoe February 1999   We were with David and Shelley  in San Francisco and skied at Lake Tahoe (Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and charming Homewood).

Meribel France March 1999  We spent one week skiing in Meribel, and two weeks touring in Provence.  The Eterlou Hotel in Meribel was right near the lift. We had dinner most nights with new friends from Quebec: Denis and Helene Cote.  March 4, 1999  Flew from Burlington to Newark.  After a 4 hour wait, left at 1730 arriving Paris 0630. Left Paris 1100 and arrived Lyon at 1230. a long day! March 5, 1999  Rented a Renault at 1430 and drove 100 miles to Meribel and checked into Eterlou Hotel at 1700 hours. March 6, 1999  Met Deni & Elane Cote from the Mount Orford, QE area at breakfast.  Don rented parabolic skis and had a great day of skiing.  Mary bought an alarm clock and took a swim in the Olympic pool (48 laps - 2/3 of a mile).  March 7, 1999  Rented skis for Mary. Skied down to Courcheval and had lunch.  Had dinner with Deni & Elane. March 8, 1999  We skied down to Altiport and had lunch there.  Mary went back for a swim in the afternoon and Don skied.  March 9, 1999  Mary took the day off and went swimming.  Don skied at Val Thorens.  Had dinner with Elane & Deni. March 10, 1999  Don & Mary skied to Saint Martin and had lunch there. Mary went swimming in the afternoon and Don continued to ski.  we had dinner with Deni & Elane. March 11, 1999  Had breakfast with Elane & Deni. Don and Mary had lunch at the Altiport area.  Again Mary swam in the afternoon while Don skied.  Had cocktails at the piano bar and also dinner with Deni & Elane. March 12, 1999  don skied with Deni and his hockey coach friend.  Dwe met Mary and Elane for lunch on the deck of our hotel.  We then left Meribel after a terrific week of sking "The Three Valleys". We spent the night at Chateau de la Commanderie 5miles south of Grenoble, about 80 miles from Meribel.  Here is  a SLIDE SHOW OF MERIBEL.


Provence, France March 1999  Provence was fantastic: We toured with Steve and Sandy Earl one week meeting them at Chateau des Alpilles in St Remy. We then saw the Roman Amphitheater in Arles, Le Baux, lunch at Oustau Le Maumaniere, Palace of Popes in Avignon ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palais_des_Papes ), Chateau Neuf-di-Pape, Orange, Pont du Garde, stayed at Les Marronniers in La Brugiere run by two terrific gay men                              ( http://www.lesmarronniers.biz/en/house.html ), Uzes, Nimes, Gordes, Roussillon, Aix, Grimaldi Chateau, Mougins, Cannes, and the last night with the Earls at Chateau de Vergiers outside Marseille.  The Earls then flew home from Marseille.

We continued touring for another week in Provence: La Bastide de Moustiers in Moustiers was terrific, the Grand Canyon of Verdun, perfume factory in Grasse, Le Moulin in Mougins, Pourriers, Vauvenargues, Lourmarin, L' Isles la Sorgue, Fontanne de Vancluse, back to Roussillon and David's Restaurant, Glanum's Roman Ruins, Van Gogh asylum in St Remy.  We flew  home from Marseille.Our album lists: Chateau La Commanderie in Grenoble, Valence, Abenas, Gorges de L Ardeche, Chateau des Alpilles in St Remy, Roman Amphitheater in Arles, Le Baux, Lunch at Oustau Le Baumaniere, Castle at Tarascon, Palace of Popes in Avignon, Chateau Neuf-du-Pape, Orange, Pont du Garde, Les Marronniers in La Brugiere, Uzes, Nimes and Musee Carre, Dinner with Two Monsieurs, Uzes, Cavaillon, Gordes, Roussillon, Chateau La Pauline in Aix, Cezanne Museum, Cezanne Studio, Antibes and Picasso Museum in Grimaldi Chateau, Le Manoir de L' Etang in Mougins, Cannes, La Gruppi for lunch in St Maxime(across from Sat Tropez), Chateau de Vergiers in St Martin,Marseille airport, La Bastide de Moustiers in Moustiers, Grand Canyon of Verdun, Perfume factory in Grasse, Le Moulin de Mougins in Mougins, Pourriers, Vauvenargues, Lourmarin, Borges, beautiful Buoux, Hotellierie du Prieure in Bonnieux, L' Isles la Sorgue, Fontanne de Vancluse, red ochre cliffs and David's restaurant in Roussillon, Glanum Roman Ruins and Van Gogh asylum in St Remy, Vieux Port and lunch in Marseille, Chateau Auberge Borrelly in Calas, returning from Marseille."

Here is a picture of us in Aix:

Here is  a SLIDE SHOW OF PROVENCE.     Mary in the Alps       Mary the Gourmand

Africa 1999  June 1999 we booked a two week Safari to Kenya and Tanzania. We flew into and out of Nairobi, Kenya staying at the Safari Park Hotel.  We generally stayed two nights at one hotel and did safaris and travel to the next location. The first stop was a night at "The Ark" where we could view animals from our room.  We stopped at the equator and watched water swirling clockwise and counter clockwise only 50 feet from the equator, where there was no swirl.  William Holden's Mt Kenya Safari Club was terrific where we took nature walks with two armed guards to protect us from animals.

We flew from Nanyuki  air strip to Massai Mara, staying at a tented Mara Intrepids Club.  The accommodations were great and this was the only unrestricted area, as  our driver could drive anywhere. We visited a Massai village, where the houses are made from dung, children were fly infested, and for protection, their cattle are driven each night into the center of the area surrounded by their huts and a stick fence.  So the entire area was paved in cow plops. Flew to Nairobi for lunch at the Norfolk Hotel.  We then drove towards Kilimanjaro and stayed at the Amboseli Serena Lodge.  Then to Tanzania into the Great Rift Valley and stayed at Lake Manyara Serena Hotel.  Next stop was the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge and a drive into the  Ngorongoro Crater.  We then journeyed to Serengeti thru the Olduvai Gorge, and stayed at the Serengeti Serena Lodge.  We then flew home from Nairobi.  We took a lot of pictures.  The film and developing cost us about $400.  Now we don't use film with the advent of the digital camera.

African Dancers             Don and Mary at a Watering Hole

Bavarian Invasion 1999  On August 2, 1999 we met Peter, Gregor, and Lucas Sondergeld from Munich and Gregor's friend Mike Wallner at the Newark airport.  Drove into NYC  and went up into the World Trade Cener to view the city before crashing at a Days Inn on 8th. 

The next day we did the Guggenheim, Times Square, a three hour boat tour around Manhattan, and drinks at the revolving cocktail lounge at the top of the Marriott Marquis.

The next day we drove to Old Saybrook, Connecticut  for a swim in the Atlantic at Megan and Bruce Roarick's. Here are Megan and Bruce and family.

We arrived in Hubbardton, Vermont at 11 pm.

The next few days we relaxed at camp but managed to climb Eagle Rock.  We then climbed Camel's Hump.  Mike got separated from us, took a wrong turn, and went down a trail on the west side of the mountain. David Sondergeld had his cell phone and went down the west side to find Mike.  We went down the east side to our car, and called Mary who told us David had found Mike and where to meet them.  Otherwise a nice day. Then more days at camp, with Gregor becoming a "turtle". The Germans visited Ft Ticonderoga one day and met as at the Dog Team Tavern north of Middlebury for dinner.

On August 11, 1999 we rented a houseboat on Lake Champlain at Plunder Bay.  there were 14 of us: Don & Mary, four Germans, four  Sondergelds from CA, Karen and her three children.  Mike made as a "Schweinfest" for dinner: pork loin, red cabbage, and dumplings.  The next few days included Pico's Alpine Slide, a Concert On The Green in Castleton, horseback riding at Pond Hill Ranch, an over night visit to Montreal, and unsuccessful water skiing at Lake George where only Gregor got above the surface for a short distance.  Gregor turned 15 on August 17, 1999 and celebrated it with a "thanksgiving" dinner with turkey, etc. 

The next day Don took the Germans camping. We drove over  the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire where Lucas slipped and slightly sprained his wrist at Rocky Gorge. We camped in North Conway, New Hampshire  along the Saco River.  We then drove thru Crawford Notch to the Bretton Woods Mt Washington Hotel and to Pinkham Notch for dinner at the Appalachian Club.  We then shopped and had lunch in  Freeport, Maine and took a 2.25 hour Harbor Tour of Boothbay Harbor on a 65 foot sailboat.  Put our tents up in the dark at a campground 4 miles from Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  The next day we had breakfast in Damriscotta, stopped in Camden, then visited Perry's Nuthouse, and camped at Somes Sound View Campground on Bar Harbor, Maine.  Drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain and then did the Loop Road visiting Thunder Hole and the Germans swam at Sand Beach.

The next day we drove to Karen's in Sudbury, MA.  We stopped in Freeport, ME to purchase shoes for Lucas, and the Germans took a brief swim at Old Orchard Beach.  Next, Don dropped them at one end of the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME  and picked them up a mile later at the other end.. Mary had arrived at Karen's yesterday so Don, Mary, Karen and the three grandchildren and the Germans visited Boston, MA the next day: a Duck Tour, Boylston Street for lunch, Quincy Market, top of John Hancock building, and riding on the T.  The next day was "beach day" at Gloucester, MA.  Drove to Vermont the next day to relax.  for two days.  Lucas has become a good sailor.  On Friday August 27,1999 Mike Wallner became a turtle and was awarded his turtle pin.  We then drove to Newark, NJ airport so the Germans could fly home after a 25 day visit.

Here are some pics of the Bavarian Invasion.

New York  August 1999  On August 27, 1999 Don and Mary stayed at a Best Western on 48th between 8th and Broadway after driving to Newark yesterday.   As Karen and family are at the Marriott Marquis the seven of us went to "Tickets" and bought tickets to see Cathy Rigby as Peter in "Peter Pan" followed by cocktails at the top of the Marriott.  The next day Don and Mary drove home to Vermont, stopping in Saratoga Springs to see the Travers.

California October 1999  On October 10, 1999 we flew to San Francisco for ten days.  We stayed two nights at the Marriott at the Society of Actuaries annual meeting and its 50th anniversary.  Attended a black tie dinner where Tony Bennett sang and a Harbor Boat tour.  Met David and Fran Wakely and son Steve (also an actuary) at the actuarial reception.  We also had dinner with Larry Allen (whose wife Caroline died of cancer last year), Don's fraternity brother and college bridge partner. Then a week with David and Shelley visiting Monterey, Carmel, Point Lobos, a trip to Angel Island, and watching David parasail.

Skiing 2000  In February and March 2000, we had a week of skiing at Mt Tremblant north of Montreal, and then skied one week with David and Karen and their families at Lake Tahoe, followed by ten days of super skiing at Sun Valley, staying with Stan and Harriet Joseph.

North Carolina  March  2000  Erin Salvia Principe was born on March 8, 2000.  We flew to Durham to see her on March 23.  Mary stayed 10 days before fling to Florida.  Don left three days earlier so he could play bridge in Ft Lauderdale.

Lester Sondergeld April 2000  Don's Uncle Lester was born on July 19, 1904 and died on April 13, 2000, three months shy of his 96th birthday.  Don flew from Florida to the funeral and got to see brother Ralph, cousin Nita Chambers and husband Joe, cousin Blanche Batesole and family plus some of his mothers family: Uncle Otto Kinsel and cousin Bob Hetrick and wife Janet.  Also visited George and Pete (Marlene) Andrews briefly in Oberlin before returning to Florida from Cleveland..

Equador and Peru  May 2000  We had one week in Equador in the Amazon Rain Forest and visited the Achuar Indians discovered only 30 years ago.  The following eight days in the Galapagos Islands were truly outstanding (perhaps the most interesting place we ever visited).  We next spent one  week in Peru, also wonderful: visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu (The lost City of The Incas) . Here are some terrific pictures of Equador and the Amazon and Galapagos Islands and its uniqueness  and Peru and beautiful Cusco and Machu Picchu.. We forgot to take our driver's licenses so ended up taking a $260 cab ride from Miami airport back to Naples, Florida.  Here is Don near the South Gate of Machu Picchu:

Don was 70 in November 2000  We had a birthday celebration at the Naples Bath and Tennis Club (NBTC) attended by 45 people: brother Ralph, our children and grandchildren (except Ryan, Sara, and Caitlin) plus the Josephs, Friedlanders, Ed Rhode, and other friends from NBTC. 

        See 70th Celebration

California & Tahoe February 2001  We visited David, Shelley, Owen, and Kyle in SF and skied at Lake Tahoe (Homewood, Alpine Meadows, and Squaw Valley). 

France, Spain, & Portugal March 8 thru 28, 2001   SEE A SLIDE SHOW  A great three weeks: Two days in Geneva, four days skiing in Val d Isere, five days in Paris, four days in Basque Country in Northern Spain (beautiful Hondarribia and the Guggenheim in Bilbao  Don's Sweet Tooth  Hondarribia Dining      Hondarribia View        Guggenheim       Guernica Picture)

Then five terrific sunny days in the beautiful Algarve of Southern Portugal  A super trip! We loved the Algarve and dined at Vila Joya http://www.vilajoya.com/eng/index.php  in Albufeira and spent two nites at Dolly Schlingensiepen's Casa Tres Palmeiras in Portimao. http://casatrespalmeiras.com/gallery  Dolly, her villa, and the beach below were terrific.

Mary and Dolly    Beach below Dolly's    Sailing in Portugal    Land's End in Portugal


Delaware May 2001  In late May we drove to Wilmington, DE and stayed at the beautiful Hotel Du Pont and attended the formal wedding of John Contant and Betsy Ruttenberg.  Also visited Longwood Gardens, Shipley's Rockwood Estate, Nemours, and Hagley Museum. 

Anna Hetrick: June 2001  On June 25 we drove to Niagara Falls, had lunch in Niagara On The Lake, and slept on the Canadian side.    The next day we drove to Oberlin, Ohio and ha d lunch with George and "Pete" Andrews. We arrived in Sandusky at 4 pm on June 26 to help celebrate Ralph's 68th birthday.  We took a ferry to Kelly's Island, had dinner at the Island House, and spent the night at Ralph and June's house on the island.  June returned to Sandusky the next morning to work, but we spent another night on Kelly's with Ralph.  Took the ferry back the next day to visit  Dulcy Stark in Fremont and were saddened to see her husband Richard dying of cancer. We then returned to Kelly's Island for the night.  The next day we took the ferry to Marblehead and drove to Belleview and Don's Uncle Otto Kinsel and his son Bruce.  Stopped at Aunt Anna Kinsel  Hetrick's grave and noted the tombstone needs to be fixed.  She was born on March 27, 1898 and died earlier this month on June 9, 2001. Her date of death is listed as 1 9 _  _ , as she assumed she would die before 2000 when the stone was purchased. Also visited with her son Bob and Janet Hetrick before returning to Kelly's.  The next day we took the ferry to Marblehead and visited with June Sondergeld  before she went to work. Aunt Anna was 103 years old.

Canada June 2001  On June 30, we took the 2:30 pm ferry from Sandusky, Ohio to Pelee Island, Ontario to the Canadian mainland, arriving at 6:30 pm. We spent the night in London, Ontario. Saw the Tall Ships in Kingston the next day which was Canada Day (July 1).We had lunch in Gananoque followed by an hour boat trip thru the 1000 Islands. Crossed into New York at Ogdensburg, had dinner in Keene Valley, drove thru Lake Placid, and  arrived at Beebe Pond at 10 pm.

Toronto & Vermont July 2001  In July 2001 Don flew to Toronto for 12 days to play in a National Bridge Tournament.  Did not do as well as he had hoped, but still picked up over 30 points.Vermont  In mid August our entire family was at our lake in Vermont: David, Amy, and Karla for over a week, Karen for five days, and Eric for three days.

New York City August 2001 In late August we attended  the wedding of John Earl and Julie Katz at The Russian Tea Room in NY City and saw Kiss Me Kate.

North Carolina & New York City December 2001  In flying to Vermont from Florida,...via NC,  we visited Karla, David, Zach, and Erin Principe in Durham, NC.  In mid December we joined Woody and Marjorie Friedlander in NY City at the Broadway Inn and saw four shows, including The Producers, which was excellent.

Tahoe, Sun Valley, Arizona, & New Mexico February 2002  In late February and early March 2002 we skied with Karen and David and their families in Tahoe, staying at the Chinquapin Resort just north of Tahoe City.  David and family stopped there on their way back from the Olympics in Salt Lake City.  We then flew to Sun Valley, and stayed with Stan and Harriet Joseph...Don skiing his favorite mountain.  Don had a Bridge Tournament the first week of April in Ft Lauderdale. So, Mary went with Brita Tate to Arizona and New Mexico, visiting the Grand Canyon, Georgia O Keefe's Ghost Ranch, Mary Sarty in Santa Fe, etc.

San Francisco and Oregon May 2002   In late May, we flew to SF and spent four days with David, Shelley, Owen, and Kyle.  We then drove up the California Coast to Mendocino where our rental car developed an ignition problem.  It could not have occurred at a more beautiful spot.  The movie Murder She Wrote was filmed in Mendocino (Cabot's Cove, Maine).  Our next night on the beautiful northern coast of California was in Trinidad.  We then drove to Grant's Pass in Oregon and took  a jet boat trip thru Hellgate on the Rogue River.  Next we went to the outstandingly beautiful Crater Lake.  Then back to the Oregon Coast and Reedsport.  The next day was especially nice:  Dune Buggy ride in Florence, Sea Lion Caves, and the Heceta Head Lighthouse.  We stayed in Lincoln City and then drove to Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge.  Three climbers were killed two days before we arrived...but we had no climbing plans.  We then drove along the Columbia River Gorge to Portland, and flew to Burlington Vermont the next day.  A nice two weeks.             

Don and Mary at Crater Lake           Don and Mary in a Dune Buggy


August 2002  wedding anniversary  Our children surprised us with a 45th wedding anniversary party at the Clubhouse at the golf course in Middlebury, Vermont.   Dinner and dancing was included.

45th Wedding Anniversary Picture

New York City December 2002  In December 2002 we went to NYC  with Woody and Margery Friedlander for five days of theater.




This site was last updated 05/31/17