Laura421's Guestbook

8th October 2018

We were just there
Same experience as you with Swan Lake. But there was an orchestra of mandolins that was EXCELLENT! Are you with Road Scholar or another group?
8th October 2018

St. Petersburg Unveiled
Hello dear Eve, This time I took a chance and went with Trafalgar (through Grand European Travel, GET) as they were the only company I could find that travelled to Finland, Moscow, and Belarus along with St. Petersburg and the Baltic States. I'm so glad I did as it was an excellent tour! I hope all is well with you both.
5th October 2018

Russia & Fourteen Islands
We are finally home after a very unusual summer. We had the bear appear 4 different times with his last after we used a bear banger (the noise always scares them). We had an enormous amount of smoke from the over 1,000 fires in the provence (BC in Canada), and a ban on any campfire. We have been coming to Fir Lake (an hour from Williams Lake (7 hours north of Vancouver) for 15 years with about the same 10 couples returning yearly, It was like a family with pot lucks & card games nightly. Several have died (one being only 69), several very sick, others just couldn't make it. (7 made it off & on over the summer & our kids always come for a week & Dave's brother came for a week.) Earlier we went to Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan in Central Asia for 2 weeks. It was truly a surprise & we loved every minute in this undiscovered area. It was clean & the people so very nice. The architecture was amazing with large beautiful byzantine buildings. Genghis Khan settled here and the people have Asian appearances. . We are trying to get settled, but it's difficult being away since May. I'm continuing to digitize my slides (12,000 down & the same to go). Our 28 yr. old grandson decided to go after his masters & will be living with us as we're only 5 miles from Arizona State U. I'm trying to make room for him in our spare room (which I store everything I am working on). Always interested in your Blogs & we've done Russia twice & could go many times more.
From Blog: Fourteen Islands
3rd August 2018

Just now we’re in Canada. Have had several unfortunate bear encounters (just scared me). One tried to enter our trailer at 6:00 am through our front window. We have tinted glass on our window by our bed and it looked like a giant hole. He tried to bang on the window to break in. I grabbed our horn (for scaring him) and he just jumped down from the tongue of our trailer and meandered off. The next time several days later he attacked Dave’s pontoon boat while we were sleeping and it sunk on just one side and he went in the water. He bit the boat and half of it deflated. Dave patched it and is fishing again. Enjoyed your blog, as usual. We always do Free Tour s by Foot. Well worth it!
From Blog: Fourteen Islands
29th July 2018

Scandinavia and the missing umlaut
It’s unusual to find well-written blogs without pictures – but it was the words ‘Lillehammer’ and ‘Cosmos’ that caught my eye, rather than photos, which compelled me to read your recent missives. Many moons ago, I spent more than 35 years in the UK holiday industry. I organised many group skiing tours to Lillehammer and have visited beautiful Norway on many occasions. Cosmos was well-known as an inexpensive tour operator owned by the wealthy Mantegazza family in Switzerland. I didn’t realise the company was still in existence. I now know that, having been sold at one stage and the Cosmos name being discontinued, the family later bought the name back and are once again operating ‘If it’s Tuesday, this must be…’ tours. Now that you’ve given the tour director a deserved kick in the backside, I’m sure you’ll continue to enjoy your Scandinavian tour. Oh, and you might find an umlaut hidden on your computer. Compose your blog in a word-processing program and pressing Ctrl + Shift + : (colon) together, releasing those keys and typing a letter ‘o’ should give you an umlaut – and you too could then enjoy lördagsgodis!* Keep smiling! *You'd then have to copy and paste your text into your blog as it doesn't seem possible to compose the special symbols while in the TravelBlog editor.
29th July 2018

Danke, Mike!
27th July 2018

Tour groups
My sister and I are looking to do the Scandavian countries next year. Want to go on a tour. Interested in seeing how RS was. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
26th July 2018

I loved reading this blog entry especially the part about the man that you and Bill talked with. The U.S. could do so much more to provide and care for its citizens. Norway is a good example of what can be done to "promote the general welfare." Hugh and I will be traveling to Norway in November in search of the Aurora Borealis. It is through Road Scholar. Your tales of traveling with Cosmos make me appreciate RS even more.
26th July 2018

I had the same experience with Globus.
I used it because Grand circle does a cruise experience with stops. I thought I wanted more land time. Our guide was horrible. We also spent around $1000 for optionals that should have been included. I called Grand Circle/OAT when I got home and told them I had made a huge mistake and would never do it again.
26th July 2018

Wonderful writing as always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Copenhagen and Cosmos! Your writing is, as always, fantastic!
24th July 2018

SOOO happy to hear you are back on the road where you excel..and where now you will be mistaken for a native I bet. I look forward eagerly to your upcoming posts. Have a little herring and think of me. All love karin
2nd July 2018

We actually went there on a cruise. We rented a car and headed for the famous falls. Traffic was stopped due flooding from the rain. We were advised by the locals to return the car as it was dangerous driving in parts of town trying to avoid the flooding. Glad you had good experiences getting around except waisted time.
1st July 2018

Ohhh that's a great post. And your kids sounds lovely, especially your youngest. She sounds so adventurous and active and exciting! 😊
26th May 2018

Writing Skill
You write in a very personable way describing observations and experiences as you have them but also in a very informative way. I could picture myself there with you.
23rd May 2018

Happy Birthday
What an unusual and memorable way to celebrate a birthday. I'm a little late in reading your biog since I've was preparing my house for spring and my trip to Iceland. My computer will not let me download my photos so I need to wait until I get home to share photos and comments about my tour.
16th May 2018

I just enjoy whatever you choose to write. We leave for Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan Monday. We've had so many issues that travel isn't first on our minds. This is an exciting trip, but we are preoccupied with health issues now which includes our whole family. Thanks for keeping me on your blog. Barbara
9th May 2018

Last days of OAT Tour
Laura, your last account was the best. Many thanks for sharing your memoirs of the trip with us... As during the trip, you made everything more real and memorable. All the best to you...Paul & Karin
8th May 2018

Your memoir of Jerusalem reminds us the many devout pilgrims, especially from developing countries, who were doing the stations of the cross. In my opinion they are the best hope for the future of organized religion.
8th May 2018

My most interesting part of Jerusalem was the tunnel as well as Via Dolorosa. We had 3 guards (1 in front, 1 in the missle & 1 in the back with their guns keeping us tight), It was a place we could revisit easily. Enjoying revisiting it through your blogs. Thanks. We leave in 15 days for the Stans.
7th May 2018

Glad You Are Having A Great Trip
Happy Birthday-- you were in a special place. I agree that the 'birthplace of Jesus' is unassuming, but quite powerful nonetheless. Glad you were able to sneak down to exit ramp:)
7th May 2018

Your Birthday
So glad you were thrilled by our impromptu celebration for you ...
7th May 2018

Jerusalem birthday
So glad you had a happy birthday. I'll wish you belated happy birthday wishes. I felt the exact same way when we took our family to Costa Rica on an OAT tour (15 of us) & woke up to share glorious days with our loved ones.(sons, grandsons & their wives)
7th May 2018

Happy Birthday
I’ll add in my singing was well 🎶Happy Birthday to you🎶 👏🎂🎉 I wish I could have been with you to celebrate, especially in such a great location. I’m enjoying your blog, as always. As you well know, we are just budding out here along the coast with forsythia and daffodils blooming and not much more. Love, Ken
5th May 2018

Another good commentary....thanks

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