Home in California!

Trip Start Apr 30, 2007
Trip End Aug 01, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

As we write this last entry we are filled both with thanksgiving for the opportunity we've had, and with anxiety for all the stuff one has to do after being gone for three months!  We won't bore you with the home projects, but will share with you our last ten days in Europe.

We left Wittenberg on July 21 and traveled by train to Stuttgart. There we met up once again with our friends Sylvia and Wolfgang, spent the night at their house, and managed to tour Tubigen and Ulm before heading for their favorite place, Kleinvalsertall.  This is a beautiful valley in Austria that rivals for beauty any place we have ever seen. There we enjoyed truly great hiking, and Barb was able to reacquaint herself with some of her favorite animals (Alpine Cows with bells). We took the train to Pontrasina, Switzerland for more hiking, and then more of the same in Appenzell.  Here we arrived on the weekend when the farmers, separated by their dispersion into upper elevation pastures for the summer, come together for a traditional "Stubte".  Farmers from far and near, young and old, gathered to socialize in the middle of their summer dispersion.  We were invited to attend, and we did!  Traditional dress and dance and food and music, including a type of Appenzell yodeling that we'd never heard before.
This was a beautiful and authentic experience to share this day with these mountain farmers.  We were the only (primary) English speakers there, and so we felt very special indeed.  This was one of the highlights of our total trip for both of us.

Reluctantly, we left the mountains of Switzerland for the city of Zurich, because we knew it was our last stop before home. 
Nevertheless, once one turns toward home one becomes eager for the trip, and so were we.  We arrived in Los Angeles after traveling for 24 hrs., and son Mark was kind enough to pick us up at the airport.  Our bedroom was decorated by Heather for our 40th anniversary (very special).  We had the joy of seeing our grandson, Ethan walking (and running) all over the house.  How quickly they grow.  We then enjoyed a few days with them before heading north, via Bay area friends and then Amy and Nick's place, (Bella has grown too!), and had fun with them in their home, (also decorated for our anniversary), before arriving in Palo Cedro in time to celebrate our 40th Anniversary at home.

We hope you have enjoyed sharing this trip with us, dear readers.  If you ask us we will show you the 1400 pictures we took on the trip.  If you don't ask, we may show you a few just the same.

Auf Wiedersehen!
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