A few more photos

Hello – my friend Heleen from the Netherlands sent me her photos, here are a few, enjoy!

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Paula, Rebecca and Susi enjoying coffee and cookies at Heleen’s

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Shopping in Sassenheim!

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I love these electric bikes – you can go really fast.

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Paula showing us were Rachel’s new apartment is being built, way across the field.

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Rebecca and Heleen enjoying coffee and Tom Pouce, a delicious Dutch pastry. Yum!!!

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Kasteel Teylingen, lies in the village of Sassenheim, in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands.

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Rebecca, Susi and Heleen, we had such a wonderful time visiting with everyone in the Netherlands!

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Flowers!!!

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This was at the beach, after our 10 mile bike ride. Paula, Rebecca, Heleen and Susi. I couldn’t keep up with them, come to find out, I had my bike in the wrong gear, it was slowing me down!  It made for a great workout though.

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Just a little windy and cold.

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This was on our way back from the beach. Such a great day and of course, tea and pie!!

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Wooden Shoes for sale, they were around $50.

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Rebecca and Susi

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Goodbye to the Stelmas and Sassenheim. I was relieved our suitcases fit in Heleen’s little car. 🙂 Susi was heading home to Switzerland and I was heading back to London, then to Scotland.

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Final Post….almost

Hi everyone!  I hope you have enjoyed the photos.  It was a wonderful trip and I enjoyed it very much.  It’s always fun to visit new places and see how things operate in other countries.  Below are just a few observations:

You have to pay to use the toilet, about 50 to 75 cents in some countries.  The only place you don’t pay is in a restaurant were you are eating.

The traffic lights in the UK, the cycle is green, yellow, red for stopping and then red, yellow, green to go.

Bathroom stalls, all stalls are completely private, the walls go from ceiling to floor and the handle to lock the door, on the other side provides a green/red symbol to let you know it is occupied.  How nice, I loved that.  No bending down to look for feet.

In the Netherlands, the clerks in store are not accustomed to customers saying “Hello, how are you?” 🙂

Tights for pants is totally in, as are the black pantyhose with shorts for the younger girls.

Hope you enjoy the pictures below from Switzerland and England.

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Horses in Jenaz Switzerland, Susi’s village

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Cute little baby goat – they are so sweet!

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Lucerne Switzerland, famous wooden bridge

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Church in Lucerne

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Pia, Susi and me – enjoying coffee and pastries in Lucerne

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Typical road in Susi’s village

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This little guy is about 2 hours old

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Here kitty, kitty, kitty……..

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Road leading up to Susi’s house. Everyone is Switzerland has very strong legs.

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Very friendly dog in Saas, Susi’s village where she grew up.

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World Monument Salginatobel Bridge – International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark – built in 1929/30. Only 30 structures in the world have this distinction. Located in Schiers, Switzerland

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This kitty belongs to Silvia, she is Andy and Alexandra’s daughter. I forgot his name.

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This is Mona, she belongs to the owner of the B&B I stayed at in Switzerland. I believe she is about 18 years old.

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Random cat in Jenaz – they all seem to drop and roll when you approach them.

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Jenaz, Switzerland

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Andy and Alexandra – Susi’s daughter and son-in-law. Super nice couple!

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Susan and me, last day, heading to the airport. Susan is a goat farmer, milk and cheese. Very hard work!

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Me and Princess Sharon at Windsor Castle

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It was a beautiful day at Windsor!

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Windsor Castle – the queen was not there on this day.

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Windsor Castle

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The Long Walk at Windsor Great Park.

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Hello Prince Harry!!!

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McGee – he is a Viszla – very sweet dog.

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Robert the Bruce! Also known as Bruce.

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Chris and Kim’s home in Reading England.

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Zac – my new best friend

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View of London from the plane. See the London Eye (Ferris wheel) to the left? That is the River Thames.

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Zac (he was not feeling well that night), Chris, Kim and Sharon.

Food and other items from the UK and Europe

Here are some of the yummy dishes I enjoyed while overseas.  In addition, lots of sweets and chocolate was consumed, so that probably accounts for the weight gain. 🙂  Check out the shopping cart, it is 4 wheel drive, all 4 wheels spin 360 degrees!  How smart, makes navigating the aisles so much easier.  I loved all the RVs over there, perfect size.  The mayo and mustard comes in tubes, love it.  The tea cakes from Scotland were my favorite, wish I had brought back a lot more!  The pizza below is from Pizza Express, a chain, I hope we get them here in the states, it was so good.

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Scotland

I love Scotland. Upon arriving to Edinburgh from the airport by bus, I had to take another bus to my B&B.  I quickly learned it pays to ask if you are about to board the correct bus. 🙂  Everyone was very nice and helpful.  My first day I took a day tour to St. Andrews and the fishing villages in Fife, day two I took a day tour to the Highlands (my favorite) & Loch Ness, day three met up with Jen (from Gill’s wedding) and saw the sights in Edinburgh and day four toured the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the National Gallery of Scotland and then met up with Jen for an awesome vegetarian dinner!  I look forward to a return trip one day to do some hiking in the Highlands. Join me!

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My room at the Guest House Ard-Na-Said. Very nice accommodations, Jim and Olive were lovely hosts.

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This kitty showed up on the window ledge at breakfast. I asked Olive if it was her cat, she said no. As I was leaving for the day, the kitty was outside to say goodbye.

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Very nice guest house, enjoyed my stay here very much.

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This is the Forth Bridge, built in 1890!

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Tour guide Mac, nice guy and an awesome storyteller.

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St. Andrews – it was beautiful

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St. Andrews Cathedral, built in 1158

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St. Andrews putting green

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View from St Andrews – it was a gorgeous day!

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St. Andrews Cathedral

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Mac, dig those leggings!

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Day trip to the Highlands and Loch Ness. Yes, I saw Nessie.

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Scottish Highlands. I want to go back and do some hiking!

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I think this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

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Loch Ness – the water looks like black oil when you are looking down into it.

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It was freezing!!

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Little stop on the way back to Edinburgh – loved it! This is my second favorite photo.

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Me and Edinburgh!

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Church in Edinburgh

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I love this place!

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Edinburgh Castle

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What a view!

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Inside the castle

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Me and Jen – she was so nice to show me the sights of Edinburgh!

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The Britannia was amazing.

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This is the Queen’s bedroom. She purposely wanted the interior of the yacht to be simple and not ornate like a palace.

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Dinner table set for a few friends

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Living room

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Isn’t this thing creepy? It was at the Palace at Holyrood.

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Church at the Palace

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Best vegetarian quiche ever!

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I want to go back and eat here again, it was delicious!

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Dessert at Henderson’s – yummy!

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Scott Monument in Edinburgh

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Edinburgh Castle

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Register House in Edinburgh

The Netherlands

Finally over the jet lag, I feel normal again!  7 flights in 30 days, luggage made it each time and every flight was on time except one and that was due to weather – that’s impressive. I was patted down in Zurich and Amsterdam, and only Edinburgh caught the liquids in my purse (I always forget about them).  The Netherlands, where is that?  Most people, myself included, think Holland is the name of the country,  Holland is actually a province in the Netherlands.  When you think of this country, you might think of tulips, wooden clogs, cheese and windmills, but many things here in America have their roots in Dutch.  Cookie comes from the Dutch word koekje and dollar comes from the Dutch word daler.  That’s all I remember. Oh yes, and Heineken beer is Dutch, I thought it was German.  As with all of Europe, everything is much smaller than here in the states, roads, cars, refrigerators, spoons, coffee cups, etc…  Here are some more pictures from my time in the Netherlands, enjoy!

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Church service at the Stelma’s home

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Rachel, Paula and Susi – Amsterdam, cold and rainy morning, later is was sunny and nice!

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Canal in Amsterdam

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Rachel – she is the daughter of Jan and Paula Stelma, the family I stayed with in Sassenheim

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Rijksmuseum – Amsterdam

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This is Dutch!

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These things are everywhere!!

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Cool old car in Amsterdam

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The day turned out beautiful!

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Lunch with Susi, Heleen, Rachel and Paula in Amsterdam

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Me and Susi

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No, I did not try one!

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Bike ride to the beach! It was about 8 miles one way – extremely WINDY! Had a great time, thank goodness for electric bicycles. You still have to pedal, but it makes it much easier.

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On the way to the beach!

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Lighthouse at the beach

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Dutch pancakes are like crepes, but to them they are pancakes. It was very good!

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Just a little windy – Susi Gangster

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The body of water is the North Sea – in case you were wondering

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On our way back from the beach

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Dinner at Heleen’s – Heleen, Barry, Rachel, Paula, Jan, Ruben and Susi

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Windmill

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Wooden Shoes!

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Rachel – very tired

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OK flower people – what are these? They smelled wonderful

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Village of Urk – visited the ladies from the church who live here. It is a true fishing village. Had a wonderful day and was treated to an incredible lunch.

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Lighthouse – Urk

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Flower Parade in Sassenheim

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Flower Parade – Sassenheim – it was fantastic!

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Paula getting some sun

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The Stelma’s backyard (garden), I like it.

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TULIPS!!

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Having fun in the flowers! Thankfully they started blooming. They were late by about 4 weeks.

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Simply gorgeous!

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Stelma’s home – 4 levels, this is level 2, below is an office, levels 3 and 4 are the bedrooms.

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Paula in her birthday outfit

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Ruben is a barista, coffee is very big in the Netherlands. Here he is making coffee the way it should be made, an involved process, but worth it. It was the color of tea when done, I thought it would be weak, but it was SO GOOD!!

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The Family – standing from the left: Jan & Paula, Barry & Rachel, Joachim & Mellaney, David & Sandra and Ruben & Rachella.

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Good times!!

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Rachel and Rebecca – last night in Sassenheim

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I told the Stelmas to weigh themselves now and then after a month of eating at their new McDonald’s to weigh themselves again.

Goodbye Scotland and England, Hello HOME!

What a journey!  I had such a wonderful time in the UK and Europe. Each place I visited holds its own special memories for me, but when asked what was my favorite, it was Scotland, the Highlands in particular.  You know me, I love it out West in the US, mountains, blue skies, not a lot of people, and that was the Highlands.  I still can’t believe I was gone for a month, the time really did fly by so quickly.  Towards the end, I was running out of steam, that is why this post is so late, I just didn’t have the energy in the evening to post anything.  I am going to post a recap of each area over the next few days, I have over 1,300 photos, so it will take awhile to select the ones to post, hope you enjoy them.

England – visited Gill and Jon for their wedding on April 5th.  I have known Gill since 1995, we met the first time I traveled overseas for a tour of Europe and we have kept in touch ever since.  This was the first time I met Jon, he is absolutely wonderful. Did I mention that this was the longest and I think coldest winter the UK has had in 100 Years!!? See my earlier post for the details on my first week. Below are the pictures from that week that I was unable to post while I was there. Enjoy!

Me at Windsor Castle

Me at Windsor Castle – yes, it is freezing

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Jon and Gill at Windsor Castle

Jon drove Gill and I around Surrey on my first day. It is a very beautiful area, I saw many wonderful places, Windsor, Shere, Boxhill and lots of roundabouts.  The village of Shere was my favorite, a quaint, quiet village. I loved it! I am told it gets very crowded during the summer, so I was happy to be there during the winter (allegedly it was spring).

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Hampton Court is just incredible.  Unfortunately you could not take photos inside the various rooms.  Marcus and Bridgette are in the photo with Gill and Jon.  They are from New Zealand, they met Jon back in 1994 while traveling and have stayed in touch.  Super nice couple.  I must say, King Henry was very intimidating and Ann Bolelyn was not putting up with his demands. 🙂  And yes, it was freezing on this day.  I do not miss wearing layers, a coat, scarf and gloves.

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Take a closer look at the walls, those are swords, knives, guns, etc…… Odd but interesting and amazing how they were used.

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WEDDING DAY!!!  Yes, that is snow on the ground.  Again, it was freezing on this day, about 40 degrees and very windy.  Gill and her wedding party made the best of it.  They took the group photos outside, I don’t know how they did it.  As I said in my earlier post, the wedding was right out of Sense and Sensibility, it was amazing.  Gill had an afternoon tea for all the guests (160), then a dinner reception for about 60 guests.  The afternoon tea was delicious, sweets, sandwiches and of course tea!  The dinner reception was so nice, wonderful meal and really enjoyed meeting everyone.  Jen is Gill’s longtime friend, she lives in Edinburgh, so you will see her again later.  Marty is also a longtime friend of Gill’s from Australia, they met while traveling.  So glad I met them, they were both delightful!  Wish I had better pictures of the inside of the church, it is so pretty!

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Phillipa, and her mom and dad, Geoffrey and Julia. They are the in-laws to Jon’s sister Jane. Geoffrey and Julia were so kind, Gill and her wedding party stayed at their lovely home and they included me and Marty for delicious dinner in their home. It was wonderful.

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Jon’s sister Jane and her daughter Heidi.

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Jon, Gill, Julia and Jessica, Phillipa’s daughter, very sweet girl.

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Me and Jen – no, these were not the shoes I wore to the wedding.

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Me and Marty

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Gill and Jon, Fiona and Jen, friends from Scotland

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Goodbye Netherlands, Hello England and SCOTLAND!!

Hello all, back in the UK and hanging out with Sharon Nolan! For those of you that know Sharon, she says Hello! It has been great being with her again. I am staying at the home of her daughter Kim and son-in-law Chris, they have a beautiful home. Her grandson Zac just turned 3 and is a cutie pie. I love hearing his little voice say “Rebecca” with his accent, so sweet. Heading off to Scotland tomorrow, looking forward to seeing all the sites. 3 more flights and I will be home. It has been wonderful trip and I have enjoyed each day, but I am looking forward to being home. Hope all is well for everyone reading this. Enjoy the pictures!

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Bike riding in Holland

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So much fun!

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Tulips!!!


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Rebecca and Sharon

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Zac - he is a sweetie

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Sharon and Zac