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Norway Fjord Cruise Picture Blog - Alesund

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our next Port of Call was the beautiful sea port, harbor and fishing center called Alesund. In days gone by, it was one of the most important fishing centers in Norway. As we often hear, fire ravaged the harbor in January of 1904. The structures were made primarily of wood, and although only one person lost their life in the fire, over 10,000 were left homeless. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany had often gone on vacation to Alesund and commissioned the rebuilding of the city in the Art Nouveau style.

We took another bus tour here, traveling to the Alesund Kirke (church), high up the side of a mountain. Then we went to an open-air museum which depicted coastal village life. You'll see more of the sod roof homes in this blog, as well as amazing views. What I loved the most about Norway is the beautifully colored homes in the city.

Can't forget the towel animal left in our room the night before. DH remembered he needs to leave his sunglasses available for the cabin steward, so this 'seal' wasn't as 'cool' as he could have been!

Next are shots of our travels to the viewing spot, and Alesund Kirke. BTW, we were told that ALL churches in Norway have a ship hanging from the ceiling, acknowledging their deep dependance on the sea.

Note the sailing vessel hanging in the kirke, in the picture above. Below are shots of the baroque-style pulpit and baptismal font, and a beautiful organ at the back.

Next stop was the open-air museum.

Following are the school house, the boat house and guest houses for visiting families coming to worship. The parents slept in the guest houses and the kids slept in the loft of the barn, for warmth.

Back to the harbor for colorful buildings, the statue of the young boy looking longingly out to sea, the old woman salting herring and Scandinavian tulips!

Wrapping up our visit, departing from port, and the new friend waiting for us after dinner! Wonderful day!!

I emoticon picture blogs! Fingers crossed I don't have too many! Thanks for joining me!
Next stop - Molde, Norway!!
emoticon Melly

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDWARDS1411 7/24/2012 1:56PM

    Beautiful pics - thanks for sharing!!!

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NLH4444 7/7/2012 9:12PM

    Hi Melly! I love the picture blogs makes me feel like I went along too! Hope Boston was nice for you! I'm not too far from there. Enjoy!

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MIBELLALUNA 7/2/2012 7:57PM

    Wow, you really had an adventure!! How fun! great pics!

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MIBELLALUNA 7/2/2012 7:57PM

    Wow, you really had an adventure!! How fun! great pics!

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POPSY190 6/28/2012 1:44AM

    More glorious and evocative photographs. Newcastleis closer to Norway than to London so this made me a bit homesick, particularly the mention of herring! Yum - kippers, roll mops, soused ...... emoticon emoticon

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LORT-C 6/27/2012 11:23PM

    FUN! FUN! FUN!

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NEWKATHYNOW 6/27/2012 9:59PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! It was like a mini trip for me and I really enjoyed it. It's so beautiful!

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ERINMARIE424 6/27/2012 9:06PM

    Wonderful pictures and blog! I am hoping to be able to take a cruise to Norway sometime soon, for now I will enjoy hearing about your trip!

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ARTJAC 6/27/2012 8:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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EFFIEANNIE 6/27/2012 7:22PM

    I am really enjoying your vacation! Thank you so much for posting!

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ELLIE381 6/27/2012 6:10PM

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures. Norway is so colourful and magnificent. emoticon

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DZDAZR2BGR8T 6/27/2012 5:19PM

    What beautiful scenery & I almost felt like I was there with you!!! Smooth sailing!!!
emoticon emoticon

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Norway Fjord Cruise Picture Blog - Geiranger Fjord

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

YAY! My opening Amsterdam picture blog did not blow up! emoticon
Our first day was spent at sea (I LOVE sea days! My hot-stones massage was terrific!). The North Atlantic was relatively rough for the entire voyage, with a couple of real doozies. The last night was the roughest we've ever encountered, and our cabin being on Deck 10 as Aft as it gets was something else. We'd put our luggage out by 11pm, and by 11:05pm I had taken down all the hangers drumming away in the closet and laid them on the floor. Next, I was propping chairs against the drawer banks that were opening and closing ... You get the picture. Luckily, neither DH nor I get seasick and that held true for this voyage.

Our first port of call was the beautiful Geiranger Fjord. We took a bus tour up two different roads, each with hair-pin turns galore, and then had a delicious cafe latte in the quaint town. This was a tender stop, meaning we dropped anchor and took the ship boats into town.

Included in these are the famous waterfalls called The Suiter and The Seven Sisters, which face each other across the fjord. There wasn't enough snow-melt yet to have these be raging falls. One ride up brought us to a viewing area, and the other ride brought us up to the snow line. The road had not been opened for too long; they close it outright in winter. As it was, the snow bankings were astonishing. At this first stop we saw our first glimpse of Norwegian sod roofs, made of birch bark covered with sod.

Here's the last group of people heading back to the ship. Note the ferry's bow, opened to receive cars. Yes, ferries are just about the only way people get around. What a beautiful place. Wrapping up with a last shot of the fjord, taken later by DH from our deck, as we approached the open ocean. Too cold for me!!

Next stop, Alesund, Norway!
emoticon Melly

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORT-C 6/27/2012 11:21PM

    I want to go

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ELLIE381 6/27/2012 6:13PM

    Wow! What a great trip. emoticon

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JUDYAMK 6/27/2012 12:47AM

    oh how breath taking thank you so much for posting

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JUSTYNA7 6/26/2012 9:40PM

    Wow! You deserve this! Have a great time and enjoy every minute! Jsutyna

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POPSY190 6/26/2012 7:03PM

    Glorious photographs of a beautiful place. Looking forward to the next installment!

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EFFIEANNIE 6/26/2012 6:40PM

    Very beautiful photos.

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ONLYTEMPORARY 6/26/2012 5:46PM

    Truly awesome!

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Norway Fjord Cruise Picture Blog - Amsterdam

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hello to my Spark friends - old, new, and yet to be!!!

Yes, I am still here, albeit very sporadically lately. I have wanted to get my cruise blog together for a few weeks but life has gotten in the way (not to mention sorting through ~1400 pictures - gotta love digital!!). I also returned home with a bad cold and then needed to take an impromptu trip with my folks to their timeshare in Smuggler's Notch, VT, so I could help with driving, etc.

We had a wonderful time!! The cruise embarkation port was Amsterdam so we arrived four days early for some sightseeing in the city. On my list was canal cruising on the Hop-On Hop-Off canal boats, going to the Van Gogh Museum among others, and walking every inch of the city. It's a true pedestrian city; I only wish I'd worn a pedometer!! Here are some of my favorite shots:

Rats. I just selected eight pictures and the upload doesn't seem to be working. Let's try one...

OK, one at a time works. Bummer!! Above is my Quintessential Amsterdam Picture. Here's another:

Above and below are shots taken from the Ho-Ho Canal boat. So many beautiful pictures along the canal and being able to hop on and off was a dream!

The next two show "Melly's Gourmet Cookie Shop" (You bet I did!) and an action shot, working the daily choice back off!

The last two from Amsterdam are of me at the Flower Market, and a second from a Cellar Cheese shop, looking out into the Flower Market.

OK, soldiering on with embarkation pictures (Gosh, I hope this doesn't blow up! I have tons o' pictures on Facebook... What happened to being able to post multiple pictures on here?)
This trip was my celebratory college graduation and turning-50-this-year trip. First time in an aft jr suite - directly on the back of the ship. AWESOME! I'll just put in a few...

Yep, it was freezing. But NO RAIN!! I'll wrap up this segment with pictures from our first formal night:

Next up, Geiranger Fjord in Norway!!
emoticon Melly (crosses fingers)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWANGELDIVA 5/30/2014 2:47PM

I totally just had a virtual vacation through your pics. You look fantastic. Your black dress is very elegant on you.
I like the coffee house pic. The scarf on your balcony that you had on is so chic!
(SparkStalking more photos...)

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ARCHIMEDESII 7/24/2012 2:14PM

    How wonderful ! I know every single place in the pictures you posted because those are the places I saw when I was in Amsterdam. I spent five days there in March. LOVED IT !!

Did you try the gouda ? Of course, you must have tried the cheese. if there is one food a person has to eat when in Amsterdam, it's the cheese. Followed by the Flemish Frites, pancakes and beer. Did you remember to not walk on the bike paths ? I gotta tell you, I was more worried about being run over by a bike than I was by a car !! LOL !!!

If you look through my blogs, you can see some of my photos from Amsterdam. One day, I'd love to do a cruise. I'll bet that was fun !!!


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EDWARDS1411 7/24/2012 1:58PM

    Beautiful pics of what look's like a wonderful time - you and your hubby look GREAT!!!

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LORT-C 6/27/2012 11:19PM

    Loving the pics, can't wait to get to the next blog.

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POPSY190 6/26/2012 7:06PM

    You look spectacular; It is a wonderful trip for your celebrations!

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EFFIEANNIE 6/26/2012 6:32PM

    Just stumbled to your blog- sure glad I did-loved the pictures. You look great! Congratulations on your graduation. I got my degree around 60!

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MYSTERYROSE74 6/26/2012 5:11PM

    Fabulous pictures Melly! Glad you had a great time. You look fantastic. emoticon

Terrie emoticon

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ELLIE381 6/26/2012 4:57PM

    So excited to see all your pictures. Missed you. emoticon emoticon

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Spring Semester Eve ~ time for a 2011 wrap-up ...

Monday, January 16, 2012

One upon a time, it was the beginning of my Winter break from college. BLURRRRR......
The End.

Hey, that story was SHORT! And it started like a fairy tale, too. I wonder if I get to live Happily Ever After? Seeing as I have the one day left before I return to campus, it's time to catalog my activities and see where I stand.

The holiday break started 12/19/11:

Wednesday weigh-in on 12/21/11 = 118
Weigh-in peek today 01/16/12 = 117.5
Highest Wednesday Weigh-in over the break = 122 (12/28/11)

I attribute my success at keeping the weight steady to my "At Goal And Maintaining" team's "Merriest Maintainer Challenge" that ran from 11/07/11 - 01/02/12. That challenge accountability was invaluable to me. Knowing I had to log my weight each week, and fight to keep within a +-3% deviation for the challenge kept me on track with food for the majority of the holiday season. I was not perfect, in fact, I even popped out of the 3% deviation on the SECOND week! That sure taught me what THAT felt like - crummy! But I stayed in the challenge, knowing I was out of the running for absolute "Merriest Maintainer" but determined to rock the remainder.


I am proud to say my diet stayed very clean (thank you, Merriest Maintainers) for the majority of the semester break. I was mostly successful at keeping the Christmas cookie jar full for my visiting sons without tasting myself. I ate reasonably well on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and was sensitive to portions of less-healthy things if I wanted to try them.
CONFESSION: I did have one large blow-out that resulted in huge sodium gains (5+ !!) and a couple of days where I could not fit into my size 6 pants as a result. The water weight came back off within two days of normal, healthy eating within range. Work in progress, hopefully not a lifetime work.... The good news is that I did NOT panic and resort to restriction. I just returned to my regular healthy, clean foods and the extra lbs were shed. Consistency DOES pay.


Working with my two accountability buddies, Bev and Kathy, I managed to stay somewhat true to a M-W-F strength routine. This work has fallen away again due to family responsibilities up at my folks that literally had me staying there part time since 01/04/12. However, I am ready to resume this activity and my responsibility as a full accountability work-out partner. Accountability is INVALUABLE to me!! I will do my part to work out, encourage, cheer going forward in 2012 because it KEEPS ME EXERCISING and FEELS GOOD WORKING TOGETHER!! Do you want an accountability buddy with food or exercise?


VERY positive!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
I have greatly missed my daily Sparking due to family responsibilities. I've missed my friends, the fellowship and accountability, what's been going on, Dance Party Fridays, etc etc!!

Equally important, I have missed being able to track my food and plan my food day. I put a nutritional stake in the ground in January 2011, STUCK TO IT, and changed my life. If I want to continue to live my life as a healthier me, this work MUST continue and the SP Tracker is absolutely invaluable to me. It is my guide, source of fun and inspiration, and the tool that challenges me to eek out the most nutritious day I can. I live very close to the 90/10 rule with food, and I have indeed learned that my body is an ally in this effort. If I eat well almost all the time, I feel better, my weight is stable, I sleep better, I think better - AND, my body forgives small deviations. I have like-minded friends who actively strive for healthier food while passing on non-nutritious, processed products and we keep that conversation going continuously! (KELMO2450 and I are putting in our first sprouts seed order of the winter! Sprouting rocks!)

I am getting myself organized for tomorrow. I fished out my campus ID to see if I need to get it renewed and I do. It was good for the 2010-2011 school year. Guess what? it's a photo ID! Yup, it has a picture of me in the Fall of 2010, before I began my personal challenge in January 2011. I was over 160 lbs in that picture! So, for FUN, I looked at my Sparkpeople reports and decided to do a start of Spring 2011 semester vs. start of Spring 2012 semester weight comparison:

01/14/2011 = 158 lbs (January 2011 photo in gallery)
01/16/2012 = 118 lbs (Profile picture taken 01/15/12)

So, ONWARD in 2012!! I have my books and am ready for the start of my final semester. What's on tap? Pathophysiology, Intro to Pharmacology, Bioethics, and my History elective. YEAY!!!

Hey, I guess that's my ending!

"... and she studied happily ever after. The End."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NLH4444 1/17/2012 1:12PM

    You had an awesome 2011- we are gonna have another great year! I am back to school tomorrow too and so nervous! What do I always get that way?! Have a great first day back!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 1/17/2012 12:50PM

    Oh, I loved the intro....LOVED!!!!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 1/17/2012 12:48PM

    I'm so proud of you. Your 'stake in the ground' is inspiring.
Standing firm...
emoticon emoticon

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CINDIDIT 1/17/2012 8:31AM

You have got this!
Its not easy following a plan when your out of your comfort zone.
And as we all know, Not everyone is always on board with you, parents and friends and family alike can be hard to be around as they offer you this and that, suggest eating at the old burger joint, etc. So making it thru is a marker of how well you have things in hand.
will see you on here.

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ELLIE381 1/16/2012 7:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTYNA7 1/16/2012 4:10PM

    Amen! Sounds like you are where you are supposed to be. Good for you. Justyna emoticon

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POPSY190 1/16/2012 2:59PM

    Hello, I've missed your blogs, vlogs and most of all YOU. I trust things are settling down for your parents now. Not the restful break I envisioned you having! But how satisfying to find you have maintained despite it all emoticon. Great. Good luck with the new term's work load.

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MUDDER91 1/16/2012 1:02PM

    You sound AWESOME!!! Bioethics. Can you feel my jealousy over the internet? Do you have a textbook for the class? Maybe I will read along with you.

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A quick "Happy New Year!!"

Friday, January 06, 2012

emoticon Here's to us all! Welcome, 2012 !!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELLIE381 1/8/2012 9:32AM

    Happy New Year Melly. I think of you often. This will be a great year. emoticon

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JUSTYNA7 1/7/2012 9:10AM

    It really will be a great year! Thanks for the vlog. Justyna

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POPSY190 1/7/2012 2:04AM

    Lovely to see you vlogging again! Happy 2012 to you and your family :)Love your January background, by the way.

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    Thanks! Happy New Year to you, too!

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NLH4444 1/6/2012 8:38PM

    Yay! So glad that it is a new year! emoticon

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    Here's to an awesome 2012!! emoticon

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CINDIDIT 1/6/2012 6:30PM

    Happy New Year to you too Melly!

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COOKINGSTARS 1/6/2012 5:41PM

    i agew welcome 2012

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MOMMY445 1/6/2012 5:41PM

    welcome,2012! you can do this! you are worth it! here's to a great 2012!

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