LYNDALOVES2HIKE's SparkPeople Blog LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Nuremberg We stayed in a somewhat nondescript hotel because the place we really wanted was booked and a number of other places we checked were also booked - seems like a lot of people wanted to visit Nuremberg at the end of September!! So our room wasn't terrible - just not very exciting - so it was sort-of like the German equivalent of Super8 or some other lower-priced place. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was well-l... Wed, 7 Oct 2015 04:25:17 EST Quick stops in Dresden & Leipzig On our way to Prague, we made a quick stop in Dresden - we had been through there before but decided this trip to take a little time to drive around the city and make a quick stop somewhere for coffee and just to have a break from driving. We settled for a Starbucks in the center part of the city. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm struck by how many 'familiar' companies are here - we see Starbucks, McDonald's,... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 10:41:15 EST Visiting Friends in Prague Last week we visited a friend and his wife in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic. We love visiting them as they are totally wonderful people and they seem to enjoy us being there as they are always excited to talk with us and do things with us. It's interesting because our friend Cenek does speak English pretty well but not his wife, who speaks only Czech - of course, I don't speak any Czech but somehow we have managed to communicate fairly well - maybe all the details don't come th... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 04:23:13 EST Raptors in Germany I really like raptors so I was very happy that we got to visit a place called Falknerei am Rennsteig, which rehabilitates or rescues injured hawks, owls, etc. They also have a large collection of 'education birds,' which are used to help people learn more about the various species. One of the ways they do this is by displaying the birds without a cage - in the US, this would never work because people would not respect the rules and would go over or around the barriers to touch the birds, etc.... Sun, 4 Oct 2015 08:09:50 EST Hiking on the Rennsteig Trail I've wanted to hike on this trail for a long time but when we were here in 2013, my knee was completely messed up and I could barely walk, thanks to all the cobblestone streets and stairs in Europe. Well, what's a girl to do?? <BR> <BR> 1. Get a new knee [check] <BR> 2. Go back and try again [check] <BR> <BR> We are definitely not going to hike the entire 120-mile length of the trail, although I'd still like to do that someday - but we did visit the very start of the trail in a little villa... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 15:27:51 EST Gottingen, Germany We are spending a few days in the little town where my husband lived for a year and a half or so in the early 70s - he worked as a translator and took some classes at the university, He had studied German in college but 'perfected' his language skills when he lived here so it has a very special memory for him. We've visited here a couple of other times but didn't spend an extended amount of time - this year, since I'm actually not 'on vacation' but am teaching classes online and have other wo... Thu, 17 Sep 2015 03:17:41 EST Koln Flora - visiting the botanical garden Another place we visited with our friends was the Koln Flora, which is a huge botanical garden next to the Zoo in Cologne - we walked quite a bit but only saw a small part of it so we plan to go back with our other friends when we return to the area in a few weeks. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We were having a late lunch so decided to have some coffee and a snack around 11am - I ordered a piece of 'apple cake... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 03:10:25 EST Germany - Florscheim am Main and Koeln [Cologne]!! So far we are having a great trip with only a few glitches and we are so glad we came here. We spent our first night in a little town called Florscheim am Main - our hotel was the Karthauser Hof, which has been run by the same family for more than a century. It was originally a cloister for monks so they have a statue of a monk on the balcony in the back of the hotel. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src="http://pho... Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:41:08 EST Two hours left!! I only have 2 hours to put the final 'finishing touches' on everything before my BFF picks us up to take us to the airport for our trip <em>535</em> - we'll be gone for 5 weeks so it's nerve-wracking to try to pack and make all the arrangements for being gone that long <em>534</em> plus it's hard on my back to pack, weigh, re-pack, weigh again, etc, to make sure we don't go over the airline weight limit - sigh! It's always about the scale sometimes! <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 16:10:32 EST Europe 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark, Cologne, Frankfurt - and home!! The past few days, I've been blogging about our upcoming trip plans - we leave next week so I'm getting ready, packing, etc, so it's definitely on my mind. In fact, I think a trip has three phases, each of which is really fun in its own way - the first phase is planning and preparation - the second phase is actually traveling to places - and the third phase is remembering and telling others about it afterward. So I really try to thoroughly enjoy all three phases of each trip, which makes it t... Wed, 2 Sep 2015 12:44:43 EST Europe 2015 - Back to Germany - Nuremberg, Rennsteig Trail and Berlin I left off yesterday telling you about our plans to visit Prague - after we leave there, we are heading back to Nuremberg [Germany] to see and do things we didn't have time to do or see last time we were there. That's our theme - finish up previous trips, haha! Here's a picture of Tom touching the 'ring in the Nuremberg Gate,' which ensures that we will return. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One of the things I... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 11:45:36 EST Europe 2015, Germany, Amsterdam and Prague As I mentioned yesterday, my husband and I are going to spend 5 weeks in Europe again this year - we're leaving next week and flying to Frankfurt. Based on previous trips over there, we have decided to spend the first night close to Frankfurt, even though our friends [where we are going to stay first] only live a couple of hours away. We need to do some shopping first anyway and doing it this way will allow us to adjust to the time change before arriving at their home. We've stayed with them ... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:50:31 EST Getting Ready to Travel I really enjoy traveling and I'm very fortunate that I've been able to do a fair amount, probably more than the average person. One advantage I have is that my job is teaching online so I don't have to wait for 'vacation' or 'time off' - I simply take my job with me wherever I go. <BR> <BR> This year, I've been blessed to have gone on a number of trips already - twice to Yosemite, the first in January <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:17:53 EST Another new friend - Flower!! I really enjoy my volunteer job at the Orange County Zoo and one of the biggest pleasures is when we have an 'education animal' that we can introduce to the children [and adults] who visit the zoo. <BR> <BR> We recently were joined by the cutest baby opossum named Flower!! She is only about 6 months old and is so darned sweet!! I know there are a lot of people who don't like opossums and when it comes to those in the wild, I can't say I blame them - I would never try to 'tame' one or pick o... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:38:34 EST My new friend Elinor!! I first met Elinor about a year ago, when she joined everyone else at the Orange County Zoo, where I am privileged to volunteer on a regular basis. I got to know her in private for quite a few months until she finally was able to be introduced to the public last month. Since then, a lot of people have decided she is their favorite new friend, too - watch the video and see if you agree with us that Elinor is one of the most fun and delightful friends you could ask for!! <BR> <BR> <link>www.... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 17:15:21 EST End of 10 seconds of Fame - just as well..... It's just as well that they took down the television interview and replaced it with the more current news clip - I really didn't like the way I looked in the picture, half asleep and all puffy without makeup, haha! But the news is important because it is a terrible fire and growing rapidly - we've had several years of extreme drought so I'm anticipating more big fires this year and just praying we don't get hit in my local area we've worked so hard to restore and protect! They are creating HU... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:48:00 EST Early morning, no make-up, rushed out the door and.... Yep it was one of 'those mornings' when I overslept because my alarm didn't go off so I rushed out the door with no make-up to meet my friend so we could carpool to our birding class - we left at 5:30am so it was a miracle I even woke up in time at all, haha! We got to the Mill Creek Ranger Station to meet up with our classmates around 6:30am and there are news vans all over the place because of a big forest fire that had started - so guess who has a microphone and TV camera in her face befor... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:02:14 EST Super-quick Good Morning!! I'm running out the door to join my friends for our monthly Citizen Science Butterfly Count - it's a survey group I've been active with for several years now and it's loads of fun PLUS a little bonus is getting exercise in a beautiful outdoor area. Yay, great combination!! <BR> <BR> There's no way I could be considered a 'butterfly expert' [or any other type of expert for that matter] but I've learned a lot by participating in this and I can actually identify quite a few types of butterflies... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 10:28:34 EST Summer 2014 - Point Reyes National Seashore & Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park I'm very lucky that my husband and I were able to go on a number of trips this summer so I thought I would share a little about some of them with my Spark Friends and add a couple of comments about the difference between my Spark Friends, my FaceBook Friends and my 'real life' friends. I'll start with that first, then move on to the travels. <BR> <BR> I do have a very wide circle of 'real life' friends and acquaintances - I'm pretty active in a number of groups and it amazes me that even peo... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 20:40:22 EST Staying Active & Staying Healthy There are a lot of ways to interpret 'staying active' and 'staying healthy' - I try to cover all my bases and look at all-around health, not just going through the motions on one or two aspects. I stay physically active by hiking and getting out for other types of exercise but I've also realized that 'just' exercise by itself is not necessarily 'healthy' unless it's part of an overall program that includes mental health, emotional health [and yes, they are different], spiritual health, and al... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 11:16:04 EST No, I'm NOT Dead - Just Busy and Still Hanging In There!! I know, I know - it's been so long since I've posted, probably everyone I ever knew on SparkPeople has forgotten I ever existed but I'm back, at least sporadically, and decided to post a long-overdue blog!! I've had plenty of experience with 'starting again,' as I'm sure many others on here have experience doing as well, haha! Actually, there's nothing wrong with starting again but I actually prefer to consider it a NEW START since I'm definitely not where I have been before so 'starting over... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 22:42:03 EST Hey Orange County! Join me on March 9 at Mile Square Park!! At least one other SparkMember and I are registered for the Thomas House Run4Homeless Children 5k and Walk-A-Thon on March 9, 2013 - it's for a great cause and a wonderful way to burn some calories, have fun and 'do good' at the same time! You can get more information at this link <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> You do NOT have to run this race - you can walk it and be proud of yourself for doing so! My goal is to finish in less than 40 minutes so if you ... Thu, 7 Feb 2013 14:23:57 EST I'm just too old to start running.... Well, I can't use that excuse any more - here's a little clip from Lisa Ling's documentary series on the OWN cable channel. Her documentary is called Our America and last night's episode was titled The Secret Lives of Seniors. <BR> <BR> Since I know a lot of people don't get this cable channel, I definitely wanted to share this particular clip about Ida, the 97-year-old woman who just set a world record for the 100-yard dash for her age group, 95 yrs and older. <BR> <BR> As I learned from w... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 11:27:16 EST Lynda's A-Z This has been going around off and on for awhile so I decided to fill it out just for fun - hope you enjoy it!! <BR> <BR> A- Available or married. I've been married to Tom since January 1, 1991 – 22 years! <BR> <em>337</em> <BR> B. Book- I'm currently reading 'Fat Chance' by Dr. Robert Lustig – highly recommend it!!! Other recent books are “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes and a variety of reference books for classes or personal interest – don't really 'read' those, just bits and pieces he... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 16:12:42 EST Do You Believe in Magic?? I do - sometimes! I guess it boils down to how you define the word 'magic' but maybe I'm just not that picky about definitions - when something surprises me and seems to defy my ordinary expectations, I call it 'magic' <BR> <BR> One example is when I met my husband - I'm not talking about those tingly feelings we get when we meet someone special - I'm talking about 'above and beyond' things that I absolutely cannot explain. Things that had never occurred before and have never occurred since - here is one of t... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 14:35:06 EST National Day of Service - Habitat Restoration Project As you might have heard, today has been designated as the National Day of Service - a day when people are asked to 'give back' to make the world a better place. This is actually something I try to do often as it's something that gives me a really good feeling. And heck, we like to do things that make us feel good, right? <BR> <BR> So my project today was to work on a land stewardship project, planting prickly pear cactus to establish/restore habitat for a bird called the Cactus Wren. It's n... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 20:26:44 EST Dolphin Watching Trip [pictures] We signed up for a Whale Watching trip the day after we went to Safari Park but since we didn't see any 'whales,' I've decided to call it a 'Dolphin Watching' trip instead! It was a really nice day - we were afraid it would be really cold but it ended up being somewhat warm instead! My husband, surrogate 'daughter' and 'granddaughter' went on this trip with me - sort-of a family Christmas Present and a way to have a fun adventure together. We started out in Newport Harbor on the Balboa Penins... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 20:29:36 EST Safari Park/Last Part [pictures] To conclude my blog on our visit to Safari Park, I have a few more pictures. First is of the facilities where people can CAMP at the park - they call it Roar N Snore Safari and I've known a few people who have done this. They all said it was a lot of fun but the prices have gone up considerably so they probably wouldn't do it again. At any rate, it's something we've thought about and the cost does include meals, workshops and 'private tours' within the park so it seems reasonable to me - cost... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 14:44:53 EST Safari Park/Part Two [pictures] I posted some pictures of my 12/27/12 trip to Safari Park, which is part of the San Diego Zoo. I was a member many years ago but let that lapse when I got too busy doing other things to visit but we joined again this year so I'm hoping to get back down there more regularly, if only for a few hours at a time. As Diamond Members, we will also get invited to 'special events' so I'm looking forward to having more fun at this park. It's really gigantic and there were whole sections we didn't visi... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 09:35:27 EST Safari Park - Escondido [pictures] My husband and I took my unofficial 'daughter' and 'granddaughter' to Safari Park a couple of days after Christmas. This park used to be called Wild Animal Park and it's run by San Diego Zoo. There's a nontraditional design and many of the animals roam in huge open fields, interacting with each other. Obviously the predator animals are kept away from the 'dinner' animals and there are other separations but in general, it's a little more humane than a typical zoo setting. We've been wanting to... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 20:24:53 EST Merry Christmas Balboa Style Tom and I decided to spend a week on the Balboa Peninsula for Christmas - there's been a tradition for the past 104 years called the Newport Beach Boat Parade and we enjoy watching it once in awhile. This year we saw it THREE nights in a row because we were staying here! It was such a nice, frivolous break from the depressing news about....well, you know how depressing the news has been lately so I won't repeat it here! I hope you will enjoy a few pictures of the 104th Annual Boat Parade. It'... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 12:52:51 EST Kauai Hike - Mohihi Ridge Part 3 Yikes, the last couple of days got away from me, even though I had intended to post this next section of our hike earlier - ooops! But better now than never so here it goes. After we took a good look at the Alakai Swamp trail heading down, we went back to the main road and started hiking a bit further to see Kawaikoi Camp. It was about 1/4 mile further, maybe a little more, and is a very nice camp. Here's the entrance sign <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 7 Dec 2012 23:19:34 EST Kauai Hike - Mohihi Ridge Part 2 This is a continuation of yesterday's blog - where I left off, my husband Tom and I had not quite reached our lunch destination, although we weren't too far from it. Just before we reached the top, a car drove by - this may not seem like a very startling thing to happen but the road is quite washed out in some places, the majority of 'tourists' never go up there and the rental agreements don't allow rental cars up there either, plus it was a weekday - so we had hiked for a couple of hours wit... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 20:12:21 EST Kauai Hike - Mohihi Ridge Part 1 In early November 2012, my husband Tom and I were fortunate to spend some time in Kauai, our little garden paradise. We've been there many times before - at least 20 times - and that should be a clue that we enjoy it there very much. One of our favorite activities there is hiking. Well, to tell the truth, that's our favorite activity anywhere we go and it's not exactly a secret, haha! There are a lot of people who don't even recognize me if my hair is fixed up and I'm wearing make up - they a... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 22:18:03 EST Kauai Hike - Mohihi Road back to car This is the final blog about the hike we took on 11/4/12 in the Koke'e State Park area on the island of Kauai. If you've been reading the blogs, you may have the impression we hiked for 3 days and covered 20 miles but actually, it was maybe 4-5 miles and we were moving somewhat slowly with a number of breaks to look around so spent about 2-1/2 hours on the hike, more or less. There were sections where we went our usual 3mph hiking speed but because we had to navigate a lot of tree roots acros... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 13:47:05 EST Kauai Forest Hike - Pu'u Ka O'helo Trail This is 'the next installment' of the hike we took on 11/4/12 in Koke'e State Park on the beautiful garden island of Kauai. The Berry Flat Trail and Pu'u Ka O'helo Trail form a loop hike off to the side, both connecting to Mohihi Road. This blog shows pictures along the Pu'u Ka O'helo Trail, which also connects to the Water Tank Trail, a segment we didn't hike this trip. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's another Hawaiian language... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 15:52:31 EST Kauai Forest Hike - Berry Flat Trail This is a continuation of the last blog I posted telling about our hike on the Waininiua Trail and Kumawela Road in Kokee. We went on this hike on Sunday, 11/4/12, which was my dad's and mother-in-law's birthdays - my dad was born in 1919 and my MIL was in 1918, both on 11/4. From where I left you in the previous blog, we hiked a short way along a 'main road' [so to speak] called Mohihi Road, where Kumawela Road ends - both are dirt roads, actually clay roads, so it can be challenging to driv... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 18:36:16 EST Kauai Hike - Waininiua Trail and Kumawela Road in Koke'e One of the best places to hike in Kauai [according to us, haha] is in the rainforest of Koke'e State Park. Although we've made 20 trips to Kauai, there are still a lot of trails we haven't hiked on yet but we're doing what we can to shorten that list - here are some pictures and memories of a hike we did on 11/4/12. It was extra-sweet because that day is the anniversary of my husband's mother's birthday and also my father's birthday. Both of them loved to hike, loved Kauai, loved getting away... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 10:34:48 EST Kauai Vacation - Wailua River Kayaking + Hike to Secret Falls We were very fortunate to spend a little time in Kauai earlier this month - we have been there many times before but there are still a lot of things we hadn't done yet so we decided to 'work the list' this trip. One of the things neither of us had ever done, either there in Kauai or anywhere else, was to go kayaking. I've really been wanting to try it and Tom was interested, too, so we decided to give it a try. <BR> <BR> After a little research, we discovered an outfit called Kayak Wailua, w... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 23:43:45 EST Turkey Trot 2012 - Yorba Linda, CA Each year, DH and I enter ourselves in a Turkey Trot - these are 5k/10k runs on Thanksgiving morning that are usually a combination fundraiser for some worthy cause and just a fun way to burn off a few calories before the big 'Thanksgiving feast.' For the past 3 years, we've entered the Plymouth Rock 'N Run Turkey Trot at Yorba Regional Park in Yorba Linda, CA. <BR> <BR> I was very pleased with my time yesterday - finished the 5k course in 43 minutes, 53 seconds, which works out to 14 minute... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 17:47:17 EST Where does the time go? It's been SOOOO long since I've blogged - yikes, I hope my SparkFriends don't think I fell off the face of the earth! <BR> <BR> I've just been pretty darned busy - and have had to put 'sparking' at the bottom of a long priority list, sad to say, although I've done generally OK with the rest of life. Any of you who are busy probably have gone thru periods of the same and as much as I enjoy keeping up with my friends here on SparkPeople, life has a way of demanding attention, too, so until I ... Tue, 25 Sep 2012 12:53:05 EST Exploring the White Mountains Another great day in Eastern Arizona exploring the area. This morning we went on a nice hike near the campground and then drove out to Big Lake to have lunch, which was about 25 miles or so from our campground. It was a stunning area to drive through - lots of trees, gigantic mountain meadows with loads of wildflowers - and we didn't have any rain until we got very close to the lake. So we ate in the car but still enjoyed the meal and the company! <BR> <BR> After lunch, we drove over to the ... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 23:17:03 EST Kicking back in the tent! I'm writing this from my tent in a campground next to Luna Lake in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona - at the moment, it's raining fairly steady outside so we're just kicking back in the tent for awhile, listening to the rain. We had planned a quiet day without much activity anyway so the rain isn't keeping us from much, although I'm wondering what we're going to do for dinner since we can't fire up the stove - maybe drive to town to eat in the cafe! <BR> <BR> While I'm enjoying the sou... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 20:23:09 EST An Exciting Trip Begins!! I've gotten all of my 'stuff' packed [except my purse, computer and the dogs] and just waiting for DH to wind up his last-minute organization - then we will be ON THE ROAD!! I'm so excited, even though in some ways this might not sound like anything to get so worked up about! But it's not so much WHAT we're going to do, it's WHO will be doing it with us! <BR> <BR> First off, I enjoy traveling with DH - and we'll have our dogs with us, which always adds a lot to the experience. They love to t... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 12:26:57 EST Tiger's Personality Transplant - memories of an amazing cat! When my dad became disabled in Texas around 2006, he had 38 cats on his ranch - my brother and SIL worked to find homes for many of them but after they had exhausted their resources, there were still 4 cats left - Midnight, Bitsy, Greyboy and Tiger. Bitsy lived in my dad's bed with him, a 'reformed' feral cat - Greyboy was super aggressive and attacked all other creatures in his vicinity, male or female, so he was kept isolated and eventually found a home/job as a 'barn cat' - Midnight was el... Tue, 24 Jul 2012 12:53:36 EST Toe Update [boring blog of the day!] In a narcissistic moment, I've become convinced that everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting to find out how my toe is recovering from the recent injury so here is the Boring Blog of the Day - keep reading only if your life is so boring, even this bulletin sounds interesting, haha! <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> Quick recap - I broke my toe on Friday the 13th. [Bet you thought the 'bad luck' was a myth, didn't you?] - it wasn't 'just' a broken toe, it broke lengthwise on the bone across the ... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 13:53:27 EST What if today, we were just grateful for EVERYTHING?? [posters] The horrible tragedy in Aurora Colorado have illustrated just how fragile life is and how 'random events' can affect many people. I am very blessed, privileged and <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> for my life today - things like this tragedy sure put my petty little problems into perspective! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So I thought I'd post a few of my favorite GRATITUDE pi... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 13:44:10 EST Yosemite = Amazing! [pictures] We ended our most recent vacation with a short stay in Yosemite - it is an incredibly beautiful place, almost 'too' gorgeous to be real. Honest, I look at the scenery and feel almost like it's gotta be a painting or photo-shopped because nothing could possibly look like that in real life - but it does. There's a good reason why it's considered one of the Wonders of the World! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> All I have to say is, if you... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 19:19:50 EST Don't Forget to Be Awesome [posters] <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 21:15:59 EST The Secret Garden at Tragedy Spring [pictures] When we left Lake Tahoe, we drove south on Hwy 88, which is not as heavily traveled as other routes - just our type of road ;-) It took us through the Eldorado National Forest around lunch-time and the dogs wanted to stretch their legs so I started looking for an appropriate picnic area. Unfortunately, most of the designated picnic areas we passed were right on the highway or were super-busy, neither of which was conducive for letting the dogs wander around off-leash for awhile. We spotted an... Tue, 17 Jul 2012 17:55:07 EST