small bug icon  album2019:

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Pictures from our activities in 2019.

us and the grandkids
  1. Travels
  2. Family
  3. Around the house & local events
  4. Random bugs, flowers, and garden


Our travels this year included two trips outside the country. The first was to the Punta Cana region in the Dominican Republic at the Barceló Bávaro Resort. We had stayed here back in 2012. We thoroughly enjoyed our week in the sun. They still seem to have a shortage of bathing suit fabric, but who am I to complain!

Our 'big' trip was a week long Danube River cruise. We extended our trip on both ends to see a little more or Europe. Our trip started in Budapest, a very tourist friendly city. We stayed at a hotel right on the river and were centrally located to see the major sites. After an additional touring day in Budapest, the cruise had stops at Vienna, Krems, Passau, Regensburg, and ending in Nuremberg. We learned about lock closures and in fact, never made it via ship to Nuremburg [took bus instead]. One fellow passenger died [natural causes] during the cruise. At the end of the cruise, we made our way via bus to Prague. We spent three days there touring the sights, before taking another bus ride back to Vienna. The cruise stop in Vienna was only half a day, and we felt we wanted more time there. More great food and sightseeing which included a live performance of Aida, Schönbrunn Palace, and a combo Vienna Boys Choir & Lipizzan horses performance at the Spanish Riding School. We are glad we returned to have more time in the city, another very tourist friendly city. Hopefully soon, I'll get a photo album together of the pictures from our trip.

We made two trips to Colorado to visit Matthew - one in the spring and one in the fall. We discovered that May in Colorado is not spring. Matthew's house received a dusting of snow the day we arrive, May 1st and the day we left, May 8th. On our fall visit, we had ample opportunity to enjoy that changing colors of the aspens as well as driving to see Arches National Park in Utah and the black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Montrose, CO. Matthew cooked up some of his favorites for us during our stay. We also sampled many of the fine Colorado craft beers during our travels around the state.

Dominican Republic

Danube River Cruise

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Colorado and environs

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Sonia and I very much enjoy being grandparents. One highlight of the year was getting all three of our grandkids together in one place for a week, so that they could be better acquainted. We rented a condo at a Virginia resort to accomodate everyone. We are happy to have somewhat regular baby sitting gigs with Nolan, who is a real joy to be around. He has grown and developed so much this year. All of our grandkids have their birthdays in March. Nolan turned 1, Frank turned 5, and Rosalie turned 9.

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Around the house & local events

Projects around the house were a major part of the year. Among them: tree trimming, painting the dining room, repairing our storage shed, and replacing our hall, kitchen, and laundry room tile floors.

Sonia and I attended a few special local event. We toured [again] the Yards brewery in Philly. Along with other beer tours on our river cruise and trips to Colorado, we feel knowledgeable about craft brewing. We attended a cooking class at a Philly Italian restaurant. It was more than a class, it was actually a dinner. We got to eat our creations! We were great cooks [with help from master chef, Jeff Michaud.

We got an excellent American history lesson in the form of the Hamilton musical. We caught a local production in Philly.

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Local events

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Random bugs, flowers, and garden

I am still interested in photography. I seem to find interesting insects and flowers everywhere I go. Even at home, I spent weeks following a harlequin bug invasion in our garden. An amazing little insect. I have over 200 pictures from my observations. Another lucky find was a pair of mating praying mantis. Our garden yielded some produce, mainly peppers, tomatoes and butternut squash.

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Copyright © 2019 Michael Botos. revised: 12/10/2019

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