Project 52, Week 34, Part 9 – The Most Beautiful Place in the World!

It’s time for Project 52, Week 34 – Part 9!

1999_04_14 9 Happy Family

34 weeks ago, on my 52nd birthday, I began Project 52. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, each week I’m taking one year of my life and blogging about it. This week, I’m covering the year I was 34 — June 14, 1998, to June 14, 1999.

The question is: Can I finish talking about Year 34 on the last night of Week 34? This is now the ninth post about being 34, after talking about my new home and new job, our vacation in Spittal an der Drau, visiting the village of Sondra, yet more castles, Ruth and John’s visit, our trip to EuroDisney, more travels and more visitors, and Writing at the Abbaye de Royaumont.

My family, including my in-laws, was still on vacation when they picked me up after my overwhelmingly wonderful weekend at the Writer’s Retreat at the Abbaye de Royaumont. Our next stop was Holland, and the next day we went to the most beautiful place in the world — Keukenhof Gardens in Springtime. I’m just going to post lots of pictures. The gardens were amazing.

1999_04_14 1 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 2 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 3 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 4 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 5 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 6 Timmy shoes

1999_04_14 7 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 8 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 10 Timmy

1999_04_14 11 Statue

1999_04_14 12 Bridge

1999_04_14 13 Jade

1999_04_14 14 Jade

1999_04_14 15 Timmy

1999_04_14 16 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 17 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 18 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 19 Timmy

1999_04_14 20 Timmy

1999_04_14 21 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 22 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 23 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 24 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 25 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 26 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 27 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 28 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 29 Eklunds

1999_04_14 30 All

1999_04_14 31 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 32 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 33 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 34 Keukenhof

1999_04_14 35 Keukenhof

And we finished up our vacation with a trip to the tiny city at Madurodam.

1999_04_15 1 Madurodam

1999_04_15 2 Madurodam

1999_04_15 3 Madurodam

1999_04_15 4 Madurodam

1999_04_15 5 Madurodam

1999_04_15 6 Madurodam

1999_04_15 7 Madurodam

And we stopped at the pottery factory in Delft. I got an adorable little piggy bank that I still have today on my desk.

1999_04_15 8 Delft

So we had a lovely time while the Eklunds visited, but it was also exhausting. Then we caught our breaths and the next pictures are from Mother’s Day. On Mother’s Day and on my birthday, I always requested that we have dinner at a castle. And the weather in Germany in May is pretty much glorious. So we went to one of our favorites, Altenbaumburg, and had dinner outside, overlooking the valley.

1999_05_09 1 Altenbaumburg

1999_05_09 2 Altenbaumburg

1999_05_09 3 Jade

1999_05_09 4 Altenbaumburg

I call this one My Angel Picture. Behind them the yellow fields are the Rapps blooming, as they do in May.

1999_05_09 5 Angel Picture

1999_05_09 6 Altenbaumburg

1999_05_09 7 Altenbaumburg

1999_05_09 8 Altenbaumburg

1999_05_09 9 Altenbaumburg

1999_05_09 10 Altenbaumburg

Here are some from a May ramble on the top of our Gundersweiler Hill:

1999_05_23 1 Our Hill Steve

1999_05_23 2 Our Hill Jade

1999_05_23 3 Our Hill

1999_05_23 4 Our Hill

Some time in there, by the way, we began reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a family, followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It wasn’t a phenomenon quite yet. We gave a copy to Josh’s 5th grade teacher at the end of the year, and he later said it was the best gift he’d ever received.

Here are some pictures from our house. The first flowers are Pfingsten Poppies that bloom around the holiday of Pfingsten. (I loved the flowers that popped up around our house in Gundersweiler.)

1999_05 1 At Home

1999_05 2 Pfingsten Poppies

1999_06 1 Gundersweiler

In June, we went to Zweibrücken and visited the Rose Garden and Castle #69.

1999_06_07 1 Zweibrucken

1999_06_07 2 Zweibrucken

1999_06_07 3 Burg Zweibrucken

1999_06_07 4 Burg Zweibrucken

And on the last day I was 34, we did some castling in Luxembourg!

First was Castle #70, Burg Ulmen (actually in the Vulkan-Eifel on the way to Luxembourg). And yes, Vulkan is the same word as volcano. The lake next to Burg Ulmen was once a volcanic crater.

1999_06_13 1 Burg Ulmen

1999_06_13 2 Burg Ulmen

1999_06_13 3 Burg Ulmen

1999_06_13 4 Burg Ulmen

1999_06_13 5 Burg Ulmen

1999_06_13 6 Burg Ulmen

1999_06_13 7 Burg Ulmen

1999_06_13 8 Burg Ulmen

And then Castle #71, Chateau-Palais de Vianden in Luxembourg.

1999_06_13 1 Vianden

1999_06_13 2 Vianden

1999_06_13 9 Vianden - Copy

1999_06_13 10 Vianden - Copy

1999_06_13 11 Vianden - Copy

1999_06_13 12 Vianden - Copy

1999_06_13 13 Vianden - Copy

1999_06_13 14 Vianden - Copy

1999_06_13 15 Vianden - Copy

1999_06_13 16 Vianden Jade - Copy

1999_06_13 17 Vianden Me

1999_06_13 18 Vianden

And here’s how my 34th year ended:

1999_06_13 19 Sleeping

Now tomorrow I’m ready to talk about when I was 35!

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