Otterberg, Germany

Now it was time to visit Otterberg, Germany again.  I love this town where our ancestors lived in the early 1700’s.  This was Sarah’s first chance to see the area, and though their Christmas market was over it still was beautifully decorated inside the church.

I wonder if our ancestors gazed upon the same rose window?

Did they use these same decorative door handles?

Or touch this podium?

Hans Nicolaus Kuntz was the almoner of the village in 1703; did he stand in front of the congregation (like I do) and ask people to donate to the needs of children in poverty?

Surely they used this well to collect water before embarking on the long migration to Ireland in 1709, due to their own hardship when Austrian troops came through and overtook their home.

Surely they walked these same streets and were happy to see familiar buildings when they returned from Ireland in 1718.

How thrilled they must have been to see the church again, only to bid farewell to it for the last time when they immigrated to the New World in 1735.

Some beautiful carvings remain behind; perhaps these tell the stories of these brave, strong people.



Baden-Baden, Germany

The next stop on our tour of Christmas markets last year was Baden-Baden, Germany.  This was a really special market place.

Just beyond the market was a unique display of artwork that was gorgeous.

Once again, the food got our attention, but not only the food, the restaurant itself.  It was an enclosed porch of a beautiful hotel, but cold enough that they provided blankets at each chair.  So nice and cozy with warm cider!

Really yummy!

The breakfast buffet was fantastic too.


Colmar, France

Our second stop in search of Christmas markets last year was at Colmar, France.  This was in a beautiful part of the city called “La Petite Venise,” and you can see why with all the canals.

There were plenty of holiday decorations all around.

There was even a carnival with a fun roller coaster with “seats” in the shape of horses (and yes, they rocked back and forth as they went around the track).

Once again, the food was outstanding.

The markets had thousands of fun items to see.

There were many nativities all around too.

These faces carved into the entryway of the old cathedral were fascinating to me.

We will never forget beautiful Colmar!


Strasbourg, France

Here are more photos from Strasbourg last year during the after-Christmas markets.  Everything was decorated so beautifully.

Of course, the food is always good in France.

I called this “the sink that wasn’t a sink.”  

Christmas Markets

A year ago Sarah and I went to Europe to see the Christmas markets.  We loved it and would definitely recommend it as a unique holiday adventure.  We went between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

We landed in Frankfurt, Germany, rented a car, and headed to Strasbourg, France for the night.  It was wonderful to see all the huge decorations.

We loved this pretty village scene in the middle of the park.

This was only the start of a great adventure.




More Family Pics

These are more random photos of my dad through the years, particularly at special occasions.  He enjoyed seeing the little ones and playing with them when he could.  This is my cousin, Molly, on the left, and Chris on the right.  Daddy usually had a pipe in his mouth in these early photos, but he quit smoking by the 90’s.

2016-05-08 19.11.27_500_500

He enjoyed taking the family to Dornan’s, to the big teepees, for breakfast.


I love this photo of my sister with Daddy, giggling over something.


Holidays were always important to get together, when possible.

2016-05-08 19.12.53_500_500



These were taken years ago in Kansas City, and were probably taken shortly after “Mom,” my maternal grandmother, passed away from cancer.  Somebody left my mother’s head out of the scene accidentally!


This would be my dad’s view at the same table — left to right — my grandma and grandpa Chaney, “Pop” (my mother’s dad), my mother, my sister, Robyn, and myself.


Here are photos of my dad with his parents, Delia and Roy Chaney, with Robyn.


This next one is odd because Robyn seems to be cut off; do you suppose she wasn’t cooperating?


Here’s both of us with the Chaney grandparents; now who’s not cooperating? Why didn’t they cut me out?  Too much picture taking, but Grandma and Grandpa look great!