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Tuesday, August 9

August 9, 2011 (184/365)


An instrument we heard being played outside The Dome in Salzburg Austria


Day 2 of Europe midmorning to early afternoon is up at Composition-Life

Saturday, August 6

August 6, 2011 (182/365)

I will not deny the fact that I was totally in awe of the cathedrals in Europe. They were magnificent. They were so very old. They were gorgeous. They were filled with the music of ages past, played by the masters who created the music. They were filled with statues of saints and tombs of great leaders.

But when I sang the song "Glory to God" with the choir in the different cathedrals and church's - even though I reveled in the beauty around me and the sound that carried up to the rafters - my thoughts were on the One who I was praising in the song.

It is so easy to get carried away in the history and the magnificence of the buildings we were in and focus on the idols and obscene wealth within each of the buildings and start worshiping the beauty itself.

But I am thankful and grateful to the God to whom those buildings were built - the One who made it possible for us to travel safely and see these wonders, the One who is my Lord and Savior.

And for that I am forever in His debt.

You can check out our visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral on the morning of DAY 2 - our Europe Trip over at Composition-Life

For more SPIRITUAL SUNDAY'S click the link.

Friday, August 5

August 5, 2011 (181/365)

As I said recently, the flowers in Europe are much the same as what we have here in Western New York. You know how I love daisy's! I couldn't resist this shot - and the thought of how rain is refreshing to the soul, and how even though our trip was so exhausting - it too refreshed me in many ways.

You can check out the rest of our Day One in Europe over at Compostion-Life

Thursday, August 4

August 4, 2011 (180/365)


A Flower from the National Cemetery in Vienna Austria.
Read part II of the European Tour here: Composition-Life

Wednesday, August 3

August 3, 2011 (179/365)

A very small portion of the gardens in the back of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. A gorgeous place, to be sure. One thing I noticed was that the flowers we have here, are the same ones they have there. Marigolds, begonias, lavenders, geraniums, dusty miller, and petunia's abound. It is the lay out of that makes them so very spectacular.

I like the quote, I came across this morning, as I poured thru all of my photos. So many statues and fountains and carvings all over where we visited - and how true ... the diligence of the sculptor, hammering away, always one 'hit' away from the crack that devastates the artwork.

It makes me think of those who take the chances and go out on a limb, to live the lives they dream of. Taking a chance to create something beautiful, taking a chance to be the best they can. It is a lot of hard work as they live life on the edge.

I don't do that too often. I don't take chances - and I know I miss out on a lot.
I am glad I didn't miss out on this trip.

More info and photo's from our AMA Empire Tour Europe 2011 are over at Composition-Life.

Tuesday, August 2

August 2, 2011 (178/365)

This photo was taken somewhere between the cities of Salzburg and Westendorf in Austria. It is of course of the Alps. Although I can never say how thankful I am to have been a part of this once in a lifetime tour - for my son and I - and the whole Empire Band and Chorus, it can be a challenge when touring with 100 other people, in the sense that - you can't always get the photo shots that you want and how you want them.

You are forever at the mercy of the group (and for good reason when traveling with a large group of high school students). The staff is always concerned with their safety and of course staying together and keeping on the rigorous schedule. So often ... my photos were taken thru the window of the coach, or had lots of people in them (who I didn't know) as we, most of the time - didn't stop for photo opportunities - we quickly had to snap and keep up.

Although that is a great disadvantage for a photographer, it is a great way to get a taste of the different areas - and Lord willing - if you ever have the chance to go back - you can go to those areas you tasted - and really liked - and then have to time to really explore.

This photo was shot thru the window of the coach, as we were driving. The majesty of our surroundings were indescribable. The power of God as seen thru His amazing and beautiful creation.

I was in awe . . .

(more detail of the trip can be found here: Composition-Life)

Monday, August 1

I am Back!!

(Westendorf, Austria Thursday July 21, 2011)

Just a quick post to let you know all is well and my son and I returned from our European Tour very early this morning at 2 am. I took so many pictures (1800) and have lots to weed thru. I will be posting on our trip over at COMPOSITION LIFE as well as using photos here from the trip.

Can't wait to share the trip with you - thru the photos.

God is awesome!
Everyone is safe and sound - everything went very smoothly. There was an accident that involved the bus my son and I were on (there were 2 buses carrying 100 of us) but no one was injured - and Kudos to our bus driver who by swerving- avoided killing the driver of the car who did not stop at a stop light and ran into us.

Even the plane rides and 26 hours on the bus as we toured Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic were perfect with no anxiety on my part at all.

Working thru my jet lag, unpacking, and getting used to being home - then I will share it all with you!

Hope you are well.
I have missed you!

Valerie