The Adventures of DoBell and Pyama

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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Mont Saint Michel

The last time we tried visiting Mont Saint Michel, we arrived after dark. This time, we were determined to see it during the day.

Mont Saint Michel is an abbey and town built on Mont Tombe (Tomb Mountain), a rocky outcropping on the Brittany coast. The tides are pretty extreme here. At high tide, Mont Saint Michel is surrounded by water, and at low tide, it is surrounded by sandy flats. First settled in the 8th century, Mont Saint Michel has a huge medieval abbey which nearly doubles the height of the island. In the 19th century, the abbey was used as a prison.

The views are spectacular, particularly from the abbey and ramparts. It's also quite a climb to the top of the hill. The main street is full of trinket peddlers these days, but if you step off the main street, you can still get a sense of how Mont Saint Michel felt in ye olden dayes.

After visiting Mont Saint Michel, we went to Avranches, a nearby town, for dinner. Of course, Avranches was also darling, with an old castle and walls on a hill. We stopped at the ramparts and watched the sun set over Mont Saint Michel and the English Channel.

Sunset view of Mont Saint Michel from Avranches. Posted by Hello

Sheep and Mont Saint Michel. Posted by Hello

Doreen by the drawbridge at the bottom of Mont Saint Michel. Posted by Hello

Doreen looking over the ramparts at low tide. At high tide, all the sand you see is covered by water. Posted by Hello

Paul in the abbey of Mont St Michel. Posted by Hello

Doreen by Monet's house and garden in Giverny. Posted by Hello

Doreen by some giant tulips in front of Monet's house. Posted by Hello

Water lillies in Monet's pond. Posted by Hello

Cleaning Monet's pond. Posted by Hello

The (top of) the cathedral in Rouen. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Tiptoe through the tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils

I know - it’s a little cliché, but how can you resist. Spring finally arrived in Holland and we set off to Lisse for an entire day of tiptoeing through one of Holland’s most famous attractions. Keukenhof Gardens is the world's largest flower garden. It is open for only eight weeks each year - from late March to May - during which nearly a million people tour the 32-hectare park. When you see the results, you will understand why only eight weeks – the remainder of the year must be spent in planning and prep.

We don’t have any stories, just an abundance of pictures. And these aren't even all of them. I went a little crazy.

Fields of tulips next to the canal at Keukenhof Gardens Posted by Hello

The entrance to Keukenhof Gardens Posted by Hello

Ripples of blue hyacinths amidst the tulips. Posted by Hello

A stream of blue hyacinths leading into the woods Posted by Hello

Paul showing how large the hyacinths are. Wish we had a scratch and sniff blog. The fragrance was heavenly. Posted by Hello

A white peacock wandering the park. Posted by Hello

I stood still forever waiting for this shot! Posted by Hello

Tulips in the foreground Posted by Hello

Doreen trying to get artsy Posted by Hello

Paul standing by some giant tulips Posted by Hello

Tulips as far as the eye can see Posted by Hello

Queen's Day tulips! Posted by Hello

Paul walking on water...almost. Posted by Hello

and more. Posted by Hello

more tulips Posted by Hello