Monday, November 7, 2011

A slightly older Cinderella Went to the Ball!

Mac and I had the special privilege of attending
the 236th Marine Corp Ball in Bern, Switzerland
this year.
Did you know that a detachment of Marines guard all of our
United States Embassies around the world?
Mac is former Air Force so we were eager to see how the Marine traditions
are different than what we were used to.

Our tickets were amazing! Metal keepsakes of our
lovely evening.

Back of the ticket.

The "Ballroom."

The table settings.

My cousin Terry married Rich Fisher LTC (R)  who I went to high school with.
We were all very proud because Rich was the Master of Ceremonies and
the Ambassador even said he had the "voice of God."

The Marines prepare to "troop the colors" a fancy way to say
present the flags of the United States of America and the Marine Corp.

Presenting the colors to the guest of honor
Ambassador Donald S. Beyer, Jr.

Cake Ceremony
Traditionally, regardless of location in the world, Marines stop to observe the Corp's Birthday  by sharing a cake and a meal.

Sorry that you can't see the sword here, but a sword was used to cut the cake.
The sword serves as a reminder that the United States Marines are a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword, so that our nation may live in peace.

The first piece of cake is presented to the guest of honor, Ambassador Beyer.

The second piece is presented to the oldest Marine present.  He is 73 years old.
This serves to show the honor and respect accorded to experience and seniority.

In a very touching moment, the oldest Marine passes the piece of cake to the youngest Marine present.  He was 20 years old. This signifying how the experienced Marines have nurtured and led young Marines that will fill their ranks and renew the Corp.

Ambassador Beyer addressed the Marines.

Retiring the "colors"

End of the ceremony.

The fallen comrades table.

Click to enlarge so you can read this.

Shrimp appetizer and beef with risotto.

Everyone had a lovely time.

Some "BELLES" of the ball.

Ambassador Beyer posed with us for a portrait!
He is a very charming man.
Two of our Bern Switzerland Marines!

Let the dancing begin!

A beautiful evening!

In life, all lovely parties and good times must come to an end.

To the Marine Security Guard Detachment of Bern, Switzerland
Mac and I want to thank you for your service.  We respect you, support you
and are very PROUD of you.
We know
HOO--RAH boys! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Gardens/Stuttgart

Mac and I have been living in Stuttgart area now for almost 2 years.
We had heard about the Wilhema Zoo and Botanical gardens but,
had not bothered to go.  After our fantastic day out here, we wished we'd gone sooner.
The park is open 365 days a year and you'll find it at
Neckartalstr. 13
Neckartalstra├če 70342 Stuttgart, Baden-W├╝rttemberg

This is the only zoological botanical garden in all of Europe
and it is a MUST on your do to list in Germany.

Let me show you just a few of the highlights of our day here.
We loved the penguins.

My personal favorite are the monkeys!

Look at this extraordinary little fellow with his white beard and long brown tail.

Don't miss the insect house with it's collection of unusual
insects such as this one that looks like a dried leaf.

Our favorite butterfly in the Butterfly house.

The aquarium had some very strange

looking fish.

This is a Cardinal Shrimp from Indonesia.

Look at these amazing fish.  They swim vertically!

Of course, you'll also find big animals here.  Elephants, tigers
giraffes etc.

A collection of lizards.

and ssnnnnn-akes.

Don't miss the buildings that house the gardens
as they have animals inside too.

This was a wonderful day filled with fun seeing the beautiful flora and fauna.
The animals are so enjoyable to watch.
Mac says, "This place get's the thumbs up, bring your family because
there is something here for everyone."