Archive for the “European Life” Category

I know, from first hand experience, that a >LOT< of folks in Europe just DON’T GET AMERICANS.  Hell, for that matter we don’t even get ourselves.  More accurately, we’re North Americans (along with the Canadians) as someone from Colombia  or Venezuela will also call him/herself American.  Regardless, quite a few of the Middle East countries (and China) will point out the prominent faults that we have, however, they will never acknowledge our strong points and I want to share a couple with you now.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Today, the Clan Tucker starts another Grand Adventure by moving back to the United States and me getting ready to retire from the US Army.  We’ve spent the last 1613 days enjoying European living and are really, really looking forward to returning to the US.  Sure, there are things we won’t miss, however, there are just as many things that we will miss.  Regardless, yet another adventure kicks off this weekend and I’m sure that it will be very exciting.  Now, if I could only find a job that does NOT require 6 to 12 month deployments on a rotating basis!!  Who’da thunk that working in the Tool Bin of Home Depot was SOOO demanding??!?!!??


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It took a while but I was finally able to get all of the photos uploaded from our last trip in Europe.  Yup, there are a lot but it truly was an EPIC trip.  I really do hate to admit it but MIUK (Maggie In The UK) was a better trip that MITA08 (details here and here).  Over 9 days we went about 1200 miles driving across Scotland, Ireland and Wales and it was Awesome!!  Here’s an example of just how great the trip was.  Happy Snaps posted and details after the break.


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Today, 17 days until we leave Europe, the Clan Tucker will depart on our final European vacation to see Scotland, Ireland and Wales.  If there was another MINI goin with us, it’d be MINIs Meet The Kings, however, for now I’ll settle for Maggie Meets The Kings!  Over the next 10 days, The Crew and I are all piling into Maggie  and are gonna see Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, and some Welsh towns to get the last little bit of “culture” before our triumphant return to the United States.  This trip includes two over-night ferries, two short ferries, castles, the Glenfiddich and Glenmorangie distilleries, the Guiness brewery and the possibly the largest selection of used book stores in the UK or at least all of Wales!!  Dunno how much Intarwebz we’ll have access to during the ride but I will try to keep ya’ll posted.  Of course, we’ll take some pictures.  Lots and LOTS of pictures.


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This was a very, very busy weekend with Matthew graduating from AFNORTH International School on Friday and being presented his Eagle Award on Sunday!!  All in all, not too shabby and my work here is DUN.


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The movers have arrived to pack up the Tucker Clan’s lootz for shipping to the States.  We spent the weekend sorting through everything figuring out what we could be without for the next two months until >we< (finally!) move back to the States.  We also started our own Clean Sweep on the House That Harry Built, finding lost things, GIANT dust bunnies and trying to find places to put the “keep here” stuff!!  Today, the Kids are in school and Kelly and I will try to stay out of the way of the packing crew.  Kinda harrowing watching strangers rifling through your bestest finds of the whole day but the anticipation is building for the big GTFO!!  More to follow, I’m sure.


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Back in the day, I’d get together with a crew of MINI owners in Germany and we’d do runs that Art had put together through the Odenwald, Schwarzwald and points in between.  A couple of times, we’d run out to the Nurburgring Nordschleife.  With Wednesday being the Dutch Liberation Day and a day off of work, Matt and I went with a couple of guys from work to give Maggie, Too her chance to run the ‘Ring.

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After much delay, here’s the trip report for our visit to Crete. It was GREAT!! For me, it was one of the hidden secrets of Europe and Crete seemed to be the Hawaii of Europe, though I’m sure there are those who would disagree.  Crete runs a close second to Sorrento as the location we’d fly from the States to see again.  This trip just about covered all of the modes of travel: Planes, trains, automobiles and boats!  Only thing we didn’t ride was animals!  The general plan for the trip was to fly in and out of Athens, take the overnight ferry to Heraklion, drive over to Rethymno and spoke out from there.  Details after the break. Read the rest of this entry »

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Back in February, Kelly bought this really cool chimney cap.  A week ago, the movers came to do a pre-inspection of our stuff.  We knew we’d have to contact the builder to see if we could get it delivered a day or so earlier than agreed so the movers could have enough time to build a box for it.  So Kelly called her co-worker, Marion, to ask her to contact the builder.  Not more than an hour later, the guy calls Kelly to tell her that the cap is ready to be picked up.  Wow, great!  Kelly then calls Marion back and finds out that Marion hadn’t emailed the guy yet!  Coincidence?!?  In any case, Kelly has her chimney cap and I’ve got a project!  Snaps posted here.


Comments Comments Off on And it’s here!!

In preparation for our triumphant return to the States (in 140 days!!), Kelly has started collecting the bits and bobs of European goodness to adorn our home.  This time, she’s found the chimney cap for the fireplace!!  True, we don’t have a fireplace, yet, nor do we have the flat screen TV that goes above the mantelpiece, either!  All in good time.

Kelly had seen this from the street several weeks ago and she wanted to know where the owners got the cap.  What she found is a cast iron hand covered in copper and holding an umbrella made completely of copper.  All of this goes above the chimney as a cap.  So Kelly took a co-worker, Marion, to the house after work yesterday, but there seemed to be no-one home.  Today, they went back and tried the door bell again.  This time, a man came to the door and just BLASTED them in Dutch.  Now, Kelly doesn’t speak it but Marion is Dutch and she got the what for!!  Seems this guy doesn’t appreciate the Jehovah’s Witnesses coming around and took Kelly and Marion for them!!  After a quick explanation that they weren’t Witnesses but were interested in his chimney cap, he explained that he made it and was very receptive to the Kelly’s idea to commission from him another umbrella chimney cap.  So she’s put down €100 of the €400 total and we can expect completion around 18 May.  The guy’s site is here in German with the translation here.  Really, this isn’t a bad bit of kit and I’m certain that there won’t be another like it in Hope Mills, let alone the state of North Carolina!!  Now, about getting that large screen TV…


PS:  I really should’ve put more effort into the editing of this post rather than watching the new Ski-Cross Olympic event, which is just mayhem and chaos on snow!

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