Memories of Traveling in Europe and the British Isles

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy, Retrieved October 17, 2022, https://www.hotels.com/go/italy/trevi-fountarome

Europe and the British Isles are beautiful places to visit if one ever has the opportunity. As a young adult, I traveled to Europe and/or the British Isles twice. On the first occasion, I studied in Poland for the summer prior to my last semester in college. When I returned two or three years later, I spent six weeks traveling to as many countries as I could to drink in the people, places, and cultures of each nation. Overall, I had a wonderful experience on both occasions, and I am so thankful that I was able to travel at the time that I did because I have not had the opportunity to return since then – that was more than 25 years ago.

I have included a prior post about Poland, studying in Poland, and visiting with my Polish relatives on this blog site, but will provide some additional information here. Traveling out of JFK Airport in New York City to Warsaw, Poland, and then, by van to Krakow, I spent a summer studying abroad in Poland. I had a wonderful time learning intensive Polish language at Jagiellonian University in Krakow with several of my classmates from the University at Buffalo, as well as a few other students from around the world. We had two instructors – one lady who was fluent in Polish and English, and another lady who was fluent in Polish and German. Luckily, when the latter lady taught the class, one student from California was fluent in English and German, and she was kind enough to translate for the class. It definitely made for an even more interesting experience learning a language that I had only previously known a few words from that my mother, aunt, and grandmother had spoken.

By the third week or so of learning Polish, I wrote a postcard in Polish to my relatives in Kielce, and the following weekend, much to my joy, several of them arrived – unannounced – at my dormitory building and we spent the day together, sight-seeing at the beautiful Wieliczka Salt Mines. I also visited them and met even more of my relatives in Kielce when I traveled to my great aunt’s home by train a couple of weeks later. I had been tasked with items to gift to them by my family, and so, it was a must that I visited with them. I stayed for that weekend with my great aunt, Marianna, ate a family-reunion style dinner with my relatives, and attended church with Great Aunt Marianna before traveling back to Krakow.

During the time that I studied in Poland, I spent a day with my study abroad group in Czestochowa, Poland, visiting the Jasna Gora Monastery and viewing the icon of the Black Madonna. I also took time on several weekends to do my own traveling. On one weekend, I went to Berlin, Germany, and took in as much culture there as I could. I remember at the hostel where I stayed, a fellow traveler let me know that many Europeans did not particularly like Americans since we were viewed as “partiers,” and that they preferred Canadians. So, for the rest of my travels in Europe, if I did not have to show my passport, I became an “honorary Canadian.” On my weekend in Berlin, I enjoyed experiencing its history, particularly different historical monuments such as the Brandenburg Gate. I also walked from the old West Berlin to the old East Berlin, noticing the obvious differences in the “life” or lack thereof of the two sections of the city. I actually asked a passerby on my walk, in German while using my translator book, why there was such a stark contrast in the appearance of the city, and he told me that I had entered the former Communist side of Berlin. That explained everything. It was a very eye-opening experience simply to walk from one side of the city to the other.

I also traveled with a friend, Jen, to both Prague, in the former Czechoslovakia, as well as Vienna, Austria. She and I were both interested in traveling while we studied in Poland, and so we were a good match to travel together and watch each other’s backs. I will always remember the greedy train conductor who got more money out of Jen and I on our train ride to Vienna. He obviously thought we were “Rich Americans,” and had the power to tell us that we had not paid enough for our tickets and that we needed to fork over some more cash. Neither Jen, nor I understood what he was saying, however the Italian man sitting across from us told us in English what he wanted. He said that if we didn’t give him some money, he could throw us off the train. It was a good thing we both had some money on us because we gave him some and he was satisfied and left. What a crook! We had paid in full for our tickets and were sitting in the correct seats, and there was nothing else we could do about it. When you don’t know the language and you are a young American woman traveling in a foreign country, there are these kinds of vulnerabilities that you must deal with. I’m glad it wasn’t any worse than that. At any rate, both Prague and Vienna were absolutely stunning, though Vienna was crazy expensive. Prague was even prettier than Vienna due to the historic architecture that had not been destroyed by World War II.

I wish I could have visited more places while I studied in Poland during that summer, but there is only so much time to do everything on one’s agenda. So, I promised myself that I would return and visit more of Europe in the future, and I did that a couple of years later. I was intent on returning, and not receiving any handouts from my parents, I cashed in some investments that I had and spent a summer traveling in Europe and the British Isles. Really, I had convinced my mom to travel with me to the British Isles, and we visited London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Dublin, Ireland over the course of two weeks before I spent the next five weeks on my own. Mom and I visited castles, museums, parks, and pubs, and saw many a crown jewel that was out of this world! Pictures don’t do those jewels justice – you have to see them in person; they are absolutely incredible. The people were all very friendly, especially those in the pubs who were happy to encourage us to try ginger beer, which was actually very tasty. I have to say that it is probably my favorite beer! Dublin was very nice and had that bubbly, happy feel that the Irish gave it. Mom and I also saw the Aurora Borealis while we were in Dublin – it was really beautiful!

After two weeks touring the British Isles, I saw my mom off at Heathrow Airport to head back home through Toronto, Canada, and then, to Buffalo, New York. It was nice to have her company, most of the time, but I wanted to do things, independently, as well. So, for the next four weeks, I had my opportunity. I traveled throughout Europe on my own with two small luggage bags. I traveled very lightly, washing my clothes as I went along, and did not buy but only a few small mementos to take back home with me during my trip. Thankfully, my parents had told me they did not need or want anything, so the pressure was off for having to buy them anything. I did find a few small things to take back home for them, however.

I started out my five weeks by taking a ferry from England to Brussels, Belgium. I stayed in a youth hostel there – as I did in many of the places that I visited – for several days while I toured the city. Brussels is full of culture, as well as some cuteness, particularly with the statue of the little boy urinating. In short, the story about it is that there was a young boy who got lost and separated from his mother, and when he was located, he was seen urinating in the street. There is a statue of him in Brussels to commemorate this momentous occasion, and it is quite the tourist attraction!

Other places in Europe that I visited during my second trip there included Geneva, Switzerland; Lucerne, Switzerland; Engelberg, Switzerland; Luxembourg City, Luxembourg; Rome, Italy; Florence, Italy; Vatican City; Nice, France; and Paris, France. I took the train with a Eurail pass when traveling to different cities, and when I was within a city, I took subways where I could or went on foot. In Switzerland, American money did not go very far as everything was very expensive. However, Switzerland was beautiful to visit because of the mountains and amazing landscapes. One place I visited was Mount Titlis and the glacier on that mountain, near Engelberg. I remember traveling there on a bus along a very windy, narrow road that the bus could’ve gone off of and over the side of the mountain at any moment. Thankfully, the bus driver was an expert at handling those winding curves because I actually wondered if I would make it back down the mountain alive!

Luxembourg City did not have much to offer, but I did buy some music from there. Rome, Florence, and the Vatican were lovely and very cultural. I enjoyed the many sites, statues, and fountains in Rome, particularly the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. I also achieved a life goal of visiting St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, and was in awe of this beautiful, holy church. I was disappointed, however, at being unable to see the Sistine Chapel. I asked a nun in the basilica, in Italian, if the chapel was open to visitors, and she told me it was closed in her sad, miserable way – I felt sorry for her and prayed for her, wondering why she was so ugly. Perhaps just being a nun was enough.

Prior to heading to France toward the end of my trip, I went back and spent some more time in Brussels. I enjoyed Brussels and it was relatively inexpensive on my budget, so I took in some more of the castles, museums, and parks there. Eventually, I did have to go to France, and I stopped in Nice first to enjoy the beach. Following that, I traveled to Paris where I toured around and saw some major sites. Of course, I went up the Eiffel Tower, saw the Arc de Triomphe, and toured the Louvre, which was absolutely huge and astounding. I remember seeing Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and thinking about how much smaller it was than I expected it to be. Paris was extremely expensive, and I had little money left by that time, so I spent and ate frugally. When it was time to return home, I nearly missed my flight out of Paris because I had not allowed quite enough time. I had not expected the Charles de Gaulle Airport to be so huge, and I thought I knew my French better than I did. Thankfully, a woman who spoke fluent English helped me while I was on a shuttle bus traveling between different gates, and she put me in the right direction. Had she told me incorrectly and had I listened, I really would have missed my flight home! Sometimes, God has a way of placing good people in our lives who help us when we most need it!

So, that pretty much sums up my travels in Europe and the British Isles. I think that summarizes all of the places I visited. I no longer have my “prized possession” passport from that time that reflected all of the country stamps since it was trashed by my former spouse, however I hold onto many wonderful memories of my travels. Also, as a young adult, I traveled on my own several times in the United States, along the East Coast and South, and in Canada, including Niagara Falls, Toronto, Algonquin Park, and Montreal. Canada has that down-to-earth feel with good family values, and I always enjoy traveling in and visiting Canada, though many years have passed since I was last there. While I was traveling in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Canada, I generally felt safer than whenever I traveled alone in the United States. Hopefully, someday, I will be able to return to Europe or the British Isles. It would be great to take my son to visit and tour some of the beautiful sites with him!

Advertisement

My Gale, Henn, Cole, McGee, and Bulson Family Ancestry Photos (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

The families of Gale, Henn, Cole, McGee, and Bulson are a big part of my family ancestry on my dad’s mother’s mom’s side of the family.  The Gale’s came to the United States from England.  William M. Gale, who is my Great Great Grandfather or Great Great Great Grandfather, was born in England.  Emily Esther (Costard) Gale (born on Isle of Jersey in the Channel Island, England on January 29, 1849-died in North Collins, New York on July 11, 1917), is possibly the mother (more likely) or a sister of William H. Gale, though I am unsure if he was William Hamilton Gale or William Henry Gale.  There were also other Gale’s in the family, including Walter Allen Gale, Harry Hamilton Gale, Julia Emily Gale, Alice Costard Gale, Lydia Ada Gale, and Carrie Camilla Gale.  Either William Hamilton Gale or William Henry Gale married Anna (Henn) Gale, and they had a daughter, Emily B. Gale.  Harry Hamilton Gale (September 14, 1878-March 1930), an uncle of my grandmother, served in the military in New York State.

All of the Gale’s lived in Hamburg, New York, but for Harry who is later said to have moved to Canada.  William (Emily B. Gale’s father) was a successful barber, and owned and operated his own barber shop in Hamburg for decades.  They lived on Main Street, and the barber shop was close by their residence.  Julia Emily (Gale) Briggs was married to Clarence Briggs, and they had a daughter, Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, my grandmother – my father’s mother.

My Great Great Grandmother Emily (Costard) Gale’s sisters remained in England, but stayed in touch with her and sent photos and letters to her through the years.  Irish ancestry, through marriage, came from one of my great great grandmother’s sisters, Julia McGee; her son was named William McGee.  He married and had two daughters, Dorothy and Phyllis. Dorothy married Mr. B. Apps on August 2, 1937.

There were also several members of the Henn Family, who had immigrated to the United States from Germany.  From what I have uncovered, I believe that Frank Henn married Anna (Goetz) Henn.  They had children, including Fred and Louis, and possibly Anna, Frank, William, and Charles.  Fred (Frederick) (born October 20, 1843 in Bavaria, Germany) was a soldier in the Union Army and fought in the Civil War in Louisiana and Virginia.  He was a private in Company D, 116th NYVI Regiment of Buffalo.  He was wounded in Louisiana, and spent 2-3 months in the hospital, there, recovering.  He was honorably discharged due to the end of the war.  There is a photo and record of his service on file at the Hamburg (New York) Historical Society.  I also have a photo and an item of memorabilia reflecting his service in the Army.  He was married to Mary A. Henn, who died in 1896.

When Emily B. Gale died in 1986 and her estate was sold, my family missed acquiring Fred Henn’s medal from his service in the Civil War because it was grabbed quickly by an antique dealer who had a special interest in such memorabilia, and who had arrived just ahead of my parents for the sale.  It would have been a wonderful piece to keep in the family.  Additionally, I have a beautiful and colorful marriage certificate of a Friedrich  Henn and Mahole (Thompson) Henn, reflecting their wedding date as July 27, 1897 in Germany.  This is believed to be a different Fred Henn than the man who fought in the American Civil War.  Also remember that Emily B. Gale was the only child of William H. Gale and Anna (Henn) Gale.

The Cole’s are part of my family ancestry through Carrie Camilla Gale’s marriage to Frank Cole.  Carrie was the eldest daughter of William and Emily (Costard) Gale.  Frank and Carrie had a son, Arnold, who married Grace Cochran.  They then had three sons and a daughter, including Arnold Cole, Jr., William E. Cole, Eugene Cole, and Norma G. Cole.  I have several photos of Arnold Cole as a baby and as a private school student in Buffalo, New York.

I have one image William M. Gale, and a few photos of Emily (Costard) Gale.  I do not have any photos of Frank Cole, though I do have a couple of photos that include Carrie with her sisters, Julia and Alice.  Julia was my Great Grandmother – my Grandmother’s mom. Emily B. Gale, my grandmother’s cousin, lived with her parents, and never married.  She inherited the family home following the death of Anna (as William had predeceased her), though was placed in a nursing home in Hamburg, New York, where she died in 1986.  Emily B. Gale owned many amazing antiques and treasures, including antique furniture; dolls; photographs in frames; and Civil War memorabilia of Fred Henn.  My family was able to purchase a few of those items at her estate sale just after her death.

William H., Anna (Henn), and Emily B. Gale, and Frederick and Mary A. Henn, are buried in Prospect Lawn Cemetery in Hamburg, New York.

William M. Gale, Father of William H. Gale, Early Half of 1800s

William M. Gale, Father of William H. Gale, Early Half of 1800s

This is an image of William M. Gale, the father of William H. Gale.  The image is printed on a postcard, and would have to be from the early half of the 1800s.

Emily Gale (Grandmother of Emily B. Gale) with Oldest Granddaughter, Julia Gale (Age 2), Hamburg, NY, 1890

Emily (Costard) Gale with Julia Gale (Age 2), Hamburg, New York, 1890

Here is Emily Gale with Julia Gale, in Hamburg, New York in about 1890.

Possibly a Gale, Buffalo, New York

Possibly a Gale, Buffalo, New York

This photo is thought to possibly be that of a Gale boy.

Alice Gale

Alice Gale

This is a photo of Alice Gale, who was one of William Gale’s sisters or nieces.

Emily (Costard) Gale (1849-1917), Wife of William M. Gale, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1900-1910

Emily (Costard) Gale (1849-1917), Hamburg, New York, Circa 1900-1910

This photo is of Emily Esther (Costard) Gale, in Hamburg, New York in later life, around 1900-1910.

Condenseo Mince Meat (Possible Employees), Near Hamburg, New York, Circa 1890

Condenseo Mince Meat (Possible Employees), Near Hamburg, New York, Circa 1890

In her later years, Emily (Costard) Gale also worked at Condenseo Mince Meat in or around Hamburg, New York.  This is the best photo that I have of the employees of this company, a photo that also includes my Great Grandfather, Clarence Briggs, and one of his brothers, Howard Briggs, who both also worked there at that time.  Emily is seated in the middle, front row of the photo, while the Briggs men are standing at the rear.

Sisters Julia McGee (Age 75) and Martha Bulson (Age 72), Lee-on-the-Solent, England, 1929 (Cousins to Gale's and Briggs')

Sisters Julia McGee (Age 75) and Martha Bulson (Age 72), Lee-on-the-Solent, England, 1929 (Cousins to Gale’s and Briggs’)

This is a picture of Emily (Costard) Gale’s sisters, Julia McGee and Martha Bulson, from 1929 in England.

Martha E. Bulson (Left) and her Sister, Julia McGee, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, Circa 1923

Martha E. Bulson (Left) and her Sister, Julia McGee, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, Circa 1923

Here is Martha Bulson an her sister, Julia McGee, in England in 1923.  They were sisters of Emily (Costard) Gale.

Julia McGee, England, Christmas 1923

Julia McGee, England, Christmas 1923

Here is Julia McGee at Christmas in England in 1923.  The flowerettes were painted on the photo by William McGee, who painted pictures.  I believe the William was either her husband or son.

Martha E. Bulson with Sons and Grandchildren, Manor House, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, November 27. 1932

Martha E. Bulson with Sons and Grandchildren, Manor House, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, November 27, 1932

Here is Martha E. Bulson with her sons and grandchildren at her ‘Manor House’ in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, on November 27, 1932.

Martha E. Bulson (Left) with Sons and Grandchildren, Manor House, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, November 27. 1932

Martha E. Bulson (Left) with Sons and Grandchildren, Manor House, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, November 27, 1932

Again, here is a photo of Martha E. Bulson with her sons and grandchildren at her Manor House in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, on November 27, 1932.

William McGee, 1933, England

William McGee, 1933, England

This is a photo of William McGee in England in 1933.

The McGee's and Apps', August 2, 1937, England

The McGee’s and Apps’, August 2, 1937, England

Here is William McGee (right) with his family.  William’s wife is at the far left.  The McGee’s daugther, Dorothy married Mr. B. Apps on August 2, 1937.  The woman standing next to William is the groom’s mother.  The McGee’s daughter, Phyllis, is sitting.

Ronald Bulson, Lee-on-the-Solent, England, 1938 (By E.M. Blakey)

Ronald Bulson, Lee-on-the-Solent, England, 1938 (By E.M. Blakey)

This photo is of Ronald Bulson in England.  Ronald was Martha Bulson’s grandson.

Julia Gale (Married Name-Briggs), Hamburg, New York, 1890

Julia Gale (Married Name-Briggs) of Hamburg, New York, 1890

This is a photo of my Great Grandmother, Julia Emily (Gale) Briggs as a girl.

The Young Gale Girls, (L to R) Alice, Carrie (Married Name-Cole), & Julia (Married Name-Briggs), Hamburg, New York, 1890 (Daughters of William H. and Anna [Henn] Gale)

The Young Gale Girls, (L to R) Alice, Carrie (Married Name-Cole), & Julia (Married Name-Briggs), Hamburg, New York, 1890

Here are the Gale girls of Hamburg,  New York around 1890.

Possibly Alice Gale and Daughter, Buffalo, New York

Possibly Alice Gale and Daughter, Buffalo, New York

This photo is possibly of Alice Gale and a daughter, although I am not sure.  It is from 1908.

Anna (Henn) Gale with Niece Julia Emily Gale (Left) and Emily B. Gale, Hamburg, New York, 1900

Anna (Henn) Gale with Niece Julia Emily Gale (Left) and Emily B. Gale, Hamburg, New York, 1900

This is a photo of Anna (Henn) Gale with my Great Grandmother, Julia Gale, and Anna’s only child, Emily B. Gale, in Hamburg, New York around 1900.

Anna (Henn) Gale (Wife of William H. Gale; Mother of Emily B. Gale), Hamburg, New York, Circa 1900

Anna (Henn) Gale (Wife of William H. Gale; Mother of Emily B. Gale), Hamburg, New York, Circa 1910

Anna (Henn) Gale is shown in this photo, in Hamburg, New York around 1910.

William H. Gale, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1890-1900

William H. Gale, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1890-1900

Pictured is William H. Gale, husband of Anna (Henn) Gale, and father of Emily B. Gale, of Hamburg, New York around 1890-1900.  He was a barber in Hamburg for decades.

Emily B. Gale (in Fur Coat), Hamburg, New York, 1890, Only Child of William H. and Anna (Henn) Gale

Emily B. Gale (in Fur Coat), Hamburg, New York, 1900, Only Child of William H. and Anna (Henn) Gale

This is a photo of my grandmother’s cousin, Emily B. Gale, as a young girl, wearing a fur coat in Hamburg, New York around 1900.

Emily B. Gale, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1905

Emily B. Gale, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1905

This is another photo of Emily B. Gale as a young girl in Hamburg, New York around 1905.

Emily B. Gale, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1910

Emily B. Gale, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1910

Again, pictured is Emily B. Gale of Hamburg, New York around 1910.

William H. Gale (Age 91) Outside his Home in Hamburg, NY, 1938 (Born in England)

William H. Gale (Age 91) Outside his Home in Hamburg, NY, 1938 (Born in England)

Here, William Gale is pictured as an elderly man.  He was 91 years old in 1938 when this photo was taken, just outside the Gale Family home in Hamburg, New York.

Harry H. Gale

Harry H. Gale

This is a photo of Harry H. Gale, a brother of William H. Gale.

Harry Hamilton Gale, Military Veteran, Buffalo, New York, 1890s

Harry Hamilton Gale, Military Veteran, Buffalo, New York, 1890s

This is a photo of Harry Hamilton Gale as a Union Army soldier out of Buffalo, New York in the 1880s.

Fredrick Henn and his Wife (Possibly Anna), Hamburg, NY, Circa 1890-1900 (Notice Civil War Medal for Union Service)

Frederick Henn and his Wife, Mary A. Henn, Hamburg, NY, Circa 1890 (Notice Civil War Medal for Union Service)

This is a photo of Frederick Henn and his wife, thought to be named Anna, in Hamburg, New York around 1890-1900.  Notice that Fred is wearing his medal for service in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Funeral Card of Mrs. Fred Henn, March 19, 1896, Hamburg, New York

Funeral Card of Mrs. Fred Henn, March 19, 1896, Hamburg, New York

This is a funeral card for Mrs. Fred Henn, whom I believe would have been the lady in the photo preceding this image.  She died on March 19, 1896 in Hamburg, New York at age 58.

Thought to be Fred Henn, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1870-1890

Thought to be Fred Henn, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1870-1890

This is a photo that is thought to be of Fred Henn, around 1870-1890, in Hamburg, New York.

Frederick Henn, Hamburg, NY, Circa 1920

Frederick Henn, Hamburg, New York, American Civil War Veteran in Union Army, Circa 1920

This copy of a photo is of Fred Henn, also identifying his regiment in the Army in which he fought in the Civil War.  I obtained copies of these items from the Hamburg Historical Society in Hamburg, New York in 2001.

Civil War Veterans (GAR), Hamburg, New York, Circa 1930 L-R Charles Duke, Fred Henn, Joseph Taylor, Eugene Frink, Conrad Glasser

Civil War Veterans (GAR), Hamburg, New York, Circa 1930 L-R Charles Duke, Fred Henn, Joseph Taylor, Eugene Frink, Conrad Glasser

This is a photo on display at the Hamburg Historical Museum/Society.  I took a photo of the picture when I visited there.  My grandmother’s cousin’s uncle is Fred Henn, who served in the Grand Army of the Republic’s Company D of the 116th Regiment during the Civil War.

Louis Henn, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1890

Louis Henn, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1890

This is a photo of Louis Henn, a brother of Fred Henn, in Hamburg, New York around 1890.

Louis Henn and Possible Brothers (3)

Louis Henn (at left) and possibly his brothers, 1890-1900?

Possibly the Henn brothers (3)

Here again, Louis Henn (front, left), and possibly his brothers, undated.

Unknown Ancestor, Possibly from the Henn Family, Troy, New York, Circa 1925-1935 or Earlier

Unknown Ancestor, Possibly from the Henn Family, Troy, New York, Circa 1925-1935 or Earlier

This is a photo of a man believed to be a member of the Henn Family.

Arnold Cole (Son of Frank and Carrie [Gale] Cole), Buffalo, NY, Circa 1892

Arnold Cole (Son of Frank and Carrie [Gale] Cole), Buffalo, NY, Circa 1892

This is a photo of Arnold Cole, the son of Frank and Carrie (Gale) Cole, in Buffalo, New York in 1892.

Arnold Cole, Hamburg or Buffalo, NY, Circa 1905, Cousin to Julia (Gale) Briggs, Emily Gale, Bernice Briggs Babcock Sprague

Arnold Cole, Hamburg or Buffalo, NY, Circa 1895, Cousin to Julia (Gale) Briggs, Emily Gale, Bernice Briggs Babcock Sprague

Here is another picture of Arnold Cole, with his toy horse, probably in Buffalo, New York around 1895.

Arnold Cole

Arnold Cole

Here is another picture of Arnold Cole as a boy.

Arnold Cole (Age 16) (Son of Carrie [Gale] Cole), Buffalo, NY, 1908

Arnold Cole (Age 16) (Son of Carrie [Gale] Cole), Buffalo, NY, 1908

This photo of Arnold Cole was taken in 1908 in Buffalo, New York when he was 16-years-old.  It was taken outside of a private school that he attended in Buffalo.

Arnold Cole (Age 13), Buffalo, NY, 1923

Arnold Cole (Age 13), Buffalo, NY, 1905

Here is another photo of Arnold Cole at age 13, outside of another private school that he attended in Buffalo, New York, in 1905.

Arnold Cole (Age 17) (Son of Carrie [Gale] Cole), Buffalo, NY, 1909

Arnold Cole (Age 17) (Son of Carrie [Gale] Cole), Buffalo, NY, 1909

This is another photo that shows Arnold Cole in Buffalo, New York as a young man in 1909.

These represent some of the many photos that I have of these of my family ancestors.  My grandmother, Bernice, had loads of vintage and antique photos that she kept for many years until she decided to burn most of them in a burn barrel used for burning trash in the back yard of her home.  One day, when I was a girl, when I was visiting her and there was “trash” burning in the barrel, I asked what she was burning, and she told me.  I remember getting very angry and upset, and stated to her that I wanted the photos, and not to burn any anymore.  I could not believe that she would burn such valuable memories related to her family heritage!

Therefore, I have many photos of my family ancestors, but would have had many more had my grandmother not put them up in smoke.  Additionally, I used to have many more tin types, especially those of the Henn’s, however when my family moved from Collins to Gowanda, New York around 1992, they were unknowingly discarded by my parents.  I was heartbroken that such valuable family treasures had been thrown away.

Photo of 15 Henn, Briggs, Gale Tin Types, 1988

Photo of 15 Henn, Briggs, Gale Tin Types, 1988

This photo reflects the 15 tin types of my Gale, Briggs, and Henn ancestry that were accidentally discarded by my parents during my family’s move from Collins to Gowanda around 1992.

Again, as in previous posts of photos of my ancestors, the dates included represent the best possible accurate dates and/or estimates of dates of the images.

References and Sources:

Family photos and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1860-1987. Collins, New York.  Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.

Ryther, James F. (Undated).  Personal War Sketch of Frederick Henn.  Buffalo, New York.  From Hamburg (New York) Historical Society, 2001.

“Two Days at Disney” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

View of EPCOT with Flower Show, Monorail, and Spaceship Earth, Disney World, Florida, April 2, 2013

View of EPCOT with 20th Anniversary Flower Show, Monorail, and Spaceship Earth, Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, April 2013

During Spring Break 2013, in the first week of April after Easter, my son and I spent two days at Disney World.  I have visited Disney world numerous times throughout my life, and have taken my son there on some occasions, as well.  He and I enjoyed two wonderful days at this wonderful, get-away paradise, wishing that we could have stayed longer.  For a single parent on a limited budget, even two days was financially difficult to do, though it was important to get away and enjoy some refreshment even for a couple of days.

Flamingos at Disney World's Animal Kingdom, Florida, April 2013

Flamingos at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, Florida, April 2013

On our first day at Disney World, we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  My son had not visited the Animal Kingdom for the past seven years, and I promised him that we would go there on this trip.  I am so happy that we went because it turned out to be the absolute perfect day!  The weather was great, and while it was toasty, it was not too unbearably hot outside yet.  The shade of the many trees in Animal Kingdom also helped to keep us cooler.

African Dance Party at Disney World's Animal Kingdom, Florida, April 2013

African Dance Party at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, Florida, April 2013

The highlights of our visit to Animal Kingdom were going on the safari ride, eating lunch at the Tusker House Restaurant with some Disney characters, and viewing the Lion King Show.  Each of these activities were wonderful, and we really enjoyed them!  On the safari, we saw many animals, including elephants, lions, giraffes, monkeys, crocodiles, and more.  During lunch, Mickey Mouse visited with us, as well as other Disney characters.  And, the acrobatics, songs, and costumes of the Lion King Show were amazing!  Additionally, in the African section, we did some shopping and enjoyed African culture, including music and singing.

The Lion King Show at Disney World's Animal Kingdom, Florida, April 2013

The Lion King Show at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, Florida, April 2013

On our second day at Disney World, we went to EPCOT.  It was another beautiful, yet humid day, and we often got refreshed in the air conditioned buildings or drank water or juice to cool down.  At EPCOT, we visited different sections, including Canada, England, France, Morocco, and Japan.  We were privileged to see and hear three marching bands troop past us.  We also had our pictures taken with many characters, including Alladin and Princess Jasmin.

A Marching Band from Ohio, Performing at EPCOT, Disney World, Florida, April 2013

A Marching Band from Ohio, Performing at EPCOT, Disney World, Florida, April 2013

Also at EPCOT, we rode on the newly upgraded and more modernized Test Track, at which my son designed his own red sports car on the computers there.  We extremely enjoyed the 20th Annual EPCOT Flower Show, particuarly with flowers arranged on the ground in the form of flowers and butterflies.  While we did not stay late into the evening to see the fireworks, we still had a fabulous time!

Beautiful Flowers at the 20th Anniversary EPCOT Flower Show, Disney World, Florida, April 2013

Beautiful Flowers at the 20th Anniversary EPCOT Flower Show, Disney World, Florida, April 2013

My philosophy about children is that they grow up very fast, and it is important to provide as many fun, interesting, and memorable experiences for them as possible.  Disney World is a place where I have vacationed very often, having first visited when I was about three or four years old.  Now, I have the pleasure and satisfaction of taking my own son to Disney World for his enjoyment.  I am happy to have the opportunities and ability to provide for such family enjoyment, and look forward to more visits there in the future.

This blog post is a tribute to all those who lost their lives or who were injured – especially children – in the bomb blasts at yesterday’s Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts.  May God bless you all and keep you close.

Mighty and Majestic Niagara Falls (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Niagara Falls, Canada “Horseshoe Falls” View with Maid of the Mist, June 2012

Growing up near Niagara Falls, my family visited this wondrous natural miracle during my childhood.  As a college student at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), friends and I would also take trips to the Falls to view it’s amazing might and majesty, particularly at night when it was illuminated with spotlights of every color.

Into adulthood, I continued to visit the Falls for an afternoon here and there, being both exhilarated by the thunderous roar of the water crashing down at it’s base, as well as by the peaceful serenity of the beautiful, rushing waters.  Visiting the Falls in an afternoon to enjoy this natural beauty, it was typically peaceful and not busy, so I could enjoy a picnic lunch or snack there.

Niagara Falls, Canada – View of the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, June 2012

It had long been a desire to take my young son to visit and enjoy the might and majesty of the amazing and miraculous Niagara Falls.  Taking that opportunity in June 2012, we spent an afternoon in Canada and viewed the Falls – the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls – both from the ground as well as from atop the Skylon Tower.  Both the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are located in Niagara Falls, New York, while the Horseshoe Falls are in Niagara Falls, Canada.

Niagara Falls, Canada – Partial View of Water Falling over the Horseshoe Falls, June 2012

Waiting until I was an adult in order to sail on a Maid of the Mist boat, the experience of sailing as close to the Horseshoe Falls as possible was invigorating and thrilling.  Only once in my life have I sailed on the Maid of the Mist.  I would have done so again on this trip, though my son did not feel comfortable with the thought of being so close to the thunderous Falls.  And, I don’t blame him – after all, I was an adult in my mid-20’s before I did so.

Rather than sailing on the Maid of the Mist, my son and I viewed the Falls from the enormous height of the observation deck on the Skylon Tower, feeling the strong winds into which we had to force our weight in order to walk.  The view from such a height caused the Falls to appear much smaller and somewhat less significant than they actually are.

Niagara Falls, Canada – Zoomed-in View of the Horseshoe Falls with Maid of the Mist from atop the Skylon Tower, June 2012

Still, the view of the Falls from atop the Skylon Tower was breath-taking as my son and I enjoyed looking at them – as well as the surrounding area that we could see for miles (I mean ‘kilometers’) around.  That was just fine for us.

We had a lovely visit, and my son can now say that he is an international traveler, having used his passport for the first time on this trip to Niagara Falls, Canada!

The direct link for this blog post is at http://wp.me/p25c1A-aJ.