Welcome to Belli the Explorer's Home Page

(Updated: 30 Oct 2019)

Grand Titons, 2015
Me and "Rocinante" at
Grand Titons National Park, June, 2015

In August, 2017, I rode "Rocinante" to Sturgis, then
to San Francisco and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge.
I followed Hwy 1 south along the California Coast
and then took Route 66 home to Minnesota.

Bob & Fran, Jan 2011

Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors and
I often quote this comment from The Innocents Abroad:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and
narrow-mindedness, and many of our people
need it sorely on these accounts. Broad,
wholesome, charitable views of men and
things cannot be acquired by vegetating in
one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

So, keep an open mind, as all well
worn travelers learn to do, and join
me in my adventures around the world.

Family photos are hard to come by because Phillip lives in Carlsbad, California and Suzanne is in Roseville, Minnesota. Normally Phillip comes home for Christmas every other year. This year, June 2019, the while family was together for a Sprenger (Fran's family) reunion.

Minnesota Sprenger Family reunion, July, 2019.

Every couple of years I manage to get a photo of
me with my brother Tom and my sister Shannon.

Me with my brother, Tom, and sister, Shannon
May, 2001

Tom, Shannon and Bob, August, 2015

Bob, Shannon and Tom at
Chris & Jacqueline's wedding
April 2, 2017

Tom, Shannon, and Bob at
Tom's cabin on Lake Carlos, August, 2019.

Future Photo: Appenzell

Bob and Fran with Mugg the Clown

Future Photo: Jungfrau and Wenegen

Hungarian Parliament across the Danube in Pest

Switzerland and Cruising the Blue Danube
September, 2018

In September, 2018, we headed for Europe once again. The original plaln was to take a Grand Circle River Trip on the Danube. We then discovered that the weekend before this trip the Swiss Family Reuniuon was taking place, so, we made some changes to our original flight plan and went to Switzerland a week early. This adventure starts with attending the 2018 Sprenger reunion in Switzerland. We arrived two days early and spent some time in Appenzell,

This year the reunion was held at Circus City Mugg and ends with a sunset cruise on the MS Rosenstadt on Lake Zurich at Rapperswil. (Sept 7th, 8th and 9th)

Next we drive south to spend three days in Wengen in the Jungfrau Mountains. (Sept 10th through 12th). We will finish our stay in Switzerland by visiting Thomas and Isolde Frey, friends who ride Goldwings who live in Staefa. (Sept 13th and 14th)

Our 12th Grand Circle Trip begins when we fly from Zurich to Budapest, Hungary, for four days, which includes a visit to Szentendre, an artist colony, before embarking on a 10 day river cruise on the M/S Aria on "The Romantic Blue Danube". (Sept 15th to 19th)

The cruise starts in Budapest with visits to Bratislava, Slovakia, (Sept 21st & 22nd) and the Austrian cities of Vienna, (Sept 23rd & 24th) Krems an der Danau, (Sept 25th & 26th) the Wachau Valley, and Linz. (Sept 27th) After disembarking the M/S Aria in Linz we take a bus into the Czech Republic with visits to Cesky Krumlov and Prague. (Sept 28th thru 30th)

Since we may not go this way again we are taking a five day bus trip across Poland with stops in Krakow, (Oct 1st thru Oct 4th) Auschwitz, (Oct 3d) Czestochowa, (Oct 4th) and Warsaw (Oct 4th and 5th) before flying home. (Oct 6th)

We have never been to any of the cities on this Tour because, except for the Austrian stops, this area was behind the "Iron Curtain" when I was stationed with the 4th Armored Division in Germany. (1969 - 1972 )

Come back to this page again to follow our trip.

September, 2018

(Updated: 3 September 2018)


Who is Belli?

I live in Plymouth, MN, one of the western suburbs of Minneapolis, and
am retired from the practice of law and the U.S. Army (Colonel, JAGC).
The 4th Armored Division was my unit during the Vietnam War. Although
my interests include history and science, my time is mostly spent in world
travel and touring the United States on my Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. In
addition I enjoy scuba diving, photography and dinging around on this 'puter.

I am married and have two married children; Phillip & Laura who live in Carlsbad,
CA, and Suzanne & Rob who live in Roseville, MN.

The object of my web pages is to share with my family and friends, and
occasionally anyone else interested, some of my interests and traveling
experiences, and sometimes my thoughts, over the past several years. I find
travel very enlightening and it is exciting to be exposed to alternative
cultures and life styles which, in turn, often allows me to view, understand,
and appreciate world events from new points of view. Keeping an open mind and
a willingness to accept change is essential to growth and a well rounded life.
Like Galalio, when I discover a new truth I don't worry about "Flip, Flop"
because as I experience life I may see things with a new, or unique perspective
and understanding. It is the joy of new insights which make my life richer.
Even Saint Augustine, a religious icon, believed the world was flat and at some
point people learned differently.

Welcome to
Belli's Winter Break in Florida

February, 2018

(Updated: 13 February 2018)

While Minneapolis was preparing for the Super Bowl and the temperatures sank below zero we drove to Florida for a month in Panama City Beach. We knew it would not be as warm as Grand Cayman but even 65 degrees seemed a lot warmer. Join me on a new adventure to the panhandle of Florida.

Death Valley

December 2017

Motorcycle Adventures

As you can see from my pictures at the beinging of this site,I enjoy
riding "Rocinante", my 2010 Honda Goldwing. We have traveled around the country quite a bit and
I belong to several motorcycle clubs.

Where does the name "Rocinante" come from you ask? That is the name of Don Quixote's horse.
We are always on a quest.

Sturgis, 2016

No self respecting motorcyclist could not go to Sturgis for the
to annual Black Hills Sturgis Motorcycle Rally always held the first full week of August. I have been there about 18 times.

Every year I ride to Sturgis, SD, to attend the Black Hills Rally with The Street Legal Motorcycle Club.
The Club is made up of lawyers and legal related professionals who enjoy riding. Every year we
have a four day CLE (Continuing Legal Education) Seminar at Custer State Park during the
Sturgis Black Hills Rally. The CLE courses are very interesting because of the diverse legal
practices of the Club's membership. Everyone brings a unique background and legal experience
to these seminars which exposes us to other areas of the law from people who are not ordinarily in
each other's professional circles.

I am also a member of the North Star Chapter and the North Metro Chapter, Minnesota Wings.
The Minnesota Wings is a Motorcycle Club made up exclusively of Gold Wing riders and has
seven Chapters in Minnesota.

I also ride with Minnesota Chapter Q of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA).
In June, 2015, I took a cross country trip to attend the Honda RenoRondevous. It was a
6,200 mile trip and after attending the Rondevous we traveled south to Yosemite National Park,
then north to Crater Lake National Park, the we headed east to Grand Titons National Park
where the above photograph was taken. In all we visited eleven national parks. The Golden
Age National Park Pass sure came in handy for this trip.

Class Reunions

West High School, Minneapolis, MN
Class of 1960

In August, 2015, Fran Celebrated her 55th Year Class Reunion

In August, 2010, she celebrated her 50th Class Reunion
from Minneapolis West High School.

Fran with her Classmates from Bryn Mawr Elementary School

Bird Island, MN
Class of 1959

In June, 2019, Bob celebrated his 60th Year Class Reunion in Bird Island

We held the class reunion in Bird Island during Island Days which is always held
on the day before Father's Day. I decided to have the reunion take place in Bird
Island at this time because the town is alive with activities. There are young families
with small children as well as "the old folks". This is the town as we remember it.
Otherwise the streets are empty with nothing going on. Our banquet was held at Athmann's
Inn, an old staple for everyone for over 90 years or more.

In August, 2014, Bob celebrated his 55 Year Class Reunion

Front Row: Corrine (Beckman)Petersen, Janet (Anderson) Lund, Connie (Swenson) Johnshoy,
Judy (Schwarzkopf)Tilock, "Marian" Corrine (Anderson)Sander, Donna Mae (Greiner) Lindom
Back Row: Allan "Duffy" Petersen, Dick Toren, Gary Schwarzrock, Sheldon Johnson,
Roger Beckler, Don Collins, Bob Frazee

Swiss Sprenger Family Reunions.

Fran's mother's family emigrated from Switzerland in the late 1800s and she has lots of cousins
living there. For the past 50 years the family has held a reunion and everyone is invited for a full
day of adventure and getting to know each other.

Sprenger Reunion, Sept 2018

Paul and Iris Sprenger make all the arrangements and it is no easy task to find someplace where everyone, young and old, can have a good time. What better place to go than to Mogg's Circus?

Sprenger Family Reunion, Sept 2014

In 2014 we attended our first Swiss Springer Family reunion.
We had just hardly unpacked from our trip to Italy when we headed off to Europe again for
The Annual Swiss Sprenger Family Reunion.

Fran decided that this was the year we would attend the festivities with her brother,
Charles, and sister, Mary. So off we went. Of course you don't go to Switzerland just
for an afternoon picnic in the mountains. We started a few days early with a trip to
Iceland and then met Fran's cousin Murial and her husband, Ron, in Flaach, close to the
family farm, and spent two weeks traveling through Heidi's* country.

For now I only have pictures of the reunion portion of our trip on these pages.
More to follow so come back again.

[*Scroll down to the story about Fran's mother's trip to the "The Holy Land"
in 1935 and you will understand the story. Fran's mother was a missionary in Egypt and
in 1939 returned home for a visit with her Minnesota family. She traveled from Egypt
to Italy by boat, up the boot of Italy by train and into Switzerland. On the way she
traveled to Flaach to the old Sprenger homestead and met her Swiss family. She then
traveled by train to Hamburg, Germany, and then by ship to New York. That trip through
Europe must have been an experience in itself. At that time there was a new book that had
just come out about a girl growing up in the mountains of Switzerland. Fran's mother was
never able to return to Egypt because of the outbreak of WWII shortly after her return to
Minnesota. She married and raised her family in Minneapolis, MN. When Fran was a little
girl in the 40's she remember's her mother reading Heidi to her and her younger sister
- it had become a classic by then. When we returned to Minnesota Fran bought a copy of
Heidi and re-read it. You can imagine the memories it brought back of her mother
reading to her and now it had so much more meaning having just visited the country.]

Italy, 2014

In celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary we repeated the trip we took to
Italy with Grand Circle Tours to Rome, Florence and Tuscany in 2001. This time we were
with our grandaughter, Abbey, our daughter, Suzanne,and her husband Rob. What a way to show a
14 year girl something of the world she had only seen in pictures when she followed our earlier
travels via postcards as she went through the Kindergarden to the Eight grades. Our tour
included a pre-trip to Rome, then Orvieto, Florence, Siena, San Gimgnano, Pisa, Potafino,
Cinque Terra, Verona, Balzono, Innsbrook and was capped off with a wonderful post-trip to Venice.

Our night tour of Rome included a
stop in front of the Vatican.

We left Rome and stopped in Orvieto, one
of our favorite cities for shopping. Fran
got two ceramic plates to grace our table.

The beauty of this tour is that we spent four
days in Florence - not near enough time - but
it allowed us to get out of the rain and enjoy lunch on the Piazza della
Signoria as well as taking side trips to Siena and San Gimgnano

Who would not recognize this scene?
No trip to Italy would be complete
without pausing in front of the Leaning Tower

We visited Potofino but the jewel on the
Italian Rivera is Cinque Terra

Rob, Suzanne, and Abbey took ut out to
dinner in Venice to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. It started
with a gondola ride down the Grand Canal. On the way to Venice
we also visited Verona, Bolzano, the Dolomites, and Innsbrook, Austria.
It was good we took the three day post-trip to Venice
because you can't see it in one afternoon and evening.

The Page is currently under construction so you will have to

be satisfied with these few snippets of this trip.

Come back again.

Frazee Reunion in Bird Island, MN
July, 2010

Genealogy of The Frazee Family

You Are Invited To Follow Our
Adventure to Thailand,
January and February, 2010.

>In January, 2010, we took our long delayed trip to Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Cambodia with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). We had originally booked the trip for January, 2009, but cancelled it when the financial markets were in turmoil. "Cut back on your expenses for a year," we were advised, "give the market some time to rebound". We could wait no longer so off we went.

Sukhothai Ruins

Having grown up with a background in Western Civilization, the culture of southeast Asia and the significance of Hinduism and Buddhism were really uncharted waters for us. I found everything so exotic and wonderful that I was constantly reminded of Oliver Wendell Holmes' statement, "The mind, once expanded by travel, never returns to its original shape." This is why I love traveling so much, but, I also realized I knew so little about these two major religions. I took thousands of pictures, some of which are shown here, and when I got home I wanted to learn even more about what I had seen.

I suppose everyone who has ever seen the fat little elephant headed Hindu god has wondered where he came from. What really sparked my interest, and one of the highlights of our trip, was a puppet show in Bangkok, The Birth of Ganesha. Just remember, this is my rendition of the wonderful story.

Lord Ganesha
Buddhism is the main religion in this area and once again I find my education lacking. To solve this problem I have been working hard at learning about Buddha and his teaching. Never being one to fear to rush in where calmer heads might steer clear I have prepared some simplified Summaries of Buddhism as I experienced it and understand its main beliefs. I know there are people who have spent their whole live's trying to understand this religion/philosophy but I am just trying to give a short, but accurate, primer.

The Holy Land and Israel
1867, 1935 and 2003
Not Much Has Changed

Bob taking a mud bath in the Dead Sea

In 2003 Fran and I traveled to Israel as part of our pre-trip to Egypt. Recently Fran was given a copy of a letter written by her mother to her Zumbro Falls, MN, family after a three week trip to the Holy Land in 1935. Considering how ageless that part of the world is we found we visited many of the same shrines and locations. I have put her letter on my web page with my pictures and commentary so it could be fully enjoyed.

To make matters more interesting, this spring I read Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad, written in 1867, when he also visited the Holy Land. It is uncanny how he saw many of the same sites and had some of the same experiences 136 years earlier. His comments are most interesting and I have added them to add some spice to the commentary. I hope you will find the web page interesting.

You are also invited to follow up with reading about our two week Egyptian tour in 2003.

You are invited to follow our adventure in 2008.
The Best of Kenya and Tanzania

Lions on the Serengeti Plain

In May, 2208, we traved with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) to Africa taking The Best of Kenya and Tanzania tour. I have two criteria when scheduling my travels: I want to see ancient civilizations and exotic cultures. Both criteria were met and our Tour Director, Ed, was extremely patient in answering my many questions about the culture in a land which most Americans know little about. Kenya was especially relevant considering its recent political turmoil following the 2007 elections. Besides seeing exotic wild animals roaming freely on the Serengeti Plain we learned much about the culture and traditions of the Maasai people. Everyone was so friendly and we felt very welcome.

I have created a page of some movie files of wild animals roaming freely on the Serengeti Plain and the Maasai people. These files are very big so you may want to think twice about looking at them unless you have a high speed dial-up or cable connection.

This page is just getting started so you will have to return often to see the updates.

Grand Cayman, 2008

In March, 2008, Fran managed to get our two children, their spouses, and two grandchildren to Grand Cayman. Phillip and Laura were there for two weeks with Elle Monet who is 19 months old. while we baby sat Elle Monet on the beach Phillip and Laura renewed their love of diving "the wall" on the north sound. This was Suzanne, Rob, and Abbey's second year of spending their spring break in Cayman. They all love the beach and snorkeling and sailing with the pirates. Fran was so proud of the twin sun dresses she made the two grand daughters from material she had purchased in Cayman over 15 years ago.

As we head into May, 2008, Fran and I are packing our bags for another trip. This time to Kenya and Tanzania. Hopefully I will get some great wild animal pictures.

You are invited to follow our adventures for 2007.
Imperial China, Yangtze River and Tibet

Fran in Tibet

In May, 2007, we traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) to China taking the Imperial China, Yangtze River and Tibet tour. This is the third time we had scheduled a trip to China - the first two times were cancelled because of illness. You will have to check out the tour to find out why it took so long. For 50 years I have wanted to see the Great Wall of China and my dream was finally realized. It was Tibet, however, which really caught my imagination. My pages are very photo intensive so it might take some time to download - so much to show in so little space. These pages are still under construction so you will have to come back again and again.

You are invited to follow our adventures to Turkey in 2006.

Photos Pending: Turkey with Overseas Adventure Travel

Republic Day

We were in Turkey during Republic Day, October 29th - what a celebration.
The advantage of travel is that history becomes alive when you
can celebrate with the people. It is with great sadness that I have
watched the thriving democracy created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk being
slowly converted into a Muslim Theocracy.

You are invited to follow our adventures to
New Zealand and Australia 2006 in 2006.

Sunset at Ayers Rock, 2006
Ayers Rock at sunset.
This is a trip I didn't want to take but Fran
insisted we fly to New Zealand to meet our son who
had sailed a 38 foot boat across the Pacific.
It turned out to be one of the best journeys we ever took.

You are invited to follow our adventures for 2005.

River Cruise through the Bordeaux Wine Region and Paris.

Photos Pending:

The Bordeaux Wine Region and Paris with
Overseas Adventure Travel in September

Castle in Loire Valley
Castles in the Loire Valley - Magnificent

You are invited to follow our adventures for 2004.
Morocco and Sahara Desert Adventure

Sahara Desert at sunrise
In February, 2004, we traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) to Morocco which
included three nights camping in the Sahara desert. This was a fantastic trip and highly recommended.

Join us to see the highlights of our three week Morocco and Sahara Desert Adventure.

You are invited to follow our adventures 2003.

Step Pyramid, Saggara, Egypt
In October, 2003 we traveled with Grand Circle Tours through the Middle East.
Our Program Director in Egypt, Maged Shenouda, was the best in the world.
Here we are at Saggara, south of Cairo, visiting the step pyramid.
Join us on our two week Egyptian tour.

We took the pre-trip to Israel and the post-trip to Jordan.
You can see our Middle East Trip Itenerary.
Its a good thing we went when we did because visiting the Middle
East, after the "Arab Spring" isn't very safe.

February, 2003
Abbey went to Disney World and Visited

The Magic Kingdom,
The Epcot Center
MGM Studios
Universal Studios and
The Wild Kingdom

Abbey was just three years old, and
the perfect age to meet Winnie the Poo.

In February, 2002, we took a Cruise to the Panama Canal,

The Royal Princess

But first we took a three day pre-trip to Disney World

[Web Master's note and comment: This page was orginally posted on my prodigy.net web pages when suddenly, without warning Prodigy
discontinued the service and deleted everything. Most of my pages were then reconstructed to Comcast.net
but not all of them. Then Comcast discontinuing web pages so I have to reconstructing everything on
my own domaine with GoDaddy.com. This is just one of the reasons I don't like "the cloud" and any other
site that offers anything for "free". They can, and often do, cancel you at their convience and pleasure.
I won't discontinue my home pages but this new site s under re-construction.]

Come back again.

You are invited to follow another one of our adventures for 2002.

Machu Picchu and The Galapagos Island

Blue Footed Boobies

The only place in the world the Blue Footed Boobies nest is in the Galapagos.
Believe it or not, the Red Footed Boobie nests on Little Cayman.

In June, 2002, we took an Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) seven day cruise through the Galapagos Islands
which are located about 800 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. What strange and wonderful things we saw.

Market in Pisac, Peru

Part of our OAT tour included a trip to Cuzco, the capital of the Inca empire.
While there I attempted to answer a question I have had for a long time:
Why Do Women Wear Hats in the Market Place?

You may find the answer interesting.

Meet Abigail Elizabeth Smith,
born on February 17, 2000.

In May, 2002, Rob's mother commissioned this family portrait of Rob, Suzanne and Abbey
You can watch Abbey as she grows by following her on her own Home Page.

You are also invited to follow our adventures for 2001.

We celabratated Christmas in Denver this year

Italy, 2001

In August, 2001, we spent 18 wonderful
days touring Italy
with Grand Circle Tours.

Mississippi River Ride to New Orleans
September, 2001

Barty Wold and I took a motorcycle trip from
Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River, to the Gulf of Mexico.
We were in Hannibal, Missouri, on our way south on Sept 11, 2001, when
the World Trade Center was attacked by Muslem Terrorists.

In 2000 we duplicated the route of the "Corps of Discovery" to Oregon.

Lewis and Clark Trail

Starting on June 29, 2000, Fran and I took a wonderful 18 day motorcycle
trip on our Goldwing. We followed the Lewis and Clark Trail
to the Pacific. Take a look at this great journey following the
Corps of Discovery.

Oregon Trail

We returned home following
the Oregon Trail.

Street Legal Motorcycle Club

I belong to a group of lawyers, and legal support personnel, who enjoy riding motorcycles and
have formed The Street Legal Motorcycle Club.
The Club participates in many charitable events, sponsor's monthly rides, and sponsors
Continuing Legal Education Courses open to anyone.
The Club welcomes any type of bike.

[Street Legal Activities: 1997 to 2006, Page 1]

[Street Legal Activities: 2007 to 2010, Page 2]

[Bike Week, Sturges, 2012]

Meet our Members

[Street Legal Motorcycle Club Events]

In March, 1999, we spent two weeks in Hawaii

The purpose of the trip to Kauai was to attend the marriage of Lisa Welch to
Mark Meyer on March 27, 1999. Lisa is the daughter of Bill Welch and Bob's sister,
Shannon Welch nee Frazee. The wedding took place on the "Garden Isle" of
Kauai in Hawaii.

Mark and Lisa Meyer nee Welch nee Frazee

Black Hills Motorcycle Rallies, Sturgis, SD.

Main Street in Sturgis>
Being a motorcycle enthusiast I frequently go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
It has changed over the years since my first visit in 1997. This photo was taken at the 75th Rally in
August, 2015. I have a lot more photos which I will be adding to cover some of the changes over the past 25 years.

In October, 1997, while I was still working, we took one of my first trips to
the old west when we visited Tucson, AZ .

This pages is also under re-construction after having been deleted by Prodigy.net

This was one of my first projects at building a web page.

This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

Bob at Grand Tetons, 2015
Belli at the Grand Titons, June 2015

If you have any questions, or corrections, just write to Belli.

Have a good day and come back again.

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