Posts Tagged ‘germany’
Born in the tropics, I never realized how crucial the sun was to my existence… Until I left them…
We’ve lived in Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Florida, and now Germany. And we hadn’t realized we had been taking the gorgeous sunshine for granted. Even Oklahoma is blessed with sunny days practically year round. Germany, not so much. We’ve now been here an entire year and it seems the sun has been hiding at least two thirds of that time. For a creature like myself, cloudy days are for cuddling in bed, reading books, relaxing, ignoring chores, sometimes being a little gloomier and melancholy. We don’t go out on cloudy days, we hide, we hibernate, and we come back out when the sun returns. This is a serious problem when the sun goes away for several days, weeks, months at a time…
So here I am, multiple days have passed since the sun graced us with it’s full presence. And OMG I’m loosing my mind. What to do with little ones cooped up inside over rain and unpredictable weather?! We paint, we do puzzles, we play games, but most of all… we watch lots of TV (supper :/)… There’s really not a whole lot to do indoors people! (At least not that keeps a 3yo entertained for much longer than 15 minutes).
So what’s this? The sun?! After all the clouds and rain and cold (why is it 50some degrees outside already?! COME BACK SUMMER!) We decided to sneak out of the house for a quick walk while it all lasted…
Buggy here photo bombing my flower shot…
Away we go.
Oh hey look… I have another baby now… Just in case you missed that part…. LOL
Ready for exploring with her monocular (I’m not totally convinced that’s an actual word)
Mommy vision… Sometimes big sis wants to ride too…
The now 3 year old is into “silly faces”. Which I guess are better than her “smile” faces… You know the one… Crazy not sure that’s a smile, smile, eyes closed…
Which I guess are also better than baby “why you stop pushing my vibrating chair” faces… LOL
**Side note… Cel pics will always have a date stamped on them 😉 I want to remember when I took them, so I do that in the phone. Sorry if it’s distracting hehe**
Decided to bring the camera along this Thursday to our little activities. I have been traveling “light” lately and leaving the camera at home for most outings, but this doesn’t make for many opportunities for taking a few pics! So going to try a little harder to bring it along more often, specially now that the weather is starting to turn. Woot!
Thursdays is Dance Class day! We had taken a little break from dance class as well as gymnastics for a couple of months since Little Lue had been a little uncooperative in the mornings. But it wasn’t long before she started asking about dance class. So I decided to reenroll her and see if this time she would be a little more appreciative. We haven’t resumed the gymnastics though, I figured we would ease back in, and dance seemed to be more in tune with this child. She LOVES to DANCE.
So dance class is at 11am and only 30 minutes. So I have been also hitting up the library story time right before at 10am. Sometimes we make it in time, others, not so much. Thursday mornings is also Stroller Warriors! A new running club on base that my friend leads. But since I am getting pretty big now (woot woot 3rd trimester!) I haven’t been attending. I might try to make some meetings anyhow and do some mostly walking haha. We will see The weather has been so nice this past couple of weeks! It’s hard not to want to be outside. If you are local and want to get out running with a great group, go check them out!
But yeah, THIS particular morning we went to story time. And we were actually on time! Yeah!
This is one of the songs they sang, goes to the “Row row row your boat” song music. Pretty cute.
Actually sitting down for a story, progress!
And now we’re off to dance class!!
I seriously love Miss Kate, she does a fantastic job and is SO incredibly age appropriate. I really appreciate her.
Kiss your knees!
Wrangling up the dance crew LOL!
We always have fun props…
Dancing with a scarf
So fun <3
The highest point in Germany!
On our last day in Garmisch I was really hoping to go to one of the viewing platforms on the mountains, and it was recommended we go to Zugspitze! It’s just the village over from Garmisch and OMG was it breathtaking.
You can ride one of dangling carts all the way up to the top of the mountain, but let me warn you, it is NOT for you if you have problems with heights. I have a slight fear of heights and let me tell you, I was kind of physically frozen in fear once the ride was getting closer to the top. Almost a 90 degree angle going up. Terrifying. View was amazing, just terrifying LOL!!!
Thankfully, there is also a train that goes up the mountain. You still have to take a short ride to the peak, but not nearly as visually dramatic. (We took this route on the way back) Slower, but I swear I’m never doing it the other way LOL!!! You can even take the train from Garmisch all the way up.
Anyhow, the view at the top is amazing! And to our surprise (but not to anyone else headed up there) there is an INCREDIBLE ski lodge up there right in at the top of the mountain (that’s where the train stops). We knew there was a ski and sledding area, from what we were told, but we had never seen anything like this. It was just a giant glacier at the top of the mountain, everything white wherever you looked, and ski trains going down them. There was even one dedicated solely to sledding! How cool is that?
We rented a couple of sleds and it was a lot of fun, but we just couldn’t get over the view. Just crazy amazing! I’m so glad we didn’t miss this spot.
This is the ski area below the peak.
So since we went to the husband’s Christmas party where Santa came and handed out gifts Little Lue finally made a connection she had previously missed. The boxes under the tree are GIFTS!
We had been keeping a few boxes under the tree that we knew were gifts under the tree… They were still in their mailing packaging, so Little Lue really hadn’t given them much attention the few days they were there. But after the party… She realized what they were… So she grabbed a box, brought it over to us and said “Christmas present!” in the most adorable toddler voice eva. “Open the door!”
I’m not very good at waiting myself… so what the heck… Let’s open one.
Well… This turned into opening a box every day LOL!! There are now no more boxes under the tree and we have saved the rest of the gifts for tomorrow morning, Christmas Day, but it was still fun to have her open a few things so that it’s not totally overwhelming Christmas morning. I’m glad she got to enjoy a few things without the craziness of opening 10 things at once haha.
So since most of these gifts came from Nana’s house and she MUST have pictures. I decided to document as best I could. 😉
Yessss! A car or “Brum brum”
I was a bit worried about all the tiny pieces, but she loves them! Fine motor skills 😉
Luna’s turn for a random portrait
And mommy playing with her camera again… haha
So husband’s work had a Christmas party for kids and here are some photos! It was fun because we were told to bring our kids a gift and there would be a Santa who hands them all out. Fun!
Little Lue was honestly horrified at the Santa Clause and wanted to leave immediately after his arrival, but once he started handing out gifts she changed her tune. LOL!
She got to decorate a cookie, and make a ginger bread house… sort of hahaha. It was pretty nice.
First we decorated cookiessss….
Then Santa showed up… After a small panic attach you can see how interested she is once he started giving out stuff LOL!!
But that doesn’t mean she wanted to hang out with him… Got her gift and ran for it hahahaha
Oh man! A goody bag too?!
I think she liked it
Now lets make that gingerbread house!
Honestly… she mostly tried to eat it 😛
But the marker was pretty fun!
Naaaaa… Eating it is better
So went to this old German Bunker. Apparently it was a mine for some red dirt used during steel production, later taken by the German army during WWII to be used for some strategic planning near the border of France, then taken by the French, then by Americans, so it’s part of the beginning of what we know as Ramstain. It was pretty interesting hearing about the history of the bunker, but it wasn’t until we walked in that we realized this thing was actually just the next location for some horror movie… This place was creepy as heck!
The bunker is in Kindsbach, a village over from Landstuhl.
There was this funky art work on one of the walls… Kind of fun!
Old phone lines…
It was crazy dusty and moldy in there… So I opted to wear a mask…
If you look really closely on this image… I think you can see a faint silhouette in the shadows… GHOST!!!
Just kidding LOL!!!!
But seriously… I checked the photos…
Andddd… Random bike in there… ???
If you are interested in seeing the bunker, here is a LINK to an article with more info.
We finally found a neat place to buy our tree from!
For whatever reason, I vividly remember going out to pick out our Christmas tree. Our family always had a live tree and I so loved the smell and specialness of the Christmas tree. It was always an exciting and special day. And because I feel like just picking the tree is supposed to feel special, I really didn’t want to go to just anywhere to get it. I was hoping to find a local something to get a tree form other than Toom (German version of Home Depot/Lowes)… Although for a moment there it was looking like the best option!
Anyhow, I went out for a walk around the village and finally (I do say finally because this place was right on the main road) noticed this house that had a small sign that read “Weihnachten Baüme” Now… I had no idea what this meant, but it had a Christmas Tree picture, and I knew baum had something to do with plants, LOL, so I figured I’d walk into the drive way for a look. And sure enough right around the corner were a bunch of trees! Yay! It was pretty cool, the drive way snaked around his yard so it was like a little tree maze. He even had some smaller trees in pots, which I thought was pretty cool. The owner didn’t speak much english and unfortunately my German vocabulary is still quite small (minuscule really), but I was still able to get an average price and the times he was open. So later that evening we came back and picked out our tree!
Somehow I managed to pick out a massive tree… When it was laid down to be wrapped up I was tempted to say we needed a different one because, OMG, it looked HUGE. But it was too late. So we took our massive tree. The owner told us he has been selling trees in the village for 40 years! We happily told him we would come back next year. Lucy got a cookie and Duvi was not able to refuse the “schnapps”, haha, and away we went.
Back home is when I finally pulled out the camera. So here are some X-mas decorating photos <3
Soooo… Yeah, we had to chop off some trunk off the bottom to make it fit LOL!!! Glad we have a strong and persistent daddy 😉
A little ambience… 😉
I’m telling you, this thing was just massive. But it’s grown on me hahaha…
Everyone waiting patiently haha
Random Bongo portrait <3 My baby is so cute!
Aha! He did it! Go daddy!!!
Open up the treeeee…
Putting up the star… Can anyone find the very first ornament on the tree? 😉
The lights were quite exciting!
All done!! It’s a little wonky looking… But I still love it Definitely grown on me since we put it up hahaha
And yes… I do see that random empty layer… I think that’s how German Christmas Trees are supposed to look… Right? LOL
Anddddd…. Mommy playing with the camera LOL
A few weeks ago we met up with some friends to check out our first German Christmas market at Bernkastel-Kues. It was super nice to see them and fun to explore such a pretty village. Bernkastel-Kues is a town along a river bank and just has a lot of character and lovely architecture. We we wandering around with the little ones so it was hard to pull out the camera for pictures too often, but I still managed to catch a few shots…
I’m guessing this is a fountain in the summer, very cool!
Love the city center walkways here… So wonderful to wonder around without cars… I wish they would do this in Old San Juan! Just rope off more pedestrian areas
My favorite image… I might need to print this one <3
Checking out the scene…
Waffles on a stickkkkkkkk!! LOL
One large Advent Calendar!!
These are part of the little shops they put up for the Christmas Markets. They just sold random crafts, clothes, foods, ornaments… Stuff like that.
Fun rides too haha!!
And after a day of walking it was nice to settle down in a warm restaurant for lunch.
Ok… Now this may have been more exciting for mommy than for Little Lue LOL!
Last week we had lots of precipitation forecasted, along with lower temperatures, and everyone (and by everyone, I mean that hand full of child like adults who still think snow is like magic falling for the sky) was hoping for snow… But sadly, all we got was some cold cloudy weather along with a few drizzles of rain. A little snow dusting one night (mostly on roof tops), only to melt by midday… That was it… Quite disappointing!
So you can image my dismay when the whole forecast for the upcoming weeks is clear/cloudy with 10-20% chance of precipitation… BOOOOOO!
Well, we were pleasantly surprised yesterday with the first snow fall! It snowed for about 3 hours and honestly I was just glued to the window staring at it. It would slow down and be nothing more than tiny specs of white, and them suddenly downpour with big chunky clumps of snow! So pretty…. Non of it stuck to the ground though… So it was just mostly fun to see. And of course as soon as I saw it I started dancing around like a kid, grabbed Lucy and the camera, threw on some coats and ran outside. (Quite impressive, as I’ve been avoiding the outside as much as possible the past month!)
So because we went out when it first started snowing, it wasn’t really very much coming down… and it was SO hard to photograph… But whatever, here are the pics I got.
It was so so SO pretty. I wish I could have captured it better. Oh well… at least Little Lue looked cute, right?
Adventures in Germany Continued
So a couple of weekends ago we were wondering what to do. I think that for daddy and I, our time in Key West had us soooo spoiled. We didn’t ever had to take long drives to do stuff, and it always felt like we had plenty to do. So here in Germany we hear of all these amazing cities and things to see, only to realize many of these spots are 2-4 hours away. Sure… It’s definitely a doable distance, but alas… We just loath being in the car for so long on… So our solution has been to scour the newspapers and anything we can get our hands on looking for random activities we could do closer to home. I’m not sure if it’s the upcoming holiday season, but there seems to always be a craft show or festival happening somewhere!
This weekend we spotted something a little more random… The yard sale page had an add for someone making Raw Apple Juice! Seemed interesting enough, so we decided to check it out.
It was actually really cool.
First you put the apples in a shredder!
Then you put the apple grinds into this giant pressor. Sure there are tiny ones you can use at home, but this one was much more impressive LOL.
If you are wondering… Yes, it did smell quite amazing!
Next, you had to press the apples… HARD!
And BAMMMM… Juice! Lots and lots of juice! Well… Cider, really
Did I mention it smelled amazing?
Little Lue decided we needed lots more…
Can’t really get more organic than that!
Better late than never… Yes?
A few shots from our visit with Nana and Papo mid October <3
I know I have been quite neglectful of my little blog lately, but it’s only because I’m extra tired, extra cranky, and totally freezing my buttie. Why so tired? If you haven’t heard, I’m pregnant!
Yes, those are the big news I shared with my family as they arrived for their first visit to Germany. And between pregnancy naps, senseless emotional roller coastering, trying to play catch up with the house cleaning, and chasing around a not so compliant toddler, I’ve had little time for the fun stuff… But thankfully the 2nd trimester is finally here, and I’m starting to feel a little more like myself… Sort of…
Enough chit chat… Here are a few shots from the visit!!
It was my mom’s birthday (any excuse to come visit us!) and that evening my dad had Lucy walk into the room with a cake in the wagon, it was a pretty cute idea. My mom was so surprised
Wondering around Trier with some awesome company
I seriously can’t wait to get my new lens. I have been patiently waiting to purchase a nice wide angle lens to take with me when we go to new places and it’s finally going to happen this weekend. I really want to start working on some scenic and architecture photography. Scenic photography really speaks to my soul. I still wish we could have invested in some Peter Lik art work before leaving Key West (he has a gallery there) I really think he is my photography inspiration. Hoping to really focus on this part of photography while living in Europe and taking advantage of these amazing places that we will be visiting. So so excited on working on a new skill! Always learning, never stop!!
So here we are wondering around Trier. I almost wanted to leave the camera in my bag and just enjoy the day… But I simply couldn’t… Trier is the first older city we got to visit and it was pretty amazing. We are actually planning to go back very soon since I feel like I need to see it all AGAIN lol.
So today was Little Lue’s second gymnastics class and I totally love it. I mean… she loves it? Can it be both?
It’s just so much fun to see her in a different setting, taking directions from her teacher, and having SO much fun doing it. I love the teacher Miss Kate, she makes the class super fun and appropriate for their age. I hope Little Lue gets to be in her classes a lot while we’re here! (She’s the same teacher for her dance class, yay!)
Little Lue is pretty good at following directions, but still gets a bit side tracked haha. Still, I can tell she’s totally engaged in everything that’s going on.
So this morning we tried on our new leotards! Yes, both of them… Because mommy was too excited to wait for Little Lue to go potty after she had woken up before trying the first one on, and Little Lue was too excited wearing her gymnastics clothes to remember to tell me she needed to pee.
So off with that one and on to the other!
We were so very excited to get to class… Little Lue couldn’t wait to take off all her clothes and just have her gymnastics outfit. Glad it’s pretty warm in there! (Did I mention it was in the 40’s this morning!?)
When is it our turn?!?!?! ***waiting for the door to open***
Decided to do a little stretching while we waited…
I think my favorite part about today’s class was when Little Lue used to bar to swing! She did it all by herself and loved every second of it. (So did mommy!!! You can tell by the disproportionate amount of photos LOL)
And just like that it was over… I think it’s cute that they get little stamps on their hands once they are done We always talk about showing daddy her gymnastics stamps.
So after a day of treasure hunting at the flea market, wondering around Ramstein-Meisenbach through their little shops, and spending some time on the base BX searching for tiny dance leotards, there was still no nap.
At this point I figured Little Lue would just crash at 7pm or something… So instead of trying to force on sleep at 4pm, we decided to go on a walk.
Heading out the door I decided to grab my camera and make it a little photo walk. I’m glad I did. I kind of love some of these…
And this particular photo just spoke to me so much. It’s of this really young couple… I didn’t want to disturb them when we passed them, but I had to look back and take one shot. They were very blushy as we walked by, like they were meeting in secret. One of them had come in a motor cross bike, probably from another village… It just gave me that young love rushing feeling; crazy, forbidden, new, and exciting. Any how, I love how this photo came out. I want to make more artful pieces like this in the future
So you obviously know about my love for photography. But if you’ve only recently met me, then maybe you didn’t know that I also love all things sewing! While pregnant with Little Lue I pulled out my sewing machine (which had been collecting a lot of dust since it had been purchased about a year prior), dusted it off, and dragged it to The Seam Shoppe in Key West (where we were living) to a quilting class. And it was here that I rediscovered WHY I had purchased a sewing machine in the first place; I LOVE TO SEW.
As much as I love it, it’s quite difficult with a toddler running wild. Specially when all my me time has been so full of blogging and photo editing recently. So my motivation for sewing the new quilt I had been dreaming up for quite a few months has simply not been there. I’ve been quietly hoping that I would find a big beautiful quilt to purchase at some garage sale or flea market. And also praying that I could afford said gorgeous quilt.
As we headed out to the local flohmart “flea market” in the village (one that had been announced all week in a hand painted sign hanging over an old storage barn and for some reason had caught my attention) I voiced my desire for a quilt to my husband. I hopelessly ranted about how expensive hand made quilts are and how I new I would have to sew one myself if I really wanted one… or get really really lucky…
Guess what? I got LUCKY!
The flea market was looking pretty bare. It was already close to noon and had probably been picked over all morning. Old toys, some used clothes, and just little trinkets, were laying around. And then, I saw it. Like diamonds and rubies poring out of a treasure chest, this large and fluffy quilt was neatly folded and hung on a wooden crate. I picked it up and it was just so soft from years of use. As I inspected it, it seemed to have a few stains, but the stitching was strong and perfect. You could tell this was made by a very experienced quilter. As I imagined a grandmother lovingly piecing this quilt together I wondered if I would be able to take this little treasure home…
I obviously was lusting after this thing, because a few moments later a young girl asked me if I needed help. I asked how much for the quilt… *held my breath*… “15 euro”.
That’s it?! I thought… I made a little happy dance in my head as an older woman walked by and told the girl something I couldn’t follow in German. Uh-oh, maybe she was giving her a different number…
“12 euro” She said.
“I’ll take it!”
Ha! I was so happy! I bundled it up in my arms and gingerly walked over to my husband who was busy paying for a DVD for my daughter (of course she can’t leave empty handed!).
As I inspected it in the car I found a patch on the back that reads “Made by Peacemakers Quilt Club Albermarle, NC 2007”
How incredibly special is that?! This quilt bought in a flea market in Germany came from a group of quilters in North Carolina! And I also know that it is 6 years old! I wonder if it was a gift to a family in need? Or many auctioned off at an event? I’ve found some contact information for the club, and I’m tempted to email them and just say hello… I would want them to know their quilt made it to a very appreciative home where it will be given much love and use! That I promise.
Finally at home, I got to unwrap my quilt bundle. And it is BIG! OMG I love it so very much! And I can’t believe it was such a steal, not even 20 dollars?!
It’s pretty cold outside tonight and you can bet I am all wrapped up in this beautiful quilt cuddling with my princess while we relax and watch a movie.