Thursday, December 2, 2010

Family Time in Deutschland!

After coming back to Deutschland with my family, we spent the week at NUMEROUS Christmas markets, favorite spots of mine from the past year, and new-to-me cities here in Germany. We had a fabulous time seeing my old sights - Bonn, Bad Godesberg (where my dad saw his first real castle!), Konigswinter, Linz (my parents loved it as much as I did), and Koln. We also went to three new places, Aachen, Stazvey, and Bad Munsterheifel. Here are some good moments and pictures!

First, let's start with the DAY TIME here in Germany.... I'm going to dedicate a separate entry to the evening Christmas Markets.

We started off each morning (almost) with a trip to the bakery. There are LOTS of different ones here in Germany, but my favorite one (other than the random little one in Hauptbahnhof) is Kamps. YUM! They have this pastry called Stressentaler - AMAZING. They also have incredible cream rolls, cheese and ham pretzels, and pudding bread. It's all good! Haha...

Anyway, we headed down to see Bad Godesburg, which is pretty much a suburb of Bonn over by the boy's Kinderhaus. It's a place I go to do grocery shopping, get my hair cut, see a movie (the theater that plays movies in English is there), sometimes get my toiletries, or hit up a decent H&M - they're ALL over here, but I love having one SO close - AKA: Four U-bahn stops or a 12 minute bike ride away. H&M - Be still my heart.

We went around Bad Godesberg just to see the area, went inside a little church there, and then headed up the castle after getting Nico from school on Monday. It was the first time my dad had been to real castle, and though it's not the most exciting one, it is a castle. Thus, it is automatically cool. Haha!

Nico was so funny when we told him he was going to be our tour guide for the castle (since he has been there with virtually all the nannies and each year of Kindergarten - haha!). He said, "I'm smart, but I don't know everything!" We know, Nico. However, the kid DID explain to me what macrophages white blood cells were last night... I had no idea what he was talking about it. I looked it up on wikipedia (very scientific, I know) and he was mostly right. We have a very smart kid on our hands.

Sidenote: How many of you clicked the link right then? Really? Yea. That's what I thought.

The only thing related to evening that I will say here is that we DID make time in Bad Godesberg to see Harry Potter 7: Part I on Wednesday evening... I had seen it a week early (The 17th - that's right. It came out two days earlier here in Germany. Boo-yah!), but I was all game to see it again. In case anyone was wondering, the ending didn't change. It was still good. :)

Sidenote: I had a discussion with Kay about one particular scene in the movie and it has spawned my desire to blog about the film and my thoughts. After my family's trip, that is NEXT on my agenda. I have, what I believe to be, good insights regarding the film and direction they took certain things. That is, aside from Rupert Grint being a good-looking man. There - moving on for now...

The next day we took time to go up to Konigswinter for a bit, and then Linz - see the link for more info from the FIRST time I went there. It's a great little city, with old buildings and streets, and off the beaten path for most American tourists, which I love. I took Melissa there when she came to visit and she loved it. Also, it has a cool name. Really.

Wednesday I took my family and Nico up to Cologne (Koln) to see the Cathedral Dom and a little of the city - we ended up hanging out at a Christmas Market for the afternoon. Haha! We became kind of obsessed... I'm actually heading to a new city (Heidelberg) on Saturday and will hit up the Christmas Market there too. I'm completely excited to see the city and HUGE castle there, but Christmas Markets have become my favorite thing in the world. No, really.

One note about the Cathedral Dom in Cologne. It's an old Catholic cathedral, but the thing I find MOST interesting about it is that on the left side of the Dom, near the base, there is a hole on the exterior that lets you see into some "buried ruins" of the Cathedral - a room and area they use to use hundreds of years ago. There is a giant, raised "font" in the side of the room where they use to baptize individuals... by immersion. It's off the beaten-path, and none of the pamphlets or ushers tell you about it, but you can see it and read a little bit about it if you know where to go. I only knew because a friend showed me back in January on my first trip to Cologne. I took my family down there... It's very interesting to me and I wanna research more on this particular, no longer used baptistery.

Okay. Moving on...

Thursday was THANKSGIVING! I was so excited because I had set up with my family, Koko and Patrick, and two other LDS families from the states to have a big Thanksgiving Feast at the Miller's home that afternoon. We spent the morning cooking a small turkey, sweet potatoes (yams to some), and two pies before heading over. After about 40 minutes of being lost, and finally using the father of the house we were headed to as our GPS, we actually got there. Haha! It was NOT funny at the time, but it is what it is... no big deal. (Shout-out to Coreen, cause these are totally her photos - they turned out better than mine!

We had a GREAT Thanksgiving with friends and family around us, took a walk to a little palace nearby after dinner to gear up for pie, and then came back for the main course pie. I am thankful that my family could be here to celebrate the holiday with me, and that I'll be home to celebrate Christmas with them. I'm also grateful for such great families here in Bonn that love and care for me while I am so far from home... I'm a blessed girl. For real.

On Friday, the family geared up and headed to Aachen, a city right on the border of Holland, Belgium, and Germany. We spent the time in Aachen going into a really cool church and then walking the streets, through... Christmas Markets! Haha... We didn't MEAN to, but it just kinda happened and we went with it. I loved every moment of it... However, I was able to get some non-market shots of buildings as well... So, for now, that's what you are getting... Haha!

Bad Munsterheifel was the second city we sought out, and it ended up being my FAVORITE thing of the whole trip. We went back for dinner the next night - haha! It was this really cool, small, German town with the fortress wall still intact all the way around the exterior of the city. It was cool to see, and I enjoyed walking through the streets for a little bit there... However, it didn't last long because we were FREEZING!

Saturday, I took my family up to Dracenfals to see the castle and royal manor. When we were up on the top of the mountain, we could see all the land around us and it was COVERED in snow - completely beautiful! It was also freezing... but it was worth it all. It was SO gorgeous up there, and my family was really glad we went. In fact, I was pretty glad that we did all of the things we did while my family was here... It wasn't always the GRANDEST adventure, but it was always fabulous because we were together, and we're just too quirky not to have fun.

Oh, and how cute are my parents? Still so in love... but not awkwardly showing PDAs - just sayin'. They're amazing.

P.S. Oh, and I found a little random hole in the wall to squeeze into and take a dumb picture inside of... perfect.

Song of the Day: I don't know HOW I came to own this song, but it was suddenly under my "Current Faves" list, and playing while I ride my bike. RANDOM. However, it's a little bit amazing, cause now I've found a new GREAT singer... Meredith Andrews, Can Anybody Hear Me? Enjoy!


Vegard said...

I love how everything in Germany is so cool and old.. You just walk around and.. oh theres a castle..

Love it and miss it.. :)

MKS said...

wow. i'm so sad i never made it to linz. just looking at it makes me miss germany a lot. especially the christmas markets. the one we went to was not as cool as the originals, but it was still cool. maybe we should put on a real one and show utahns how its done. that is hilarious that nico knew about macrophages. he would.