• Random Thoughts,  Travels

    Being There.

    I’m going to continue on the same travel thread that I started on Sunday. Well, sort of. Jim and I attended a fine arts fair a couple of months ago, when the weather was still comfortable enough for walking around outside and admiring artwork. Although the majority of the pottery, jewelry, and paintings was lovely, I was definitely attracted to the tents which housed the work of photographers. The sizes of the pieces ranged from 8″ X 10″ to oversized masterpieces that would look perfect over a couch, or even in a museum. The photograph subjects that were my favorite? No surprise: they were beautiful locations all around the world.…

  • Travels

    Wanderlust

    I’ve been thinking a lot about our 2010 family trip to Germany. This is partially due to the fact that I had a couple of our favorite pictures from that trip framed for our remodeled bathroom, and partially due to the fact that, well, fantasizing about another Germany trip is a part of my regular routine. I would love to go back there NOW. If I could, I would make my way around the entire country, mostly by train. Maybe I’d fly from Chicago to Hamburg first and see what’s going on up there in the north, because I’ve never been to that part of Germany. From Hamburg I’d probably…

  • Family Fun,  Travels

    Go On Vacation To Germany With Me, At Your Leisure!

    Well, sort of. Here’s my roundup of Germany posts, all in one place, along with a badge you can grab, if you’d like, to display on your blog! Resize, whatever. (If you link back to this post, even better. If not? I still adore you.) The best part? You don’t even need a passport. Here we go: Gem├╝tlichkeit (Hospitality) Apparently I Should Be Eating More Marshmallows (about grocery shopping in Germany) Above God and Everybody (The Zugspitze) Bursting At The Seams, I Had To Put One Elsewhere (Link to my Music Mamas post about German music) These Walls Were Made For Walkin’ (Our Visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber) Germany…

  • Family Fun,  Travels

    Random Thoughts and Pictures: German Style (Or, “I Guess It’ll Have To Go Here”)

    Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. (Is that really true? Do all good things really have to come to an end? I suspect not.) If you are still reading this after so many days of my blogging about my family trip to Germany, I owe you a huge thanks for sticking around. I feel like the annoying relative who showed up unannounced with five thousand slides from her summer vacation, and you were held hostage without so much as a bathroom break. In all, I’ve done (including this one) eighteen posts about my trip since I returned home. (I was gone for eight days, including travel!) You…

  • Childhood Memories,  Family Fun,  Travels

    On Crazy Kings and Reenactments

    While in Germany we spent an entire day (the day after going to the Zugspitze) taking in three of the dreamy castles of King Ludwig II. We started in F├╝ssen, at Schloss Hohenschwangau, which was originally the home of Ludwig II’s parents, and then became his when they died. I didn’t get a really great picture of the entire castle, probably because I wasn’t flying over it in a helicopter, but you’ll get the idea. I took a few pictures outside on the grounds, because unfortunately you can’t take pictures inside any of the castles, with a couple of exceptions (I’ll get to one in a minute). We only had…

  • Family Fun,  Travels

    The East-West German Pepsi Challenge of 2010

    After the seriousness of yesterday’s post, I thought it would be a good idea to post something a little, err, lighter today. One of the things on the schedule during our Germany visit was something Kat set up as a surprise for us: the Pepsi Challenge 2010. I think she remembered seeing how much fun we had with our Kit Kat Taste Test of 2006 and thought we’d enjoy doing a challenge in which we had to identify the East German cola. (She was right: we had a blast!) She told us that she “imported them” from East Germany, meaning she went to the store near her parents’ house on…

  • Jew Stuff,  Travels

    So These Four Jews Go To Germany…

    While on our wonderful family vacation in Germany, we had three Jewish experiences (two were planned; one was not) which I thought deserved mention in their own post. We first visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, which is completely different from saying that we visited Dachau. When the four of us were leaving Kat and Holger’s house to make the visit there, they made sure to tell us that though the area is known for this horrible piece of the Holocaust, the town of Dachau is a lovely place and we should make sure to visit the Altstadt there, since we’d be in the area. (Check out the website…

  • Family Fun,  Too Funny To Ignore,  Travels

    Do You Like Cars? Germany’s Got ‘Em!

    The car we rented in Germany happened to be a BMW. It was very, very expensive: not because it was a BMW but because the insurance we had to carry on it for the week was outrageously priced, but mandatory. (On that topic, I think when we go back someday, we will only rent a car for the days we intend to drive to the Alps. The public transportation system in Munich ROCKS and it’s way cheaper than a car rental!) It would have been a luxury for us to rent a BMW in the States; over there, they were a dime a dozen. (Hello, Bayerische Motoren Werke/BAVARIAN Motor Works?…

  • Family Fun,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz,  Travels

    Personality Plus

    The younger boy cracks me up. Usually. During the last couple of many months, he has been acting the part of a very normal teenager: spending lots of time in his room and not so much with us, attached to one of many technology items (sometimes more than one at at time) we have in the house. We’ve had to make major efforts to have actual discussions that delve deeper than: “How was your day?” “Good.” …and it’s not always easy to find that time, what with four of us running in different directions most of the time. When we can pin him down, though–like at the dinner table, for…

  • Family Fun,  Travels

    Shop Til You Stop!

    Naturally, part of any vacation is finding cool places to shop and buy souvenirs. We were actually pretty controlled on the spending while in Europe, probably buying waaaay less than the average tourist. But browsing was still fun. We bought lots of postcards to send to Julesie (she collects them) and for the older boy to send to his girlfriend. In downtown Munich, we found this totally cool store called Kare. If money was no object and my luggage weight didn’t matter, I could’ve spent hours (and hundreds of Euros) in there. I loved it! I’ll let the pictures tell the story of how fun this place is. This picture…