31 October 2010
We had another jam packed day today. The boys were able to scoop the guts out of their pumpkins, but we didn't even get around to carving them this year. Brian ended up making some quick jack-o-lanterns while passing out trick-or-treat candy. H's soccer team had play-offs today. And while they played a great game, they lost in the last few minutes by one goal. They were crushed. He was on a great team. After the game, we rushed home and went trick-or-treating on our block. Get this - the boys were more into passing out candy this year then actually going themselves. Fine by us. After a little while, we went over to the Elsmo's where we met up some other friends, then went over to another party. Whew.
29 October 2010
Taking a break from our Germany adventures this weekend. Only a couple more days next week! The Halloween festivities have begun... I'm sure it was because of our vacation, but this one really snuck up on me. The boys school had their annual parties and Halloween parade today. Both had a great time. C was a prisoner (his friend decided to go as a police man, which was so cute). H was a gross skeleton zombie with rats coming out of the rib cage. Gross. It's scary.
On Thursday, we spent a cold and rainy day in one of my absolute favorite cities in the whole wide world -- Hamburg. It was just as beautiful as I remembered it. We didn't have much time there, but we did get to walk around a bit to see the Rathaus, Alster, walk around Jungfernstieg, eat lunch, and drive around the Reeperbahn and Hamburger Hafen, which is really very cool. That night, we drove over to Andrea & Andreas's for dinner. We were all completely wiped out, so just came back, hung out at "home" a little bit, and went to bed early for a quiet evening.
28 October 2010
After the boys and I took a dip in the pool, we drove back to Germany -- again, via the ferry. The ride in Denmark is quite boring, actually. But it's still quite beautiful. The ferry was much windier that day, but it's a very quick (45 minute) ride. This time, we drove to Bad Segeberg, to stay with my German Mami & Papi. We had a low key night, which included a trip to the grocery store to buy chocolates for the boy's classmates (a big hit, by the way). We stayed up too late, drinking too much wine, and having a great time.
First stop -- Tivoli, of course. We bought the multi-ride pass so we could play all day. I know there is a bit of a photograph-overload in this post, but honestly, it was all so dreamy! One of my favorite is the shot of beautiful Copenhagen in the background with the boats in Tivoli (if you look really, really close, you can see H driving one boat, and C and Brian in another). After a good couple hours at Tivoli, we dragged the boys to Nyhavn to grab a quick bite. We braved the cold and sat at one of the outdoor cafés. All of the outdoor cafés have blankets -- we totally used them. Then we went on a harbor tour which was really interesting. The tour took us by The Little Mermaid, but when we got there, all that was in it's place was a giant screen with a live camera video. The Little Mermaid in is China right now. It was kind of funny, actually. After wards, the boys were anxious to get back to Tivoli, so we took them. And rode the rides, and ate the candy floss (cotton candy). It was really great. We came back to our hotel really late (after stopping at the train station to pick up wine), and were starving. Fortunately, one of the restaurants in the hotel is a great place called Sticks'n'sushi. They even had swing benches in the bar. It was another day we just didn't want to end. What a great city.
27 October 2010
Monday morning, we drove to Copenhagen, Denmark. I had been to Denmark for a couple quick stays, but never to Copenhagen. We were all super excited about it. It's about a four hour drive from where we were staying, including a ferry ride. Kind of a fun little adventure. We stayed at the Tivoli Hotel. It was a great place to stay with the kids -- we could walk to everything but there was a free shuttle service, swimming pool, fantastic breakfast, and admission tickets to Tivoli. Our first day, we just explored the city a bit. It's pretty great. Even I, who hates shopping, was swayed by the storefronts. Unfortunately, the boys wanted nothing to do with that, so we were pretty limited. But I'd really love to go back some day. On our way back, we decided to stop at Wagamama to grab some dinner (Asian noodle soup -- it was freezing out). We left out of a different door, and stumbled into Tivoli. The kids were absolutely in awe. So were we. It was stunning by night. We walked around a bit, and couldn't wait to come back the next day.
On day three, I woke up earlier than normal, and went with Andrea and Andreas to a Gottesdienst (church service) that their oldest son was participating in. He had been at a week long retreat that ended with a service which was conducted by the kids. I haven't been to church in years, but it was pretty cool. Casual and fun. After that, we met up with the family, including my host brother Stefan and cousin Claudia, for a delicious meal of duck, red cabbage and potato croquettes. That afternoon we met up at my host-parent's beautiful new house, which is on a lake in Northern Germany. The boys got a ride in the row boat, and we enjoyed some coffee and cake. After wards, we all took a nice long walk. Across the street from their house is a forest, and a massive horse back riding area. Another perfect place to let H & C loose. That night, Brian and I stayed up way too late drinking beer with Andrea and Andreas. So much fun.
26 October 2010
After our 15 hour nap, we woke up, picked up our rental car and drove an hour and a half to meet up with my host-mom and dad, Andrea and Andreas's son, and my host-brother's children, who were at the vacation home in Sankt Peter-Ording. The last time Brian and I visited this home was ten years ago, and it was still being built. It's quite gorgeous, and the beach on the North Sea is breath-taking. Huge stretches of sand and brisk air -- it's a happy place for me. The boys loved just running free and picking up sea shells. After wards, we all went to dinner at a local restaurant, then drove home to Wahlstedt. It was a really great day.