Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Germany III

Day 7 (Friday) - Our final day in Munich, we drove to RothenbUrg. Well, we first drove to RothenbErg. Yes, there is a difference, about a 90 minute difference! Totally my fault since I was the one that gave Joanne the city to go to. I should have checked, but who would have thought that there are four different cities with an "e" and where we actually wanted to go was with a "U". At any rate, after we arrived in Rothenburg, the weather was drizzling rain and kind of cold. We found a small restaurant to eat and then started to look for the stores that we remembered from the last time we were there about twenty years ago. Funny how your mind recalls different details from reality. We never did find the exact store we were looking for, but it was neat to walk around and look at all the Christmas stores.

There were several large Nutcrackers that just begged to have their pictures taken next to.

A large building in the center, not sure what the building was for, but I liked the architecture of it. The Clock Tower to the right was a sight to see. People gather in the square every hour to see the windows open and these figurines come out and do a little dance and movements.
One of the stores we came across had Annaliese's name, only one letter off, so I had to take a picture. No idea what "Friese" means, but I thought Anna would like to see it.
Rothenburg is knows for it's Christmas stores and Kris Kringle market in the winter. This particular store was very extravagant in it's displays. These are a couple pictures of what we saw when we first came in. All of the stuffed animals are "Steif" and most of them are animated and move around. After we took a couple shots, we saw the signs that said "No Pictures" Very cool though to get these. I think Donna took quite a few more illegal shots and I will try to get those on here too.
Finding the perfect gift for four kids can be a little difficult. But for some reason, this time Jackson was by far the easiest. I had seen several swords at different shops and said there is no way I am going to buy him a sword. He is so active and aggressive, giving him a weapon doesn't make much sense. BUT... when we came to this shop and the owner was there engraving all these wood signs and I saw the sword, with a wooden sheathe, well... I had to! It wasn't something I could pass up. He engraved it with "Sir Jackson" and yes, Jack loves it! So far, I am glad I bought it, but I am sure it won't be long before he takes out an eye, a lamp, you get the picture!
We drove back to Munich and went straight to the Hofbrauhaus, a world famous beer hall. By the time we got there, it was almost 9:30 but we were starving so we decided to eat there as well. The place was packed with people. All the tables were full, it was kind of chaos. I had heard that you just have to find your own place to sit, along with other people that you don't know. So, you need to be fairly aggressive. Not a problem for me, but for my mom, she starts freaking out about we weren't paying attention and she could have had a seat but she couldn't find us, etc. We finally found a place to sit and got our drinks. Mom ordered a white wine and cola, a drink she had when she was in Germany before, supposedly a German drink, but the waiter couldn't believe she wanted the two together in the same glass. Doesn't sound that great to me, but she did drink it all so I have to give props for that one. I preferred the beer, of course!
Classic picture of mom having a hot flash. Someone should have warned Michelle and I that we were travelling with two women in the middle of menopause, seriously!

Sometimes, Michelle and I get tired of waiting to have our picture taken, so we just do it ourselves. It never turns out that great, but we have fun doing it!
And somehow they always manage to catch us midsentence before we are ready for the picture. We both look pretty rough, but no one there cared and we didn't either.

Day 8 (Saturday) - Our last day to do any shopping and we still had to leave Munich, head to Heidelberg, stop to see Kimber and then make our way to Frankfurt. Nothing like waiting till the last minute! We did get to see my friend Kimber Van Essen. Her and her family moved to Germany with Deere last year. Even though I was able to see her in Iowa just a few weeks ago, it was really nice to see her again so soon. We got a quick pic together before we left, as she says, "proof" that I was there!
Heading over to Heidelberg, just a few minutes away, we looked for a parking garage (P12) that Jeremy (Kimber's husband) forgot to mention you had to go up a steep hill to get into. This was about the last straw for me and listening to back seat drivers. They were all screaming at me that I was doing the wrong thing and I had to wait in line to get in but we were on a VERY steep hill and I am driving stick, so trying to keep it going up and not sliding back into the cars behind me was very frustrating. Needless to say, when it was over and we were parked, no one was happy. Still a sore subject...

The entire time we were in Germany, we saw this phenomenon of what Michelle and I called the "MANPRI" or capri's for men. We were astounded by the proliference of this fashion concept. We figured Heidelberg would be the last chance we would have to document this, and so here is a compilation of some of the specimen's we observed...

The first one of the guy in the orange is my favorite. He doesn't even match and it was so essential Manpri! Of course, it didn't matter if you were young or old, married or single, denim or chino... We are pretty sure that the MANPRI will be taking the U.S. by storm here shortly, so beware!!!

We ended up back where we started in Frankfurt. I had been wanting to go out and get dressed up and this was the last chance. We went to an upscale Italian restaurant for dinner. This was the one time that mom decided to not take a picture of our meals. We figured that our dinner for the four of us was 125 Euro or about $180. We walked down to the Rhine River and caught a few silly pictures on the way.

Rhine River

Donna and Mom before we left the hotel. Michelle and I did their hair and makeup. Don't they look beautiful?!

Michelle and I before we were ready for the picture to be taken. We couldn't stop laughing. I think just before that we were making fun of mom or something?

Still having fun. This one had something to do with the light below my dress. And we only had two glasses of wine and maybe finished everyone else's?

Day 9 (Sunday) - I don't have any pictures that capture the disaster that was Sunday morning but it essentially ended up the way it began with my mom freaking out that we would miss our plane and we only had a "few minutes" to get on the plane or we would lose our seats. While this was a little far from the truth, we were in fact, almost the last persons to board the plane. I didn't get Starbucks, so I was cranky and they weren't very nice at the ticketing counter. Getting back into Detroit nine hours later, we still didn't have much time to catch our connecting flight, especially after going through immigration, customs, rechecking our luggage and making our way to our gate. By the end of the day, mom and I had been up and travelled for 23 hours. I was exhausted and could barely stay awake to say hi to Brad, Hailey and Jackson. But come Monday, the whole circus that is my life started again and so sleep will have to wait...

Final Analysis - It was a wonderful experience and I would do it over again in a heartbeat, back seat drivers and all. In fact, how does Italy 2010 sound???

1 comment:

Dave said...

it's been so fun following your trip! Looks like it was a ton of fun!! Glad you are home safe... I think you should make Italy 2010 happen :) Happy Back to School days... Jess Hansen