Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vacation Report: Slovakia

Slovakian Cheeseburger. Cheers to Bratislava!!!



Bratislava Castle.
Okay... I did NOT want to see this castle. I wanted to go to some castle ruins somewhere and some snakey train driving guy lied to me and told me we were going somewhere we were going to the ruins and we ended up here... at Bratislava castle. :) It was fine though, we got to ride a train and Poozie Loves Trains.

This is Michaela desperately trying to connect to the WiFi. She's getting pretty good with computers so if anyone could do it she could, but she couldn't. :)

From the Danube river boat.

Best Lunch ever. :)

Bratislava, which as Michaela knows is the capital of Slovakia, was small. It wasn't as extravagant or architecturally impressive as other cities we've seen. That was a nice way of saying "ghetto" wasn't it? :) It was great for the kids and I to do on our own. We ate at a McDonalds on the main square and fed pigeons and listened to a one-man-band. It was easy and for a mom traveling to an even more foreign country, easy is good. The highlight for the kids was probably the boat ride on the Danube River.

My favorite part was talking to all the American tourists who were being nice to my kids and me.

Vacation Report: Vienna

What we saw from our super great hotel. :) Our new thing is to get two rooms that are connected... instead of a "family room". But when they connect rooms here , they put a door at the end of the hall and you get part of the hall, then you just leave your doors open :) Cute huh?

We watched HOP. In English! ...and yes, those tiny little children ate ALL that popcorn. It was real movie theater popcorn - Salty and Buttery, not sweet which is what the insist on serving here in Germany. Sweet popcorn is fine, just not at a movie theater. :)

Sometimes Scotty is the sweetest boy on earth.... sometimes.

We got on this train because it was pouring rain, and it took us here....

:) Good deal huh?

Easter Market - Really cute!

Top: Poppyseed and sugar syrup over the top of.... POTATOES... then topped with applesauce. Weird, but surprisingly NOT gross.
Bottom: Apple slices dipped in batter and fried? powdered sugar on top. Kids ate happily.

Painted eggs. Real eggs. :)

This is Poozie in the most expensive restaurant our family has ever eaten at all together. Mozart and all those other famous composers have signed the wall. :)

(Another pink bunny picture since Nana loved them.)

I forgot I wrote all this a while back... so I'll stick it in... it's a bit long... sorry.

Since we were in Vienna a day early Paul wasn't supposed to be at work yet, but I should have known better. :) While he worked at the hotel I took the kids to an obligatory tourist sight, Schonbrunn Palace.

It ended up being really cool only because there was an Easter market out front and a little tour train that went around it. Turns out Andrea Loves Trains!

The Easter market was just like the Christmas markets except you replace Santa with a Bunny. :) We bought some "interesting" food items there, just to try them... Unique. I'd never buy them again, but it was in the name of experiencing culture ...or so I told the kids. :)

Next thing we know it starts to pour rain and hail so we run like crazy people to a nearby tour train and hop in not knowing where it would go. Poozie Loves Trains and it was enclosed, we were warm and happy... It ended up taking us to the top of the Palace grounds where you could see everything. It was neat, the kids liked it, and it even stopped raining so we could get out and run around taking pictures before the train left again.

We went back to the hotel, picked up Happy and went to a yummy/way too expensive restaurant down the street from the hotel. The kids all behaved so it was a nice dinner and everyone was happy.

Day two in Vienna I took the kids to check out the town on what I thought was a tram that would take us in a big circle. We hopped on a tram. It went for ten minutes, it stopped, and the kids noticed... "gee, we are the only ones on here... cool!". Turns out it's not so cool. The bus driver came back, speaking some sort of a language, but we quickly figured out we needed to get off. Fine.

We got off and we are in the middle of a grassy area. No streets, people, cars, signs in sight. For the kids sake I confidently say, "we'll just walk across the street and catch a tram going back." We cross the tracks and see a tram stop and after reading the sign we determine that the next tram will be in two hours.


Then it starts to rain.

HA again.

Too bad I didn't have a map at all huh?

We decided to start off walking in a random direction and thankfully the same tram we had just gotten off, pulls around and is now heading to us. I'm not sure if it was supposed to stop, but I think the driver knew we were confused and lost... he stopped and let us on. 387 points for Vienna.

Anyways, that was a long detour from my real story... so I was still sure this was the tram that would take us in a circle of the city, and I figured I just got on it the wrong way... so we rode it for a while the opposite way. It was going really slow and the kids were getting antsy so we got off when we saw a trusty S-bahn station (subway)... We took the S-bahn a few stops and got off at the main square.

It was still raining but I thought there should be a tourist information booth somewhere so I made the kids circle the enormous church in the middle of the square. Nothing... but now we were slightly soggy and Poozie's shoes were soaking wet from happily jumping from puddle to puddle. I see a big ice cream store that we had been to the day before. I knew there was only two in Vienna and I was impressed I managed to find both!

We walked towards it and Michaela told me it looked familiar... yah, yah, yah... big old buildings, cobblestone, it's all the same kid. Then we see the Pizza Bizi place we ate lunch at the day before... Turns out we took two hours, rode two trams and a subway train and ended up on the other side of our hotel. We got some bagels from a bagel man and went to the hotel and watched cartoons for a while while Andrea's shoes dried out. UGH.

After I got my confidence back we ventured out once again. We went to find a big ferris wheel. Luckily it was big so we found it easily. :) We were the only ones there. No lines, no crowds, the entire thing was to ourselves... :) We took another train ride through the deserted amusement park because... Poozie Loves Trains. :)

I was feeling better about our day as we started to head back to find the movie theater that shows movies in English. Long story short... We roamed the streets for an hour, asking dozens of store owners for directions... Finally we found the theater down an unnamed side street/alley... and around the corner. It was worth it though. We watched HOP in English and ate two HUGE buckets of good popcorn. We had the theater to ourselves which was good for when Andrea woke up from her nap and was angry at the world... until she noticed the cute little Bunny on the screen. :)

Day Three of Vienna. Paul flew back to Germany for an unexpected meeting so the kids and I decided to leave Austria too. We went to Slovakia... as you do. be continued.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Here is an 11 euro watermelon... and a can of Cream of Chicken soup that expired in July of 2003.

Both are pretty impressive in their own special ways.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring DOM

The Dom comes to Hamburg three times a year. It's like a giant fair ...but more giant than you are thinking. It's huge.

I impressed that it leaves at all because it's HUGE. It must take forever to set up/take down.

It involves the worlds largest portable roller coaster. See, even dumb ole' wikipedia talks about it. Maybe next time I should go on it. :)

concentrating in car.

riding on train.

fishing for ducks.

michaela and me up high.

michaela and korey, my friend's brave husband, upside down.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Pictures

Our newest addition to our Easter Decorations... I think they are cute... especially that big dopey looking one.

Poozie on a swing.

Sierra and Michaela got Easter Bike baskets from that super thoughtful little bunny. I'll write about their new bikes later!

Michaela is super creative. Here is her... all purple egg.

Andrea and her new little pink bunny that moves and makes adorable little sounds.

I wish I was a cute little pink bunny so she'd look at me like that... :)

Mommy draws a bunny, she colors it in... way better than subjecting your kitchen to five brightly colored cups of evil staining liquid.

Poozie's favorite. Kinder Eggs... which by the way are going for $20.00 on ebay since they are super illegal in the States. Who wants to be my business partner?

No, she's not sleeping... she's pouting. She's my special child.

Did Scotty get an iPod for Easter? NO. He got a game worth a dollar and he was ecstatic! (Angry Birds Rio if you're wondering...)

Shelly whipped these up in the kitchen for us. HA! She did order in German though... just as impressive. :)

I was stalling the kids and gave them crayons and hard boiled eggs and Sierra made some really cute ones! She preferred to color them, fine with me! Less Mess!

When we were done decorating eggs we had a grand total of 37 hard boiled eggs. Super. We have managed to eat a whopping total of six in the last week.

Scotty is awesome because he found a GOLD egg with two Euros in it! He said he will buy ice cream with it in 15 days because he wants to save it too.

Here are all the American kids that made our Easter egg hunt fun. Last year we really didn't know any of them.... so it's been a productive year.

Poozie had a great time. She's a good little egg finder.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vacation Report: Munich

Here Michaela!!!!!

It was during this holiday that I realized I am officially "done" seeing European cities. I have zero interest in it anymore. The cities are not bad and I'm not complaining... I just think I'm done seeing the "BIG" European cities. I'd rather hang out on a beach for a week or go camping or stay on a lake. that's what I think I'll be promoting for upcoming vacations. :) Sound good Happy?

...and yes, we were supposed to go see friends in England this month. However, these two people are getting married in London... Will and Kate plus the Eight Million people who would be involved. :) It would have been insanely crazy there and Paul ended up having to work in Vienna so we had to postpone our England trip and tag along with Paul to Vienna. -Sorry Ingrid :(

On the way to Vienna we stopped off in Munich for a few days. We went to the Deutsche Museum which Paul has wanted to visit since the first day we came to Europe. We spent an entire day at the museum and didn't even see it all. It was HUGE and Andrea had had enough, and the sweet little angel let us know in her own little special way. (crying, flailing, kicking, spewing venom, etc...)It's 10:30 on the sun clock! It worked!
We watched a high voltage show. CRAZY LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That night we tried to come up with something to do in Munich the next day and realized we didn't want to see the "sights". :) We went to Olympic Park, ate some crepes, took a little train ride, played putt-putt, and paid way too much money to see a small aquarium. We laid in the sun and fed the ducks pretzels which we kept buying from a vending machine. :) I enjoyed the sun and was happy to lay there all day... so we did.

We opted to leave Munich a day early (I told you we are bored of cities.) On our last day we woke up, went to a giant toy store where DADDY thought it was a Christmas Free For All. :) Then we drove four hours to Vienna a car FULL of cute (read as: overpriced) German toys.

Look. I feed my kids veggies for snacks.

...and because this blog has turned into a "journal" for me which I will someday spend hundreds of dollars to print.... I have to write about this. :)

After we played putt-putt, which by the way... you weren't allowed to walk on the course. You had to stand off the side and we saw several other miniature golf courses and they were the same... weird. :)

Anyways, we were walking out of the putt-putt course and we saw an elderly lady who had fallen over and had landed on her face? and was bleeding all over the place. I had a first aid kit so I ran over somewhat happy to have use for the big thing I lug around everywhere, but my first aid kit was useless. (Note to self: get better supplies in my first aid kit... 18 sizes of band-aids with varying cartoon characters on them are not all that useful in an actual emergency.)

However, I did have diapers to use to stop the bleeding. This poor woman went through several diapers as I sat there throughly irritated with my German. I was terrible. I couldn't talk to her very well. I could tell her about my family "Ich habe vier kinder, Haben Sie kinder?"... which, maybe entertained her, but all I could think of is my grandmas and that I'd NEVEr want them to be in this situation. So we sat there with her until the ambulance arrived. I just held her arm and tried to talk to her... in my PATHETIC German.

I was happy my kids saw Paul and I help her though. Happy smashed our ice bottle up and we used our pocket knife to cut the bottle open and get the ice to make an ice pack with Kleenex; that mixed with the diapers... I think we really helped her... The kids were scared I think, it was kinda stressful... but I hope my kids took away some lesson from the entire event. They asked about her later, I'm sure she's fine, but I just wanted to go home and hug both my grandmas.


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