Saturday, January 21, 2017

So in awe - Representation

Frankfurt - Michele & Ian

Savannah - Becca

Washington DC - Katherine

So proud of my family.  Wish the boys had come along, but they'll find their social justice calling in time. My girls... go out and take on the world.  Stand up for what you know is right - love for all.

"Green Day" or "I Think I Can Hear Again"

There are a few groups I really like, and Green Day is one of them. Thankfully Mannheim is only an hour away.

Billie Joe Armstrong is a fun entertainer and played a mix of all their albums. The audience participation, besides the typical "wave your hands in the air" included bringing up someone to sing a song who then stage dove into the crowd, and another person came up to play on a guitar - that he then gifted to her. The best part though was the final song, a quasi-acoustic version of just him and audience singing "Time of Your Life."

I think even Jonathon enjoyed it.

Farewell President Obama

It's been quite a week.  To be honest, it's been quite a past year. But this week we bid farewell to President Barack Obama, a man we respected as a leader, as a person, as an American.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

About The Wall...

No, not THAT wall.

At SCAD, the art classes have The Wall, and kids are anxious to have their pieces displayed on The Wall for all to see.

Becca has one of her final pieces from last quarter up....

The task was to combine a nut,
screw, and washer.

She's quite excited!
 I can't wait until it comes home and we can put it up on OUR wall!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Day trip to Rudesheim - "We're CLOSED"

The cable car - closed.

The restaurants - closed.

Team-building curling - ends tomorrow!
We decided to take a quick day trip an hour west of Frankfurt to the quaint town of Rudesheim am Main, which I imagine is magical at Christmastime. On January 7, the flurry of tiny snowflakes was magical in its own way, but the closed town was missing something - a little life. There were a handful of wandering tourists like ourselves, baffled by the silent streets.  I'm sure a 5-minute search online would have told us about Rudesheim's status, but hey, we had the dusted alleys and cobblestones to ourselves.

Our plan to go to a particular restaurant was thwarted (it was closed) so we stopped at the Wirsthause Hannalore International.  If that doesn't sound like a tourist trap...

The food was pretty good, but the best part was the Rudesheum Kaffee at the end. You have to have the gorgeous cup.  We went in search of the cup, or a set (we saw one in a window  - 2 cups, 2 saucers, 2 spoons, and a bottle of Asbach), but everything was, remember, closed. Excuse to go back, including the Romantic Tour via cable car and boat.

Start with 3 cubes of sugar. Pour in a single serving bottle of Asbach rum.

Set on fire.

Stir and mix and stir and mix.

Pour in coffee, scoop on cream pile with chocolate shavings. Attempt to drink.

Realize that setting the cup on fire heated up the cup. Really really hot.  Coffee is also really hot. Then realize that the cup has no handle.

Drink anyway because it's awesome.

On our way out of Rudesheim we decided to check out the Mouse House, aka the Binger Mauseturm. Well, really I'd wanted to go to Bingen am Rhein originally with its Burg Klopp and the Hildegard von Bingen Museum, but we figured that Bingen can wait but the Mausetrum was easy. So we thought. Unfortunately, the roads were weird and partially blocked and we decided to head back home, and were rerouted up through Assmannhause. Totally not kidding. Assmannhause.

Rudesheim is wine country, so here are a couple photos of sleeping vineyards.

Looking down towards Rudesheim and the Rhein.

It was a sweet afternoon with Ian, and as always, we do this kind of thing and tell ourselves "we have to do this more often."

It's a good idea for the new year.

Monday, January 2, 2017

That's No Beaver

After the snow melted and the temperature rose to a happy 33F, Ian and I took a walk and ended up at Nordwestzentrum Mall.

On the way we walked through some green spaces, they are everywhere, and crossed a canal stream.

Hi Nutria River Rat Coypu!

A quiet holiday

This holiday wasn't about getting in a big trip or doing big things.  For some of us, it labeled the holiday a snoozefest, and I can sympathize.  The last four years had us visit Petra, enter the pyramids in Giza, wander Prague, and freeze through Vienna. But sometimes it's nice just to be together quietly, even if that was tainted a bit by the typical sniping and complaining and bickering.

This year we hit a few Christmas markets...

Bad Homburg

...and built gingerbread houses.

Walking Dead theme

In our defense, the people were mostly broken
before we started

Celebrating multiple holidays.

We baked a bunch of cookies, and successfully escaped a locked room (Escape Events: BioHazard, with 18 mins and 54 seconds remaining, no photo unfortunately).

Saw "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "SW: Rogue One" (in English!)...

Nicholas, Rebecca and Ian saw a Frankfurt Lowen hockey game.

And of course the tree, with all its memories.  This year, it holds the kids' ornaments and it's full. Sadly, I was lame and didn't manage new ornaments for the kids from Germany. That doesn't mean I'm not still looking though, and may just cave to the generic nutcracker.


Cinnamon Heart from the Hays.


Some ornaments haven't fared well.

Reindeer hat topper

Alsace stork

Amman, Orlando, Manila.
We watched a lot of movies - "Elf," the original 1971 "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "Die Hard," "SW: A New Hope" - and shows - the animated "Avatar," "Big Bang Theory," "Amazing Race" - and all the Caps hockey games.

At home on NYE, we enjoyed the city-wide fireworks from one of the attic windows, while Nicholas went downtown to meet up with a friend for the fireworks over the river.

Jonathon spent a lot of time on the computer over the holiday.

So no, nothing exciting or jaw-dropping.  But next year as we spiral our way out of Frankfurt to see more and more of what Europe has to offer and I'm more situated with my work and time off and know our options, we'll go somewhere fun. Ian has quite a few trips already planned for 2017, some I can even join in, but I think we'll need suggestions for a winter break....

Hmm, I'm thinking Scandinavia.