Monday, January 16, 2012

Almost caught up

I am almost all caught up. I only have December left to do. I am sorry if the pictures are so small I meant to make them bigger. You can just click on them and it will take you to Flickr to view them. I still have to upload all our pictures from Rome to Flickr and then I can blog about them. I hope you all are enjoying the blog. I will try harder to keep it updated once I get caught up I will give you all an update on our day to day activities. This new year is starting out very busy I only hope I can keep up. Well enjoy your week Rick is TDY again so it is just us girls he will be home on Friday hopefully in time for the girls first basketball games.

Paris France 2011

Paris France 2011 by pshow242
Paris France 2011, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
Ok I am up to Paris almost caught up. Lets see Paris what a weekend. When we asked Bella what she wanted to do for her birthday she said she wanted to go to Paris. So off we went on Thanksgiving morning it is about a 6 hour drive from our house to Paris. So we started early. Our first stop was the palace of Versailles. That place is amazing no wonder France almost went bankrupt building it. It is massive we toured the palace and the grounds. We will be going back in the spring to see the grounds completely open all the fountains were closed for winter. It took us hours to see the whole thing. We then arrived at our hotel it was really foggy so we couldn't see the Eiffel tower the first night. The second day was an adventure we got up early and walked to the subway it was right at morning rush hour and as we were boarding the subway Rick and the girls got on but I didn't the door closed right as I was about to get on. It was a good thing we just talked about what stop we were going to get off at. the next train came 2 minutes later and I met up with Rick and the girls. We did a lot on Friday we went to the Champs de Eylsee they had a fabulous Christmas market the girls went Ice skating road a huge ferris wheel and we shopped. we went to the Arc de Triomphe and Rick and the girls went to the top. We could barley see the Eiffel tower it was still to foggy. Next we went to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and the Venus De Milo while the Louvre was impressive it really didn't have my taste in art. I got to see my favorite artist when we went to the Orsay to see the impressionist. Finally on Saturday the sky was clear and we could see the Eiffel tower. The first stop of the day was the Orsay so I could stare at all of the Monet paintings they have then we were off to Notre Dame I haven't been in many churches in my life and that is the biggest one I have ever been in so far (at the time of this trip anyway) The girls got to feed the birds before we went in I was little grossed out watching those birds eat out of there hands but they loved it. It is a good thing I always carry hand sanitizer . We were going to go to the top of Notre Dame but the line was to long for Abby to handle so we left and made our way to the Eiffel tower. Once we got there and got in line it took us 3 hours to get to the very top and back down. I will not be doing that again when we go back. It was dark by the time we got to the top and seeing Paris all lit up was gorgeous. I took an amazing photo of the tower all lit up ( I am just a little proud of myself). So after three exhausting days of walking all around Paris we were all ready to go home. I didn't get to do some of the things I really wanted to do like take a cooking class at the cordon bleu or go to a few food specialty shops so they are on the top of my to do list for our trip back in the spring. Bella said she had the best birthday ever. We asked Abby what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said she wants to go see big ben so I will have to plan a trip to London for this summer.

Garmisch Germany 2011

Garmisch Germany 2011 by pshow242
Garmisch Germany 2011, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
All this updating is hard. I am glad I have a good memory. I am up to Veterans day. We took a trip to Garmisch Germany. We met up with our friend Alana who used to live next door to us in Kansas. We were taking care of her dog Anyo while she was deployed well she moved to Italy so she met us in Garmisch to get Anyo. The drive to Garmisch was interesting we couldn't see much it was really foggy. The first day we were there Abby was really sick and I had to take her to the emergency room luckily for us there is an Army post there so they all spoke english it was a German hospital though. After the hospital trip I took Abby back to the hotel for a nap and Rick and Bella went to explore a gorge. The next day the fog was all gone and we could see the mountains they were beautiful. Alana and her son got there it was really sad to give Anyo back she became part of our family we had her for almost 15 months and I still miss her. We spent the next day going up to the Zugspitze it was amazing the view was fabulous. we even got to go sledding. We also went to the Linderhof Palace we took a tour inside but they wouldn't let us take photo's I will say it was a strange palace the grounds were all closed up for winter we would like to go back in the spring when everything is reopened. It was a fun weekend and it was good to see Alana again she even watched the girls for us and Rick and I went to a nice dinner. Garmisch is a beautiful area and we can't wait to go back.

Oktoberfest Munich 2011

Oktoberfest Munich 2011 by pshow242
Oktoberfest Munich 2011, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
I turned 40 in September and for my birthday I wanted to go to Oktoberfest in Munich. Of course I was warned by everyone that it would be crowded and crazy but I didn't care I wanted to go at least once while we are here. So off we went. FIrst we drove to Vilseck Germany to meet up with friends so we all can take the train to Munich. It is a 3-1/2 hour drive to Vilseck from our house but with the traffic and construction it took us 6 hours to get there. It didn't seem like a good start to our weekend. Well the next morning we go to the train station at 7am and the train is packed we had to switch trains to get Munich and that train was also packed none in our group had seats we had to stand the whole way there. Once we arrived in Munich we weren't sure which way to go so we just followed the crowed in the wrong direction for a little while but once we finally found the fest grounds all was forgotten. We enter the biggest crowd I have ever been in. Of course all the beer tents were full so Rick took the girls on some rides and then we found a seat in a beer garden. Once we found a seat I stayed there all day drinking beer. We only stayed 5 hours we had to leave to catch the last train back to Vilseck which left at 6pm. The train ride back was miserable. The train was so crowded and hot no one got seats and the kids were so hot and crabby when we had to switch trains nothing was open there was no where to get a drink or even use the bathroom we had about an hour wait for the train when it finally arrived everyone was so exhausted and Abby was so crabby I felt so sorry for her. It was an experience that I probably won't do again but hey you only turn 40 once and I am glad we did it. The next weekend we went to Stuttgart's Oktoberfest and that was a great time not so crowded and you could actually move around with out saying sorry or excuse me every two seconds and there was plenty of room in all the beer tents. I won't go back to Munich but I will go back to Stuttgart.

Pumpkin Festival 2011

Pumpkin Festival 2011 by pshow242
Pumpkin Festival 2011, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
The girls and I went to pumpkin fest in Erbenheim. We met up with some new friends and the girls had a great time. They of course had to climb to the top of the giant haystack first so they were covered with hay the rest of the day. They love horses so a pony ride was next then lunch. I had the fried pumpkin and dip. Bella had a bratt and Abby of course had PB&J from home. We shopped around after lunch and I bought a bottle of Pumpkin wine. It was a fun day and we can't wait to go back next year.

First Day of School 2011

First Day of School 2011 by pshow242
First Day of School 2011, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
The first day of school is always exciting the girls were excited and very nervous to be going to a new school. Because we live off post the girls go to Hainerberg Elementry school on post. Bella started the second grade and her teacher is Miss Dolit. Abby started First grade and her teacher is Mrs. Hoehn. Rick and I drove them in and walked them to their new classes. They had a great first day. When I picked them up Abby had a Schuluete a cone filled with treats. It is a German custom for the first day of school. The German school system starts at 1st grade so all the first graders got one. Abby was excited to get home and see what was in it. Since I am updating this blog I will tell you that both girls love their teachers and are doing very well and they have made lots of new friends.

Freizeitpark Lockmuhle

Lockmuhle by pshow242
Lockmuhle, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
The Lockmuhle is a little amusement park. It had a lot of rides that you had to work yourself. The weather was perfect. The girls had a great time riding the rides and beating me at mini golf. Going here was their reward for being good at the Roman ruins. We will defiantly go here again it was a very fun day.

Roman Ruins Bad Homburg

Roman Ruins Bad Homburg by pshow242
Roman Ruins Bad Homburg, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
In September we went to these great Roman Ruins. It was very impressive. The original part of the fort was built in AD 90. It was very spacious and the girls enjoyed running around the grounds and climbing the steps to the sentry post they marched back an forth like Roman soldiers would have.They had a fabulous museum and it was amazing to see some of the things they found I was most impressed with the hundreds of keys there was a whole pile of them. We finally came to the conclusion if Rick and I want to go see things that the girls might not be interested in we have to do two things in one. One for us and one for the girls so after the Roman ruins we went to a little amusement park called Lochmuhle.

Black Forest Trip 2011

Black Forest Trip 2011 by pshow242
Black Forest Trip 2011, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
Our next stop on the Black Forest route was Staufen Germany. We stayed the night in Staufen in a cute little Gasthaus (hotel). Rick hiked up to the Castle in Staufen while the girls and I hit the flea market. We left Staufen and headed to Freiburg Germany. Freiberg was another great city. Freiburg's sister city is Madison Wisconsin so of course we had to take a picture with sign. Freiburg has little canals all around it so we bought the girls these little boats everyone floats along it was the highlight of their day. Along our drive through the Black forest we stopped for many photo opps and of course we had to go to the Cuckoo clock museum. Our final stop on our trip was Triberg we hiked to the waterfall it is the highest one in Germany.

Strasbourg France 2011

Strasbourg France 2011 by pshow242
Strasbourg France 2011, a photo by pshow242 on Flickr.
Labor day weekend we took a trip to the Black Forest. Our first stop was Strasbourg France. Strasbourg is a fabulous city. It is only 2 -1/2 hours from our house. The historic city center is an island with a huge church. great museums and wonderful restaurants. We spent half the day their on our way to drive the Black Forest route. The girls and I went TDY with Rick in October to Strasbourg for 4 days. The girls and I had a great time exploring and shopping while he was at work all day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finally I am updating the Blog

I know it has been forever since I updated this blog with our European adventures I had a good excuse my computer was broke. That excuse was only good for a couple of months I have no excuse for the rest of the months. So I am going to take this long weekend and upload all the photos from our trips and blog about them. So check back next week to see what has been going on with the Showalter's.