Saturday, January 26, 2013


Well it has been a crazy month! And there is so much to update and because of that, I keep procrastinating. But that doesn't make it any better. It makes it worse. And with Christmas in 5 days, I don't want to feel more overwhelmed, so I am going to try and get some of these written now.

It all started a few weeks ago when my Mom and my sister, Coleen came to visit. We did a lot of traveling and that made me overly tired. So I am going to try to briefly (as briefly as I can) tell ya everywhere we went.

First we went to Amsterdam. We went and saw the Anne Frank House. There are a lot of stairs and they were *very* steep. Too steep and some too high for my mom. She has screws in her feet and they really bother her. And she needs knee replacements as well. So she decided to turn around and go back and Coleen and I finished off going through the house. It was amazing to see the House and to see that part of History. But what I was expecting and what I saw were two different things. The House was totally empty. Just walls and floors. And then there were pictures on the walls or videos on the walls playing to help inform you about the house and the people who lived there.

Amsterdam itself, I decided was the bike capital of the world. We kept joking about it because there were so many people on bikes riding through the streets. We have a lot of bikes here in Germany, but in Amsterdam, it was flooded with bikes.

The next day we drove out to Brugge, Belgium. Oh My! This was one of my favorite places to visit. It was so pretty. I would of loved to spend more time there and plan on going back. We took a canal boat tour. It was real cheap, I think only 6 Euros and it lasts 1/2 hour. I highly recommend it. They also have Horse Drawn Carraige tours. We wanted to do that, but in the end, we did not. My mom would never of been able to get up in the carraige due to her bad knees. And she offered to just sit and wait for us. But it started raining. So we decided to just leave. I also heard that a bus tour through the city is nice. It doesn't stop for you to get out and take pictures. But for the History of the city, the bus tour is the way to go.

Another place we went is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany. Another great place. It is a walled in city. A city with a wall all the way around it. The whole entire city is cobblestone, which proved to be a problem with my mom and the screws in her feet. She took 3 steps on the cobblestones and decided it was not going to work. Luckily, there was a very nice lady who had a store and my mom sat in her store for two hours while Coleen and I tried to see what we could of the city. It has so much to offer and I definately need to go back. One thing that Rothenburg ob der Tauber is known for is something you get from a bakery. It is called a "Schneeballen" . You will have to get one if you ever stop to visit. I couldn't pin point what it reminded me of. But coleen said it reminded her of a pie crust in a ball with powder sugar on it. (she bought the powdered sugar one, and there is a variety to choose from).

We also went to Heidelberg, Germany. WOW, there is a castle there that is so amazing to see. And overlooking the city, it is incredible. Another one of those cities that I would definately recommend.

And there is Dortmund, Germany. They have the worlds tallest Christmas Tree. It was very pretty.

Kevelaer, Germany. It is a small village. There were three churches. And something that set this small village apart from the other places we went to was the Christmas Markets. Normally, the Christmas Markets are focused on selling items and then food to eat and hot drinks like Gluehwein. In Kevelaer, instead of a Christmas Market, they had a Nativity Market. They had a large nativity with live animals. I would of loved to see real people as well. And then the things that were being sold at this Market were mainly nativity sets and candles.

We went and saw the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. It is such an amazing site! I actually have seen this a few times before. But Coleen had not. We got there when it was getting dark and couldn't get any great pictures of it.

We went to Hattingen, Germany. I was able to get my Christmas Presents from Santa for the kids there. Woolworth was having an amazing sale on toys and I just happened to walk in.

Went to Venlo, Netherlands to do some shopping. We found some very amazing shops there and it is said to be a lot cheaper for shopping than in Germany because there are no taxes in the Netherlands. And I was even able to find Candy Canes in the Netherlands for Santa to hang on our tree. I was so very excited.

Also, visited the Frankfurt Temple and The Hague, Netherlands Temple.

It was so much fun to just walk up and down the streets of all these different places. It is amazing to see them. There was a lot of laughing between Coleen, my Mom and myself during the driving on all these days. It was also fun to introduce my Mom and Coleen to the different foods here. And I got a kick out of introducing them to the Autobahn the first day they arrived. My mom freaked out at my 90 miles an hour driving. But by the time she left, When I was driving 110 Miles per hour, it felt normal.

I'm going to miss My Mom doing the laundry. That was really nice to not have to worry about it. Coleen and my Mom helped out a lot with the kids. It was nice to be able to run to the school or to the store and not have to drag the two small ones with me.


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