Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bernkastel-Kues Wine Festival

After the vineyard we took a little trip farther into the Mosel valley to the town of Bernkastel-Kues.  This wine festival is pretty big, and people come from far and wide to drink Riesling all day and watch the fireworks show at night over the castle ruins. 
Vineyards all the way up!
Later on in the evening that bridge would be packed with people!
 In the tiny town square there was a stage where different community groups were performing all day.  Anna and I laughed because they were playing mostly American top 40 hits.  The house behind the stage is famous for being turned into a larger-than-life Advent calendar at Christmas.  All the alleys between these buildings were filled with tiny shops and restaurants.
Food booths and wine booths as far as you could see!
Altes Brauhaus- old brewery
Anna and I heard about this tiny house called the Spitzhaus, and we wandered the alleys looking for it.  We finally had to ask for directions to find it.  I can't imagine living or working in such a narrow place!
Riesling, Potato pancakes and applesauce.  *fat kid dance*
Evening fireworks over the castle!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weingut am Rosenburg

I have to interrupt Maverick rocking out.....
...to tell you about a trip I took back in September with my friend Anna.  We went on a tour that included a stop at a vineyard in a German town called Osann.  I thought it was pretty funny that we left Osan AB and came to Germany where I found another place called Osann.  This town was surrounded by vineyards going up every hill.
The name of the vineyard was Weingut am Rosenberg, and has been in Herr Brösch's family for over three generations.
 This is the beautiful entrance.

 Herr Brösch took us out to the grapes and told us about their growing season, how they cultivate and harvest them, and how different wines are made.  It was really very cool and he seems to know everything there is to know about winemaking.  They make mostly Rieslings, but also a few others.  The amount and types of grapes they use are regulated very strictly.

 They harvest the grapes all the way to the top by hand!
We got unlimited tasting of whatever kind we wanted.  So, I did.
 This one is called a Dornfelder, which is a relatively new type of wine- developed about fifty years ago.  It is grown and produced primarily in our region of Germany, but is not as popular as the Riesling wines.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Action shots

**Disclosure- most of these great photos were taken by my friend Margaret who grabbed my camera.  The bad ones are mine.  :) **

This little lady ate them as fast as she strung them!

 And this young lady was my helper with the painting table!

 Some kids opted for abstract art.

 While others were very meticulous.

 Over at the Robot Factory there were some very creative interpretations.

Lots of teamwork!

And so much gloopy-glue fun!

The wind blew over the number 2 while we were singing and Mav was saying "TOO LOUD!"

 He was ready to eat some cake!

 And it was awesome!!  Perfect tutorial to make this cake here.

 This is one of the only pictures where you can see Mdx's dress, that I made for the party.  I didn't have a pattern, so I made one up- which equals ripping out over 50% of the seams because I made mistakes.  Oh well- sew and learn, right?

 Then we opened the presents that our sweet guests brought, and were so thankful for fun and friends!   Taking suggestions for next year's theme now!  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Maddox is really into Art.  And when I say "really" I mean that everyday there is some kind of project going on in our house.  Coloring, painting, cutting, gluing, etc.  I draw the line at glitter.  Maverick is really into messes, so it works out well!  I decided to have an "Art" themed birthday parties for the kids, and a combined party, since their birthdays are so close together.  They've shared every birthday party they've had since Maverick was born, so hopefully we can continue this as long as possible!

Now, before you go thinking I'm Martha Stewart, let me just be honest.   I really don't enjoy throwing a party.  It is stressful, expensive, and a lot of work.  But, even though Marshall is gone and I didn't feel like it, I had to do it for my kids.  So I stole found lots of ideas that other people came up with, and copied them.  I don't try to pretend they are my own!  I am very good at executing other people's plans.  And truly, I'm so glad I only have to do this once a year.

The party was in our courtyard, and it was a windy day- but beautiful!  My friend Julia's daughter C, and my friend Ursula came over to help me decorate- I couldn't have done it without them!

I got these aprons to help keep the kids clean while they did the art projects.

There was a threat of rain, so we did everything in the carport.

Did you know that Froot Loops are spelled that way?  I don't buy them, so I did not.  But they are.  These were a hit!

We had canvases and paint so these kids could paint whatever they wanted.  The egg cartons were used as palettes to hold the paint.   As you can see, German eggs come in 10s instead of 12s.

I saved boxes, plastic tops and odds and ends to use as Robot materials.  Stickers, buttons, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes were also used.

They were so cute!

Sugar bombs, also known as marshmellows coated with frosting and rolled in sprinkles!

Tie-dye cake.  The inside was awesome too!  (coming in next post!)

Rainbow jello.  It took 3 days to make this because of all the layers!

Thank you pinterest for this idea!  Paint chip utensil holders!

Finally an idea that was my own!  (Skittles) Creativity seeds.  The label says "Eat of few of these and let your ideas blossom!"

Goody-gifts.  Each child got a paint set to take home.  The sticker say "Thanks for making our party a Masterpiece!"

Next post- pictures of the kids at the party, and all the MESSES being made!  :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Berlin Zoo and Sanssouci

After the chocolate factory Mav passed out in the stroller, and we headed to the Zoo.  It was a sunny and HOT day, but there were still crowds!  I hope you don't mind, but I didn't really take animal pictures, I figure just about everyone has already seen a million pictures of a monkey.

This is the side entrance to the Zoo.

This is the Aviary, it was pretty cool looking!

Finally, a decent picture of me and the kids!  Mav had just woken up and did not want to smile.

Mdx is pretending to feed this massive gorilla statue, while Mav wanted to get on top of it, and Rachel was happy to oblige!

This is the next day, when we headed to one of Frederick the Great's palaces, called Sanssouci, which means "Without Worries" or something like that.  He actually hand drew the plans for how he wanted the palace to be.  The day was cooler and Mav was in a better mood!

Mdx really wanted to be the Princess and live in this castle.

They built these fake Roman ruins....to look at.  

The courtyard of the palace.

We got to go inside, but couldn't take pictures.  We got a handheld audio tour, and the kids each got one too.  Mav just pushed all the buttons and kept using it like a telephone, but Mdx actually listened to the whole thing!  I was surprised! This palace was strictly for Frederick and his philosopher friends to hang out in, basically no women allowed!

Amazing gardens and fountains!  I definitely remember visiting this with Andrea and Brigette when Emily and I came to Germany in 1994.

The rainbow of flowers was gorgeous.

Mav enjoyed playing with his shadow- you can barely see it, but his head is really sweaty in this photo!  Also, some Asian tourists took pictures of me, taking pictures of him.  :)

 This was the New Palace, for the women and guests (and later for other German monarchs). 

Rachel, Maddox, and I definitely walked miles and miles the few days that we were there!  I can't wait to go back to Berlin and see some of the other stuff in town like the Reichstag, and Checkpoint Charlie.  Our train trip home was delayed because the heat made the trains break down (supposedly), and the kids were sweaty, crying messes by the end of it. However, ALL the people we encountered were overwhelmingly friendly and helpful.  So many people offered to help me with the suitcase (small carry-on roller bag) or the stroller.  Everyone was so nice to Mdx when she talked their ear off on the train, or while we were waiting.  So far Germans are doing their best to compete with the Koreans in how nice they are to me and the children!