Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday, May 23

In Switzerland (we went to a much bigger town than we expected, but enjoyed walking along the water)

Near the restraunt we ate at on Saturday evening

Brenna window shopping - "I want that one"
In front of the main doors at Mannheim castle
Hello All!!!

Hope all is well out there. We have had a busy last two days :-) Based on weather forecasts, we ended up changing our plan on Friday and today. Friday, we drove north to Heidelberg and Mannheim to avoid thunderstorms in Switzerland. We had excellent weather and saw both the Mannheim castle (it was more like a palace, but you are not allowed to take any pictures inside - it was very beautiful though!) and Heidelberg castle (where we forgot to take my camera up to the castle!). It stormed in between Mannheim castle and Heidelberg, but we missed the storm while we were in the car - yeah!! They continue to be very "serious" about kids at Heidelberg castle making noise - we were approached by our tour guide up front that while she was talking, Brenna needed to be quiet (could they not post something when you buy your tour ticket?? I really think they need to have a better approach for parents with small kids). Anyway, Brenna did great once again on the tour - was very curious about items in the castle and did a pretty good job whispering. After our castle trips, we strolled around Heidelberg and then back home. Brenna got a great new rock, a rosenquartz (rose quartz) - she couldn't decide if she wanted it in her pocket or in her hand though! We ate at a small Biergarten (beer garden) near our house (thanks Karl and Heather for taking us there!) to give my mom some more taste of the local food. Mom and I shared Schniztel and a spargel dish. I think the only item remaining on our food list is traditional black forest cherry torte. Brenna loved playing in the small walking area outside of the restraunt - loved the water fountain (with the mouse on top of the faucet) and the blocks that she could jump and stand on. Brenna fell once when Dustin was helping her (she didn't hit the ground hard at all with Dustin's quick reflexes), but her reaction was hilarious - she looked up at us and said "what happened to me?" (can you tell she doesn't have my coordination - the girl has great balance!!).
Today, we went to Switzerland and had beautiful weather there :-) We strolled along the water looking out to the Alps in Luzerne. Brenna really enjoyed seeing the swans and the boats. The swans were very hopeful for all people to share with them - they expected all the kids to feed them (I was a little nervous that they were going to try to get my feet when I went to close to the water). Also, she loved getting her ice cream treat at the end - we have completely spoiled her with ice cream treats while traveling. Brenna was tired by the time we got to Switzerland today, but she did o.k. and we kept it to a short visit. On the way back home, mom got a taste of more German shopping. We stopped at the Real close by for some food goods, and ended up with several other additional items :-) I bought a great new book for Brenna and I about animals - just perfect for our level of German. We also found a Handy Manny video in German - I think I have it memorized in English - it should be great to hear in German for my practicing :-)
Our neighbors dropped off some new pets for Brenna tonight - she got three snails, lol! Dustin wasn't as excited about our new arrivals as Brenna is - she spent time helping us get a habitat ready and then draw a thank you card for the neighbors. They don't have any names yet (Gammy suggestions were Slimey, Speedy, and Slimer) but Dustin is hoping that we will be able to have them exit the house in about a will be interesting to see how well that goes over...Our landlord gave us a red wine Thursday - we tried it today- it was the first red wine that I have actually liked. Nice to have a wine maker next door who likes to share.
Well, that is it for today! Take Care!