Heidelberg Walk

Jennifer is a brand new teacher for the High School here. And it was the last day that we could have lunch date with her. So we went to Heidelberg and had a very nice lunch at a local restaurant. We walk to the little restaurant “Bier Brezel” on the Haupstrasse and sat down for some soup and flatbread pizza.

It was delicious, and they had a neat décor too! Anyway, I had my camera so… guess what?? I took some pictures!! 😉

Bad Wimpfen search of Christmas Market

The Neckar River valley has a lot of wonderful little towns and castles, but few sights along the way compare with the ridge-top town of Bad Wimpfen. We took our self out on a search to the Christmas market of Bad Wimpfen and were very impressed by its city wall still intact, and sporting a very medieval appearance. It was a very interesting day, as we didn’t expect THAT much snow on the ground (or at least we were hoping for street that would have been somewhat cleanup!) We were amazed of the fact that shovels don’t seem to be working that good in Germany, I mean, we used to live in NE and IA, and if you don’t clean your sidewalk or driveway,

you get somebody complaining about it. And the funny part to me is that Germans are supposed to be very… picky about their surroundings. Their yard are clean, the street in front of their house is cleaned (well at least in summer time).

I guess that when it snow it is another story! But… It was fun walking in the snow covered street, with no cars running around. We were kind of wondering about it, since we were supposed to be coming for the Market, and discovered that the market ended the weekend prior to our visit! AH!! That’s typical us! Showing up 1 week late for something! Well, it was OK, we enjoyed cruising around the town, snowballs fight and discovering beautiful views and buildings!! Just way too cool!!!

A definitely “Must go back” on our list for this next year season!

Capturing Magic: Visiting towns Giverny 1st Part

Giverny will be our first stop after our Paris excursion. Sign up for the tourclos-normand-2

You can visit Monet’s house virtually to just make you want to join our tour!! Who wouldn’t want to see the house of such an amazing painter? clos-normand-1
Since we will be there in the end of May, the Iris will be blooming. We will be able to take our time to admire not only his house, but his garden. The end of Spring will make us be able to enjoy so much varieties of flowers.

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Monet had the spirit of a painter and throughout his house you can enjoy bold painted room. Beautiful Japanese print on the walls as well as so many more art piece. You can imagine what it would have been to live during his lifetime. It is a step back in time and pure enjoyment of the senses!
maison-de-monet-1
The water garden is something to be able to visit. It is a beauty and since we will be arriving hopefully mid morning, so that we can enjoy many hours visiting. I believe that the last time I was there the smell were just amazing. It is too bad that we can’t just bottle up spring smell from the Giverny’s Garden. giverny-japanese-bridge-2

Michelstadt Christmas Market

Awww, let me talk to you about Michelstadt. I have heard about this little town since we arrived in Germany. And people have told me to go there several times. I knew of a pretty impressive Easter Market, but also that the Christmas Market was a MUST to go too! So… guess what?? Well we went! LOL

“All the cute smokers decoration (I really need to start collecting those)”

“Even Free mouthful of snow”
And, it didn’t disappoint us a bit. It was so cool, well first we went with good friends, so… what else do one have to ask for? But they had some Yummy snacks and of course the eternal Gluhwein with lots of different shot of liquor. The guys had a blessed time!! And it was a good thing that I was driving too he?

“Rathaus”

Anyway, here is a little adventure to the Michelstadt Market. Snow, snowball fight with Miss Charm’s window (remember Larry?) and lot of warm beverage!!And a very needed WARM Charming Sandwich!!!

Baden Baden Christmas Market

Baden Baden is a very pretty town to cruise in. Spring, summer, fall and even winter under a foot of fresh snow, it is just so pretty. You won’t like the snow filled street if you don’t like snow, but… I found it that it is one of my favorite cities in the area. It is a little … Snob, for my taste, but… I am sure it is to the liking of some people’s wallet (not mine though, LOL) “Some people like meat pie, well when you don’t have anything else, just eat snow pie”
It took us a LONG time to arrive, probably because it was the LAST weekend of the Christmas Market, and that people were merry and enjoying their family. It was a Christmas wonderland all around. The going around with the car SUCKED, but.. Once we were on our feet walking around it was just fun. So many opportunities for cool pictures. We even got the chance to go to the “Bath house” and get some much needed warmth!!“Morgane tried her best to stay all bundled up and warm, but it didn’t work that well!”

We took Miss Charm and her visiting little brother Alan, and we had a good time. Making him taste the local “delicious” food (Bratwurst) and the so delicious Gluhwein (and HOT chocolate)

Girl Scout Passport to Pisa

Morgane Girl Scout troop went to the Passport to Pisa event, and it was a great adventure.
We left on the Thursday morning (very early) and drove all day from Heidelberg to Pisa. Passing through Switzerland, and then off to Pisa. It was late in the day when we finally arrived.  On the next day we went for a little discovery of Pisa. The girls had a great time holding the tower.
Some went up to the top but I already did that, so Morgane, her friend Alexis and I went to visit the “Camposanto”. It is a very pretty building and even though it is a cemetery, it is a very interesting and beautiful building. White Marble with Fresco and gorgeous arches. We went to pick up the Leader who skipped the long drive down because her daughter and herself were sick, but they were ready to go ahead and had fun. We drove to Lucca. Walked around the town with the girls, had some fun time jumping and posing with their friends.
Lucca is a definite place to stop by, and walk around.The next day the girls had activities and Morgane went to Volterra. The drive was long, but the village is gorgeous. It was Market day, so pretty busy without the tourist already, and then we took off and drove to the Agritourismo that we are going to rent for Spring break. I was needed to drop of our deposit, but wanted also to visit it and chose our apartment. It was a fun drive and even though it was a LONG drive, turning, up & down,
turning some more and finally arrived at our destination… We then headed back to Pisa and took the Scenic Mediterranean route!
It was the end of the day so I had to take that pictures, just because of the colors. It was a very interesting and fun weekend. We did experience some… not so pleasant event, but that is to happen with too many girls/women in the same spot at the same time! LOL!!
However those Girl’s Leader are AMAZING, Morgane is so happy to belong to this troop.

Schoenenburg Fort Maginot Line France

Matt was put in charge of a visit of the Maginot line. And the Schoenenburg Fort was going to be one of the stop. So we decided to go and check it out. We went with Larry and Mike (and his sons). It was interesting, but a little weird! Miles of underground tunnels with rooms for divers use. Dormitories, dining room, mechanical rooms, air system purification room… First when you arrive you get to see a huge sign that say “Nobody goes through” (the humor is that, nobody came through from the East, but…. From the North yep!! They came alright!!) Anyway, here is a little history about the Maginot Line: “it was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defenses, which France constructed along its borders with Germany and Italy, in light of its experience in World War I, and in the run-up to World War II. Generally the term describes only the defenses facing Germany, while the term Alpine Line is used for the Franco-Italian defenses.

The French established the fortification to provide time for their army to mobilize in the event of attack, allowing French forces to move into Belgium for a decisive confrontation with German forces. The success of static, defensive combat in World War I was a key influence on French thinking. The fortification system successfully dissuaded a direct attack. However, it was strategically ineffective, as the Germans did indeed invade Belgium, defeated the French army, flanked the Maginot Line, and proceeded relatively unobstructed.Military experts extolled the Maginot Line as a work of genius, believing it would prevent any further invasions from the east (notably, from Germany). However, the German army in World War II largely bypassed the Maginot Line by invading through the Ardennes forest and via the Low Countries, completely sweeping by the Line and conquering France in days. As such, the Maginot Line has come to mean a strategy or object that people put hope into but fails miserably. It is also the best known symbol of the adage that

“generals always fight the last war, especially if they have won it”.

Strasbourg & Colmar Shopping for Tripps

This post is going to be short and sweet. Damien was wanted some new Tripps Pants, SO we went to Strasbourg, because we found a store that sell tones of cool looking clothes like the kids love! When we arrived in Strasbourg, we didn’t find the thing that he was wanted, so we had to go to their other store in Colmar. I know you are going to be surprise to see the “Statue of Liberty” in Colmar, but the city of Bartholdi’s birth, was dedicated on July 4, 2004 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death. For more information about Bartholdi you can access more here: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi Damien bought this huge “bracelet” just because he think it is cool!

After we went to the second store, we walked around the town, and since we were starving, we had to stop at a local “Crêperie” Yummy!!!! Gotta love Crêpes for dinner!!

Bastogne Part 1

First published December 10 2009

This is what the weather is supposed to be for the “Bastogne Walk” that Matt is taking the boys to this weekend. He is leaving this afternoon with MY babies and coming back tomorrow. Mind you, I am NOT complaining about the fact that I will not be walking in the cold all day, I am just worried about them getting a cold over it. BUT it will be a nice Father/sons time I am sure and I will take my daughter to the upstairs and get her to do some stuff with me tomorrow! LOL!!

For those of you who don’t know what BASTOGNE is and where it is here is a little knowledge that came out of my hat (thanks Wikipedia!) 😉

Liberated by the Allies in late 1944, Bastogne was attacked by German forces shortly after. Hitler was, again, looking for control of the Ardennes. The goal was to advance to Antwerp, to cut off supply and separate British from American troops. On December 16, taking advantage of the cold and the fog, the German artillery started the so-called Battle of the Bulge by attacking the sparsely deployed American troops around Bastogne. A few days later, Brigadier General McAuliffe and the 101st Airborne Division along with elements of the 10th Armored Division arrived to counter-attack but, after heavy fighting, got encircled in the city. On December 22, German emissaries asked for the American surrender, to which the General answered quite briefly, “Nuts!” The next day, the weather cleared up, allowing air retaliation and the parachuting of much needed food, medicine, and weaponry. On December 26, the troops of General Patton broke the deadlock. The official end of the Battle of Bastogne only occurred three weeks later, when all fighting finally stopped.”

For whatever reason the image that I have of the “Battle of the Bulge” is from a movie (which I don’t have any idea if it is actually true or not) where the German and American come upon each other on Christmas Eve and decide to have a “cease-fire” for the night and actually celebrate together! If this happen or not, I don’t know. I have seem multiple movies that depict this scene (you will remember that I am married to a military man who LOVES war movies and therefore will excuse me for that!) 😉

Anyway, (coming back to the reason of this post/blog entry). Matt is taking the boys and I should be able to put some pictures about this on a later blog! So enjoy this part and a few pictures!

More later!!

Dinkelsbuhl

I am part of the “Heidelberg Community and Spouses’ Club” and there is a group that meet to discover the surrounding area towns. I have been asked to organize one outing to Dinkelsbuhl, and since I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into, I took the family there for a little outing on a weekend. But here are a few information of what I gather before going there!
This town look a lot like Rothenburg ob der Tauber, but without the tourist hordesIt is a very similar town, except that we can’t walk on the surrounding city wall.
Dinkelsbühl has old churches, half-timbered houses, fountains,
massive city gates and annual pageantry. Four major gates, the Rothenburger Tor, the Segringer Tor, the Nördlinger Tor,
and the oldest, the Wörnitzer Tor.On the other side of town there are two massive half-timbered granaries. One of them is still used as the town’s youth hostel. Also worth seeing are the Capuchin monastery and the Dreikönigskapelle (Three Kings Chapel).And after wandering through Dinkelsbühl, and enjoying its medieval charm, stop at one of the many restaurants serving hearty German fare and a well-brewed beer.Spring is coming up soon, we can see blooms coming out of the ground,
and it is such a pretty sign of mother Nature waking up! Love it!!We had fun walking around town and the kids were just being silly all over town!

But we did had enough informations for the purpose that made me come here.
So we headed home for a much needed cup of HOT soup!OH and when we came home we discovered that the full moon was one of the largest moon in the year!! Way cool!!!