Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sharing for fun...

A good friend sent this to us recently.  Most of it is true even with the short amount of time We've been here ....   8 weeks now.  WHAT!?!   Yep.  It's been that long already.  I cannot believe it either.  I counted three times just to make sure.  

30 Reasons you know you're an American Military or Civilian living in Germany (or have lived in Germany)... ;-)

1. Ausfahrt isn't funny anymore, and roundabouts are second nature.
2. You no longer mind the person behind or next to you only giving you half an inch of space.
3. 2 hrs for dinner is "fast food".
4. You judge mustard by how well it opens your sinuses.
5. Jumping across the border to get away for the day is no big deal.
6. You reach for the J├Ągermeister instead of Pepto Bismol.
7. You think family pictures taken at a castle are "so cliche."
8. You forgot how to use round doorknobs.
9. You forget how to flush a toilet that doesn't have a push button.
10. 100 MPH seems like you're driving really, really slow.
11. You no longer think it is strange that beer and water are the same price.
12. Even at home you don't put ice in your drinks. 
You never go shopping off base without a shopping bag or VAT form.
13. You NEVER shop on payday or the day before a German holiday.
14. You never leave home without your keys, ID card, license, and passport.
15. You think anything with chocolate sounds like a good breakfast.
16. You think it is natural to pass Army tanks on the highway.
17. You answer the phone "Hallo" instead of Hello.
18. You need a power drill and sledgehammer to hang a picture on the wall.
19. You rig your lawnmower and vacuum cleaner to give you an electrical shock if you try to operate them on Sundays.
20. You no longer even want ketchup for your French Fries.
21. Christmas is incomplete without Gluhwein at a castle.
22. You sing "Tsch├╝ss" instead of saying Good Bye.
23. Your children no longer say please or thank you ... it is bitte and danke.
24. You wonder how you ever lived without Rouladens.
25. You wear a scarf every singe day .... even in the summer.
26. You plan your route around ESSO locations.
27. You believe AFN is quality programming.
28. You own shoes just for walking .... and know you will walk everywhere.
29. You no longer need Google Translate at the grocery store and last but not least ....
30. You have said out loud at least once .... Damn Americans!! on Sundays.
My favorite is number 23.  We are hearing W say Danke.  The boy cant say Thank you in English but hes got in down in German.  He has obviously heard it enough from us.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Cologne (Koln) Day by Camera

Thanks to our new camera being stuck in customs, we got a family day in Cologne today.  It was awesome!  Not the camera being stuck in customs part... that was a mess getting it.  It has taken us 2 weeks to get that silly thing.  But, we have it now and the time together today in this magnificent city was worth every email, phone call, moment waiting in line, etc.  We are exhausted but there is soooooo much more for all of us to see and do in this city that we will be going back!  My guess is we will be traveling back at least 2 or 3 more times to see it all. 

This city is the 3rd largest here in the country and it is full of history.  The history spans from Roman times, to the world wars, to present modern day.  They have a historical cathedral that has an awesome history behind it. Roman buildings, one of which is now the local city hall and is surrounded by an active archeological site and research area that can be toured.  They have several museums, one of which I can't wait to see because it supposedly hosts more Picasso art than any other in the world. A famous bridge which many travel to place a lock on. I can't forget the Rhine river with the ferry boat, passenger boats and dinner cruisers.  Awe!  And our favorite, the chocolate factory!  For the kids they have a theme park, and another park of some sort for kids, a zoo, aquarium and botanical gardens.  I could go on but I wont bore you anymore.  I was excited by this place!  It was exactly an hour and a half drive from the house so it is a perfect day trip place for all of us. 

We had another hot hot day with a high of 94 but we survived thanks to lots of water, candy, pizza, ice cream, chocolate and donner meat.   Thankfully we walked a ton today too. 

I'll show you the day in pictures for now and fill in all the details soon.

We are on a side street just enjoying the walk.  We occasionally enjoy doing the un-tourist routes.  As we walked down the street and passed by some side streets we noticed a local candy store that Makes its own candy from scratch.  We stopped in and K got a kick out of watching them make the candy, trying a few small samples and of course, buying some.

K soaking in a fountain before going in to the famous Cologne Cathedral.  Of course, we had to take a dip before leaving the area too.

Cologne Cathedral  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_Cathedral  This structure is majestic!  These pictures do Not do it any justice.  The history that resides here is amazing.  I can't imagine what it has been through.  If you have not seen the pictures of the damage around this building from WWII then look it up on the internet.  The pictures are surprising. 

Arch above the entrance.  Look at the detail.



St Martin Church is closest and in the distance are 2 L shaped glass buildings.  We walked through the beautiful and relaxing city park along the river.  The kids loved seeing all the ferries and passenger boats.  Next time we'll have to ride on the ferry.

 I had to check out the Locks of love on Hohenzollern Bridge.  I've heard about it for many years.  I have to remember to get a lock for next time though.

Looking back toward the cathedral from the bridge.  It towers over the city.

Time to try out the famous and delicious Chocolate factory of Lindt.   ummmm, I can't wait.  I love their stuff.
 W gets a free bite too.
 I'd like to try to eat this mold but I have no idea if I could stomach it as well as how long it would take.  Would it be good by the time I finished it?
I wanted to buy some extra chocolate to send back to family but I was afraid either we would eat it before it made it to whomever or it would melt before making it to whomever.  So, please know we were thinking about you all as we shopped but I'll have to wait until it is cooler both here and there to send ya anything. 

 Left is the cathedral and the right building is St Martin Church.

 City Hall and archeological site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_City_Hall

 W impressed with the trains. 

Train station