Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Berlin....Part 1

We visited Berlin for the second time and this time we actually had time to visit sites!  Last year we underestimated how long it would take for us to wander through the zoo and the surrounding area.   With  no need to return there we focused on the Pergamon Museum and the surrounding area on our first day. 

Here are a few of my favorite photos of the amazing art located inside the Pergamon Museum.  I love museums where you can take photos!  So many castles don't allow photographs to be taken of the interiors and that always disappoints me.  Anyways, I took a ton of photos at the museum but it would take me days to post more than a few due to the crazy slow internet connection we have.

A frieze featuring the Goddess Athena from the Pergamon Altar.

A portion of the famed Ishtar Gate.

The Berlin Dom is near the museum and I loved the green colored dome against the blue sky.  Unfortunately for us there was a service being held at the time we wanted to tour so we didn't get a chance to see the interior. 
I love this mosaic from the Berlin Dom.

Finally, I will leave you with this little gem.............This gentleman was having his stag party and offered James a beer.  James asked if he would take a photo with me and for a meager 50 euro cents he humored us.  All the red writing on his torso are girls names. 

I hope this last picture doesn't scare you away from my blog permanently!  My next post will have some photos of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the amazing Reichstadt building.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A New Layout to Share....

Before we left on vacation (more on that trip soon) I was able to get a couple layouts done and it always feels so great to sit and create!  I played along with a great group of ladies over at Club CK where they hosted a "summer camp".  The thought process behind this page was to produce a nature themed layout.  I didn't have any nature themed pictures to be scrapped but I did have this adorable paper from Sassafrass!  I love the adorable smiles on the sun, clouds and flower and felt they matched perfectly with the smiles on my girls. I was stumped on this layout so I visited Page Maps for some inspiration.  I was able to get this photo scrapped from nearly 2 years ago and I used up some scraps from a previous was a great day for  me. 

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More Interesting Observations...Part Zwei

We have been in Germany for two years now and I decided to add to my list of observations since moving overseas. 

1.  You can not turn right on red unless you have an arrow allowing you to.  These green arrows are few and far between.  This one drives my husband particularly mad. 

2.  Cows really do wear bells in Bavaria!  Not just a couple of cows sport the jingling bells but entire fields of cows wear them.

3.  You have to pay to use many public toilets, especially along the autobahn, train stations and subways. 
Many public toilets do not have seats.  At least most of the restrooms that you have to pay to use are clean.  It makes it worth the 50 euro cents to use it.  I always have lots of change in my purse!

4.  Everything is closed on Sundays except for some restaurants and museums.  Since we don't visit a ton of museums (have you tried to do that with 2 screaming toddlers?) sightseeing on Sundays can sometimes suck. 

5.  German food = Good!  If you like pork that is and it just so happens to be that I do. 

6.  Kirchwasser is a deceiving name for paint thinner....the literal translation is cherry water and it is really cherry schnapps.  But I think it might double as a cheap paint thinner.  Lesson learned!  I do not like kirchwasser.

7. When we travel I generally try to remember to bring along sippy cups for the girls because even though you order drinks for children they are served in glass glasses and without straws.  This becomes extremely frustrating for the girls because they are thristy and want to drink and equally frustrating for JG and I because we don't want them to drop the glass or spill their drinks.  Apple juice generally costs as much or more than a beer!  By the the end of this meal Lolo's glass was shattered on the ground.

8.  I have seen more super expensive cars in our 2 years here than I have seen in my entire life.  While in Munich we saw an Aston Martin.  Near the German/Holland border we saw a Rolls Royce.  Driving home last weekend we were passed by a Lamborghini.   We have seen some Ferrari's and lets not forget the Porsche's we see every single time we drive to Stuttgart, or the high end BMW's, Mercedes' or Audi's we see on the autobahn.  This leads me to my next observation...

9.  The German's have not become better drivers in the past year.

10.  Our internet is still just above dial up.  It took me 5 hours every week to download my episodes of Grey's Anatomy from iTunes.  5 hours x 23 episodes = 115 hours of downloading for 17 hours worth of television.  Craziness! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

On the 4th of July we decided to visit the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial.  We visited Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC in May 2005 and it was so moving to visit there, especially because there is so much history but I had different feelings about visiting the cemetery in Luxembourg, mostly because I felt more sadness for the people buried here.  They died so far from home and even though I understand that their families chose to have them buried with their comrades I couldn't help but feel lonely as there were only a handful of graves that had flowers placed on them.  I guess that I think some of these American heroes have been forgotten as the years have passed.  How many people still think of their loved ones buried so far away? 

The famous General George S. Patton is also buried  here, with his men.  While he did not die during battle he wanted to be with the men he lead in war and so his request was honored. 

We felt that this was an appropriate way to spend Independence Day, remembering those who paid the ultimate price defending our freedom and way of life while protecting others at the same time.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Prague, Czech Republic

I can't believe we returned home from our Krakow and Prague vacation just over a month ago!  I have been procrastinating on my blog (and many other things) lately and just finished editing and re-sizing my photos from the Prague portion of the trip. 

Prague is an amazing city.  It feels old.  It looks old.  It is old.  I loved it!  There is something about this city that had me wanting to return before we even went to bed on our first night there.  I just can't explain the feelings that washed over me as I have never falling in love with a city instantly until then. 

Prague is very walkable and if you don't want to walk you can easily access public transportation.  We took the subway to Hradcany (the Castle Quarter) and walked down to Charles Bridge where we wandered around on both sides of the river.  Here are my favorite photos from the trip...

These first three were all taken around the castle and cathedral.  The cathedral is very gothic looking and it looked stunning against the blue sky.  The girls started holding hands on this trip and they look sooooo cute when they get along.  James snapped that picture just inside on of the gates into the castle grounds.  And finally a beautiful mosaic located on one of the churches. 

This is one of the towers located on the end of Charles Bridge.  The bridge is pedestrian only so artists set up along the top hoping to entice tourists into buy paintings, jewelry and other gifts as they stroll across.  There is some beautiful statues along the top of the bridge as well.

I have no information about these odd but great baby sculptures located in a park near Charles Bridge.  I found the tourists posing with them almost as funny as the sculptures themselves.

The Lennon Wall is a good sized section of a wall that was painted after John Lennon died.  The graffiti was painted over every day until the authorities finally gave up and left it alone.  Now it is an interesting bit of art.
I hope you enjoyed my very brief tour of Prague.  We will be returning in a few weeks with the hopes of sunny skies and new photos.  Thanks for stopping by.