Monday, July 29, 2013

Steve and Rachel Stay visit Germany with our GRANDKIDS

In the interest of time, I am going to just cut and paste what my son wrote about their visit to Germany.  Steve and Rachel live in Qatar: he is a counselor in a school there.  Each summer, they fly home to the US for a long visit (really a good idea to MISS summer in Qatar if possible!).  Frankfurt just happens to be a great stopping off point on the journey home.  They arrived the end of June.

Then we flew to Germany to visit my parents who are there serving a humanitarian mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 Our first activity was to go walk through a beautiful cemetery in Frankfurt.

Miss A enjoyed this mud puddle.
And this one.
And basically all of them.
The kids really warmed up to my parents fast. I think Skype has really helped them stay connected!
We went to a historical recreation village. Big E explored a natural rock formation there.
Miss A gave me THE LOOK when I wouldn't share the camera.

Dad was Dad.

Amelia wore out.

We visited the limes, which is the northern border of the Roman empire. This ditch, hill, and palisade used to extend across all of Germany.
We toured a Roman fort.

The kids helped Mom with her gardening.
Rachel and I got to go on a date!
The kids wore out again.
We visited the Heidelberg castle again.
Mom and Dad were great to us and very kind to take so much time out of their work to spend time with us. Then they went in to their office at night to catch up.

Big E turned four while we were there. He loved making cupcakes with Grandma.
He also loved getting more books and a Kinder Joy egg each day (chocolate egg with a toy inside a plastic capsule inside).
 Miss A liked this head band that Mary Beth and Jill sent to my mom for her birthday.
For Big E's birthday, we also went to the zoo to see the baby tiger.

Then we came home again in the evening for cake and ice cream.
The next day we drove to Wartburg to see where Martin Luther translated the bible, to visit a house where he stayed, and to see the Bach House. Big E puked all over himself from car sickness the instant we arrived at our destination, so that's why he's wearing pajamas in all the rest of these photos.
 This is in front of the church where Bach was baptized.

Here's a house Martin Luther stayed in.

Dad carried Big E most of the way up to the Wartburg castle. Elliott is big, and Dad is 67. I don't know how many more hikes like this we should subject him to!

 I loved this cutlery with handles carved from antlers.

Here's the room where Martin Luther did his translating. You can just barely see the one remaining original artifact in the room peeking out on the right on the floor. It's a whale vertebra he used as a foot stool!

After visiting the castle, we went to a restaurant that offered a dining experience meant to be similar to what Martin Luther would have had. Note the pointy cups that rested in holes in the table.
I tried lard on my bread. It tasted like hamburger pan scrapings.
Miss A decided to forego the bread and just eat her runny cheese and leek dip with a fork.
Big E got hotdogs that looked like caltrops.
I had some sort of stew with beets.
Dad got a full meter of ribs.
Afterward we stayed at a bed and breakfast outside of town and had popsicles for dessert.
They served us a lovely and HUGE breakfast the next morning.

Then we visited the Drachenschlucht, where St. George reportedly slew the dragon.
It felt like hiking the Laurel Highlands trail near the Yougheogheny River in Pennsylvania. No wonder so many Germans settled in that area: it was just like home!

Then off to the Bach House.

The kids weren't heavy enough to trigger the weight-sensitive listening chairs, but they liked wearing the headphones anyway.

That night, after we returned to Frankfurt, Mom took Big E out to ride the trolleys and trains, because they're really what he came to Germany for.

 She also taught him to count in German. Guess which number is his favorite...
This is Rebecca again : Now, everytime I hear the brakes squeeking on the trolley (about every 3 minutes on average) I think of Big E.  We had a great visit: thanks for coming!