Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cologne - the Cathedral City

Just as the title states, Cologne is known as the cathedral city. There are many cathedrals within the city but none compare to this one. It was absolutely huge! We didn't go inside because we had other things on our agenda for the day.

A side view of the Dom

Hard Rock Cafe

Of our 2 main reasons to visit Cologne one was the Hard Rock. This makes the 4th glass James has gotten within Europe. And we won't talk about what he ate here.

The Rhine River

Lindt- The Schokolade Museum
Our other reason for visiting the city was the chocolate factory.

She was dipping wafers into the liquid chocolate and handing them out. Yum!

Macen was beyond excited to watch the chocolate being poured into the mold, shaken and twisted to pop out like you see above and then wrapped. He was even more thrilled when the lady inspecting and boxing the wrapped chocolates at the end of the assembly line came out and handed him some freshly made chocolates. They were so fresh, they were still a little soft. Yum!

And of course at the end of the tour you can enter the chocolate store. Massive amounts of chocolate! Macen was happily picking out some from this bin when James handed him a bag and let him start filling it up. As I roamed the store, they went back to the open bins atleast 3 more times. We left with a decent sized bag half full.

Macen was SO proud of his chocolate bag. As we were driving home, I asked if I could have some of his chocolates and he told me "Maybe after we get home"
It was an extremely long drive to and from Cologne but James and I both agree it was totally worth it after seeing Macen watch the chocolates be made and filling up his bag. Priceless!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bamberg - beer and roses

James is on a beer journey while home (I know most of you believe that but if there is any doubt, check out his blog for the next several months to see all the beers he has found in the last week). Bamberg is known for it's smokey beers so we went to check them out. Inbetween trying beers, we roamed the city for a bit. Not only did James find some beers to try but I found a nice little chocolate store. Of course I made a purchase and we enjoyed some fine mint patties on the way home.

The Dom (cathedral) - it's pretty simple on the inside compared to some we have seen


Near the Dom, is a rose garden. Obvisiously, it's no longer the season for roses but Macen had a blast running in and out of the trimmed pathways between the individual gardens.

Pretending to be a duck

Monday, October 25, 2010

It involves a ball so it's a fave of Macen's

We had a rainy day yesterday and Macen was asking to go anywhere so we headed to the bowling alley. (Macen seems to think we have to go somewhere everyday ever since Stacy and JJ left.) He is getting pretty good doing it all on his own but that involves him kinda dropping the ball as you can tell from the second pic. I'm sure we'll get a lot of practice this winter.

A little R&R

James made it home on Saturday morning and we've been relaxing since. Macen was thrilled to see daddy and thinks he has a built in jungle gym in the house now. He has LOVED having daddy play with him. We get 2 weeks with James before he has to return to Afghanistan. We aren't planning to do much but have a couple of small trips within Germany in the works.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ready for Fright Night

Macen is so ready for Halloween night. He talks about trick or treating daily. This just may be Macen's favorite time of year between the leaves, pumpkins and candy. Unfortunately we won't be able to go to any pumpkin patches while we are here. There are very few and the ones that do exist are hours away. Thankfully the "pumpkin guy" was selling pumpkins right off post back in September so Macen got his pumpkin fix. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So many leaves!

We have been having some beautiful fall weather this week and the leaves are falling in full force. The neighborhood kids played in them taking turns burying each other and throwing leaves in the air. They had a great time!

Macen wants to play in them all the time now. Looks like our decent weather is going to disappear and drop into the 40's in a couple of days. I think it's too soon for winter weather but of course I'd be saying that in Jan/Feb too. Brrrrr.......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

He's gone native

James wants everyone to notice he may have changed his style but he's still toting a pistol.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pottensteins Devil's Cave

On their last day here, we headed back to Pottenstein since we didn't get to see the cave when were there before. It was really interesting.
Cave bear. There were several piles of bones throughout the cave but this was the only one assembled.

When we came out from the cave we were at the top of the hillside and it was gorgeous.

Macen feeding the fish when we got back to ground level. This was highly entertaining for him of course.

Stacy and JJ, Thank you for a great couple of weeks. We had a blast exploring more of Germany with you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Zurich - a little Swiss chocolate

Post offers trips to various places within and surrounding Germany. Zurich, Switzerland was offered while Stacy and JJ were here so we drug ourselves out of bed before the 1:30am meeting time and hopped on the bus. As soon as we got there, we were offered a 2 hr walking tour of the city with a guide. It was great to have things pointed out to us and also allowed us to get our bearings for the city prior to our free time to roam.
There are 1,200 fountains in the city with drinking water. Macen found a few to play in.

The largest clock tower anywhere.

Ah, chocolate. Stacy and I had researched Zurich a little before we went and found this place (Sprungli) known for its fine chocolates and desserts. The place was huge for a chocolate store. James, picture Angelina's in Paris and times it by 5. We both got the the Top Ten box and it did not all. I'm not big on the variety boxes of chocolates but this is Switzerland and they are known for their chocolate. I mean, come on, they serve it on their flights instead of peanuts and it is delicious. I wish I had gotten another box even at its hefty price. Worth every penny!

 That is the Alps you see in the background. The entire area surrounding the lake was gorgeous.

 So I mentioned the expensive chocolate. Actually, everything was expensive in Zurich. (to include the $10 magnet I bought as a souvenir) There is a particular street here where all the big names reside much like in Munich. We did go into Louis Vuitton and look around. However, there was also a Tiffany & Co and I managed to stay out of there despite it kept calling my name. Had I made this trip on my own, I'm positive I would have ended up in there and probably walked out with a little blue box to join the others at home.

Zurich is very hilly and one of the places the guide took us was up a hill to get a great view of the city. It was kinda like a park where Macen got to run around and release some energy. They also had the life size chess games as well as some tables for chess players. This place was popular that afternoon since it was a gorgeous day.