Germany
Heide

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    • Day 11

      Bonn

      December 20, 2018 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

      What a totally awesome day we had today in Bonn. Bonn was the capital of west Germany prior to the reunification. We stayed at the Haribo factory outlet shop, and boy did the kids go nuts on lollies. They have been warned that consumption will be monitored. Such fun though.

      We then went into the old town centre and it was just beautiful. Just by chance we had lunch in the Pizza Hut, which was the same one I had lunch in with mum and felicity in 1992 when I visited her.

      The Christmas markets in Bonn were the best we have been to so far. Beautiful gifts and stalls with wonderful food and carols playing. I totally over indulged in the chocolate coated strawberries. They were amazing! The best I have had so far.

      We then took a ride on the City Sky Liner which takes you up in the air then rotates so you get an awesome view of the city and the Rhine. It was really good.

      Our final stop before heading home on the autobahn was the History of Germany Museum from 1945 onwards. So much recent history and the museum was fantastic. We didn’t get to spend as much time as we would have liked due to having three children in tow, but they were pretty good and asked lots of questions.

      Tonight we are having Currywurst for dinner which is Vern’s favourite. Kids love it too.

      We are eating our way around Germany, yet again!
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    • Day 16

      Cristmas Day

      December 25, 2018 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 0 °C

      What a magical day we have had with our German relatives for Christmas. After an extremely late night last night (like 0130 this morning) we did all sleep in till about 9am but I still felt exhausted. With a slow start we watched Philipp prepare two geese for Christmas dinner at Sonja’s. One in his oven, and one in the neighbour’s oven. 4.5 hours on low heat. It was soooo worth the wait.

      Karla joined the three families for dinner in a beautifully decorated dining table as we had goose, red cabbage and potato dumplings. This was boiled potatoes that were then mashed and then mixed with something soft and rolled into balls. My kids called them potato balls but that doesn’t really do them justice. I can’t really explain goose but the meat was so soft and tender and was more like duck than turkey. Kyles I think you would love it.
      It was stuffed with plums and then covered with a beautiful gravy as it was served. The meal was enjoyed with great wine and conversation in both German and English depending on who was talking, but everybody was so understanding of my lack of German.

      For dessert Sonja made a mascarpone and Katrin made chocolate mousse. Both were sensational!

      It was so special to see our kids play with Sonja’s kids even though they didn’t know one another. Hide and seek outside in 2 degrees in the dark was loved by all. My boys didn’t want to leave.

      Tonight we are in bed at 10.30pm which is early by European standards but we are all exhausted. Tomorrow is boxing day but the Germans call it the second Christmas. I am hoping it will start with a sleep in.

      Merry Christmas everybody! Xxx
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    • Day 14

      Nikolaus' 18th Birthday

      December 23, 2018 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

      Today was Nikolaus’ 18th Birthday. As he had a party at home last night,he slept till late giving us time to prepare a few special items. Katrin prepared the birthday table and I made mars bar slice for Nikolaus.

      Roly took a long walk with Sonja and frank in the fields and the boys played.

      Karla and Gisela (Katrin’s Mum) arrived at 4pm for coffee, cake and gifts for Nikolaus. The cake Karla made was totally amazing. Nikolaus loves his gifts, then we had our usual late dinner at about 8.30pm, of pulled pork rolls. Philipp had slow cooked the pork neck under the bbq hood for 8 hours. It was amazing and came with a specially made sauce. It was so good, lochie had two pulled pork rolls for dinner!

      Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the holy night here in Germany and we are looking forward to celebrating Christmas the German way this year. Bring it on.
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    • Day 13

      Phantasialand

      December 22, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      After the Christmas tree was safely delivered home, we met up with Sonja and Maybrit and headed to phantasialand. This is the German version of Disneyland and I have to say I was really impressed. I was expecting something a step down from Disneyland but I was pleasantly surprised. I know many people say you can’t beat Disney, but for rides and atmosphere, this was right up there.

      Kids road one of the roller coasters over and over again with their German relatives and said it was the best! More food was consumed and after the fireworks we headed home.

      It was another amazing day of wonderful experiences. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
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    • Day 13

      Cristmas Tree

      December 22, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      Today was Christmas tree day!!
      We had such a great time choosing a Christmas tree and Philipp let Vern have the honour of cutting it down. I think Philipp just didn’t want to get his jeans dirty. Kids got a ride on a beautiful old tractor back to the shed where the tree was put through a machine shaped like a jet engine to be covered I netting for transportation. On the roof racks it went for the trip home. I have included a photo of louise which was taken for The Mercedes in the background. You will see they didn’t have roof racks so they just put the tree on a blanket on the roof! Inside the Barn was beautiful and had such a great atmosphere for having hot chocolate and bratwurst. I could have sat there for hours listening to carols.Read more

    • Day 13

      Raclette for Dinner!

      December 22, 2018 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

      Last night we had the most fun and fabulous night eating Raclette together. The photos show what I am talking about but you put boiled potato on the small grill plates and top it with your favourite meat. Perhaps ham, prosciutto, venison or beef and then a special cheese, that I cannot remember the name of. Then you put it under the special grill that sits in the middle of the table. Each person does their own and you sit around and chat, or in Philipp’s case, sing! It is a really social meal and we all loved it. It is traditional Swiss, so I am told we will have it again next week in Switzerland.

      We all totally loved it and of course drank plenty of wine and then enjoyed some great music.

      Oh and another similarity between Vern and Philipp that I discovered is that Philipp plays the saxophone as well! Also philipp and Katrin were married the same year as Vern and I. Just a bit freaky!
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    • Day 17

      Boxing Day or 2nd Christmas

      December 26, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

      In Germany today is known as the second Christmas and unlike in Australia, all shops are still shut. Even the bakeries.

      A long sleep in and a slow start was the order of the day with brekky that happened at lunchtime.

      Philipp and Vern went for a long walk on the Rhine whilst Katrin and I took the three youngest boys to the climbing centre to burn off some energy. We also checked our helmets and goggles ready for our snow trip on Saturday. This made for some fun bobsled impersonating.

      Karla joined us at home for afternoon tea and then dinner where we sampled cheeses from all over Europe. It was quite the tour!

      Another wonderful day spending time with wonderful family.
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    • Day 18

      Rudesheim

      December 27, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 1 °C

      Vern and I had a date day!!! Thanks to Philipp and Katrin who took the kids for the day so Vern and I could go to Rüdesheim.

      The kids went to a trampolining centre and then shopping at a toy and sports store. Lochie bought these awesome Nike soccor boots with the spending money he was given for Christmas. I just hope they fit by the time soccor season comes around!

      Vern and I left early and caught the light rail and two trains to be in Rüdesheim by lunch. it was so so cold. The whole valley was in fog and the trees on the top half of the hills were all frosted over. It’s the only time in Germany so far, that I have been really cold. We walked through the beautiful old part of the town but quite a bit was closed now that Christmas is over. We found a great Italian restaurant for lunch and had a sensational feed. A special day for the two of us.

      Tomorrow is all about packing for the snow!
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    • Day 19

      Day of packing for the ski trip

      December 28, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

      Well there is not much to report today as we slept in and then commenced the big repack into soft bags. Yes all that ski gear into 4 soft sports bags for the five of us. But it’s all done and the car is loaded! Lochie had one last look at his skis before they were loaded.
      We are all set. Into bed early to get a few hours sleep before leaving at 0130am for the big drive. Kids taking pillow and doonas to sleep cause Philipp wants the cabin cool.

      Let the adventure begin!
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    • Day 10

      Ski Fitting

      December 19, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

      Today we did a little local shopping and a trip to the park after a sleep in. Silke (Vern’s cousin) then arrived and stayed to chat for a few hours. It was a great opportunity for Vern to get some information on other members of the family and to spend some quality time with Silke who is such a wonderfully cheerful person and such fun to have around.

      In the late afternoon we all went for our ski fitting! Oh what fun. Lochie was so excited and just beamed from ear to ear. Kids thought walking around in ski boots was very funny but lochie was thrilled that his ski boots were brand new straight out of the box. They even had boots big enough for Vern’s enormous feet. We took the helmets and stocks home and we go back on the 27th to collect the boots and skis.

      The weather has really warmed up today and we briefly hit double digits. It’s even forecast to be 14 degrees on the weekend. Compared to the 2 degrees we have had, 14 is balmy!

      Tomorrow we are off to Bonn which was the capital of west Germany prior to the reunification. Some really historically interesting things to see there.
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