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  • Day16

    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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  • Day18


    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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  • Day28

    Birthday Cake at Sonja's

    January 6 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    Today was a slow start with the big traditional German brekky followed by an unpack from skiing and a partial pack to head home.

    Silke arrived about lunchtime and then we all headed to Sonja’s house for the famous Black Forest cake for Vern’s birthday. Karla spent a few days preparing her famous birthday cake especially for Vern. Three other distant cousins joined us and it was such a wonderful afternoon with 5 different cakes in total and yes I sampled them all!

    I totally love the way the Germans have turned coffee and cake into a whole meal on its own. Unlike in Australia where everybody holds back because of the calories, in Germany they all just dig in and enjoy not just one slice, but one of everything!

    It was so wonderful for Vern to enjoy some time with his extended family that were his age and to exchange stories. They also made me feel so welcome. We all can’t wait to come back one day.
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  • Day13


    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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  • Day19

    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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  • Day11


    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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  • Day13

    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

  • Day5

    The Black Forest

    April 5 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    So where to stay in the Black Forest..there are several parts of the trip where our research was limited, and this was one of them. We realise that when I write Black Forest on the itinerary, we could’ve done with a bit more of a’s pretty huge.

    Anyway, after the 1st unsuccessful stop in an eerily quiet little village, we chance upon an absolute gem. A wonderful campsite in Hoffen, and although it’s pricey, it has extras!!! A lovely play park, free WiFi, and free train journeys to neighbouring towns.

    We decide Bad Wildbad sounds like a cool place to visit, and after a lot of faffing (ahem!) we manage to make the train, only to arrive and realise we’ve left the pushchair behind...lucky it was free, back on we get and return with said pushchair to the little alpine town & take a trip up the mountain.

    Somersberg was well worth a visit with a great treetop walk, views of the bikers downhilling and a ginormous slide!! Amelia practised saying she was 6 the whole way up!!

    We decide to make our first 2 night stop!! Lovely to have a day with no driving, and the kids enjoyed the extra time in the park!

    Change of plan for our next route, to take the scenic route down the forest to Lake Bodensee for our next stop. Although it’s not quite ‘swim in a lake’ weather, we want to explore this mammoth lake...

    We visit a little lake/boat town, find another incredibly engineered play park, and then find a spot to free camp - and as luck would have, another day, another skate park!

    On to Lindau next...
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  • Day8


    December 17, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Our first day in Cologne was a quiet one. Boys were a bit worn out so they spent some time with Vern going to the park and having some lunch at a local Italian restaurant. Whilst louise and I went into town to go to the bank, yes we needed more money, and did a little shopping.

    We did go past the famous Cologne Christmas markets out the front of the Dom and had the most amazing chocolate coated strawberries. There was also some amazing nougat. We are planning a evening at those markets later in the week.

    Tomorrow is Vern’s birthday, and we have a dinner out planned but he is not sure what he wants to do during the day.

    Also there is a photo showing some little hessian bags on a sting on the kids bedroom wall. This is an advent calendar for the kids that Katrin made. What a fantastic idea.
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  • Day9

    Vern's 50th Birthday Begins!

    December 18, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Happy Birthday Vern! You made it!

    What a beautiful morning it is today with the sun shining. We had a great German breakfast and Philipp and Katrin set up a fantastic birthday table for Vern. After singing happy birthday and blowing out the candles on the “beer cake” Vern opened a gift from Philipp and Katrin. It was a beautiful book with a page for each of Vern’s trips to Germany beginning in 1973. Katrin has sourced some great old photos to create a beautiful book with awesome memories. A tear or two may have been shed. So thoughtful and beautiful.

    This afternoon we are off to a different Christmas market for more Gluhwein and food before a special dinner at a Brauhaus that Philipp has booked with the rest of the family.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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