Monday, August 31, 2009

10 minutes of doom!

AH! I have been asked to speak in church in two weeks!!! ...It's a German ward... I think I am going to pass out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


My Hamburg experience was brought about by a more somber circumstance: the funeral of a family friend (heir to what would be the Prussian thrown, actually....) I understand the services went well - everyone came back quite at peace, thank goodness.

The next day, I did some sight seeing - this time, I spent half the day with the family. Hooray!

Melanie had heard of this railroad exhibit, and none of us knew what to expect when we got there. It turns out, it was a HUGE (1.5 floors!) model of European and American railroads! I wished Nephi were there to see it - it was incredible!

The lights dimmed and brightened to indicate day and night. Here, we are at the Hamburg train station at night. This is a model. mind you. AMAZING!

This is more of Hamburg at dusk - and Fritz and Marietta.

With daylight came...ARIZONA!!! I can't tell you how surprized and how happy I was to see home - even at a 1/144-ish scale! Here is the German view of the 'Wild Wild West'.

And apparently we like to crash planes into the redrock...WHAT?

We split after the museum. I went on another city bus tour. I hopped off for an hour or so at the Rathaus (something like the capitol building, pronounced rat house...heh). Please bear with me through the pics! I just can't get over the architectural detail! Incredible!

Outside in the courtyard of the Rathaus.

On my walk around the same area.

And the train station - this time the genuine article.

We stayed the weekend with Felix's father. The house is about 30 min outside of Hamburg in a lovely, tiny rural town.


FLOWERS! Mama, look at the dahlias! Großpapi (I never got his name, and that's how we referred to him with the kids...) had a lovely garden.

This was my favorite part. hey trained a pear tree along a wall. So lovely. Again - note taking. Disregard at will. :-)


This landed on mz lamp the other night. CRAZY! Just had to share.

Bad Homburg

This is the town in which I live.

We are less than 30 min from Frankfurt, which is the banking/business hub of Germany. Little Bad Homurg is far from being a business hub, thank goodness! The town centers around a small castle with a 'fußgänger zone' (a shopping/dining street accessible only to pedestrians) below it. Our street leads straight to the castle grounds -a 5 minute walk from the house. Little Fritzy and I have taken several walks there over the past few weeks. He sits in his stroller and tells me which way we should turn next as we wind through the grounds. He has recently ventured outside of the stroller to pick up acorns - what exciting lives we lead, eh? :-)

Here a view of the witchtower from the grounds. I don't know what they mean exactly by 'witchtower', that is just what the sign says. Sweet scene in any case.

The castle tower. To the right is a huge pond - 'Wasser!' Fritz shouts...every single time he sees it...

Mama, Daddy, I am gathering gardening ideas as I go. I love the way they've labled these little fruit trees. They've hung little handwritten signs from the trunks. Subtle and sophisticated. Love it.

Here is the church next to the castle, and more of the grounds. (Love the turquoise pots!)

I love beautiful things and beautiful weather. I have both in abundance here and am grateful for them. Amen. :-)

Cologne II

Alright, here is the rest of my Cologne trip:

If you can make them out, here is a picture of the flying buttresses on the dom - I have some vague memories of Mama talking about her fascination with flying buttresses and thought of her - this is for you, Mama!

And the wretched, misleading staircase.

After I made it down, I bought an ice cream cone (what else!?!) and took a little walk. Next to the cathedral is a Roman/Germanic museum. It was closed at the time, but the exhibit outside was lovely. Colin, Daddy, these are for you. Thought you two might be interested.

Then, more walking...For some strange reason, I couldn't get way from the cathedral. I went in all different directions and would always wind back up at the dom. WEIRD! First Arlington Cemetery, then the Cologne Dom - I am NEVER going anywhere near the Burmuda Triangle!
Once I FINALLY escaped the dom, I spent an hour or two wandering around the medieval part of the city. The streets were cobbled and narrow -very cozy. You can see the facades of the buildings - mostly beerhouses and cafes below, with housing above, I believe. The whole atmosphere was chaming!

And this is a statue in the middle of the old haymarket. I know it is odd, but I love haymarkets!!! I have no idea what this monument is about specifically...I just wanted to remember the place.

And finally, Monty Python! What the...? I love it! I couldn't help thinking of Colin and the FOOs when I saw the billboards. Can we tell I miss my family? - It's true. Trips are just not the same without you! Love!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Here are the kiddos - Filipa, Fritz, and Marietta respectively. We are in the car on the way to Cologne from Bab Homburg.

The family dropped me off in the city on their way to visit a friend from college. Melanie was wonderful and found a cheap bus tour. I rode around for an hour and a half hearing the history. Here is a pic of the cathedral and the city from my bus window. Note the greyness of the day. A little glum, but still pretty.

Apparently eau de cologne comes from Cologne - who knew!?! There is a particular brand of it, called 4711 -after the address of the parfumerie where it is made, and here it is!

Finally out of the bus, and toe the Dom (German name for catherdral). It is the biggest in
Germany -holy hugeness!

For some reason, I was rather tickled by the statues of the apostles/kings - whatever they are. A little quirky

And then the glrious interior! I LOVE gothic columns and the vaulted ceilings! AMAZING!!!

So, I saw this starcase on the same wall as the one that led me to the giftshop, so I figured it was just another exhibit or something down there in the catherdra's foundation. No, no. It was a little winding staircase that led all the way to the top of the catherdral! HOLY MOLEY. It took me a good 20 min of straight climbing, but, dang it, I did it! Here are some voews from the top, or on the way to.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Departures and Arrivals

The adventure has begun - and what a beginning it has been!

Friday morning, I woke up an hour early - 3:30 am - with the distinct impression that I should double check my flight info. Marje just happened to have left her computer downstairs and, lo and behold! I had mistaken my arrival time for my departure time! From that point I had 2.5 hours to pick up Liza from the hospital in Chandler, get to the airport, through security, and board my plane. With some significant help from Abs and Lizy, I made it just fine - though there were a couple of nerve wracking moments like getting pulled over for not having my lights on (how did the automatic lights get turned off!?!) and tearing through my luggage at the ticket counter to get rid of 9 pounds and avoid a $150 fee...but it all worked out; no ticket, no fee.

The flights were fine - better than expected. My last and longest leg was on a Lufthansa air bus. I am now an official Lufthansa fan. The service was excellent, the entertainment options varied and fee-free, and they provided little feather pillows with quality linens - brilliant!

Well, Kara will appreciate that I once again had a little difficulty getting out of the airport. I think I'll just make it a tradition now. However, I did manage - and in decent time too.

Then off to my family's house. We drove up the driveway that wraps around the house to a precious little scene: the 3 children (ages 2, 4, and 6) were sitting at their little picnic table on the porch with their breakfast laid out. Hooray for summer picnicking! Mommy and Vatti spent the day doing yard work, the little ones lounging and playing, and I in a constant state of mild befuddlement. Knowing so little of the language, and not being sure whether I ought to be speaking English or German contributed to the confusion. Trying to work myself into family dynamic compounded it. Then there was the fact that I had had a total of maybe 3 hours of sleep since 3:30 am AZ time...and we all know how funky I get on no sleep. It's amazing!

A nap, a shower, and some peace and quiet have restored at least a portion of my sanity. I am now sitting in my little bedroom at the top of the house, enjoying the view of the pretty garden below, and my lovely welcome flowers on my table within. Though I have no idea what to expect for the upcoming months, I feel at peace. I think this will be good.

My cute little room

View of the garden from my window