Friday, October 31, 2014

Summer Recap {Take 4} Germany Edition!

Micaela commented that she couldn't wait to hear all about my trip to Germany this summer.  So, I took her at her word, and I'm going to inundate the internet with photos and stories from our trip. 

I kept it to about a quarter of the actual pictures, it's still an overload, you're welcome!

I work as an instructional designer.  Most of the time, I'm staying home with the kids and not working very much, but every once in a while, I travel a few days on business (once or twice a year).

This year, I had the opportunity to travel to Mannheim, Germany.  It's not a very big town, but we also visited Heidelberg, Mainz, and Wiesbaden.  I say "we" because Hubby came along.  The contract/work paid for my ticket, so we bought a second ticket and extended our trip.

Overall, we spent 10 days in Germany and traveling to/from.  The jet lag was more than I expected and it took Hubby and I a few days to get decompressed from his crazy work schedule, but after the work part of my trip was over, we did some sight-seeing. 

We saw castles, took a trolley ride up a mountain, visited the world's largest cuckoo clock and other fun adventures.  The two things that stick out the most to me were seeing a Roman aqueduct and a piece of the Berlin wall.  The Roman aqueduct powered a tram up the mountainside and the piece of the Berlin wall was just sitting on a street corner. 

Another noteworthy moment was seeing the Guttenburg Bible, you know, just chilling in an environmentally controlled room.  So cool.

I don't think I realized what a nerd I was until I went to Germany.  I loved a lot of things that Hubby rolled his eyes at me about - but it was fun :)

Taking Mommy and Daddy to the airport

A little too early for her

Waiting for our flight

On our way to Germany!
On our way from the train station to the hotel

Touring Mannheim

A Roman holiday moment

Gardens everywhere, and they were stunning - also my brother's German doppelganger (pun intended)

Play-land for kids in the center of the shopping center

Street musicians abounded

My parents - I work with my dad :)
Day trip to Heidelberg Castle

Amongst the beauty and history, I was stunned by the graffiti - everywhere

One of the English-speaking tour guides was outfitted for the part
German beds understand me - I like my own blankets

This giant beautiful building was the site of a concert - the blend of old and new was amazing

Town center holding a farmer's market

Then packing it up and it disappeared

This trolley took us on a tour all the way to Neroberg (mountaintop)

Feeling a little punchy on the trolley

Through the woods, past the prison and the Duke's house....

To a beautiful cathedral

Up the water-powered tram

With another tram on the way down

Looking out over the town of Wiesbaden

WWI memorial

Names of all the towns who lost soldiers in WWI

A vineyard down the mountainside
The world's largest cuckoo clock

The Berlin Wall

Der Dom, Mainz

An imposing confessional

A stunning choir loft

The altar

Now, I'll take a moment to explain this next picture.  As I stood in the Catholic stronghold of the Protestant Reformation, I was in awe of the beauty of the space.  There, as I stood in the silence, I saw a beautiful devotional.  I pulled a few euros from my pouch and lit candles for each of my children.  Then, I lit one for all the mamas and hoping-to-be mamas on my prayer list.

For all of you, this candle burned in the cathedral that survived the Reformation.  Because we will survive this.  In that lasting space, a flame burned for us.

By the time we got back on the plane, we were very ready to see our children, and to be home.  We had many, many mechanical problems, including an emergency landing, but we finally made it home.

Is the desperation to be on a functioning plane and home showing?

Met at the airport by these sweethearts

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  I'm thankful my work allowed us to make the trip, and for those that took care of our kiddos while we were away.  It was memorable, amazing, and I'm not sure I ever want to be away from my girls that long will be awkward :)

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