Monday, August 31, 2009

Heidelberg, Germany

This past weekend was another 3-day weekend so we made sure to take full advantage! Friday we made a day trip over to Heidelberg with our friends Drew, Rhiannon, Trivan, and Tia, who are all stationed at Ramstein. One of the main attractions at Heidelberg is the castle, which was erected from 1775-1781. It has been destroyed several times by wars and fires, but it is still very neat to see.

Pictures from next to the castle. There are 300 stairs leading up to the castle, but we found that you could park on a side street and skip about 250! You could go inside, but we chose not to pay the extra money.

View of Heidelberg from the castle! That is the Neckar River and the Church of the Holy Spirit sitting in the Marktplatz.

After seeing the castle we enjoyed the Marktplatz shops. We stopped at the Brauhaus Vetter for a late lunch of sausages and beer, including the record setting Vetter 33!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekend Travels

This past weekend we headed over to Luxembourg, which is about an hour from our house. We did a little shopping and visited the Hamm American Cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place for 5,076 American soldiers including General George S. Patton. Most of those resting here were killed in the Battle of the Bulge. It really is a beautiful cemetery, and was wonderful to see the American soldiers being honored on foreign soil.

General Patton's Grave, sitting at the head of the cemetery. Just a normal marker like every other soldier, yet he is honored by being placed at the commanding position.

We also did some driving around of our local area, mainly looking for hiking trails. We did find a few, but we will have to look around for some more. What we didn't expect to find was a wonderful bakery in Hetzerath that has fantastic chocolate filled croissants!! Look out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adventures in Laundry

What happens when you put too much American laundry detergent in a German washing machine?

And on a side note, I have to use a translated instruction manual to do the laundry as all the labels on the machine are in German. Fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wittlich Pig Festival

This past Saturday we attended the Wittlich Pig Festival. The story behind the festival is that in the medieval age, the people of Wittlich closed the city gates each evening because they were constantly under attack. One evening, the guard couldn’t find the bolt to close the door, so he used a carrot instead. In the middle of the night a pig came, saw the carrot, and ate it. What happened of course is that the door opened and the enemy entered the town. The people were thus very angry and decided to punish the pigs. So they made a big fire and herded all the pigs into the market place and roasted them! Today the legend continues with a festival entailing a parade, a carnival, lots of wine and beer, and of course the roasting of pigs!

Wittlich Town Marketplatz where the main festival was held.

The ceremonial pigs being brought into the marketplatz to be roasted. They roast around 100 pigs for the festival.

Flowers being presented to the Saint of Wittlich. This man loves his job and was really hamming it up!!

Pork sandwiches being prepared!!

Wine selection!! Of course you order by the bottle here!

Lots more pictures posted on facebook! The link is below, copy and paste!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still unpacking!

Sorry for the blogging lull! We've been pretty busy unpacking and setting up our house! Things are coming along pretty good. We have our living room/dining room/kitchen complete, as well as our master bedroom, office, and bathrooms. Only part left is our spare bedroom which is currently holding all of our clothing boxes! Let me say, I am really missing not having closets!! In Germany they are taxed on the square meters of their homes, so they don't build closets. Thank goodness we have a very large attic for storage!! But, we should be mostly organized by tomorrow! I promise I will post some pictures, but I didn't want you all to see our gigantic mess!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moving In!!

We have officially moved into our new house!!! Let the unpacking begin!

Everything is going good so far. The movers moved everything into our house yesterday, and even put together some stuff for us. They were very nice guys. We also got our loaner appliances from base too, which are necessary with the 220 voltage here. We got a washer and dryer, fridge, and a microwave; all brand new!!

So we have lots to do!! We got our t.v set up and it works! It is even dual voltage, so we don't have to run it through a transformer! Which basically saves us from having to unplug and plug it in every time we use it. Finished unpacking the kitchen and organized the furniture in the living room last night. I will probably be trying out some different arrangements til I find one that makes me happy. Just had a few broken glasses so far, but nothing really to get upset about!

Our living room/dining room/kitchen after the movers left! So much to do!!

Phillip surrounded in our kitchen! It is quite a bit smaller than our last kitchen, so we will be storing some stuff in our attic. Good thing we have a large attic!!

Clara is so happy to have her toys and bed back!!

And it was so wonderful to sleep in our own bed last night!!! First time in over 2 months!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


Sundays in Germany take some getting used to. Here they very much embody the whole "day of rest" idea. Everything is closed, and you are not allowed to do any work either. It's weird getting accustomed to because in the States we always reserved Sunday for doing the house work that needed to get done before the start of the new week. So, in keeping with the Sunday theme, here is what you are not allowed to do.

Thou shalt not:

- Do any yard work, including mowing the yard or sweeping your driveway/street.
Yes, you are expected to sweep your driveway and street in front of your house (the first foot or so into the street), but not on Sunday!

- Wash your car.

- Go shopping.
Everything is closed! Retail, grocery, everything.

- Eat out.
For the most part, but in our town there are 2 open restaurants, so this doesn't really apply all the time.

This kind of makes for a boring day. You can't go traveling, you can't do any work on your house, you just kind of bum around. You can do stuff inside, like laundry or cleaning, but I'm going to object to those tasks and enjoy my day of rest!