Saturday, October 31, 2009


Our first day in Italy was spent in Pisa! Our airplane landed at about noon and we easily made it to our hotel by shuttle. We then went straight out and walked over to the Leaning Tower. It was on the complete opposite side of town, but the walk was nice and gave us a chance to see Pisa. We made sure to go straight there before stopping to do anything as we wanted to make sure we got tickets to go to the top!

After we got tickets we went to a little street cafe and had sandwiches. As soon as I sat down and looked at Callie I caught this amazing view!

After lunch we went back to the plaza and took lots more pictures!

You really don't notice how much the tower is leaning until you look at it's base!!

Finally it was our turn to go up into the tower. This is a picture of the well-worn stairs! We found it interesting that as we walked up the 300 stairs, it was hardest when we were walking into the lean. It's only a 4 degree lean, but it makes a significant difference!

The view from the top!! So pretty and well worth the climb!

I have so many more pictures!! I will post more to facebook and post the link here! Pisa was fantastic, but not worth more than a day trip. Besides the Leaning Tower and Cathedral there is not a lot more to see. We had found a nice Italian restaurant near our hotel that evening where we enjoyed pasta and wine before turning in for the day. Next morning...a train ride to Rome!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We're Home!!

Callie and I made it back from Italy today! We visited both Rome and Pisa. We had a fantastic time!! I took almost 900 pictures. Basically this post is just a teaser because I will have to do a much longer post (or multiple posts) later to give the complete story. Callie is still here through Saturday, so those posts will come at a different time.

Some highlights from the trip:
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Colosseum
- Roman Forum (ruins)
- Fountain di Trevi
- Pantheon
- Spanish Steps
- Eating Italian food, Gelato, and drinking Italian wine
- Piazza Navona
- Shopping
- Vatican
- Seeing the Pope up close as he drove around in his little Pope mobile
- Listening to the weekly address by the Pope and getting his blessing
- Vatican Museums
- Sistine Chapel
- St. Peter's Basilica

The entire trip was AMAZING and I can't wait to tell everyone more about it!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Our friend Callie is here from the states for a visit!!! SO EXCITED!!!! She will be here for about a week, and we are going to do some traveling!!

Apparently Clara missed her too!


I've been meaning to post this for a couple days now, but we made our first pot of chili for the fall season!!
Differences between cooking chili in Germany vs. the U.S:
- We have to use a transformer to use our crock-pot.
- Buffalo meat was substituted for hamburger since the hamburger here is terrible.
All in all, the chili turned out great!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fresh air

German houses have to be ventilated for at least 15 minutes each day to prevent mold from growing! Basically, it means going around and opening every door and window. Not such a bad thing, but now its getting cold, and it still has to be done. Hands are freezing right now!! Just 5 more minutes to go!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


And we have curtains!! Yay!

I might have to redo the pole pocket to let out some length though because they are about 3 inches off the floor. It looks a little weird, but as the day has gone on it's not so noticeable. Plus, the curtains are sheer, so I don't know if it would ruin them. But they definitely soften the room and make the white walls not as harsh. Haven't finished hanging all our other stuff though, so I'll post more pictures as we progress. But we're doing pretty good this time! Only 4 months of living here and we are hanging stuff up. At our last place the walls were bare for the first year!

Oh, and Clara would like for you to notice her sweater!

Another view of our room. Just the back door and the side window got curtains so far. Our rolladens are down, which are the exterior shades.

It's been rainy and a little cold here today so Clara got to wear her coat out for her walk. She loves all her coats and sweaters!

Today was also called, "Farmer's Day," so all of the stores were open today! Who would have thought we would have been so excited to go walk around Hela, which is the German Home Depot. One thing Hela has over Home Depot: they have a fresh bakery in the store!! Got some fantastic whole grain bread for 2E!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home improvements

Today we are working on some interior improvements!

We finally got a shrunk, and one much nicer than the ones handed out from the base. It is massive, and only cost us $80 since the couple we bought it from is moving back to the states and didn't want it anymore! It really saved us a ton of money! I tried to get a decent picture, but its so long, that I couldn't get it in one shot. Now to put away all the clothes we still have in boxes!

Here is Dimetri, our landlord, and Phillip hanging curtain rods. I think it will really help to have some curtains up since we can't paint the walls.

Hopefully we will also finish hanging up the stuff in at least the living room area and I will post some more pictures!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fitting in

I've been mistaken for a German!! Yep, only been here about 4 months and I'm fitting in pretty well! I guess it also helps that I'm about 1/2 German already.

When we were waiting for the train in Kaiserlautern a lady came up to me and started speaking German. I may look German, but don't know much of the language, so I asked her "Sprechen Sie English?" She shook her head and walked off, but I guess I looked German enough for her to talk to me in the first place! Yipee!!

Monday, October 5, 2009


This past weekend we checked another item off the "things to do before we die" list: Oktoberfest in Munich! It was an experience for sure!

We took the train out of Kaiserslautern into Munich, which unfortunately was 5 hours, but the train was much better than a bus ride or trying to drive ourselves. We left K-town at 7am, made it to Munich at noon, and to the Oktoberfest grounds by about 1pm. It was packed!! We knew that it would be hard to get into one of the actual beer tents, but we figured we could at least get into a beer garden, and if not, then we would still have fun right?. Unfortunately what we didn't know was that beer is only served in the tents or gardens, and you have to get a table too, so unless you can get in, it's kind of a waste. After trying for about 2 hours to get in, we almost gave up completely. But, after a nice break on a grassy hill and people watching we figured that we rode 5 hours on a train, we better make sure we at least get a beer!

Our luck would have it that after standing in line for another hour we finally made it into the beer garden at Paulaner, one of the best German beers! We were very lucky to find a seat almost right away, as the garden was extremely packed. Note, we made it only into the beer garden, which is the outside seating. The beer tent, which seats 10,000, was completely full and by reservation only! But, the day was beautiful and sitting outside was great. We drank plenty of Liters of beer, enjoyed traditional roasted chicken, and made lots of new friends!

After lots of fun and festival, we made it back to the train at midnight, then back into Kaiserslautern at 5am. It was a very long day, but a lifetime experience to say the least!

One of the beer "tents." These are massive, seating around 9-10,000 people, and all are by reservation only. Plus, you have to make the reservations early, as in May! We tried to get reservations in August and they were already booked!!

Costumes are very popular, which we were not expecting at all!

Finally got a table at the Paulaner beer garden and at last some Liters of beer!!

1/2 of our group. Trivan, Rhiannon, and I.

The other 1/2 of our group, Phillip and Drew, enjoying the roasted chicken.

Making lots of new friends!

Night time setting in, but the party goes on.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Playing grown-up

Today I took another step in actually becoming a grown-up. Living overseas makes you think about whether or not you are prepared if the worst happens, so we are making ourselves prepared. Thus, we had an appointment with legal and made out our Wills and Special Powers of Attorneys. Mostly we just made sure all the right names were written down to take care of all our stuff. And since we basically have no stuff, it was pretty easy. And instead of having to will our kids to someone (since we have none!) we put down Clara. This mommy feels better knowing that her furry kid will be taken care of after we're gone!

And for my parents, I included not to be cremated as I do not want to end up missing in a pink mary kay bag. :) I honestly have no real opinion on cremation vs. burial, but with my family its best to not put that decision off. Just donate my organs, but not the eyes, as I find that much too personal.

Wow, after reading that it sounds like I think I might die tomorrow, but when you spend close to an hour and a half talking about those things you start to get more specific!