Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Journeyed out to a little town called Weil der Stadt for our first taste of German Fasching, aka Karneval. All of Germany welcomes the coming of spring with this leftover pagan holiday. The kids have a whole week off of school for this, with the apex of celebrations occuring in Cologne, up north. If you are interested, this website, sums up the history behind the holiday nicely. Basically, everyone dresses up as witches, ghouls, medeival peasants, cavemen, gladiators, cowboys, or clowns and parades down main streets throughout Germany, tossing candy and scaring children as they proceed. One of the largest in our area is in Weil der Stadt (east of Stuttgart), which happens to be home to the von Heydebreck family, old friends of our work mate, Bettina. She suggested we meetup and spend the day with them (they have 3 young children...Katerina is 11, Johannes is 7 and Niklaus is 4). Jorg and Simone are the parents. Jorg speaks great English, and we discovered that Simone does too, although she was shy at the start, I completely understand that. We had a nice lunch with them and the kids all dressed up to attend the parade. Mayzie was a ladybug and there was a clown, a pirate, and a cowboy in the group:
It's like a mixture between a medieval Halloween, Oktoberfest and the Rose Parade. It was noisy, rowdy, and everyone was very happy. A very cool scene. The ghouls and witches would move very eerily and creep up and scare the kids. The masks are all wood and very intricate. We learned later that they are as much as 2000 euros and are typically passed down through families. I was surprised how well Mayzie did....no crying at all..there were some 11 year old in front of me cuddling with their mommy for protection. I think the possibility of candy takes precedent over being scared by some strange dude in a goats mask.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Took Mayzie to the public pool just down the road. We had a good time, once we were in the water. Learning the locker system and the uni-sex changing room system proved difficult with my limited German skills, but we made it in. In a society that seems to be very rules driven, there was a surprising lack of them at the pool. No lifeguards on the big water slide, no barriers to stay behind where the kids come pouring out of the slide. No signs, or guards outside in the spa area…felt nice to wander through the different pools and not feel watched. Mayzie loves the water and we splashed for a couple hours.
I stopped in at a pizza place on the way home and got a reall Italian style Hawaiian pizza to go. All in broken German and sign language. My confidence is building. You really have to not be worried about feeling like an ass every time you step into a store.
I received my work permissions, so all is set for starting work next Wednesday. First thing I did after I got my papers was go back to the internet store and try to get that going—of course they needed to wait for permission from HQ, so we will know tomorrow morning. I will be surprised if it all goes smoothly. Walking 20 mins to the library just to check email is getting annoying.
The local library deserves its own dedicated blog posting—its a very cool, well laid out space and has 2 beer gardens right outside its doors. The gardens open up in mid April, cant wait for that. Jenna is tired of me pointing out all the beer gardens and bike paths. Cant wait for some warm weather!
The beamer has been treating us good. It certainly doesn’t take much to see beautiful, classic German scenery around here. On Friday, we were planning on driving south towards
Saturday was spent south in the
Just as we are figuring out how long we can push Mayzie, we will be returning the car. Hopefully we remember for next time. It definitely takes some planning to make sure she is entertained as we are being tourists. She starts hitting the wall by 5pm or so and then it really is miserable for everyone. She thrives on a routine and we are pushing her to her limts by taking her out of a routine, but in situations like this, we need to find the balance. Sunday was better for that. We went south again to a small, medieval college town on the river Neckar,
Returning the beamer tomorrow. Back on our feet again. I have 10 more days of no working so plenty of time to see some more. It feels really good to know that we will be here for an extended amount of time and will be able to explore this area, it truly is beautiful.
Missed my moms 60th birthday, feel kinda sad about that. Hope she knows we were there in spirit. We love you mom!