Thursday, May 21, 2015

Paris

"Par-ee holds the key to my heart..."  The song from Anastasia literally played in my head for 3 days straight.  Either that or Champs-Elysées.  As a 30th birthday celebration for me, Nate and I went to Paris for a few days, sans kids.  We went with our good friends, the Barons.  I was hesitant to go because I have such a hard time leaving my kids. Partly because I miss them, but mostly because I worry about the people having to care for them.  In this case, some new friends who had just moved to Germany agreed to trade with us.  They were waiting on their household goods anyways, so they stayed in our house while we were gone.  We later watched their 2 kids so that they could make the trip to Paris.  

We left on a Friday morning.  Nate drove the four hours to Paris. (if we do it again, we will take the 2 hr ICE train--it would have been worth the cost for sure) We had planned to park outside of the city and take the train in to the hotel.  Unfortunately the parking place was no where to be found, so we tried to help Nate navigate his way into the crazy busy city.  It was probably one of his top 5 most stressful driving experiences ever.  We finally made it to one of the major train stations, parked the car, and left it there for the rest of the weekend.  Our hotel was just across the street.  That night we found our way to the Sacre Coure.  My mom had mentioned this as one of her favorite sites in Paris.  It was really fun to climb up the stairs and see the view from the top of the hill.  There was also a great ambiance up there.  From there we stopped at the Eiffel Tower so that we could see it light up on the hour.  It was actually quite magical.  The next day we started off with another brief trip to the Eiffel Tower.  Just as awesome in the daytime.  I have to say, I wasn't super excited for it.  But it really was an incredible piece of architecture.  We then walked across the famous bridge (don't know the name, though!).  We wandered over to Champs-Elysées...and on our way to the Louvre, spotted a GAP!  haha...it's been a while since we've seen one, so Mandy and I begged the boys to go inside for a few minutes.  They were sweet to let us waste time in there.  Then onto the Louvre.  None of us were huge art enthusiasts, but we were determined to at least have a peek at the Mona Lisa.  We spent a couple of hours inside the HUGE museum, and didn't even scratch the surface.  But we saw Mona Lisa, and a few other famous pieces, and were on our way. Next up was the Notre Dame.  Unfortunately, we were too late for the gargoyle tour :(.  I had not planned that very well and was a little disappointed.  But we could see them from below and they were pretty cool.  We were all anxious to get one fancy meal out of Paris before we left.  The places we searched for seemed to be way too busy.  We finally settled on one, and enjoyed a yummy French meal.  On Sunday, we knew we needed to head home sometime in the early afternoon, so we got out as soon as we could and caught a train to Versailles.  With all the stops and train changes, it took us at least 45 min to get there.  We were a bit rushed for time, so we opted not to tour the inside and just to go see the gardens instead.  When we got inside and realized how big the gardens were, we knew we weren't going to make it through on foot.  We saw a stand renting golf carts.  Perfect!!  Unfortunately, when the rental man asked for a driver's license, we realized that NONE of us had brought one!!  Such a bummer.  So we just started touring as much of the gardens by foot that we could in the hour that we had.  Honestly, they weren't quite what I had expected.  More like a maze, really, but not so much flowers or anything.  If we were to do it again, I would have taken the house tour, and seen the gardens from the windows of the castle.  Chest la vie.  So we rushed back to the train station.  On the way back, we kept running into missionaries from our church.  It was fun to chat a little with them here and there.  Most of them were American, so they were excited to run into fellow Americans.  When we sat down in our train, we looked around and realized that our entire car was full of Mormon Missionaries!  How cool is that?!  We decided it was the safest place we could ask for.  The missionaries were really fun to talk to on the journey back to Paris.  They were in Versailles for a Zone conference that morning, and they were all headed back to their areas.  Once back in Paris, we found our car and made our way back out of the city.  Paris was an exciting adventure and it was so fun to explore the city of love with my sweetheart--and as always, it was wonderful to hug my little ones again when we returned.  



































Saturday, October 4, 2014

Preschool Coop

Violet and I were asked to join a Preschool Coop with a few other ladies in our ward.  I had never participated in one before, but it sounded like fun and like something for Violet to do.  Preschools here are pretty pricey, and she has been on the waiting list for the German preschool since we moved here.  I did hear that she was next on the list, so we are hoping that next year that option will open up for her.  But this little preschool coop has been wonderful.  Four kids total, once a week for 2.5 hours.  We just rotate houses each week, and focus on a different letter of the alphabet each time.  For my first week teaching, we did the letter 'K'.  The kids made kites and kangaroo pouches, and went hunting for letter 'k's to put in their pouches.  It was a lot of fun.




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bern-Kastel Kues

Our first outing after we moved here last August was a trip to Bern-Kastel Kues for their annual wine festival.  We had such a great time that we were looking forward to 2015 so we could do it again!  Members of our stake head down early enough to put down blankets all together.  The town is situated along the Mosel river, and when it gets dark enough (like 9:30 pm!), there is an amazing fireworks show that depicts a battle once fought here between a boat and the castle.  Seriously--most amazing fireworks show I've ever seen.  No joke.  I thought we might all have hearing damage afterwards.  Isla was NOT a fan.  Luckily, about half way through she finally decided to stop crying and just let Nate hold her ears shut.  

Before the show starts, we just wander around with friends.  There is one side that is a lot like a carnival or fair.  The kids love that part.  We even let the kids do the trampoline thingy where you are hooked up to a harness and get to bounce super high.  This year we ventured the other way to go purchase some grape juice, and found a whole other side of the party.  Next year we will spend more time there.  There were live bands, adorable buildings, yummy food...much better than carnival rides in my opinion.  ;)  Can't wait for next year!








Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September

Aside from school starting up, we had a lot of things going on in September.  Nate kept busy at work, as usual.  He started up a cool thing where he made custom ear molds for the pilots.  They were pretty excited about it.  He also got put on the Moulage team.  Anytime the base has an exercise in some type of disaster scenario, Nate goes in early to do the 'wound make-up'. He loves it, and it gets him out of staying all day long.  The pictures look pretty sick.  Rest assured, it's all fake ;).  

Sawyer started his first season of soccer.  He was pumped about it.  The excitement didn't quite translate to the field, unfortunately.  I think he spent more time looking at planes and playing with friends than looking for the ball.  Maybe next year...

I picked up some Dirndl's for Violet and Isla while in Garmisch for Girls Camp.  Unfortunately, at the moment, Violet fits in both dresses.  I'm hoping the smaller one fits Isla next summer so we can take some sweet pictures.  Now to find some Lederhosen for the boys...

Violet started Ballet/Tap.  She looks freakin cute in her little leotard and skirt!

Isla started becoming even more of a destroyer.

I took an old school desk from a flea market and painted it red (per Sawyer's request).  It gets used more for legos than for homework, but we are happy with it :).

I also celebrated my 30th Birthday!! Ahh!  When did I get OLD!?!?  My girlfriends threw me an awesome surprise lunch (which I was over 30 minutes late for!!!  whoops!).  And Nate took me out for Thai food.  He also bought me a silhouette (which arrived 2 weeks late)--but he took me to Paris to make up for the late purchase of said present.  So I forgave him ;)  More on that, later. <3 p="">

We got some really fun bath stuff from our German cousins.  Turns the water different colors, makes funny popping noises, etc.  








One of the kids gave Isla some breakfast--lucky charms and bbq chips
We have a great indoor pool on Base and finally started taking advantage of it every now and then.







Nate took the GED (or is it GRE??--can't remember!!) for his orthodontics application.  While in Frankfurt he located a Chipotle and brought some back for me!!!!  That was a good day!

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