Aug 26, 2008


Here are more highlights from our incredible trip to the motherland. Taylor & I both have strong German heritage, and we are pretty proud of it.

For the first few days we stayed with family in Munich.
Thanks to Claus, Sylvia, Matthias, and Florian for being such great hosts.We spent some time in downtown Munich. It is very beautiful. I think Claus told us they are celebrating the city's 850th year.We all went on a fabulous bike ride through the forest to a Beer Garden located right next to the beautiful Schleissheimer castle. It was so fun to be there with family having a picnic.
Our German cousins will never understand how we can live without beer.Some how we were able to convince Aaron to let David give him a Euromullet. It was fun while it lasted, which was maybe only a day.The incredible Neuchswanstein Castle
Claus and his family have an American BBQ every year, and it conveniently took place while we were in town. 50 Germans, lost of beer and smoking...makes for a good time. Claus has a band with his two sons and some friends called Just 5 Music, I thought they were great and di an excellent job playing all the classic American hits. Teaching the Germans how to line dance was probably the highlight of the evening. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Once the party was over at midnight, German cousin Paul somehow dragged us into going to a club. I don't do clubs. I don't do fast things with lots of people. I didn't last long. Bad idea. I was afraid of getting groped during the strobe light. At least the music was all American. Taylor was just having such a good time, that he joined the crowd in yelling, "We want to party" except he didn't realize that they were actually yelling something inappropriate.
Enough said. No more German clubs for me.

We went to Dachau, which is always a somber experience.
After 4 days of partying with the Siegels, we took off for a weekend in Prague. We had such a good time with the family and it was so nice to stay in their home rather than in a hotel. It made the German experience that much more authentic.

Prague was not so glorious at first. It was kicking our butt really. The hotel, and eating in their restaraunt was a bad choice. At least it was a decent place to sleep, but really, what hotel tells you that your blankets are being cleaned and will be back in the morning? So Michelle and Aaron just had their lumpy couch bed and bright orange satin duvet cover with no blanket. We weren't loving Prague, until we stepped into the main part of the city and saw this...
I know it's blurry, but you get the point. Our mouths all dropped and I heard several of us say "I think I'm in love with Prague." The lighting throughout the city was brilliant and really set the mood. It was a city right out of a storybook.

If you ever decide to take a trip to Prague, here are my suggestions:
1.Take it slow, it is so much more enjoyable if you aren't in a hurry and you know how to just sit back and relax
2. 8 people was just a lot
3. Save up the extra money and stay in a nicer hotel, preferably as close to the main part of the city as possible...less walking and adds to the ambiance.
4. When you buy anything, watch it, they'll hose you
5. 1,000 czech crowns isn't that much money, so don't freak out

Prague was great, but it was a relief to be away from the tourists and cozy in the tiny village of Benshausen in East Germany. We stayed with a good friend named Hartmut. They had a fabulous home...and it was so nice to relax for a few days.
They took us for walks and hikes in the Rennsteig Mountains.
We went on a tour of an SS bunker that was built in the 70s, that was pretty cool. It was interesting to hear Hartmut tell us about when the Berlin wall was still up and what life was like. His son is an incredible chef and cooked for us the first night. The food was SO good. It was the first time I ate an entire serving of Salmon and actually enjoyed it.
We LOVED Benshausen and they fed us the best food of the whole trip.
Thanks to sweet Manuela who spent the entire time slaving away in the kitchen.Taylor and his victorious chess skills.

After Benshausen we returned to Munich to end our trip.
It was all so fabulous...
family, good food, schnitzel the size of my head, wonderful people.
I realized while we were there how German I really am.
I'm so organized and a perfectionist, which can be good and bad.
I was watching all the family & friends thinking 'wow, I'm just like that'.
That's totally where it comes from.
Now if I could just speak it...fortunately most everyone could speak English.
Most everyone could also speak German which didn't help my case much.
At least Taylor discovered that he is pretty much fluent. He's amazing.
We may have had to drive to Switzerland to catch a flight home...ah the joys of flying standby. But hey, we got to ride in Business class and it doesn't get any better than that.
Germany is Amazing. Go there someday.
My grandmother would be so proud.


  1. i credit the chess victory to the smart part.
    if christian had hair he could have smart-parted his and stood a chance.

  2. Hey nice pics. The Euro mullet was quite entertaining, thanks. By the way what was your hotel like? I ask because I work for The Hampton Inn and I'm always curious as to how other hotels treat their patrons. By the way we're having an awesome special, come check t out.

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  3. I,m so glad that all of you could go to Germany and have a great time.It was nice to meet more of your German relatives
    They all getting older and that probly was the first and last time you saw them
    I wish you could have my Parents.
    You would have loved them too.

  4. I wanted to be there with you guys. We have some wonderful family there dont we? I hope to return for a visit before I hit the senior years! you guys, Helen