Thursday, September 29, 2011

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles


Leo and I just got back from a two week trip to Germany.  We took PLANES, TRAINS and AUTOMOBILES during our fun European vacation.

Leo did great on the flights- as usual. This was the first time he had his own seat, so it was nice for me to have my arms free (at least for part of the time)  Leo slept in my arms for half the flight, and in his seat for the other half)

We stayed with our friends, the Dannellys, at their house in the cute little village of Gries. It was surrounded by rolling green hills, fields of bright yellow rapeseed flowers, and lush pastures with roaming cows. It was lovely. Here is the view from their terrace, and a photo from the village.





Leo and I took a train down to Heidelberg to do some sightseeing. Leo loved riding on the train. He liked climbing over the seats, and looking out the window.

Heidelberg is a beautiful town. We walked around the old city, took photos from the bridge, and took the tram up the hill to the old castle, where we took a tour.  Then we had lunch at an outdoor cafe in in a beautiful courtyard next to a large fountain.  It was charming.






We also drove to the IKEA in Mannheim one day, which was about 40 minutes away.  It was fun driving on the autobahn while we were there. In case you don't know... there isn't a speed limit on the autobahn. You can drive as fast as you want!   We were doing about 90 mph, and people were passing us like we were standing still. (crazy!)  We also drove to the Frankfurt temple, which was about 1 1/2 hours away.




Another highlight was our day-trip to France. It was just a 30 minute drive, so we had a fun day in France. (I served my mission in France, so I loved being able to speak French, read all the signs, and to eat some French food!)  We went to this huge store called Cora- kind of like a Super Target. I bought a cart full of french foods that I love... Chaussons aux Pommes, Pain au Chocolat, yummy yogurt, fantastic stinky cheeses, Bastogne cookies, Ricola tesaine, Lindt chocolates, Lardons, and Emmental.  I was like a kid in a candy store! 

After that we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant. The nice grandma lady (that took our order) thought Leo was the cutest thing, and she kept bringing him little plates of french fries, cookies, etc. (She didn't even mind when he followed her around the restaurant, and even into the kitchen.)   The food was delicious!  One of the many things I love about France- even the smallest, hole-in-the-wall places have amazing food.  Those frenchies sure know how to cook!  I really enjoyed our little trip to France. We had planned to go to France a 2nd time while we were there (we were going to drive to Metz) but we ended up leaving to come home a day early, so it didn't work out.  Oh well...                   I love France.  *sigh*




I had to take some photos when we were at Cora. Check out the rows and rows of cheese. Those frenchies sure know how to make some yummy cheese-  especially those stinky ones!  Yum.  The ones we get here in the states just don't taste the same.

 

Well, that was our crazy European vacation in a nutshell. We had a good time, but it was wonderful to get home, and sleep in our own beds again.  Jack gets home from Iraq in just 10 days, so we are in the final countdown. We could not be more excited!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rain!

Yesterday the DC area was hit with some major rainfall. It was intense!  We watched as the water built up in the backyard, and then made a river that flowed out towards the street. (see 2nd photo)
















There were a few houses in our neighborhood whose basements were flooded, so we were lucky.
I found some water in our basement- a puddle, really. It wasn't too bad. Some water had infiltrated the cinderblock wall in one spot, and had formed a large puddle. Luckily, it was in the unfinished part of the basement, in a storage area where everything is in plastic bins... so there was no harm done. I sucked up all the water with the shopvac, and it was an easy fix.  I will definitely be looking into waterproofing that wall in the near future!
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