Germany – Day 16

8 Jul

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

I slept in until 9:00 0′ clock this morning. Donna had a dentist appointment at 8:45am on base, so I had the chance to  catch some extra ZZZ’s and bum around for a while before getting ready to leave for K-town when she got home again. Kaiserslautern is the central city around here and we decided to spend the day shopping downtown through the walking streets there.  It was just like an outdoor mall, with restaurants and specialty shops scattered along the streets. Besides being charming all in itself, it smelled delicious. There were so many bakeries and restaurants!

We shopped through the discounted racks set outside the stores and decided by the prices there whether we would even bother going in or not. Lucky for me, July is one of the two sale months they have each year, so the really expensive things were discounted down to just being expensive. Surprisingly enough, being the clothes lover I am, Donna made the first purchase and ended up spending more than myself today. Maybe my self control decided to show up just in time to save my college fund..

I didn’t overspend by any means ( I promise, mom). 21 dollars got me a shirt and a pair of shades. Realistically, I needed those sunglasses to protect my eyes and save me from headaches. So I feel a little better about that.

We decided on Chinese for supper tonight. Donna and I were both craving it. So Don picked some up for us on his way home from work. I picked out the movie this time..In Love and War. I just couldn’t resist a good Sandra Bullock movie… Unfortunately, the ending wasn’t what I expected it to be. 😦   Still, somehow, I liked it.

Don crashed early tonight being he has a bite on this tummy which has been there for about a month now. It’s tomato red 5 inches all the way around it and apparently hurts like the dickens. The doctors and dermatologists do not know what it is, unfortunately, and the pain seems to be getting worse. So, keep Don in your prayers and pray that he would have a miraculous healing!

Pray for me too 🙂

Sara Marie –

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Germany – Day 15

7 Jul

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

It was 20 minutes before we were leaving for a walk in Sembach, that I was crawling out of bed. It was a slop kind of morning. I slept in today’s walking apparel and walked out the door in bed hair. Make-up was a chore.  Luckily I bought some sunglasses yesterday that allowed me to skip some make-up. It was only a half hour drive through a few pretty villages before we got there. This wasn’t a scheduled walk. Instead, we stopped at the gas station there to get our start cards. That could possibly have been the best thing that has happened to me all day, because while we were waiting to get our cards, I found myself looking at all the candy, and I found something happy 🙂 A hippo. A HAPPY HIPPO! I HAD to get him! So we got four of them…and they were the most delicious little hippos I have ever eaten.! We all had the same happy little reactions to them..It was a joyful experience 🙂

Unfortunately, my tendons were hurting me after a while on our walk and so I had to change my 11k plans into a 7k. I think it was just as well. The forest was cool and shady and I think just as beautiful as it always is. Luckily there were no dramatic inclines and it was simply a pleasure walk 🙂

Donna and I waited at the car for Pat and Diane to meet up with us. We got our cards stamped back at the station and then we drove a short distance to the Flammkuchen Hutte. The prettiest little restaurant I have ever seen. We sat under an umbrella in the courtyard there. Their specialty – Flammkuchen.  Pat,Diane, and Donna all ordered their own flammkuchen while I got a salad big enough to feed the  5,000. We ate well that day…

We stopped at a few different grocery stores in the area looking for rabbit food before we went back home. Donna and I decided to shop around Wielerbach for a while. Wielerbach is our neighbor village. A ten minute drive away. We stopped at a few clothing shops, all of which were too nice for me, and so we ended up at the bakery there and came home with a nice loaf of bread, three pretzels, and a chocolate covered waffle. 🙂

Don was pretty tired today, and so after our time out on the circle, we heated up some left-overs and sat by the window next to the balcony for supper.  It was just a lazy evening after that.. Not much done and so there is not much to say.

Love to everyone at home –

Segens

 

Germany – Day 14

6 Jul

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

6:30am – Donna and I were up and getting ready to leave for Kaiserslautern’s hauptbahnhof where we would catch the 8:32am train to Wissembourg, France. My very first experience on a Deutsches Bahn, German Railroad, and it proved to be a fantastic one.  We got off the train in Neustadt, Germany at 9:00am and waited 36min before our train to Wissembourg picked us up. We arrived in Wissembourg, France at 10:28am. Ah! We started off with a walking tour through part of the town and ended in the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the most breathtaking place I have yet been to. It is the second largest church in Alsace after the cathedral of Strasbourg and it was built near the end of the 13th, early 14th century by some guy named Abbot Edelin. The inside was breathtaking. It kind of reminded me of first step the fellowship took into the great hall in the Mines of Moria in the Lord of the Rings. I wanted to cue that music… There was so much detail I could have spent hours in there. The entire town was much that way. You could spend hours looking at the details in just one building.. It was all so charming 🙂

We left the church and found a nice little restaurant back in an alleyway by one of Wissenbourg’s canals. I had the most fantastic smoked ham sandwich! Then..we wandered down the way of the French pastry shops.. Oh. My……..Oh. My My. Thank goodness I had a giant sandwich before we went in there.. We ended up getting delicious ice cream bars covered in some delicious crunchy chocolate and sat down together by a fountain across the street.  🙂

We strolled through the streets until the 2:00 tram tour around the city..After that we stopped by a few shops before we had to be at the train station for our 3:33pm train. We got off again at Neustadt at 4:32pm and caught our next train to Kaiserslautern just 8min later.  I liked train travel for the most part.. I thought it was kind of scary that there were S.O.S. signs in the bathroom though…

We stopped by the Shopette to buy Don a Birthday card and made it home just in time to hear the bells. It was a rather sleepy rest of the day.. After our circle time we had our  supper and a movie. Lamb chops while watching Big Trouble in Little China. Don’s choice of movie being it was his birthday and then later we broke out the chocolate-peanut butter cheesecake we made for dessert! More like peanut butter cheesecake than anything though. Still very good. Then I chatted with mom until I fell asleep and had an “incident” with an unwelcome guest in my room.  That is a story of it’s own..

That’s all for today folks!

Au Revoir!

Germany – Day 13

4 Jul

Monday, JULY 4TH, 2011

I dragged myself out of bed and into the shower this morning before grabbing breakfast with Donna and leaving to get some things on base. We got back close to 1:00pm and we had decided to walk down to one of the  villages  for lunch, which was a little over a mile downhill. So we walked the road down there through meadows and forest until we got to the village. We walked in and sat down on the patio under the umbrellas when we realized that the restaurant wasn’t open.. And so we walked back up the hill. We might have stopped at the restaurant right outside of our village of Eulenbis but we wanted seats outside in the beautiful weather and they were all taken. So we walked on by and instead we made chicken salad and sat outside on a little portable picnic table underneath our apple tree. It was perfect enough for me 🙂 Then we all kinda went our separate ways, Don went to the circle to read, Donna wandered about the house, and I grabbed my pillow and a blanket and sat on the balcony with my book, Heaven Is For Real. Then I made a cheesecake 🙂 Then, back out to the balcony to read some more. It was getting pretty toasty so I picked up and went inside to my bed. I didn’t know I was so sleepy until I plopped down and fell right asleep.

I woke up when I heard Donna hollering for me. It was almost 6:00.  Time to hear the bells and have our drinks out on the circle.  The weather has been so nice today. Nicer than usual but still cooler than summertime, made me wish we had some 80 degree weather and a lake somewhere around here..

Suppertime came with grilled hot dogs, watermelon, and Bush’s Baked Beans 🙂 That made it feel a little more like the 4th of July. We watched the patriotic  musical, 1776. The beginning of our wonderful nation. Happy Birthday, America.

America, das schöne   —   America, the beautiful

 

Happy Independence Day –

Germany – Days 11 + 12

3 Jul

Saturday, July 2nd and Sunday, July 3rd 2011

The days melt together from cat naps and the result of lack of sleep. Saturday morning we were up and going. Can you guess?! Volksmarch. Idar Overstein. Germany.  7.3 miles up hill was the somewhat painful start to my day. Sore calves, shin splints, and a pulled muscle made things just that much better. Although, it was well worth it for the 2 plus hours of glute toning and my stone dolphin that would be my prize at the end of the walk. Not to mention the scenery. Wheat field after wheat field and wildflower after wildflower. Then into the woods and out again. It wasn’t the most breathtaking walk I’ve been on (speaking literally it might have been) but after a while I appreciated those wheat fields..

We got back to the start hall at exactly 12:00 noon. Don was sitting and waiting for us there. Once again we snapped more pictures than he had time to wait for. We went inside to get our cards stamped and collect our prize 🙂 Don and Donna got meals there.  Indecisive me couldn’t decide what I wanted. Partly because I couldn’t read the menu and partly because the morning’s half a cheese sandwhich on rock that substituted for a bun was still poking at my tummy lining. So I just mooched a little off each of their plates and I was good 🙂

We left for home after that, and surprisingly I wasn’t extremely tired like I usually am after walks. So I didn’t fall asleep on the car ride home or take a nap when we got back to the house which would have proven helpful as the day went on. We had to be on base at Ramstein at 5:00pm to load the bus for the Rhine Aflame tour. So we bummed around at home for a couple hours and got ready before we left the house at 4:00. We were plenty early being it take only around 20 minutes to get there. So we stopped a few places on base before we parked and headed to where the buses would be. These things were huge. Complete with a bar and a bathroom inside that I was too scared to use..

It was an hour and a half or more to get to Bingen, the 3rd largest tourist attraction in Germany and it was easy to see why. It was built around an old Roman sea port all along the Rhine River. Every building, every vineyard, every castle was beautiful. We were the first bus from our tour to get there and we walked straight to our dock. It wasn’t long before we boarded and got our front row window seats on the boat. 3 stories tall and it was still dwarfed compared to the giants that shared the port with us.

We did a lot of waiting. We waited for the buses. We waited to get off. We waited to board. We waited to get going. We waited to eat. However, my idea of racing to the buffet line did get us far enough to the front that we ate within 10 minutes of  running to get in line.  People were still in line an over an hour later! Our boat first headed downstream, taking us by castle after castle and vineyard after vineyard, it was wonderful. We finally turned around and we began to make our way back at a pace slower than grandpa snails.  Then we waited a long long time for the show to start.

We went up to the balcony and claimed our front row seats outside. It was cold. Like really cold. Not just like the chilly breeze you get from being out on the water. So all three of us huddled together and waited..waited…waited….We were at a standstill until after 10:00pm when the show finally began. There were 59 other boats bigger than us sharing the river that night. All illuminated in the dark.. You can imagine that sight for yourself. Some of the castles along the Rhine were illuminated in red light and looked as if they were on fire. Then fireworks started shooting up off of carrier ships and out of the castles themselves! I tried to take pictures, but it proved to be a matter of luck, and fireworks through the lens of a camera really aren’t as magnificent anyway. So I set the camera aside and enjoyed the view 🙂 We were moving up the river now and back into port where the main fireworks would be and our convoy of ships gathered. I am still amazed at how they all fit around each other like they did… By the end of the show we were glad to be going home.  The people behind us were having much to good of a time and it had definitely been a long day. We followed our guide back to where the buses were parked, a much longer walk than anticipated, and then waited another half hour outside while our bus driver was helping a lady back. We were on the bus and headed home some time after midnight. Bus seats do no justice for the tired. Somehow I wedged myself in them so I could sleep for a little while, but I gave up after that position was no longer comfortable. I dragged myself off the bus to the car and then to my bed at home. Unfortunately, even with layers of clothes and layers of sheet, down, and wool blankets, I was chilled to the bone. So much so that I couldn’t sleep. 5 in the morning and Donna came to my rescue with a heater and hot water. From that point I slept till 10:00am.

Now the day has been a perfect lazy one. I sat in the sun out on the balcony with my notebook and some books for a while. The day has turned out to be gorgeous. Not much else can be said about it. We did wonderful nothing all day. Until around 6:00 that is when we had our daily ritual out on the circle. I painted my toes and then we went in to make supper.. We watched the movie Taken, which gives me shivers, and I ate way too many vanilla wafers..

That about concludes it folks.

Today’s German word – Hoffnung

Hope.

“God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?”

Numbers 23:19

Warten auf Gott

Waiting on God –

 

3 Jul

One more cast picture

3 Jul

Another picture from our castle adventure