Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hallo Germany and then Auf Wiedersehen

Early on in our relationship, Thomas and I came up with the perfect holiday schedule pre-kids. I say pre-kids because I have no idea how much or if all of it is going to change once we have them. I tend to vote for all. Anyway, we fly to Thomas' family one year for Christmas and mine the next. This year happened to be Thomas' family and when talking about it with Thomas's mom we decided that Germany was a good place to have the holidays so she could spend time with her family too.

So we spent the first 2 nights with her sister in Nurnberg/Nuremberg (German vs American spelling). While we were there we went to the Christkindlmarkts which were giant Christmas street fairs. Fantastic.
There were little booths with Christmas items everywhere!

You could not miss the beginning and end.
These are called pyramids. The ones that are normal size in your home are powered by candles. This one is huge!
This is gl├╝hwein. A Christkindlmarkt must. Happy kid.
In the middle of the market with a beautiful church in the background. Love.
Seriously who doesn't want to try these?
And these?
So many people everywhere!
Who was the person that decorated each one of these? I call not dibs!
These almonds were amazing. I want more.
This is also a pyramid. Probably 3 stories tall. Wow.
We were here. We promise.
I don't know why, but this pictures just screams Christmas to me.
Thomas' Aunt Marlene took us on a tour of the cities cellars. It was a fascinating tour.
Thomas only had to scrape his head once to keep it low.
This is a pickling shoot. Straight into the barrels.
Did you know that wood was once used as water pipes?
It is  Germany. You have to have schnitzel, potato salad, and cucumber salad.
Family! Myself, Thomas, Maria (Mom), Marlene (Aunt), Christian (Brother), and Keith (Dad).
Typical German housing on the water.
This started out as a half meter long bratwurst! I wasn't able to get a picture before he started.
Christmas eve family. Christian, Opa (Grandpa), Myself, Oma (Grandma), Herbert (Uncle), Miriam (Cousin), Keith, Maria, and Thomas.
After a delicious traditional Christmas Eve dinner of brats, potato salad, and sauerkraut, the boys found the foosball table.

We spent lots of time with the Grands and Maria and Marlene kept their hands busy with cracking walnuts.
Family! Marlene, David (cousin), Thomas, Oma, Christian, Opa, Myself, Maria, and Keith.
Seriously, such a cute sleigh tiramisu! So creative!
A little blurry, but more family. Miriam, Herbert, Keith, Maria, Myself, Thomas, Christian, Marlene, David, and Sasha (Miriam's boyfriend).
We had a free day and headed over to Miltenberg to explore for the day.
Oh brothers.
I mean seriously? Love this!
It was a sweet little town, but being that it was Boxing day, nothing was open.
Who doesn't love this fairytale village?
You can see how cloudy it was. And a wee bit cold.
Who doesn't want a Turkish Gyro for lunch?
Our last full day in Germany we headed to the airport to pick up Lisa (Christian's fiancee). After she met the Grands, we headed over to Mespelbrunn to see this guy. Thomas and I had been there the first time I went to Germany, so it was fun to see it again.
This is the view looking away from the castle. Stunning.
And Christian and Lisa.... So cute.
On our final night, Thomas had a mini beer. Look how small it was compared to Herbert normal size beer?
It was a fabulous week where we were able to get in lots of quality family time and yet relax after our crazy holiday weeks, but before our remaining tour of Paris and London. 
Which is up next...
Stretch goal for the New Year.