Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We ended where we started...

After a serious day at the camp we headed back to the good ol' beer hall to hang out with these guys and gals wearing lederhosen and dirndl and singing and clapping to the polka band. What a sight that is. I could sit there all night and marvel at that bit of culture. We just had to sneek this pic of the guys sitting across the way.


On Sunday we took a day trip to Dachau, the first of the concentration camps set up by Hitler. We both agreed that this was the most worthwile thing we did on the trip. It was very interesting and we both learned so much. The door that you see is the entrance to the camp. It says "work makes you free".

Salzburg, Austria

Micah worked in several small towns during the end of the second week and then we had the weekend to ourselves. On Friday night we went back to Munich. On saturday we went on a day trip to Salzburg, Austria. That is where Motzart was born and where he movie The Sound of Music was filmed. It was a really fun day. We toured the fortress that you see up on the hill, Motzarts birth house, some catacombs, and a couple of churches.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Near Heilbronn

Hi all! We have not been able to post lately because we have not had an internet connection for the past few nights.

Italy was great! I am sure you could tell from the picutres. We had a great weekend exploring.

Berlin was interesting. I saw the remains of the Berlin wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the museum, the place where the underground bunker was where Hitler and his wife died, and the Brandenburg gate. It is a HUGE city!

YesterdayI had intended to visit with a friend who happens to live near Mannheim where Micah had meetings. We ended up traveling most of the day so that did not work out. I was able to see a small part of Mannheim and grab a bite to eat while Micah and the other guys met at the John Deere factory there.

We drove to Heilbronn this morning (the same place we stayed when we were here in November) and I took a trip to Schwabisch Hall, a small town about an hour train ride west from here. It was pretty as you can see from the above photos. (The top one is of an outdoor market which is common in the city center areas.) I fisnished my second book of the trip and ate yummy german food. We had a lovely dinner out with some other Deere employees and we are off again tomorrow to another town, Ocsenhausen.

If any of you Deere wives ever have any questions about what these guys do on their business trips just call me. The schedule is very demanding and it is exausting being on the road all of the time. I am thakful to have the time away from home but I dont think that I will be volunteering for any of these trips again any time soon!

I will try to post again tomorrow if we have an internet connection.
I love you all!

Monday, February 18, 2008



In Berlin

We arrived at the hotel late last night after a long trip from Venice. We were able to make it without messing anything up which is amazing. We only have access to the computer in the lobby right now so I will have to post later. The keyboard is weird and I cant do pictures. Micah is off to work and I will walk around the city. There is snow/rain here. My dear friend Emily will give birth today at 10:00 central time so pray for her, Josh and the new baby!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day in Florence and arrival in Venice

Woke up and got an early start on seeing Florence. Took a guided tour of the city. Very knowledgeable tour guide. Here is a picture of Florence from Micalangelo square, Micah in front of Il Duomo, and Me in Michelango square overlooking Florence. We ended the tour seeing Michelango's David and learning a little about renaissance art. Very interesting. The city is beautiful and compact. It seems most people drive motorcycles due to lack of space there. We ate yummy pizza and headed off for Venice (after missing a train due to lack of understanding on our part...this is an adventure, right?) .

Made it to Venice. Got on and off of the water taxi with no problem. My friend Jen gave me a handy tip that it is very confusing to get around here on the streets. Underestimated that... We must have looked confused. An old lady started spouting off in Italian, about what, we dont know. We think that she understood that we were lost. We think that she understood where we were trying to go. We were baffeled by the sight of the "streets". They are not really streets, rather alleys. The old lady continued to spout off about things that we did not understand while leading us down the ally. After a short time we think that she says to "go that way, I am going this way" in Italian of course. We misunderstand. She is irritated. She was telling us to go her way I guess because she pulled Micah with her! We were so confuesd. We came to a corner and she motioned to Micah to stay put. He did not move! He said to me that he was in no position to argue. ( I have never seem him so submissive!) The little old lady showed us our hotel and a resturant across the street for which she give Micah a business card and then made some guestures while still going on in Italian. She must have thought that the more she talked the better we would understand. We were glad to shut the door to the hotel and have that situation behind us. Micah said he was done. We should find out what time the train leaves for Milan and stay in the room until then!:)

We went out for dinner, it was lovely. Walked to St. Marks square. The stars are out and the air is crisp. A wonderful place to be!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Correggio, Italy...and Florence, Of course

Micah had meetings this morning and I went to walk around Correggio which is in the Reggio Emila area. The guys at dinner last night gave me a suggestion for what to do today that went something like this..."you should walk around in the city center and go to a resturant called "Tre Spade". There are only about 3 tables and the food is authentic to this area. The food is home made, the pasta is hand made. It is a very strange situation. If the lady is in a good mood she will have many choices to eat but if she is in a bad mood she will only have two choices or so. Very strange." So...knowing I had to go there and after having nightmares...I walked throught the town as suggested (first picture) and went to the strange situation resturant (second picture). It took me forever to find it. The streets are very confusing here. When I did find it the door was locked. You have to ring the bell to be allowed in. The lady and her staff were gracious. I was the only person in the place. It is the kind of place only the locals know about. The food was the best I have ever eaten. Truely an art form. They taught me some Italian. What a great experience.
We took a train to Florence tonight and found our hotel. Had another wonderful meal-after this place the Olive Garden seems really lame. Well, I guess for the price it isnt so bad. I think that the alcohol content in the wine is higher than at home. You can't drink very much of the stuff without feeling goofy. The cathedral here (Il Duomo) is amazing! It shoots way up into the sky. Everything here is charming. More about florence tomorrow when we can see it in the light.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Train from Munich to Bologna

Today we took a train from Germany to Italy. We went throught the alps and Austria. You cant see it from this picture of Austria but the hills really are alive with the sound of music... So the train experience is always interesting if you dont know a language because you are always second guessing yourself. "Is this the right train?", "Is this the right stop to get off??", and so forth. Several moments of confusion, if you will, were had. We ate in the dinning car on the train. When we got to Bologna we had to pee so we headed for the "WC" but you had to pay to get in. In the womens bathroom there was a man cleaning. Thats normal right?!?!

A driver took us to Correggio, a small town near Modena. English fell on deaf ears....Why dont we learn more languages in the US?? Anyway, the hotel is nice. Micah was going to head off to a business dinner and I was going to eat alone but they insisted that I eat with them. I ordered this pasta dish and when it arrived I was very nervous. There were some pasta dishes on the menu which featured squid ink, and the dish I recieved had a dark brownish/blackish drizzle all over it. VERY relieved to find out it was balsamic vinegar. I ate the whole thing (it was great) before the Italian guys ate their food. They stopped eating when about half of the food was gone. I guess the "clean plate club" isnt such a big deal in Italy! I must have looked like a cow. I ate everything on my plate. Even the "basket" made of cheese that the pasta was served in! So much for making a good impression for Americans...

We only have dial-up internet here so it is difficult to post. Will try to post more tomorrow if we have a connection in Florence. We will goof off for a couple of days. Really though, we are goofy anywhere we go!

80's Music

If you are an 80's and 90's pop music fan this is the place for you! It is really popular here--don't know why. This morning over breakfast we listened to The Sign by Ace of Base and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. I thought of how Joel and Steph would have appreciated it and had a laugh with us. Maybe we can all come over together sometime...I'm sure Rick and Gwen would love keeping 4 kids under the age of 4 at once...

They have the best croissants here. Thanks to Jen on the tip about the chocolate filled ones. I may be a little heavier upon the trip home. I have already had 2 and I've been here less than 24 hours.

They dont have irons here in the hotel rooms. Anyone know why that would be?? This hotel did dig up one iron but no board. Micah is not happy about this situation.

Off to Italy this morning. A 7 hour train ride through the Alps should be pretty. Glad I have a good book and the i-pod--I can escape that 80's music for a time.:)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Hofbrauhaus

Micah and I went to dinner at the Hofbrauhaus, the worlds most famous beer hall. This was the setting for the nororious meeting in which Hitler took control of the tiny German Workers Party in 1920. The picture on the bottom does not do the place justice but you can sort of make out the polka band playing along the wall. They say 4,500 beer drinkers can crowd in. The patrons often sing loudly and sway together while drinking HUGE mugs of beer. The top picture is of a cage like thing that the regular patrons keep their beer steins in so they dont have to carry them back and forth from the hall. This is just one, there were more! Great food. Time for bed. Micah is already out! Tomorrow we take a train to Bologna.

Made it to Europe...and Farm Camp

We dropped the kids off with Gwen yesterday and they were happy and Isaiah was ready to see grandpa's barn. Micah and I headed off to the airport and arrived in Munich this morning after a great flight. (Micah fell asleep even before the plane took off.) Micah headed off to meetings and I went on a bus tour of the city. We met back up and went off for some sight seeing on foot. We took these pictures in Marienplatz which is the heart of the Old City. The building is the New City Hall, built in the 19th century gothic style. The city is very nice. There are lots of things to do here. It is pretty cold, in the 20-30 range.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dress up

Naomi wanted to play dress up today. Here is what she picked out. Sorry the picture is blurry. She would not stand still for more than 3 seconds.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Here is the view from my kitchen window. I thought it was pretty. We ended up gettin 11 inches of snow yesterday. Wow! It is pretty but I hope they dont have snow in Germany. Micah is allowing me to accompany him on another business trip and his parents have been gracious enough to keep the kids for us. We will go to Italy and Germany this time. We are looking forward to a weekend in Venice. We are extremely blessed! We leave on the 12th. I will try and put pictures on the blog of our adventures while we are there. I am trying to learn some German before we leave and it isnt working out so well. I just need to learn the essentials..."do you speak english?"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Naomi the Hoover

Naomi is always in the pantry looking for food. Here she found some oatmeal that she was planning to nibble on I guess. She does the sign for eat as soon as I walk in her room in the morning and never stops until she is asleep. Last night she was doing it when we were tucking her in.

Snow Day

So here we are with about a foot of snow again. I tried to shovel before Micah got home from work and did it with an unhappy heart. Isaiah cried the whole time we were out there because the snow was too deep to walk in. I yelled at him in front of the neighbors. Micah came down the hill at about 1:30 , just in time to get a glimpse of me angrily shoveling and falling down on the hill. He tried to get his car in the drive but this is as far as he got! I am so glad he is home. The day started out with Naomi throwing a glass across the kitchen and me starting a fire in the microwave. God is granting me more patience every day. I am so glad he is not done with me yet.
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