Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sledding


We went sledding today with our friends Danny, Katharin and their cute 4-year-old son, Benny. (I hope I spelled all names correctly!)

It was so much fun riding the little gondola to the top of the mountain and then sledding all the way back down. It was a good 30 minutes down the mountain, (with stops for Glühwein along the way), and we were able to fit in about 3 runs. The weather was absolutely perfect, not a cloud in the sky. We had so much fun in fact that Nathan and I are both sore and black and blue. I have some nasty bruises on my hands and inner knees and Nate's bum is sore from landing on the wooden sled while going over jumps. I will not torture you with pictures of those, although I was tempted.....

Thanks Paz family for inviting us on such a fun adventure!!



On the gondola ride.







There seems to be a church at the top of every mountain here. It's really cool actually.



Coming down the first part of the mountain. That's not us, but you get the idea.




Glühwein pit stop. We met some guys from Sacramento on vacation. They were nice enough to take our picture!




The end of a good day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fasching

Pronounced FAW-shing, this is the German Carnivale or Mardi Gras. For those of us without Catholic backgrounds, Fasching is the time before Lent when everybody indulges in fun, general zaniness and worldly pleasures of all kinds. In Catholic Bavaria, it is no different, because beginning on Ash Wednesday is Lent - 40 days of restricted foods and religious discipline.



Downtown Munich is getting into the spirit. And I do not mean the Holy Spirit. There are bandstands with musicians dressed in wacky costumes (cows, hot pink wigs, just any odd clothing) singing everything from the 60's "Hey baby, I wanna know, will you be my girl?" to The Rocky Horror Picture Show's "Time Warp". It's hilarious with everybody dancing in the street. No wonder I enjoyed it, it was just like Santa Cruz! With the drum circles and costumes, I felt right at home. It was great. And even more fun when you join them! As the photos below demonstrate.



On a side note, everyone here in Europe seems to smoke. It is banned indoors, so it's really not that bad (unless you are walking directly behind someone and the wind is blowing in your face). Normally this does not bother me one bit, as it is an easy problem to solve. However, with Lent almost upon us, Nate and I have a theory that giving up smoking for Lent is popular, and therefore people are puffing away like chimneys until the last second when they have to quit. It's quite difficult to escape the smell of smoke.

Anyway, there are carnival booths and rides for kids and of course food of all kinds. I think my favorite thing is the confetti though. You can buy these bags of it and everyone throws it at one another. Nothing like confetti to make it feel like a real party.


See what I mean? These ladies reminded me of my mom. (Only the ladies on the left!) Love you mommy, you would look great in a hot pink wig. :)



These were the traffic fairies. They were stepping out in traffic, stopping cars and even tour buses with their magic wands. Some they did not let pass. They must have drank too much fairy juice. It was very entertaining.



I loved the octopus men. I think they were my favorite. Other than the confetti that is.

Now you know what it looked like, smelled like and even though this is a rather crappy video (I haven't used it in so long, that I forgot how to turn it off!), you can even hear what it was like to be there.

video

video

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Motley Post of Strange Topics

Hi there, this is Nate finally posting again. Nothing much this time, just a random cornucopia of pictures with no common theme.




Exhibit A: Happy Dinky cereal. It's chocolate..yummm! As far as we can tell "zahlen-spaß" literally translates to "pay-fun" so something is clearly lost in translation here.




Exhibit B: Finally, one-stop shopping for all your cult needs! We didn't browse this store, but perhaps they sell Kool Aid and robes.




Exhibit C: "Hot Love" tea. Just in time for Valentines Day.




Exhibit D: We import Tapatio from home. It is a wonderful warming friend in the land of bland pork and sauerkraut. Shera has caught me whispering sweet nothings to it.



Exhibit E: Venison salami. At least, that's what we believe it to be. Whatever, it is sooo tasty.



Exhibit F: For foot! This one's for Matt. Seriously though, we've been walking so much that the calluses (or is it calli?) on my feet were starting to hurt, so I had a mini-spa day yesterday. I had to scrub pretty hard..memories of Dumb and Dumber.

Miss you all,
-Nate

Monday, February 16, 2009

First Sunny Day in February


The day after Valentines Day was the first sunny day around here in almost 2 weeks. Nate and I are pretty sure we have some mild form of seasonal depression. We have become sun worshipers. And for those of you who have known me formerly as "Militant Sunscreen Girl" will be in shock. Well, I still wear SPF 15, so maybe not.

Although it was sunny, please do not think that that means "warm". No, no, no, no, no. It's been colder than a tin toilet seat in the Yukon! It was about 19F, anyway, and for this California girl, that is inconceivable. The snow was piling up on the ground, kids were sledding down the little hills in the English Garden and the adults were warming up with more Gluhwein (the mulled wine popular around Christmas).


We walked around, trying to find the patches of sun to stand in and ended the walk with some Gluhwein and hot punch at the Chinese Tower. If you look carefully at the pictures, we look a bit pained in each one. I was REALLY cold! I think we only lasted about an hour and a half before we decided to head back inside.




The Chinese Tower in the English Garden where we had our Gluhwein.




We're really cold here. It's getting painful.




Here I am soaking up the sun.




Our surfer friend doesn't seem to care how cold it is.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sick Days

The past few days Nathan has been home with flu-like symptoms which, from what we can gather, looks like he has....the flu. I TOLD him to not lick the handles on public transit! EWWW!



Anyway, I'm home too, getting to play caregiver. Not sure how well I'm doing. So far, he's still sick. I think in the first photo he was actually a bit delirious, and then he conked out. My poor mister.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ice Skating


This Sunday, Nate and I went ice skating at our neighborhood outdoor rink. The weather was perfect; chilly, but not snowy or raining.

There were a lot of cute kids learning to skate and therefore pushing around these life-size penguin or gnome stabilizers to help them with their balance. Wish I could have had one. Thankfully, neither Nate nor I took a tumble on the slippery ice. Even when we got to skate dance a bit to YMCA and You Sexy Thing, there were no falls, which is saying a lot when you consider my typical lack of balance. Hopefully we'll go again soon!

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