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Friday, September 3, 2010


While traveling throughout Europe we tried to make little notes to ensure we would remember certain bits and details. The result; a bunch of random comments that bring back memories for us, but make no sense to anyone else. This post is going to be a bit random. I am trying to find all the fun photos of the places we went and share them, but we took a LOT of pictures. Please be patient and be prepared for loads of skipping around.
Note: The car has officially been fixed. I am going to pick it up today. The van was greatly missed as I had been driving a rental. Not that a rental is bad, but it is manual transmission with the drivers seat on the right side of the car and the shifting to be done with one's left hand. Unfortunately for the passengers, this took a little bit of getting used to. Thank goodness, it is over and we will have the gypsy wagon/van back this afternoon.

We found a really neat campsite in Germany and since it rained most of the time we were happy to take advantage of their play room. Sophia LOVED the trampoline. I showed her how to jump up and do a flip in the air and she got pretty good at it. She can't land on her feet, but she flipped all over the place. Hank and Soph played a sort of game where she jumped in the middle of the trampoline while Hank ran from me to the Husband on opposite sides while trying not to fall down because of Sophia's bouncing. Not sure about it, but the kids had a great time at it.

This campsite was also the location of the "incident" with the German kids. There was a section of the play room that had soft toys. Soft pretend houses, cats, dogs, etc. Sophia had the horse inside the little play house and was playing happily...UNTIL a German family came in. There were four kids, all of whom were much bigger than Soph. The boys started rounding up all the animals and lining them up. The girls started climbing in and out of the play house windows. Soph was sort of pushed out of the play house. She tolerated this well until one of the boys took the horse to the round up area. She tried to wrestle it back from him, but he was pretty big and she didn't stand a chance. At this point, I stepped in and insisted she be allowed to play with one animal as the boys had at least six others in the round up. Sophia took the horse into the other playhouse and stood at the door with her arms on each side to block any entrance and watched the other kids play with the other animals and with the play house and chairs. When one of the German kids got in trouble with their parents, Sophia shot out of her playhouse, ran into the other playhouse, grabbed a soft chair and ran back. She continued guarding her playhouse, but was now able to sit in the little chair while doing so. She waited patiently with the other kids played and after about 20 minutes they got in trouble again and their parents took them out of the play room. Sophia immediately went to reclaim her newly liberated playhouse and returned the horse and chair and went back to playing.

During the entire two weeks of camping we ate at the campsite almost exclusively. The food was cooked up on the jetboil and consisted of mac and cheese, ramen noodles, and canned beef and vegetable soup. Breakfast was fresh bread with butter and jelly. At one point I insisted we have a sit down real meal for breakfast. Guess what they served...fresh bread with butter and jelly. The only difference was that we were inside a restaurant rather than the tent. Oh, and they included salami and cheese.
Germany has a huge huge huge kinder zoo in Munich. There is a giant petting zoo where the kids were super happy. Hank got on well with the goats. Well, until he tried to push one little goat off the top of a stump so he could climb onto it. You can imagine what happened, the little goat butted Hank right away. I guess when it come to "king of the stump" the goat was a clear winner. Hank was unimpressed as the boy has been knocked over by way bigger animals...and sisters!
One really interesting thing about Switzerland and bordering France were the barn - house combinations. The structures were ENORMOUS! Houses in the front with attached barns in the back. The husband and I could only guess this was due to the hard winters and the need to milk twice a day, not to mention the amount of feed, grain, and oats, etc. required for the livestock through the winter. I don't know, but it was kinda wierd/cool.

Sophia likes to pretend to me "the mama" or "the daddy." If she is pretending to be the daddy she will wear his hat and use a deep voice. For me, she snags my sunglasses. Here she is prissing around with my sunglasses on.
Both of the kids like to use the camera. Since it is an Olympus tough camera we don't mind them taking pictures. The photo above is one that Soph took of herself. We have LOTS of pictures of her face up close as well as our legs, the sidewalk, the back of the seats in the car, trees, etc. The beauty of digital photography!

I think this one has been posted before, but just in case...Tiana and Naveen were the only princess and prince we were able to meet. The wait was long, but the characters were so super nice. Their English was nearly perfect and without accents. They were super sweet to both Soph and Hank.
This is one of my favorite photos from the entire trip.

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