Sep 7, 2009

Last days in Bonn...

Well the time has come to pack up our bags and head south for Frankfurt for a few days. Our train leaves Bonn tomorrow (Tuesday 8th) at 12:30 and we will stay a few days with the parents of one of Andrew's classmates in Mainz, Germany.

This past weekend was interesting because the International Paralympic Committee celebrated their 10 years of being located in Bonn and 20 years since forming. There was a big event at the Bonn World Conference Center where people from all around the world came to listen to speakers talk about their history with the committee and the future for the Paralympics. All turned out well and was nice being able to be around the IPC crew all together one last time.

I know we are anxious to get back to the States to start the next chapter in our lives, but are nervous about the job situation. We are definitely going to miss the people we have met while over in Germany and only hope we will get to see them again soon! Europe has treated us well since being over here and it will be sad leaving what we called home for 3 months. So thanks Bonn, Brussels, Zurich, Vienna, Paris, and Venice for the great memories... along with all the cities we visited in Germany (Berlin, Meppen, Cologne, and soon to be Mainz). And we will miss you Kim (and everyone at IPC), Sven (and all the Bonn Capital players), Jamie, Paul, Susan and Steven!!!

We will make sure to post our last journey on here as well when we get back home! We are excited because as soon as we get back to Chicago we get to see Roxy and Brad (Andrew's good friends who are getting married this weekend) that we haven't seen in 1 1/2 years. So, sadly this will be my last post from Germany and hopefully everyone enjoyed reading our adventures for the past 3 months!!!



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Aug 31, 2009

Last Baseball Game in Germany

Andrew played his last baseball game in Germany yesterday. It ended up being a happy ending though because the Bonn Capitals won 13-12 on their 5th game of the playoff series, so they will move onto the second round in the playoffs. Even though I know Andrew wishes he will get to play more, at least he ended on a good note with the team. He even scored the winning run to help win the game in the 10th inning!

I took a few pics and figured I would post them on here! Enjoy!



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Aug 27, 2009

2 1/2 hour bike ride!

The Monday after we got back from Italy, Andrew had the day off and it was a super nice day out so we decided to take our bikes out to explore the Bonn area. I really wasn't expecting to go as far as we did, but it was fun.

We ended up riding about 2 1/2 hours... and went a distance of about 15 miles. I of course did some picture taking along the way and it was nice because we rode on the East side of the Rhine River, so we got to see different views (we live on the West side). I know Andrew could have went on forever down the River path, but I only the other hand was beginning to break down.

As we made our journey back North towards our flat, we had to cross the Koenigswinter ferry which costs 1.40 euro to hop on with a bike. Not too bad considering if there was not ferries it would have take far longer and further to get back to our place. It was definitely a great time because it's the first time we have been able to explore so much and we will soon be selling our bikes, so we need to ride them as much as possible! Enjoy the pics!!



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Aug 26, 2009

Day 2 of Italy

Sunday was a day we had set aside for going to the island of Lido which has the beach. We started the morning off with a nice American breakfast from a local cafe that served a ham and cheese omelet, orange juice, and a cappuccino. From there we walked towards the Rialto Bridge once again so we could take the water bus over to the Lido island. It was about another 40 minute ride, but it was nice to get one last glance of our surroundings.

After we got off the boat we were surprised to see mountains in the background when looking towards San Marco island. Since it was a clearer day on Sunday, I guess it allowed us to view the Dolomite Mountains, which this link gives you an idea of what they look like up close. We sadly only saw them from a distance, but it was still pretty cool. From there we made our trek to the other side of the fairly small island to reach the beach. We weren't quite sure what to expect when we got there since we have never been to a European beach before...

Once we arrived we began looking for a place on the sand to sit... preferably away from men in speedos, old women in thongs, and the topless. We managed 2 out of 3, but ended up near topless women. This brings us to our next story. There was a guy sitting in front of us, we gave him the name Merv the Perv. The reasoning for this is, this guy had an area all set up so he could secretly have his camera hidden. Yes, that's right, so his camera could be hidden and he could snap pictures of these women that liked to bare all. We were having a complete fit because this guy was looking so suspicious the whole time and just creepy. One of the girls even had a boyfriend with her. Our thinking was... if the camera can see the girl, can't the girl see the camera? Anyways, I could rattle on and on about that just because of how disgusted we were by Merv, but we will move on! After we sat for a while, we walked along the water for a bit and then decided to grab a pizza before heading back to the main island. The pizza was quite delicious by the way!

We took the water bus back to the main island of San Marco and ended up having to leave a little sooner than expected because we decided to take the bus (on wheels) as opposed to the water bus. It was quite a bit cheaper, but man was it a cramped ride. We had to stand on the bus with about 50 of our other closest European friends, not even giving us an inch to move. We found out after buying our bus tickets for the ACTV bus that there was another option (ATVO), which would have been a WAY better option (for those who plan on traveling to Venice). But, oh well... we were never so happy to get off a bus before, that's for sure!

We arrived at the airport with quite a bit of time to spare, so we got our boarding passes and found a place to eat and what a surprise, but we had pizza!! Once again, it was very delicious. From there we checked out a few shops and then just waited at the gate for our plane to arrive. Oh and just for the record, out of the 3 planes we have taken since being over here, TUIfly has been the only one that leaves on time and arrives early. So when in Europe and you need to fly, use them! Plus they have cool little screens on the plane that show your current location and how much longer you have left. Kept us occupied anyways. Well that about does it for Italy.

Sadly this was our last planned trip while being over in Europe. Only about 2 weeks left until we are back in the states!! Enjoy the pics!



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Aug 25, 2009

Italy... here we come!

We hopped on an airplane to arrive in Venice, Italy late Friday night. We were greeted with some VERY hot and humid weather... which isn't ideal when having to take a 40 minute water bus ride with seats in a very enclosed area. But, we made it, only to get confused as to where our hotel was. We managed to walk through the Jewish Ghetto (not so much a ghetto, just the name that was given) and were met by about 100 Jewish people singing a song at a local restaurant. We finally found our hotel (after asking of course) and entered our room which was AIR CONDITIONED! What a great feeling that we haven't felt for almost 3 months! (And for those who are still confused... Europe just hasn't jumped on the a/c wagon. We don't live in a bad area of Germany).

We started the day off Saturday with walking to the Rialto Bridge. This bridge is the most famous bridge that crosses the Grand Canal in Venice. Walking in Venice is a little different than all the other locations we have been because it's so easy to get turned around in the maze-like streets. Some alleyways lead to dead ends, while others lead straight into the narrow waterways. Signs were randomly placed throughout the alleys to help lead you to the bridge (and some of the other more popular locations) which helped for the most part. While walking, we window shopped and admired the many bakeries and pizza shops that seemed to be at every corner. Once at the bridge, we watched gondola after gondola go by and what seemed to be hundreds of boats full of tourists going to their next destination.

From the bridge we headed to St. Marks Square and the Basilica San Marco. With the weather being scorching hot, I of course had my typical Florida attire on, shorts, tank and flip flops. When going into the Basilica you could not have your shoulders or legs exposed. So I had to use their paper like covers to wrap around my shoulders and waist. It was a good look, let me tell ya!

After we walked around for a little while, we decided to take a water bus to Murano, which is known as the glass island. We came across a hay bale which was made of small pieces of gold glass, as well as many vases, picture frames, chandeliers, necklaces, and rings made of glass... basically anything you can think of. Everything was very beautiful. By this time our stomachs were calling out to us so we stopped at a small cafe and enjoyed our first Italian pizza. It just so happened to have slices of hot dogs on it... which surprisingly is very good. Andrew also had a traditional espresso.




From Murano, we then headed back to the hotel for a quick breather and cool down. We decided to randomly walk down alleyways to see what we could run into, which led us to the absolutely delicious Gelateria. I had a mixed berry and strawberry flavor and Andrew had a coffee and some sort of nut flavor. I have never had something so good before, especially since I am not really a big fan of deserts. Once we were done exploring the Venice streets, we went to check out one more bridge before deciding on a place to eat. While on the bridge and looking out into the Grand Canal, we were surprised to see this huge cruise ship going through the water being towed.

In Venice when walking by restaurants, most waiters will stand outside and try to talk you into eating at their restaurant. We ended up getting caught by one of these guys and decided on one of them without even knowing the name. The next day we later found out it was called Restuarante Florida, which seems kind of ironic. Anyways, Andrew ordered spaghetti and I ordered lasagna with a bottle of their house white wine. Tables were very close and we were sat next to an older couple. They began talking to us and we ended up talking for quite a while. It was quite a different experience though because the couple was actually from France and hardly spoke any English, so we were communicating more through sign language and a few words here and there. They found out we got engaged in France and my wine glass was empty so the man ended up filling up my glass with their wine so we could cheers to it! It was actually a pretty neat. We also ordered desert and as you can see in the pics, it was quite fancy! It was very delicious as well though.

After a great time eating and meeting a very nice couple we figured it was time to head back towards the hotel. Earlier that day we had bought a bottle of wine to drink, but realized we wouldn't have any way of drinking it Sunday, so we grabbed the bottle and a couple of glasses and sat outside along the Grand Canal. About 10 minutes after we were outside it began to rain so we went back into the hotel and hung out in the lobby for a while.

Saturday was a very eventful day and we had a great time exploring Venice. As you will see by the pictures, everything is just so beautiful and full of character. Enjoy!



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Aug 12, 2009

Paris Videos

I am testing this out because I never knew you could upload videos onto Photobucket... This is a video of the twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower.




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Sadly the Last Day in Paris

Andrew and I started off the day with hotel breakfast that was brought into our room. Now don't think this is fancy or anything because it just brings us back to the day one explanation of why the hotel we stayed in was a little disappointing! Even though breakfast was supposed to be included, there was no room for you to go and eat breakfast or even get it, so if you wanted it; it was brought to your room. We won't complain though because it was food in our stomachs and something to jump start our day.

Once we had a few cakes that were served for breakfast, we put our running clothes on and went out for a run. We ran all the way down the Champs Elysees, back up the other side towards the Arc de Triomphe and then under the road and around the Arc. This was very challenging for me because I have had a bum foot for a while and the Champs Elysees is a false flat (Andrew taught me this word... basically goes uphill even when it doesn't look like it). Andrew just seemed to run like it was nothing even though he has a bum leg and is an old man (haha). Even though it was a bit challenging, not many people can say they ran in Paris down the Champs Elysees!

After the run we got cleaned up, checked out of our hotel, and went on a search for the Statue of Liberty. Today was the day for public transportation, but once again, it ended up we did a lot of walking! We found the Statue of Liberty and took some pictures and started walking towards the Eiffel Tower one last time. We made a pit stop at an Italian restaurant and enjoyed some yummy pizza and a bowl of spaghetti. From here, we walked to the Champs de Mars (the garden area in front of the Eiffel Tower and the area Andrew proposed). This area gave an unrestricted view of the Eiffel Tower and a one last view of the huge structure.

Andrew and I left the Eiffel Tower, said goodbye to it about 10 times and then made a visit to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, the largest in the city. Pere Lachaise is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and is reputed to be the world's most-visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the graves of those who have enhanced French life over the past 200 years (Sentence from Wikipedia). Many famous people are buried here and we particularly went to see the grave of Jim Morrison, The Doors lead singer. This cemetery was full of graves and it seemed like there were only inches between each one. We walked around for a bit and then decided to head out and back towards the Champs Elysees to do some last minute shopping.

From the Champs Elysees, we walked back to the hotel to collect our bags and then off to the train station we went. The trip back was going to be in 1st class, so we felt like movie stars! :) Free internet, snacks, and a "meal" were all included. I put meal in quotations because I am not quite sure if that is the correct terminology for it because it was very different and not a typical meal we would make. But, something is better than nothing!

The Paris trip was in a class of its own and will never be forgotten. Not only did I get to spend my 25th birthday there, but I was able to experience it all with Andrew and hear the question every girl hopes to hear one day! We had a blast and were sad to leave. We have one last trip planned to Venice and know that is going to be another incredible adventure!



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Day 2 of Paris

The day started off with checking out the local street market. As we walked down the long sidewalk, we saw fresh fish, meats, breads and fruits... along with homemade clothes, bags and jewelry. We enjoyed seeing all the Paris market had to offer, but decided to head down the Champs Elysees to grab a bite to eat before getting on the metro to head to the Louvre Museum.

The Louvre Museum is huge and to be able to see everything you need to set aside at least a whole day, if not more. Obviously, we didn't have the time to do that, so we picked a few different things we wished to see and went in. Our first stop was to the Mona Lisa painting. The room was packed full of people and the painting was much smaller than I expected, but it was cool seeing a piece of history. We then went to the Venus de Milo. This sculpture is said to date back all the way to 130-100 BC. I'm not quite sure either of us has ever been in front of something that ancient. One of the other pieces of art we saw was the Dying Slave by Michelangelo. He is most known for the Statue of David and the Sistine Chapel ceiling, but weren't lucky enough to see those. The Dying Slave was made in the early 16th century, and once again, just pretty cool seeing something so old and from such a well-known individual. Of course we saw other paintings and sculptures, but too many to mention all on here.

We then left the Louvre and made our way to the Ferris wheel. Neither of us have been up in a Ferris wheel for quite some time and what a better time to go up in one than in Paris. It was a great opportunity to get an aerial view of city other than from the Eiffel Tower. It was also cool snapping a few pictures of the tower from the air and a good way to get off our feet for a few minutes.

When traveling to Paris, we both said we would use more public transportation because our bodies are starting to break down on us with all the walking we have done. However, we somehow manage to walk even more when we specifically say we won't! From the Ferris wheel we walked to the Notre Dame Cathedral which wasn't a short and easy walk. Once there we waited in a line to enter the church and take a look around. We weren't in there very long because both of us were hungry and ready to find some food. We stumbled upon a small cafe close to the cathedral and decided to eat there. I ordered a ham, cheese and fried egg sandwich and Andrew ordered a chicken salad. From the pictures you will see, both meals really didn't turn out like the typical meals you would think of, but they were both still good.

After a full stomach we ended up going back to the hotel to take a little nap before heading back out on the town. We each ended up buying a cup of coffee and sitting at the Arc de Triomphe for over an hour just people watching. The Arc is surrounded by a roundabout that I am sure everyone has heard stories about. You wouldn't believe how many people would try running across the road to get to the Arc. The safe way is obviously a passageway under the road, but either they didn't know about it or just felt like being crazy that day. It was beginning to get dark so we decided to just walk along the Champs Elysees and window shop (because that's obviously the only way to shop in Paris). We found many things and put them on our list of things to buy once we win the lottery.

With it being Saturday night we wanted to buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate the current events! So we bought Laurent-Perrier 1999 and took a walk down by the Seine River to watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle one last time. We celebrated our one day engagement, the great time in Paris so far, and later realized we also were celebrating the day Andrew would have walked in graduation for his Master's degree.

Saturday was of course another great day in Paris and we were both sad that Sunday was going to be our last day in the City of Lights and of course Love!!



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Aug 11, 2009

Paris... my birthday and a little extra!

Our trip on the Thalys train to Paris was about a 4 hour ride. We arrived around 10:30 pm and were quick to find our next transportation to get to our hotel. We soon arrived to our last subway stop, walked up the stairs and there stood the well known Arc de Triomphe. Not a bad Paris greeting! From there we walked about 5 or so minutes to find our hotel. We ended up getting a really good deal on our hotel (stay 2 nights, get the 3rd night free) and would soon realize why! The whole hotel was going through rehab... so half the hotel was "new" and half was definitely old. We were first shown the new, updated rooms, which I am not quite sure why they do this because they immediately then showed us our room that was very small, dark, and very old! The air conditioning wasn't working and there was not typical breakfast like the website promised. We would find out later that the internet wasn't working as well. Needless to say we weren't very happy about all the false advertising, but remembered we were in Paris and decided to head to the Eiffel Tower to erase all bad thoughts.

To view the Eiffel Tower, it was only about a 5 minute walk from our hotel (which might have been the only plus for the hotel). I had read before coming that at the top of each hour the tower would begin to twinkle it's 10,000 white lights. It only seemed appropriate to watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle at midnight... the start of my birthday! After standing in front of the massive structure for a while, we decided to head towards to Champs Elysees to grab a bite to eat, view the street at night time, and then head back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

The next morning we awoke and decided that the Eiffel Tower would be our first stop of the day. I wanted to go up into it on my birthday, but upon arriving we noticed the lines already were very long and the skies were starting to get a little black. We stood around contemplating if we should wait for another day, but ended up deciding to go up. However, we chose to go up the stairs to skip the long lines (because obviously no one wants to climb 668 stairs except our crazy selves). It didn't take too long to reach the 2nd level and then we went up the rest of the way in an elevator. The views were fantastic. You could see every part of Paris perfectly whether it was the Seine River, Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, Louvre Museum, or the Paris Ferris wheel. After a million pictures were taken, we headed back down to see what the rest of the city had to offer.




While walking down the street to find a place to eat breakfast, we ran into the Flame of Liberty. This was made to replicate the Statue of Liberty's flame, but also is an unofficial memorial for Princess Diana. It just so happens the Flame is right above the tunnel entrance where Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997. From there we crossed the street and ended up at a small cafe where we ordered some ham, cheese, and potato omelets which were quite delicious.

We then walked down the Champs Elysees to see the many expensive shops as well as view the Arc de Triomphe. Throughout the day we did quite a bit of souvenir shopping and also found some nice shirts in the NikeParis and Adidas stores. We might have been able to spend all day in the Adidas store because they had some cool coordination games to play, but figured that probably wouldn't be the best idea. By this time we managed to do quite a bit of walking so we decided to go back to the hotel to take a little rest before our next adventure.

After a nice rest, we hopped on a metro towards the Hard Rock Cafe for my birthday dinner. We both got delicious meals, I had chicken nachos and Andrew had a steak sandwich. We also celebrated with a birthday shot because you then were able to keep the shot glasses that read Hard Rock Paris on them. From the Hard Rock we then made our way back to the Eiffel Tower to watch more twinkling lights!

Andrew and I actually walked all the way to the Eiffel Tower on my birthday night and tried to find the best place possible to view the twinkling lights... the ending to a great birthday. Little did I know Andrew had a little more up his sleeve than just to view the tower. When the thousands of lights began to twinkle Andrew dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!! I was by far taken back and asked him a good 5 times if he was joking. Finally he convinced me he was serious and I of course said yes! I always knew we would get married, but never expected to be proposed to in Paris, France! It definitely was the best birthday (and birthday present) I have ever had and a day I (and I know he) will never forget! We then called our parents to tell them the fabulous news and walked back to the hotel to get much needed sleep for another eventful day on Saturday.



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Aug 5, 2009

Vienna, Austria (day 3)

We woke up Sunday morning with all intentions of going for a run around Vienna, but both decided against it. Our legs and feet had the final say... and they said no. I also woke up not feeling very well and only hoped I would get a magical cure so I could go on with the day.

We hopped on the metro for the Belvedere Palace... it was around 11 in the morning and the heat was already in full force. Even though the palace was big... it was no comparison to the Schoenbrunn Palace. We, of course, enjoyed walking around throughout the gardens and viewing the different angles of the palace though. The palace, which is also called Upper Palace, was built in 1720. Since being in Europe I haven't seen and touched so many old buildings in my life! We saw all that there was to see and headed out the big palace gates.

After we left and walked about a block down the street we soon realized we were near where we were on Friday. We laughed because we purposely chose to go to this Palace separately because we thought it was too far away to walk. Little did we know we could have walked to it on Friday! We remembered seeing a building that had a large gold ball made of metal on its roof, so that was our next stop... we just had to find it first. We walked around for a good 20 minutes in the wrong direction until we decided to go up one random street and of course there it was to our right! It ended up not really being worth the walk though... it looked cooler from a distance.

From there we were ready for some food and a nice cold drink so we walked towards the infamous TGI Fridays. Man, what a delicious meal! Andrew got a bacon cheeseburger and I got a chicken/shrimp plate that was to die for! After our bellies were full we stopped for a nice cup of coffee.

We started to run out of ideas of things to do and decided we were ready to just sit and relax in the air conditioning, so to the airport it was. We were getting there a little early, but figured we would have shops we could go into and places to sit, boy were we wrong! Vienna airport is not like most of the previous airports we have been to and basically sat around being bored. It didn't help matters that our airplane left 25 minutes late (like all our other airplanes), which then made us sprint once getting off the airplane to the bus that took us back to Bonn. Only to get on the bus and be told that we had to pay more because our tickets weren't right (they were right!!!)... this is hard to explain to someone that doesn't understand English though and us not being able to speak German.

After a bit of a stressful afternoon and evening we finally made it back home! We enjoyed Vienna, Austria very much and it was a beautiful city.



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Aug 4, 2009

Vienna, Austria (day 2)

Saturday morning we woke up, went to the grocery store to buy some water because we knew it would be a hot and long day outside. We went to the metro station and bought us both 48 hour passes so we could ride the metro unlimited (our bodies were starting to yell at us). We hopped on the train and headed for the Schoenbrunn Palace.

Once at the palace there was a lot to see. The first thing we saw when walking in was the huge Gloriette that was atop a small hill overlooking the palace. We slowly made our way there, but made a few stops in between for some photo opportunities. When finally at the Gloriette we paid a few extra euros to climb the stairs to the top to have a great view of the palace and the surrounding city. While on the top we met three people from the United States. Some fellow Americans overheard us speaking English and asked us to take their picture. After taking their picture, they asked us where we were from. First thing Andrew said was that I was from Tampa and before he could even say where he was from, they belted out "oh my gosh we are too"! Well it ended up they were in Austria for some music festival and also go to my former school USF! How crazy is it that you are in another country and you still manage to meet someone from your hometown and college? That was pretty cool! We walked around the huge palace grounds for a good 2 hours. There was even more to see, but the heat was getting to us so we decided to head towards our next stop, the Giant Ferris Wheel.

The Giant Ferris Wheel was in Vienna's Prater Amusement Park... which to us was more like a small county fair. We had every intention of getting on the Ferris Wheel until we noticed that it was all enclosed and it was just too hot for that. Even though we didn't ride, it was cool seeing a Ferris Wheel from 1897. There were other rides like small roller coasters, flying swings, and those dizzy rides but we decided against them all and settled for a Red Bull which is actually made in Austria. We have come to the conclusion that somehow we attract every annoying bug possible because our nice relaxing sit in the shade was interrupted by the annoying bees that manage to always find us! I hate bees and for some reason this one had an infatuation with my face, soooo that was the cue for it's time to go. Never a dull moment with us!

From Prater's we wanted to check out the Danube Tower. We managed to not get off on the correct metro stop, so the tower was a good distance away. By this time, both Andrew and I were too beat to even walk 10 feet, let alone a half mile so we decided against it. We did, however, get enough energy to hop on the seesaw that was calling our names. That lasted a good minute and then we were back on our way towards the hotel.

We rested at the hotel for a little while until we went back to the City Hall to catch the Paris Ballet that was going to play at the Film Festival. We tried out the Mexican food booth this time and had a chicken burrito. By all the chicken meals we have had, can you tell that I was the one that decided on dinner? It was very yummy and we decided to sit on the bleachers and wait to watch the ballet. You could not eat/drink/smoke on the bleachers and Andrew and I had a ball watching all the people who couldn't read the signs. The people made sure they found the perfect spot to sit only to get rejected by the little security guy that wasn't going to let anyone get away with anything. We couldn't believe the number of people that obviously could not read a sign that has a big red slash across the symbols of forks, cups, and cigarettes! Whatever the case it was entertainment for us!

We managed to sit through about two dances until we both realized this ballet wasn't for us. Andrew was hungry again, so we stopped to get another huge slice of pizza before walking back to our hotel for the night. I (and pretty sure Andrew as well) particularly enjoyed this day because the Schoenbrunn was so beautiful. There was so much to see and it made for great pictures!



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Vienna, Austria (day 1)

We arrived in Vienna, Austria Thursday night and made our way through the streets. Even though I had walking directions written down to our hotel, we still managed to walk around for a good 20 minutes before finding it! For those who don't know, most of Europe hasn't jumped on the air-conditioner band wagon yet and it just so happens that Austria was going to be nice and steamy our entire stay. Our hotel room was the biggest yet, but that just gave more space for the hot air to stay!

Friday morning we woke up and began to explore. We started off just walking down the street knowing we would run into plenty of massive, detailed buildings. The first was the Vienna Rathaus (City Hall). You were able to walk inside and we managed to find an area that we still aren't sure if we were allowed in there. The staircase seemed to go on forever and it was draped with a bright red carpet. We also came across this ginormous ball room that had everything trimmed in gold. Both Andrew and I's mouths dropped wide open when we peaked our heads in the door.

Once done exploring in the City Hall we walked out of the other side only to see bleachers, rows of chairs and signs saying Film Festival smacking us in the face. It seemed as though each night a different opera, orchestra, or ballet played on the very large screen that was attached to the walls of the City Hall. We then began to walk through the food booth lined side walk and noticed each booth was representing a different country. We found the United States booth and it was serving Coke, chicken wings and burgers... kind of gave us a chuckle.

From there we started walking towards the two large spires that seemed to be towering over all other building and ran into the Votivkirche (Votive Church) which is one of the most important neo-Gothic religious architectural sites in the world we later found out. The spires resembled a skeleton and the roof had numerous details from the multicolored shingles that were used.

Once leaving the church we ran into many different sites... the Parliament Building which had an incredible statue in the front, the Volksgarten which is known for its rows of roses, and the very large Imperial Palace. We were beginning to notice that almost every main attraction we went to was being renovated. This didn't do wonders for picture taking, but I guess with stuff being so old it is bound to start falling apart. By this time we were ready for a snack so we grabbed a pizza from a food booth and sat in the garden area with the Mozart statue... as we say, we ate pizza with Mozart.

Now that we have something in our stomachs we headed for the City Center to view the Stephansdom. Once again, renovation! It was still cool to see and then made our way to a few different souvenir shops to see if we could find anything good. From there we walked past the Opera House and then came across a WWII memorial. By this time our feet were sore, we were hot and completely exhausted, so we took a breather on one of the park benches!

Andrew and I ate at a little cafe and had a delicious chicken salad. We also tried one of the Austrian wines which was a Gruener Veltliner, it was very good. We walked back to the hotel for a little to rest some more and to get out of the sun.

A little later that night we went back to the City Hall (it was only a 5 minute walk) to check out the Film Festival. Friday night was the night for the Orchestra. We tried a few different Austrian beers and we also tried out a few of the different foods from different countries. We had a chicken plate from the Australian booth and a chicken plate from the China booth. Both were very delicious and left us wanting more, but knew our wallet wouldn't be very pleased with us.

We watched the orchestra for a short time and then decided it was about time to head back to the hotel for a good nights rest. We had a looooooong day ahead of us!



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Jul 29, 2009

Top of Zurich!!

Sunday morning started off with a 9:00am nice relaxing boat ride along Lake Zurich. We took the morning cruise which was the least expensive. There was no tour associated with it, just a beautiful view. The trip lasted about 2 hours, which gave us plenty of opportunities to take in the Swiss Alps. One day hopefully we can return and actually snowboard down the mountains.

Our boat dropped us off at the dock and boy were we glad we decided to do the 9am ride and not the 11am. There were tons of people waiting in line to hop on and there possibly might have been 20 people total on our large boat. We walked back to our hotel to enjoy our complementary breakfast (even though you know it's somehow added to the room price!) that consisted of the usual European foods. Their coffee was a lot stronger than we were use to, so I think we were ready to climb the walls. Something different we noticed about ordering coffee from Zurich was every glass also came with a piece of chocolate... and great chocolate it was! We then had to check out of our hotel and trek up to the main train station, which then would take us to Uetliberg, which was where the Top of Zurich was.

We chose to go up to the Top of Zurich because it gave you panoramic views of Zurich, including the crop fields, the numerous houses and cathedrals, Lake Zurich and of course the Swiss Alps. If you look hard enough you could even see the Zurich Airport, which would be our next stop after leaving Uetliberg. It was indeed a little hike to get to the top, but completely worth it. Once at the top, there is a tower that takes you even higher and of course Andrew and I had to do that! Supposedly at the highest point you should be 2,857 ft above sea level (871 meters), which was high enough to see everything you could ever wish to see! The time sadly came when we had to leave and head back down the on the tram, so we had to say our goodbyes to the Alps.

We planned on arriving at the airport a little early to buy some lunch (figured it might be a little cheaper) and do last minute souvenirs, including some yummy chocolate. We also treated ourselves to a little desert by buying an ice cream cone. While waiting for our plane, we also got to catch the ending to the Tour de France, which I know Andrew was happy about that! Our plane ended up being about 15 to 20 minutes late, but it was worth it on the take off considering we could see the large Swiss Alps even closer. The mountains are so huge that you could see them go on forever and ever and they never seemed to get smaller.

We finally arrived back in Bonn... a little later then expected, but enough time for us to have a goodbye beer and prost since it was Debbie and Michelle's last night before going back to the States. We had an awesome time and were so glad they were able to come visit. They arrived safely home and Andrew and I will soon be going on our next mini trip to Vienna, Austria. Stay tuned!!!!



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The Beauty of Zurich, Switzerland

Saturday morning started off with a bang at 4:30am... yes, I know, that is waaaay too early for us! But our airplane left out of the Bonn/Cologne airport, which meant we needed to take a bus a little further north. Even though we aren't morning people, it was good that we arrived in Zurich around 8:00, which gave us all day to explore! We started our day with a 35 minute tram ride from the airport to the Zurich Hbf. We soon realized if we took a train it would have taken about 11 minutes, but oh well, we were there to see the scenery right?

We arrived at our hotel (Otter Hotel) and learned it would take about an hour for our room to be ready, so we left our bags and went out to walk around town. We first came across a very large flea market that seemed to go on forever full of all sorts of little nic nacs. From there we just started walking down random streets to see what we ran into. We were all beginning to get hungry, but began noticing we better be prepared to pay a good penny for the food we ate. After walking around for a while and realizing we weren't going to find anything under the $15 mark, we stopped at the Spaghetti Factory to grab a bite to eat. I guess if it's going to be expensive it better at least be good, and that it was! The weather was a little sketchy when we first arrived, so we had to end up moving indoors to finish our yummy spaghetti.

From the Spaghetti Factory we walked back to our hotel to check into our rooms and take about a 2 hour nap. Then we went back out to walk around the Zurich Lake and have a marvelous view of the Swiss Alps. Since the sky was still somewhat cloudy, you could only see a faint outline of the mountains, but that was good enough for us. Plus we knew Sunday was going to be a really clear day, which would give us a perfect view. Everywhere you went there were always people either sitting along the water or feeding the hundred of hungry swans and ducks. It would have been so easy to just sit on a wall and take in the scenery all day, but of course Andrew and I just can't sit still while in another country! We walked by the lake until we ran out of sidewalks and then headed back towards Altsadt (Old Town).

We began to walk down Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse because it's known as one of the world's most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. Obviously we had no plans on buying anything, just to experience another part of Zurich. Everywhere you looked were high-end stores and people that seemed to just walk out of a fashion magazine. Ever since being in Europe, Andrew and I always feel under dressed, but we especially felt this while being in Switzerland. After experiencing the lifestyle we will never have, we walked by some churches before heading back towards our hotel for a rest. While on our walk back, we found some fresh fruit for sale, so we had to stop and buy some.

Once at our hotel, Andrew and I decided we wanted more of what Zurich had to offer! We took a stroll back towards Lake Zurich and hopped on one of the many pedal boats and took one out on the water. We rented one for an hour and basically just pedaled around next to the hundreds of sail boats, other pedal boats, and the occasional cruise boat. It was a lot of fun, but it was time to find some food to bring back to the hotel and eat. We found a small place that sold all sorts of pizzas, so we grabbed four different kinds and a soda for each of us and walked back to the hotel to chow down.

After we ate, we all kind of just sat around trying to give our legs a rest and went to bed earlier knowing we had a long day ahead of us! By this time we were loving Zurich!


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Jul 28, 2009

Annual Beer Fest in Bonn

We started out Friday with visiting the Poppelsdorf Botanical Gardens near the Bonn city center. Andrew and I haven't been there yet and thought we would check it out while his mom and aunt were visiting. It was just a small area, but pretty and the best part was it was free! Once we left here, we went to the center of Bonn so Debbie and Michelle could buy some last minute souvenirs.

Later that evening was the first day of the Bonn Bierboerse. This is an annual event that brings many different countries to serve their beers and foods. We chose Friday night because we wanted to see the opening tapping of the keg and the fireworks (since we didn't get to see any on July 4th). Not only did we get to see the keg tapping, but also had a glass of beer from the keg, which we thought was pretty neat!

Since we aren't going to get to visit Munich (Germany) we decided we wanted to try one of their beers. They are famous for having the VERY large mugs of beer (1 liter to be exact). I would have to say this might have been my least favorite out of the bunch, but I did conclude that it helped my arms get a little more muscular in that short period of time. And no I did not drink all that beer!

We stopped by one of the food booths and all bought something by the name of nacken steak. It was a very well seasoned steak that was placed in between a bun. The coolest thing was how it was cooked. The grill was large and circular which rotated to cook all the meats evenly. It was absolutely delicious! While enjoying the world beers and great food, there was a band playing in the background which was actually pretty good (music from the Abba Survival Band).

We also were able to have a few Irish brewskies and I enjoyed a thing of cheese nachos. The weather didn't cooperate towards the end of the evening though. At one point it was pouring down rain, which left us stranded under a table umbrella, but surprisingly no one got too drenched! The rain was making me nervous because I didn't know if this would delay or cancel the fireworks. But luckily around 10:45 they started and it was worth the wait. It was kind of funny how almost every song they played while the fireworks were going off was from Michael Jackson.

This was the Germany event Andrew and I have been waiting for. We all had a great time and got a few souvenirs out of it (we kept a few of the different glasses the beer was served in). I am glad we chose to go Friday because there was not a ton of people there and the combination of the bands and fireworks made it great!



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To the Top of the Spires We Go!

Thursday morning we awoke and drove to Cologne, which is about a 30 minute drive from Bonn. The main reason of this trip was to go to the Koelner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) for Debbie and Michelle to view this massive piece of history. This would be our second time viewing the cathedral up close, and it is still just as impressive as the first time. We walked around the outside for a while and then quickly went inside. As Debbie and Michelle explored the inside of the Dom, Andrew and I decided we wanted to climb the 533 stairs to reach the top of the spires.

The spiral staircase wasn't big enough for two people and there was no air circulation, this only made us walk up quicker. We reached the top in about 6 minutes... that could possibly be superman speed! Once at the top, we could look any direction and have a different view. Church steeples and bridges were the most abundant. After viewing our wonderful surroundings, it was time to head back down the stairs. Going down was not as fun as people come up the same way you have to go down... and it just so happens that the entire population of Cologne was trying to go up the stairs. We finally reached the bottom and went looking for Debbie and Michelle.

As we entered the Dom again we noticed there was a prayer service taking place. Debbie and Michelle were able to attend this so that was pretty neat. Andrew and I were pretty hungry from exerting all of our energy for those stairs so we headed to McDonalds for a quick snack. We soon met back up with Debbie and Michelle, explored the insides a little bit longer and then headed out on the town to grab a bite to eat. We ended up at a Maggiano's to eat some delicious Mexican food.

Once we were refueled, we walked to the Alstadt (Old Town) to show Debbie and Michelle the city that withstood the wars. We walked throughout the narrow streets with colorful buildings for a while and decided it was about time to head towards the car. Next stop, IKEA!!!!

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Ikea and I have been wanting to go to a store over here in Europe since Sweden is where the store originated from. We found Godorf, which is a town between Cologne and Bonn had an Ikea, so that's were we headed. Even though the store was like any other Ikea I have been to, it was still cool going. Plus, Andrew, Debbie, and Michelle never have been to one. Once we were done looking around we bought some of the infamous Swedish meatballs to take home to have for dinner. Man, were those good!

After a good hardy meal we all did some relaxing and reminiscing. It was yet another successful day!!



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Jul 27, 2009

Meppen, Germany

We woke up Wednesday morning and had a delightful breakfast from our hotel. It consisted of the same foods we have had thus far for breakfast... meats, cheeses, breads, jelly, hard boiled eggs, coffee and orange juice. Once breakfast was done, we checked out of our hotel and walked to the cemetery near by to look for any long lost relatives. I would never think to do this back home, but cemeteries over in Germany are so different. They aren't scary or creepy... they are pretty and full of all sorts of colorful flowers. We came across a memorial grave full of about 30 cross headstones for German soldiers all with dates within a two weeks period. Dates from WWII... Andrew and I came across it first and we both got chills. It was so surreal and sad at the same time. There was also a WWI memorial grave we found a little later on. I also found another Munsch head stone. This time it only said Munsch family with no names or dates, but it's still another variation to my family name.

After walking throughout the cemetery, we went back to Meppen's center to walk around the different shops lining the streets. Andrew and I ended up going in one clothes store and I found a shirt that was more my style, so decided to buy it. It was probably something I could find back home, but it was just the idea of buying it in Germany. Once we explored the shops, we walked a little more just to see if there was anything we missed (which there really wasn't). By this time we were all pretty hungry so we stopped at a place called Kochlioeffel and enjoyed some more currywurst and great tasting fries with mayo. For desert we each bought a vanilla/chocolate twist ice cream cone and then headed back on the road towards Bonn.

While on the road there were so many sheep, cows, and horses lining the roads. Made for more to see than just green flat land I guess! We made it back to Bonn and had a stab at our second German dinner, just not so German... spaghetti! It was good if I do say so myself! Next stop is Cologne, Germany!



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The Road Trip Begins

As I said before, our plan was to drive to Amsterdam, explore and stay the night and then head to Meppen, Germany Wednesday morning. Well, that was the plan until we actually drove into Amsterdam. We checked a few hotels online before departing and had one in mind, so once we arrived in Amsterdam we were hoping to find the hotel, park the car and then head out on the town. After driving around for over an HOUR in the middle of Amsterdam, going down the same streets maybe 5 or 6 times, we were beginning to think we made a bad decision. There were hundreds upon hundreds of bikes going up and down the sidewalks and down the street. Some streets were only wide enough to fit one car (and I really mean one car) and we managed to find streets that were filled with people and more bikes!

We finally came across our hotel, but found no parking so we had to do more circling around which then made us get lost again! It was now over an hour we had been driving and Andrew was at his wits end so we hopped right back on the interstate and headed to Meppen, Germany. We were all a little disappointed we didn't get to walk around the city, but figured we probably saw about all there is to see in Amsterdam by car! We managed to snap some pictures through the car windows, so we have proof we were there.

Meppen, Germany was on the list of places to see because there is a small town near where Andrew's family grew up (Brussels, Illinois) called Meppen, Illinois. Meppen, Germany is a small town with a population of around 35,000 people. It definitely was a change of pace from where we just came from, which is a good thing! We arrived in Meppen about 2 hours after we finally decided to leave Amsterdam and checked into the Alstadt Hotel. It was a small German-like hotel and was a perfect place for us to just sit and unwind! We walked the streets for a little bit before heading back into our room for the night.

In the morning we had plans of waking up and just walking through out the town!



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Pretty Views Everywhere!

The day started out with picking up the rental car. It was a Citroen c4, which is a French made car. It somewhat resembled a minivan, but a little more compact and way cooler! It was futuristic looking... the mirrors closed automatically when the car shut down and the windshield was the size of a bus I think. It definitely treated us well though!

First stop with the car was across the Rhine River in the area of Koenigswinter. The Grandhotel was first since we actually had directions there. It is atop one of the bigger hills and gives a great view of the river and the surrounding countryside. You could even see the Bad Godesburg Castle, as well as the Drachenburg Castle, and Ruins Castle (which would be our next stops). We walked around for a bit and took as many pictures as we could and decided it was time to find the Drachenburg Castle.

This was going to be a bit of a challenge since we didn't have directions, just a general area. We came across a parking lot with some cars that would park and start walking up a hill so we decided to give it a shot. We were sadly disappointed to see that all these people were just going to a pool. But, fortunately a guy overheard us talking and told us we just needed to keep walking up the hill. So that we did and about 15 minutes later arrived at this huge castle. Even though this isn't a very old castle, it was still beautiful and gave us more great views of the city of Bonn. We explored the grounds for a little over an hour. We even went to the castles turret, which is the top of the castle that was used to keep a look out for enemies. It was about 138 stairs to the top, which is nothing compared to what were gonna do in a few days! There were once again great views, we could even see Cologne in the distance which is a 30 minute drive away.

It was now time to make the hike to the top of the hill to see the Ruins Castle. Debbie and Michelle decided they would walk back to the car and wait for us while we walked to the top. It wasn't a very long distance to the top, but it went straight up! It was definitely hard, especially considering I did not have good shoes on. It was completely worth it though because even though this castle was mostly destroyed, it was built in 1147. How many people can say they have touched something that old? Once we saw all we could see, we decided to make the walk back down. But it really wasn't much of a walk... since the hills were so steep, we basically had to run down. This just meant the pain wouldn't last as long, haha!

From here we began our planned trip to Amsterdam. The estimated drive time was around 3 hours. We had planned to drive to Amsterdam, explore and stay the night and head towards Meppen, Germany Wednesday morning. Oh how plans change so quickly... stay tuned!



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Bonn Zentrum

I would like to think of Monday as a recovery day from our travels and the travels we had ahead of us! We started out by taking a bus to the center of Bonn. We walked throughout the many streets lined with shops and stopped if something interests us. There was a fruit market at Marketplatz and man did the strawberries smell good!

One of Andrew and I's favorite places to eat is Bagel Brothers and it helps that it's inexpensive. We ordered the Lucky Bagel which consists of an egg, bacon and cream cheese on a bagel... man is it good! Once we all had full stomachs we headed towards the Munster Basilica, which is an very old church within the center of Bonn. We walked around inside for a bit and our next stop was to the Beethoven Haus. Not much to see here unless you pay for a tour so we walked across the street to the souvenir shop.

After exploring a few more shops we headed back to the apartment to do a little grocery shopping and to relax. Tonight was our first stab at cooking Debbie and Michelle a "German dinner" and we decided on currywurst. We had never even tried this before, but heard it was good, so we thought what the heck! It's not the traditional curry that most people think of. It has a very good flavor and isn't spicy. Any place that sells bratwurst here, sells currywurst also. It ended up coming out really good and we will definitely make it again!

I know I have mentioned about this before, but before drinking an alcoholic drink, you are suppose to prost (cheers) and look in each persons eyes while saying it. We told this to Debbie and Michelle which possibly could have been a mistake... haha. Michelle wanted to take a picture every time we prosted and we got a chuckle out of looking at each other because it seemed Michelle would make a different goofy face each time. It was indeed one of the highlights of their trip! :-)

So as you can see Monday was not as eventful, but it was somewhat nice to do stuff at a slower pace. From Tuesday on we were basically booked full of things to do!



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Brussels, Belgium (Day 2)

Sunday was our last day in Brussels and we had a few more stops to check out before heading back to Bonn. Kristen and Evan met up with us again at our hotel and we headed out to enjoy some yummy Belgium waffles. Kristen, Even, Andrew and I all had waffles with some sort of fresh fruit on top, while Debbie and Michelle had eggs and bacon. Everything was delicious!

Once breakfast was over Debbie and Michelle wanted to catch the 11:30a mass at the Cathedral of St. Michael. While they were in church, "the kids" did some more exploring around town and also went to the grocery store and bought some Belgian chocolate. We walked around until around 12:15 and then headed back to meet up with Debbie and Michelle. From there we took the metro to see the Triumphal Arch, which was located in the Cinquantenaire Park. Even though this arch isn't up to our "old" standards, it was still 100 years old and a great site to see. We walked around and took many pictures (even an Eberlin's reunion pic) and then headed back on the metro toward the Atomium.

The Atomium is from the 1958 World Fair that was held in Brussels. The structure is absolutely huge! To our surprise, while looking up we saw a few people on the top of the very highest Atom. Well apparently you can ride a zip line all the way down and is called the "death ride"... comforting I think. By this time we were all starved so we headed to the area with the many different restaurants. We ended up in a place that cooked fresh paninis and frites (or as we call them, fries). Once again, another great meal and then it was time to head back towards the Brussels Center.

Evan and Kristen had to catch a train that was heading back towards Amsterdam because they were on the home stretch of their trip. It was great meeting up with them while in Brussels and was nice just having familiar faces to hang around with and chat with! I know we had a blast!

We also had to head to the train station to catch out train back to Bonn. We stopped and got one last Belgium beer before hopping on the train that would soon be our worst nightmare! The Bahn rail system is somewhat weird as they give tickets with assigned seats and not assigned seats. Andrew and I of course had to leave our 2 seats to allow ONE lady to sit comfortably... even though there were random one seaters throughout the train. It gets better... the next train we had to get on was so packed that we were standing like sardines in the 2 foot wide aisle way for about 45 minutes. Public transportation wasn't our friend on the Brussels trip, but we did have a blast while in Brussels!

We finally made it home and looked at Monday as our recovery day and a day to explore Bonn. Stay tuned!



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Jul 24, 2009

Brussels, Belgium

We started off the day with a late train to Brussels, Belgium. This wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't made plans to meet up with Kristen, Andrew's cousin and Evan, Kristen's boyfriend. They have been traveling throughout Europe since the middle of June. Andrew thought it would be quite ironic to meet up with them while having his mom and aunt visiting in Brussels because they are all from a small town in Illinois called Brussels. Well, since our train was late we missed Kristen and Even at the train station, but Andrew was determined to meet up with them on our journeys so we exchanged emails and had decided on meeting at our hotel at 7pm.

After arriving in Brussels and determining a time to meet up with Andrew's fam, we decided it was time to find something to eat. We decided to take a stroll to an area called Grand Place. It's an area full of small streets with intricate buildings. We came across a place called Belgium Frit'n Toast and we all had a delicious lunch. As you will see in the pictures, most of our meals in Europe consist of french fries and some sort of meet, usually bratwurst! Once lunch was finished we continued to walk through the Grand Place. We arrived in an open area where we were completely surrounded by big, detailed buildings with gold accents. We stood in awe for a while and took many pictures before heading on our way to see what else we could see.

Manneken-Pis was our next stop. This is a statue-like fountain of a small boy peeing. Oddly enough, this is one of the biggest attractions in Brussels, so we had to go see it! After walking through the Grand Place for quite some time, we decided to start exploring new areas. While walking, we came across a large court yard area and while standing higher up on stairs, we had an awesome view of the city.

Online I had seen pictures of the Grand Palace and how ginormous it was and really wanted to see it in person. Sadly there was some event that was going to take place there, so tents and chairs were obstructing our view, but we still were able view it. While walking around we all had our eye on these waffles (Liege waffles) that were covered with strawberries and chocolate so we had to try one! Of course they were absolutely delicious!

It was soon time to meet up at the hotel with Kristen and Evan, so we made a quick stop at a shop to buy some Belgium beer for all of us to try out while talking. We bought five different beers and headed back to our hotel. No sooner did we get back into the reception area of the hotel and here comes Kristen and Evan through the doors. We all went up to the room and chatted for a good two and half to three hours! It was so nice to be able to have a nice conversation and talk about all of our journeys so far. Some of our stories were so similar!

After a nice chat, Kristen, Evan, Andrew and I decided to go grab a bite to eat around the Grand Place. While walking there we came across a pretty neat light show that was taking place at the Town Hall building. We then walked to the "Little Greece" area of Brussels (because Evan was craving Greek food, haha) and had some simple Greek food and a beer. We later decided to head to a small bar to buy a home brewed beer, which was very tasty as well. It was about midnight and decided to call it a night, but made plans to meet back up with them the next day to do some more sightseeing! Good times were had by all!!!



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The Eberlin's Arrive!

Sorry it has taken me a while to start writing about our experiences... we have been on the go since last Friday! Last Friday was the big day when we had some American visitors coming to visit! Debbie, Andrew's mom, and Michelle, Andrew's aunt both arrived at the Bonn Hbf as scheduled and we headed back to the apartment to drop off bags. We sat around the house a little to let them wind down, as they had to switch trains twice while coming from the Frankfurt Airport to Bonn. We know this can be a bit stressful!!!

After everyone had a little rest, we headed to Bad Godesburg to walk around town. This town is about a 15 minute walk from our place. We stopped by the train tracks in hopes to show them one of the speeding trains that fly by at around 200 mph, but didn't have any luck! We walked throughout the streets and even came across some areas Andrew and I haven't seen yet. We stopped to look up at the Bad Godesburg Castle on the top of one of the hills surrounding the Bonn area.

By this time all of our stomachs were growling so we were deciding what type of restaurant would be their first German experience. We ended up at a little Italian place, I think mainly because we can decipher between pastas and pizzas. Three of us ordered the same pizza thinking we knew what we were getting, but once it arrived it wasn't what we had thought. We got 2 types of hot peppers on our pizza as well as salami. None of us like hot peppers! But, we fixed that by picking them all off. Michelle ordered a pasta that ended up being very good as well.

Once having a full belly we headed down to the Rhine River which is about a 5 minute walk from our apartment. They were able to view the Grandhotel and the few castles we hoped to take them to once getting the rental car. We then went into a small cemetery nearby and walked around to see if we could find any familiar names since we all have some sort of German heritage. To my surprise I found a head stone with the name M√ľnch on it, which is my mother's maiden name. I found this pretty cool so we snapped a picture! Once we walked throughout the cemetery we headed back home to get the rest we would need for our trip to Brussels, Belgium in the morning.

Our train left around 8 in the morning and we arrived in Brussels a little after 10. Stay tuned for our Brussels journeys!



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Jul 16, 2009

Ashley and Sumi at IPD

Here are a few pictures of me in "action"! Haha, somehow I knew following around the mascot, there would be pictures of me in the background looking like a doofus! Oh well!!



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