Saturday, March 27, 2010

It was my intention to post everyday from Germany. Apparently that did not happen. :( But Jamie is posting some trip updates on the Consumed website. He has written some summaries on our different ventures and then Eric, Lisa, and I will also have some thoughts maybe even a video from our perspectives posted there as well in the upcoming days. I recommend you check it out! Now for the more trivial thoughts follow here...:)

Apart from precious memories, you always bring home some sort of trinket from your travels. I am not a huge chocolate person, but we did bring home chocolate, and apparently not enough because I seem to really like German chocolate, especially the children's chocolate. Yum....anyway...I digress. :) So.....I brought home the most wonderful of treasures this trip and it did not even cost me one euro. Tuesday evening Rob made dinner for all of us at the house where he stays and the German family that lives there joined us for the evening. The dinner was delicious, the company outstanding, the memories everlasting, and the cup I used to drink out of way too much fun.
When our host Ulla told us to help ourselves to a cup from her cabinets, Lisa quickly spotted and retrieved two adorable boot shaped glass cups for she and I. Rob told us that the kids love those cups and normally fight over who gets to use them. I guess Lisa and I won the fight that night. :) Ulla told us there was a trick to drinking from the cups because if you do it the wrong way it will spill on you. So she showed us to drink with the tip of the boot pointing towards your mouth. Now, Rob told us that if we drank from it the other way it would make a fun noise. We did not believe Rob. We had been warned that he may try to trick us with cultural nuances and that we should always get verification from a reliable source if he told us to do something (sorry, Rob, it is true). I am not sure if we got a verification or if Rob's persistence made us believe him, but Lisa and I turned our boot cups around and drank with the boot tip pointing out. Sure enough it makes this "glub, glub" sound and the liquid bubbles up and tickles your nose. I realize I should be too old to be amused by these things, but every time I did it (and I did it over and over again) it would make me smile, maybe even giggle a little. At one point, I had even shed a few tears over something sad and in an effort to cheer myself up I took a gulp from my boot cup and I did feel much better. After a long evening of eating, laughing, looking at pictures, and drinking out of my boot cup, Thomas (Ulla's husband) went back to the cupboard and brought me out my very own boot cup to take home. It has three little musketeers on it and I love it. I couldn't wait to get it home and share it with the girls and also find its perfect spot in my kitchen so I could be often reminded of my new friends in Dorsten, Germany.
This was on Tuesday and we had a lot more miles to travel before I returned home to Minnesota. With every new repack of our luggage I was most strategic about the boot cup. It would have been okay to forget shoes or even my favorite pair of jeans, but I was not leaving Germany without my new boot treasure. For most of our time in Germany my boot cup rode in the side compartment of the back door of our rental car. It was tucked away and safe from the millions of water bottles, streusel wrappers and other stuff we had collected in travel. But Sunday night at the hotel in Cologne I was making my final and most crucial repack for our return to the states. My initial thought was to wrap it in one of Jamie's sweatshirts in our checked luggage. I carefully surrounded it by gray Nike cotton and gave a hopeful prayer that it would remain intact during the flights. Lisa saw my decision and quickly voiced her concerns to me and highly recommended I carry it on. I agreed and wrapped it in my backpack where I could keep a closer eye on it.
My only concern with carrying it on was all the new TSA regulations. I would be devastated if they took my boot cup from me at the security checkpoint, as if my dear boot cup could be used for some sort of terrorist activity. When Jamie and I came to the ticket counter at the Dusseldorf airport the ticket agent went down the necessary list of questions about the security of our luggage and right after he asked me if I had anything dangerous, like a pocket knife or something like that in my carry on, I asked him if it was okay to carry on a glass boot cup. He looked at me sort of funny and chuckled a little as I used my hands to explain what I was talking about (Jamie was so glad to be traveling with me at this point). The ticket agent didn't think it would be a problem. Whew. So me and my boot cup made it safely home and it is now proudly displayed above my sink. The girls did enjoy their first gulp and I love looking at it and remembering my special time in Germany and the wonderful and warm people who gave me the most magnificent of traveling trinkets.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Instead of just watching the icicles grow outside our house...
...we chose to enjoy the beautiful, sunny weekend and embraced another winter sport:

(that is not me laughing in the background) ;)
Tori ice skating- Take 2:

Not too bad for it being her 1st time out this year and only her 3rd time ever.
And Isabelle, too:

Thanks Marissa for asking us to go and a special thank you for letting the girls hold onto you so they didn't fall. :)