Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Getting Older

This past year has been a big shift for me in the getting older department. I don't necessarily mean for myself (although that's true too!) but with the kids. It's been nice to have all three in school all day but I was very ready for school to be over and have a summer with no schedules and no morning rush to get everyone out the door!  My masters degree is well on its way although I feel as though I'm having a slight mid-life crisis because I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it!  But I'm enjoying it. Then I've been substitute teaching three days a week and that has taken a lot of time of course. 

But. But. School is done!  Finally! And we've started off our summer with some fun activities already.  Saturday we found out there's a medieval living history museum not far from us and the town it's located in was also having a medieval festival so off we went!

We had complaining kids unfortunately - it was warm and I left the water in the car. But it wasn't unbearable!  Typical stuff too - booths selling medieval type wares, performances of music, fighting, belly dancing, etc. 

Then we discovered that there was a jousting tournament! 

 Four knights competed in lancing rings, hitting shields, and jousting itself. Of course to a certain extent it was staged - lances really did break but the falling off the horse part was a little contrived - except for the one who's horse slipped and really did fall over!


I couldn't help but think about Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott because it has a great knights' tournament in the book!  After the jousting we explored the museum a little bit and tried our hand at some games in the participants encampment (I was terrible at ax throwing - Chopper was pretty good!).




Today I took the kids to Playmobil Fun Park - by myself!  Evidence that the kids are getting older!  Playmobil is essentially an amusement park that has a bunch of different themed play places in one place. We spent about 8 hours today there because it really was so fun for the kids and I really enjoyed not chasing around a little one!  It was nice to be able to tell the kids to stay in one area and then let them go off and play. I even read a book at times!  Ok it was homework so it wasn't great reading but still!  


The rafting was hard work! But the water was only about 6 inches deep so falling off wouldn't have been too bad. Still, thank goodness we didn't! 

Megan's doing all the work! 

The kids have decided that this is their favorite castle in all of Europe!  It only took us 2 years to find and every other castle will pale in comparison!


A rare and beautiful smile!!

Paddleboats were fun - William dived headfirst into his, he was so excited about doing it. 

You can dig for gold pieces and jewels in the gold mine. Seriously this place is so well thought out for kids - they loved every inch of it.

By the end, William was crying over little things and he was very upset that the Playmobil character he got in his blind bag turned out to be a Metzger (a butcher) and was crying that it was scary because he's afraid of knives. Yeah it was time for bed. But it was an excursion that I highly recommend if you're in the Nuremberg area!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Le Château Du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

Now if that's not a conglomeration of French and German, I don't know what is.

The Vosges mountains were just as important to France as the Rhine river is to both France and Germany and they (the mountains) are peppered with ruins of castles and fortresses. This particular one was rebuilt I think in the early 1900s and intended to be a museum but it's been well done and we had a great exploration on our final stop before heading home.


The kids were really happy that they didn't have a guided tour (in English) and so we purchased audio guides and just wandered at our own pace. This also was good for us because we could let the kids play and not have to keep them quiet and calm.  William spent the ENTIRE time fighting some battle - shooting arrows out the windows, loading cannon, cutting down his sisters with the sword. He's really starting to love medieval era things. 

 This smile is the result of 25 pictures and then Chopper gave me moose antlers behind my back. She loves her dad. 

 These are the stone cutters marks so they would get paid for their work.

More arrows I think


The view from the top - even on a hazy day - was fantastic!


More arrows


The adorable little snake we saw on our walk back down to the car 

After this we actually made one more stop - to a French grocery store. Oh my heck I'm in love!!  The French have great food and the store was full of great ingredients. We bought a ton of non-perishable items - spices, tea, infused oils, mustard, cookies, soap . . . and I could totally go back. I love my German grocery stores too but this was awesome if you love to cook. And it was more American in setup which was kind've fun because it's been a loooong time. Also we paid for gas at the pump. In Germany there isn't any of that. First time in two years! It's the little things.