Where we stayed and things we did...
In July the kids took their first trip to Germany with us. We had a wonderful time staying at the Rieche house in Seligenstadt with my Tante (aunt) Hannelore, Onkel (uncle) Gunther and their dog Lizzy. Click on the pictures below to see some photos of our trip and some short tales of places and people we visited...
We would like to thank the Rieches, Kotzians, and Kutzeras for sharing their homes, food, and fun with all of us. We love all of you and look forward to seeing you here in California soon. We have made our trip, now it's time to make yours!
Meals and fun at the Rieches
A picture of our daily breakfast at the Rieche household. We ate traditional meals each morning consisting of bread, rolls, sliced meats, cheeses, tea, milk, and finally the ever popular Nutella!
Our evening meals varied from traditional German Bratwurst and Leberkäse, to wonderful steaks, bread and other meats. After our dinner, we had time for the "Amanda and Nicholas Show!" Featuring the singing and dancing of the fabulous Amanda and Nicholas!
Come on, it's time for the show! Now you gotta pull your pants up!
Here's how you do it! You also have to sing the song. Pull your pants up and shake your hands!
Visits with the Kotzians!
While we visited Mike's aunt and uncle, we also got to travel around Germany to see some of the sights with our friends the Kotzians. Below are some pictures of us at the Ronneburg Castle near Christian and Petra's house. This castle was built in the 1300s. Throughout our trip through the castle, Nicholas wanted to know where the queen and princess were. He thought we'd see one just around the corner or up the stairs. Alas, the only princess he saw was his sister Amanda.
Photos of the Ronneburg Castle.
picture of Christian and Petra, with their kids along with Betty, Amanda, and
Amanda looking out the window, Sascha manning the cannon and then he and Nicholas being imprisoned. Last two are photos of Christian and Petra and one of Betty in her (Amanda's) princess hat!
prison and banquet photos. What are we having for dinner? Looks like
A Trip to the Zoo!
We spent the day with the Kotzians and Sandra Kutzera at the Fassanarie. There the kids got to feed lots of animals and see things they've never seen. We saw wolves, tigers, deer, and many wild boar, goats, and pigs not to mention numerous rabbits and birds...
Nicholas feeding goats! A beautiful deer shot (they were real)
Amanda and Nicholas with their friends Stefanie, Sandra, and Sascha.
A Bus and Train Ride to Frankfurt!
We took a bus and train ride (the kid's first) to the center of Frankfurt with Mrs. Kotzian, Ingrid and Daniel Kutzera. The kids all enjoyed the trip and had a great time riding the German subway. While in Frankfurt, we walked the city and saw many interesting shops. We noticed how prices had changed since the Euro had become the currency of Germany and wondered if we'd ever see the days of a 4 to 1 dollar...
Nicholas, Daniel, and Amanda on the bus. Amanda and the boys waiting for the subway.
The kids with the Frankfurt skyline in the background!
The Trip to Pirna
We spent a day on the road to drive to Mike's mother's graveside in Pirna. Mike hadn't been there since the funeral and the kids had never seen where Oma was buried. We made the 5 hour drive with Opa and Mr. and Mrs. Kotzian. All 7 of us drove down together in Claus' VW van. It truly was a moving experience for all. Amanda's middle name (Christa) is her Oma's as we found out about Betty's pregnancy just after Mike's mom passed away.
Our last stop was at a restaurant and playground on the way. I think Mr. Kotzian had as much fun as the kids did at the playground.
While in Germany, we even got to drive in the latest German coupe to hit the market in the U.S... It was good to have a car that got good mileage as the cost of gas is about 3 times the cost it is in the U.S. and with its onboard navigation system we found our way around Germany without any problems.