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Heidelberg & Triberg, Germany October 29, 2008

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I’m catching up on my blogs here at 4 in the morning….I’m a little bit jet-lagged and a lot sick to say the least so the transition home has been rough.

We started in Heidelberg, where S and A go to school.  It was everything I imagined it to be.  I felt like it should be a dreary, rainy, fall day everyday and it was for the most part.  The town has the old side and the new side and we did pretty much everything to do in old Heidelberg – in a whirlwind tour.  We walked on the Philosopher’s Way, saw the alte brucke (old bridge), the Heidelberg Monkey, the castle, the Haupstrauss (sp), and even took a solar powered river boat tour.  We ate a lot of German food which was much better than expected and I discovered the Back Factory.  They have these really good pizza pockets that I enjoy for breakfast along with my vanilla cream filled sugar donut.

We also went to Triberg.  The town looked a lot like Main Street in Park City.  The difference was that this is where they make Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks and Black Forest Cake.  I really enjoyed the fake Black Forest cake but the real deal had a little too much liquor in it for my liking.  I learned a lot about cuckoo clocks from a master carver and it’s quite interesting.  If you are ever interested in purchasing an authentic cuckoo clock, let me know and I can tell you what you need to look for.

Overall, I really liked Germany and am excited to get the opportunity to go back and really explore.

Dumpster Diving in Deutschland October 15, 2008

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Today was quite the day….Just like it sounds like it might have been.

I have some favorite things about Germany….the first is that it is dreary and overcast just like I imagined it to be.  And the second is that it is fall.  I know I’m an odd one at times.  But it really is a picturesque little town.

Today we did everything Heidelberg has to offer to a tourist.  We walked on the main street, had pastries for breakfast, walked the Philosopher’s Way, ate lunch, toured the Heidelberg Castle, took the riverboat tour, went to the church, explored the kitsch souvenirs and then ate dinner.  I have had my schnitzel and my weissenbier and a pepper steak tonight.  And a sample of some sort of cinnamon parfait.  Now I just need an apple strudel to make my trip complete.

The adventures really began after the church – dumpster diving.  S & A are missing a few things in their apartment.  One happens to be an oven and the other is a television.  While walking along this morning with S, we saw a large toaster oven….gold to her….but we couldn’t carry it at the time.  Then on the walk back from the church we saw a television on the side of the road.  A immediately grabbed it along with the appropriate cables and then we pass the other pile of discarded home furnishings and the toaster oven is still there.  Of course we had to grab that as well.  So the happy campers are now the owners of a television and toaster oven which surprisingly enough both work.

pictures and more to come later….

Europe Countdown – 17 More Days September 26, 2008

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The trip is nearing!  I’m getting excited to leave and take the first real vacation I’ve had in almost two years.  (By real, I mean zero contact with work)  The problem with traveling is that it isn’t really a vacation.  It’s a lot of work.  A lot of fun but, traveling and vacation are two different things.

Here are the plans so far:

October 13: Fly from SLC to Paris to Frankfurt – train to Heidelberg

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle

In Germany we will be staying in Heidelberg with S & A.  The plans there are to spend time in Heidelberg seeing castles, eating schnitzel, and exploring.  Hopefully some unnamed people have done some restaurant scouting by the time we arrive.  There isn’t enough time to waste with bad restaurants after all.  We are planning on going to Triburg to see the clocks and explore there.  I’d like to go to Stuttgart and see the Mercedes-Benz factory and museum if there is any leftover time.  And a little bit of Frankfurt on the way out.  There is a street there called ‘pig-out alley’ and if you know me, that was an instant draw.

St. Peter's

St. Peter

From Frankfurt, we will all be flying down to Rome for the weekend to meet D and one of my aunts.  I am excited for Rome especially because I am determined not to be sick while I am there this time.  I want to eat at Tony’s for every meal.  If you are ever in Rome, you MUST eat at Tony’s.  They have the BEST lasagna in the entire world.  I know that is a leap since I haven’t tried every lasagna in the world but I am confident that I don’t need to since this is so amazingly delicious.  We are going to go to the big church (The Vatican) which is something that everyone should see.  Last time I was there I touched St. Peter’s foot for good luck.  I think I’m going to have to try the other foot this time.  Maybe both because I could use some good luck. And the Colosseum and the Forum.  And maybe a bike ride on the oldest road in the world.  We may go to Herculaneum as well.  Last time I was in Italy, we went to Pompeii.  It was interesting but I was very sick and so the heat from the volcane definitely didn’t make me feel very good.  Needless to say, it wasn’t one of my favorite places.  However I’m willing to give it another try.  Herculaneum is the side of Mt. Vesuvius that was buried in lava and Pompeii was covered in ash when the volcano erupted.  Because of the lava, everything was preserved as it was when the volcano erupted…even some of the people running away are frozen in time.

Michaelangelo's David

Then up north to Florence where D lives.  Florence is home to one of my many favorite things in Italy: The David.  It is pretty amazing.  This time

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

I’m definitely going to climb the Duomo.  And I want to eat at the restuarant that has the spicy spaghetti and lots of fruit tarts for breakfast.  Otherwise everything is up in the air.  Maybe a cooking class?  Maybe a boat tour of Cinque Terre.  I’ve never been to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower so maybe there too.  A little spontaneity while up further north.

And then home on October 27 – Pisa to JFK to SLC – back to the reality of work….I’ll be sure to post lots of my own pictures when I get home.