We finally made it there together!

Guten Tag!  This time, I am sharing pictures from our trip to Germany!  We finally made it together to see Eric’s brother, Mike, and his family and I got to see where Eric lived and went to school.

It was a wonderful trip and I look forward to returning some day to see more of this beautiful area.  It was pretty, peaceful, clean, and full of DELICIOUS food!  As Dad said when I told him, it has to be a record that I liked EVERYTHING I tried.  I now know why Eric feels the need to try every German restaurant he can find!

There aren’t many pictures of our nephews.  For our weekend of touring, the older 2 were at Boy Scout camp and for our touring during the week, all three were at school.  I never could get a picture of our oldest nephew, Jonathan, but I guess that’s how it goes.

I am having trouble again with posting pictures here.  The pictures are in reverse order (and some are out of order) and I cannot figure out how to correct this.  I see online that this is a common problem, but I see no efficient solution to it, so I’m leaving it!  So… I’m going to take you on our journey BACKWARDS!!!  🙂  I hope it works.

This is the right spot for the picture.  This is the view from my seat after we landed in Frankfurt.  Good morning Germany!IMG_4815

This is the base chapel where Eric’s family went to church.  Mike and his family go there now and our sister-in-law, Kim, is the worship leader.1976882_719250764793948_476807235_n

Our nephew, Daniel.  This is how he posed.  I promise I didn’t ask him to put an Easter egg in his mouth.  😀IMG_5331

Eric, doing his most favorite pose for the camera, alongside our nephew, RyanIMG_5330

This is Mike paying for the tulips he picked at a roadside garden.  It operates on the honor system.  IMG_5328 IMG_5325 IMG_5323

Downtown Kaiserslautern.  This is “the big city” and where Eric’s high school is located.  IMG_5321

The big church in KaiserslauternIMG_5317

Kaiserslautern High School – where Eric went to schoolIMG_5307

Eric and Mike at the school sign.  This is their last chance as a new school is being built.IMG_5310

We were fortunate to connect with a high school friend of Eric’s who still lives there!  He and his wife are American, but they love it there so much they came back to raise their family.IMG_5306

Mike and Eric at the end of their “Sommer Rodelbahn,” or summer slide ride.  You sit in the cars and a cable takes you to the top of the hill.  From there it is a giant metal slide that has curves.  You can see Mike here pushing the handles forward to go faster!IMG_5302 IMG_5301 IMG_5295

We were fortunate to get to take a side trip to France with our sister-in-law.  We only got a quick glance at this cemetery, as we arrived at closing time. IMG_5281The prettiest ice cream cone I’ve ever seenIMG_5273

Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg (France)

IMG_5274 IMG_5265 IMG_5256 IMG_5238

The outdoor seating you see is where we enjoyed our lunchIMG_5214

Our sister-in-law, Kim, and me in front of the CathedraleIMG_5192 IMG_5181

Turn right to drive to Paris!IMG_5160

For you beer drinkers, a hops fieldIMG_5159

French countrysideIMG_5148

The Citadel in Bitche, France (yes, the boys like to talk about this particular city)IMG_5156

Eric and me in front of Heidelberg Castle – Heidelberg, GermanyIMG_5106.jpg2

A real life treasure chest!  Note the locking mechanisms in the lid.IMG_5096

The area they would fill with water when a moat was needed, though this particular one did not hold water very well.  Wah, wah, wah….IMG_5092

The pump that runs the world’s largest wine barrelIMG_5093

Eric standing in front of the world’s largest wine barrel.  If I remember right, I think they said it took over 400 trees to make this.IMG_5104

Heidelberg, GermanyIMG_5088 IMG_5083

This is on the path to walk up to the castle, but we walked A LOT of paths during our week that looked like this.IMG_5077

Looking up at Heidelberg CastleIMG_5071

The drawbridge on another castle we touredIMG_5046

Kim and Daniel.  This is to show that we not only walked a lot of steep terrain, but we climbed a lot of narrow stairways! IMG_5036

Another castle along the Rhine RiverIMG_5022

A cigarette machine that has been fitted with a card reader.  We saw several of these and I did notice cigarette smoke everywhere we went like I haven’t in a L-O-N-G time.IMG_4993

Daniel skipping rocks into the RhineIMG_4969

Typical looking house.  Eric has an uncanny ability to find this style house everywhere we go in the states and now I know why for sure!IMG_4965

Along the RhineIMG_4961

I wonder what Eric did THIS time?!IMG_4930

Daniel and KimIMG_4924

Mike and Eric.  The boys were a little freaked out about how much they looked alike.IMG_4913

The Rhine RiverIMG_4908 IMG_4892 IMG_4906

This castle was built alongside natural stoneIMG_4884

Daniel and KimIMG_4885

Eric at his town rockIMG_4872

Fortunately, we were able to surprise the Curtis’ former neighbors!IMG_4868

This is the bell tower in Eulenbis that Eric would retreat to when he wanted to be alone… or he was HIDING FROM HIS PARENTS!!!!IMG_4865

The cave they used to play in and around.  Sadly it has caved in, so he didn’t get very far this trip.  We’re curious about that chair and other things around it.  Now, looking at the picture, it looks like it could be booby trapped!  😀IMG_4862

The tower that people associate with Eulenbis.  I’ve heard Eric explain to people familiar with Germany that he lived in the town with the tower on the top of the hill.IMG_4853

The Curtis’ old houseIMG_4852

German countrysideIMG_4845

A pretty cemetery nearby.  I learned that people actually only rent space in cemeteries.  It sounds like you get it for 25 years, but you have the option of renting it for longer periods of time.  I remarked that the stones and the general upkeep and care of all the spaces we saw were impressive.  This is all taken care of by the deceased’s family and  Mike explained that your “stay” could be shortened if it is not taken care of properly.  When your time is up, they exhume the body, cremate it, and place it in a building on the grounds.IMG_4844

This is Eric’s bus stop.  He says that the third door is painted the same as it looked when he waited on that bus!IMG_4840

Every little town has their own WWI and II memorialsIMG_4836

This is how they sign that you are leaving one town and entering anotherIMG_4832

This is Kim and Mike’s houseIMG_4828

The street leading up to Mike and Kim’s house – the street name is “Wackenberg” (I love that name).  Notice how neat and clean it is?!  Everyone is responsible for keeping the street in front of their house clean.  I saw many a resident out and sweeping the street and curb with their hand brush and dust pan.IMG_4829

A military plane coming in for a landing at Ramstein Air Force BaseIMG_4823

The memorial to the Flugtag disaster in 1988.  This was the incident when planes collided during an air show and killed 3 pilots and 67 spectators, seriously injuring 346 .  Eric and his family were nearby.IMG_4821 IMG_4816

We got to re-connect with Eric’s brother and his family, see a lot, eat a lot, and I learned a lot.  We hope to go back there again someday (not waiting another almost 20 years) and see more of Germany and the areas around it.  Any one going with us next time?

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