Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Biking Family!

We bought Sophia a trail-a-bike so that we can go on some nice family bike rides as the weather improves. She isn't quite biking on her own yet (her bike is actually too small for her to properly find her balance) and not having grown up in a biking community, both Troy & I are still nervous about Sophia having her own bike on the road. Too many cars, peds, bikers that ride really aggressively. We'd much rather have her on the back of ours, and learn the rules of the road that way.

Alexandra had a great time in the seat, apart from the fact that her feet don't fit all the way in the seat stirrups, and she pushes against my back for most of the ride.

Afternoon in the Beer Garden Sand Pit

We met our friends Roz & Andrew, and their 1 year old Robbie, for an afternoon of play at the beer garden. Fun all over the place, and sand in every crevice on both of their bodies...

Our little Monkey - Alexandra climbs just about everything now.

Sophia was very popular with her bubbles...
I have no idea what Alexandra was doing, but she was definately getting her daily dose of dirt...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Neuschwanstein - with a hike

The last day is always so sad, so we decided to pull Sophia out of school early & drive down to the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

Unfortunately, the bus to the top of the hill was not running, and the line for the carriages was so long that we decided (all of us!) to make the hike up to the top. Pushing the stroller, taking a few rest stops, and at times carrying Sophia, we all made it up in 45 min, the recommended time! Unfortunately, for the visitors to the castle, the interior is not very exciting. Only one floor was finished before Mad King Ludwig’s death, and the castle was never completely furnished. We didn’t walk into the castle, but explored the courtyards, and then Moya & Papa walked over to Marian’s Bridge which overlooks the castle & the valley,
(Doesn't it look like a Hollywood backdrop?)while Nana took the girls down to the restaurant for some much needed ice cream. And then we managed to secure a carriage on the way down!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Munich & Salzburg

Back to Munich to rain, rain & cold rain.

We spent a day downtown, and then on Tuesday drove to Salzburg to meet Caro for lunch at her office, and a fabulous environment the Gwandhaus. We had enough time before lunch to show the new Salzburger Center for UP to dad, and just happened to run into Frau Strobel cleaning up after all the kids left for the year (they left the Friday before). She took the time to show us the new center, the classroom, library, and dorm rooms (a bathroom & telephone in every room!!!) And to announce that the group will get an Austrian Priest next year as there aren't any priests available at UP! (or rejects from Notre Dame).

Given the year that we had, and the cultural differences I see now between US & European Catholicism, I'm curious as to how it all is going to go. I think I may have convinced Troy that we need to host the kids for a dinner in Munich next year. I'll keep you updated...

Anyway, then we were off to the Gwandhaus for lunch, with a short stop at Schloss Hellbrun first. (Alexandra & I stayed in the car while she napped.)
Gwandhaus is an amazing place for lunch, drinks in the middle of a bike ride (they actually have electric bikes you can borrow for a couple hours), or an afternoon on the grass. I realize how much I missed in Salzburg when I studied there - mostly because it was the never ending winter & too cold to walk anywhere around the outskirts of the town. Caro looked wonderful as usual, and lunch was a special treat.

Then we went downtown for a while before the short drive back to Munich - you know it only takes 1 hour 15 min (with no traffic!).

** Happy Cinco de Mayo!