Friday, March 24, 2006

Pics... Finally!

Well, here it goes...

This first pic is from when my parents Felix (exchange student to our family (2000-2001) and Gerald (exchange student to our family (1993-1994) came to visit me in Landau. We went to Mainz, the capital of Rheinland-Pfalz, for a huge carnival parade. It went on forever and there were so many people! We got there right at the beginning of the parade and it was still going when we left three hours later.

After Felix and Gerald left, my mom and dad and I drove to Schweinfurt to visit a German relative of my dad's. One day we went to Nurmeberg. This pic is of a ring on a fountain in the main square. If you turn the ring, it means that you will come back to the city.

Here's a pic. of my dad an me at the Nuremberg castle.

After my dad went home, my mom and I flew to Krakow. I would have tried to find a prettier pic. but this one pretty much captures exactly how the weather was the whole time we were there... Cold and overcast!

This pic. is of Joanna and me at a cafe in Krakow. We stayed with Joanna's grandmother (who did not speak any English and only about five words in German) and Joanna showed us around the city for a couple of days before we ventured out on our own.

Then we went onto the Czech Republic where we stayed with Honza, an exchange student who came to the U.S. a few years ago and who my mom tutored. This pic. was taken in Karlovy Vary.

This pic. is of my mom and me in Prag on the famous bridge.

This pic. was taken in a pub right next to the building where my mom and I stayed. In the pic. are me, my mom, Honza, and Honza's girlfriend.

After the Czech Republic, we went to Vienna where we visited Gerald and then Felix. Gerald took us to his parents house in Eibiswald, a little town close to Slovenia. He keeps most of his artwork at his parents house. This pic is of several of Gerald's paintings.

When we came back from Eibiswald, we stayed with Felix and his family and saw some sites in Vienna. Here is at the famous Strauss statue in the city part. Carlo (an exchange student from Italy who stayed with our family 2003-2004) came to see us for the weekend. This pic. has Felix, me, Carlo, and Gerald.

The last pic is of my mom and me with Carlo and Felix and Felix' parents. His parents took us to a restaurant where the specialty is pigs' legs. Even though we normally eat vegetarian, my mom and I gave it a shot. Two pigs' legs and six half liters of beer for six people :-)

My mom and I came back to Landau Sunday night and stayed until Thursday morning when my mom caught her flight back to Chicago. Mario was nice enough to get up at 5:15a.m. to drive us to the airport and after we dropped my mom off, we visited the Gutenberg museum in Mainz before heading back to Landau.

I will be in Landau until Monday when Mario and I will drive to his parents house in Ider-Oberstein. On Friday we fly out of the Frankfurt-Hahn airport with Kathy to go to Spain! We will be there until April 11 and then on April 12 I am flying to London to visit Rob and hopefully do a lot of swing dancing :-) I'll stay in London for a few days before flying to Finland to visit another friend from Coe who is studying abroad there. On the 19th of April I will fly back to Germany and on April 24 the summer semester will start. That's the news for now...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Still Vacationing

My mom and I made it from Krakow to the Czech Republic without any problems. We visited an old AFS student from a few years ago that my mom tutored when he was in the U.S. It was cool to see the Czech Republic but it was freeeeezing there!

Now my mom and I are in Austria... We made it even though our train to Vienna was delayed almost three hours! We are staying with Gerald (our first exchange student from 1993-94) and yesterday we drove to Eibiswald, the town where Gerald grew up. We are staying here until tomorrow then we will drive back to Vienna and meet up with Felix (our exchange student 2000-01) and Carlo (our exchange student 2003-04). We'll be heading back to Landau Sunday or Monday and then hopefully I will be able to put some pics up online :-)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Vacationing with my Mom

My parents just came to Germany to visit me last Saturday :-) My dad stayed for a week and we toured around Landau. We also stopped by Ludwigshafen, Manheim, Mainz, and Worms. Gerald and Felix, former exchanges students who stayed with my family, also came to visit but only stayed until Tuesday. On Wednesday my mom and dad and I drove to Schweinfurt where we visited my dad's cousin. My mom and I stayed until Friday morning and then we took two trains to a bus to a plane to another bus, and wound up in Krakow. My dad flew back home on Saturday so he could readjust to the time zone in order to be ready for work on Monday (tomorrow).

My mom and I were lucky to make it to Krakow. For one, we didn't realize how far away the Frankfurt Hahn Airport was from Schweinfurt. We looked it up Thursday night, and realized we would have to take a train because it was much too far away for my dad to simply drop us off with our rental car. We just made it to the train station in time on Friday morning to buy our tickets. Then, while taking the bus to the airport, it started to snow... a lot! We were afraid our flight would be canceled but luckily it was just delayed about a half hour. Our bus waited for us in the airport in Poland and we made it to Krakow safely.

My mom and I have been visiting with Joanna (an exchange student from Poland who I met this last semester in Germany) and we have been staying with her grandmother who does not speak any English. It's been great though, and Joanna's grandmother has been very friendly. We've been able to communicate through hand gestures and about ten German words (her Grandmother knows a very little bit German). Joanna has been showing us all over Krakow and tomorrow my mom and I will venture out into the city alone because Joanna has to work. Wish us luck!

I will try to post pics soon but I doubt that I will be able to until I get back to Landau in a couple weeks.