Thursday, December 30, 2010

Missing puzzle pieces

First an appology for spelling errors.  Spell check (due to the German servers) tries to correct every word from English to German.  I will not make the mistake of clicking that button again....
Monday after Christmas we split off.  The girls went to the the ice rink.  Gena, Anne, Vanessa and Sophie the neighbor's young daughter went off to the local ice arena.  Sophie's parents, Thomas and Kirsten were our hosts on Christmas eve.  Thomas and Ralph (Vanessa's father) have been friends since the fourth grade. 

The girls had a great time.  Every picture that I have of the trip is of Gena laughing (in spite of falling down in spectacular fashion).

There are no photos of me skiing in the Harz mountains.  First, I reached the top of the gondola and broke the binding off of my ski.  Walked all of the way down in ski boots for a new set.  Took the gondola back up to the top only to realize that I suck at skiing.  The neighbors called me Bode Miller but I think that they were kidding.

The view from Vanessa's window.  Again, nothing to see here.  Harz mountian is a peak obscured by clouds.

Backwards one day (Sunday).  Vanessa's papa cooked a goose for us.  I received the best piece, knoedel, and rotkraut.  Wunderfull!

Hasserode (the local Pilsner) and an apertif of Gebirgs Kraeuter (like Jager), the local speciality.

Afterwards, guess where?  Brauhaus in Wernigerode for a couple of drinks.

Couple of drinks at Brauhaus.

Downtown Wenigerode (the downtown to Darlingerode, where Vanessa's family lives)

Good time.

He, he, he.

The next morning (Tuesday) we toured Schloss Wenigerode (Wenigerode Castle).

Inside of the castle taking the tour and having some lunch.

Schloss Wenigerode.

110 candles in the chandelier.  Schloss Wenigerode was a favorite hunting lodge and grounds for Keiser Wilhelm. 

Afterwards we wnet shopping so that we could cook for the family.  You have no idea how complicated shopping can be.  English to German, cups to milliliters, Okra to ??????, andouille to ??????  Gumbo is going to take some improvisation.
Gena made bread pudding and everyone wants to see a photo of Gena and Vanessa cooking.

I now know why Vanessa felt so comfortable with our family.  Every day here has been a carnival ride of family, guests, neighbors, food, drink, jokes, laughing.  It's like finding a missing puzzle piece.

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