Monday, March 31, 2008

If I Have to Eat One More Sausage...

so these pictures are in no particular order. the first is the outdoor street market in frankfurt...that´s right we´re eating sausages and drinking wine at 10:15 a.m. The second is when we first landed in Germany. The third is Rothenburg, Germany and the last one is Frankfurt. More photos to come. We´re off to eat...oh you guessed it..another sausage. This will have to be my last´s getting ridiculous. We are heading to Paris on Wednesday. We miss you all, and love your comments.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stepped Back in Time

We made it to Rothenburg Germany, and have officially stepped back in time. We are staying in a walled in city, that does not contain any modern buildings. The folklore goes, that the city was going to be destoyed, unless someone could drink a gallon of wine in one swig. The mayor stepped up, drank, and the town was saved (obviously there are a few missing elements of this history lesson, but you get the idea). We are enjoying ourselves, walking around, and will probably hit the German countryside tomorrow. I really want to go see the Cinderella castle--Ben is stoked, but we´re not sure how far away it is by bus. Yesterday, we ate something other than sausages. Ben has been on the hunt for the best bratwurst in Germany, but even he got tired yesterday and we ate Italian. Partially, b-c we needed a bratwurst break, partially because the owner came out and spoke to us in English, so we could understand the menu. We´re about to get back on the sausage hunt for lunch, and then head to the crime/torture museum..we`re skipping the doll museum...that sounds too scary. Herb, Ben is looking for your cheese. Bye!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things I Never Knew or Didn't Remember

1. I didn't remember how much I hate jet lag, and how hard it is to shake at first. Yesterday, I was a zombie--basically I'm surprised I didn't have more spelling errors other than monster.

2. I didn't know how many words actually contain the letter y. On German keyboards y and z are flipped. Yesterday's blog took forever to type--partially b/c I was sleepy, but mainly because I didn't want our words to come out as zesterdaz, or latelz, etc.

3. I didn't know that almost all of Frankfurt was bombed by the Allies in WWII, so every building is post 1940s. They have actually nicknamed the town Mainhatten, b/c it looks so modern. Also, everything or everzthing has the word main in it--just to make it confusing to us travellers who are already confused by not speaking German.

4. My favorite word is drüken (it means push).

5. I didn't realize how silly phrase books are. We bought one at the airport b/c we forgot the one that was given to us on loan, however we realized today that it doesn't matter if we ask something in German, we still won't know the answer: where is the store? (in German)....wait wait, bitte (please), can you speak English?...besides hello, please and thank-you our German conversation efforts are futile.

6. Something for everzone to know (sorrz I can't change them all). If the man at the coffee stand asks you 3 times how many sugars you want, and you say none every time, there is a good reason he is asking. Basically multiple the number of times he asks you by one or two and you'll get how many sugars you should have asked for (even if your don't take sugar) do in Germany.

I asked Ben if he wanted me to add anything, so here it is, Ben's tip of the day: Stop at the outdoor market for wine...large pour. Thank you Ben.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We´ve Officially Landed

Currently, Ben and I are sitting at our hotel trying to manage German keyboards (my favorite symbol is ö)...that´s right--we made it! However we almost were seriously delayed. Note to travellers, double check and triple check your itinerary. By a fluke I pulled ours out last night and noticied it had completely changed and we were departing at 7:15 a.m. into Dallas, vs. the óriginal 11:30 a.m. trip to Chicago. Everything ended up fine, except we arrived in Germany a little earlier than expected:6:10 a.m. We feel like we´ve been up for 2 days, and are trying with every effort to stay awake until early evening to beat the monstor that is jet lag. After a few hours walking around searching for the infamous German sausage (or rather a German shop selling saugages at 8:30 in the morning), and finally finding one underground, we are huddled in our warm hotel...did I mention it´s snowing? Yeah, it´s a blammy 33 degrees. So we´re going to drink lots of coffee now, and put an extra layer of clothes on...brrrr...but...yeah!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Big Pack

We are leaving this afternoon to head up to Longview for a couple of nights and then to Seattle for one evening before we fly out. I can't believe we're almost out of here. Yesterday was my last day of work for 2 months, and although I'm elated, it still feels surreal. Obviously, my brain is not entirely on vacation since I checked my pdx email account this morning and lost some sleep last night racking my brain if I finished all my projects, returned phone calls and set-up any last business with enough progress that I wouldn't leave everyone flailing to clean-up my mess.
Don't get me wrong, I'm excited. I am a little worried on how I'm going to stuff all of my travel gear into my backpack. I guess it's not really fitting it in there, but more, fitting it in there with enough space to bring stuff back (unless the dollar gets any worse, than everyone gets my memories), and still being able to haul the big red beast from one city to the next. 
I also forgot about all the emotions that accompany being gone for this long: excitement, nervousness, unexplained bursts of joy, baffled moments of sadness, and the anxiety (both good and bad) of leaving your comfort zone to experience something new.
Now I'll finish tying up the details, and we'll be off...everyone cross your fingers that the dollar gets a comeback! 

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Last Big Luck O' the Irish Step

Today was the Shamrock run--our last big, planned event before we leave. Originally, I thought Ben and I running the 15K (9.32 miles), sounded like a good idea...a get in-shape goal to prepare us for 7 weeks of lugging heavy backpacks around Europe (they are not packed yet, but I assume they'll be heavy). Of course that was before Ben got hit by a car, and we started working tirelessly to save money for our trip...come on dollar...just get a little stronger. Needless to say, we were not in prime 15K shape, however we did it... in 1 hour 28 minutes and 36 seconds, I might add. That includes running all the way up Terwilliger...and I do mean up. In my opinion we did pretty good...hey we finished! We didn't stick around for the trophy ceremony, but I'm pretty sure we won the award for most snot-rockets blown.

So now we'll head-off to Europe, not in the shape I imagined, but more with a little hitch in our giddy-up, since we both have sore knees and ankles. Now the packing last week of work...and seven days to ice away our well-earned accomplishment.

Anyone who's ever run a long distance, or just started running will enjoy this video.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We're Almost There

13 days and counting...