Stephen's Birthday Celebrations

Today is Stephen's 27th birthday!!! We've had so much fun this weekend...on Friday we went out with some co-workers to play pool and darts...and of course ended up at a disco afterwards!







On Saturday we headed to Brussels to spend the night and had dinner with some friends from church. Michelle made "Toad in the Hole," a British specialty! It was delicious!!!



Today at church we had cake and fun fellowship. Yes, we have church in a public place, and yes there's a bar! Unique, and we love it!



Happy Birthday Stephen...I love you MORE!

video



P.S. Sorry for my voice singing loudly in the video. I always forget it picks up the closest voice...annoying! Sorry :)

Fashion forward?

When I was 16 I worked at Tommy Hilfiger at the Galleria in Dallas. I had to wear all the preppy clothes and deal with really ridiculous people who just wanted the "label." Case in point: We would wrap all purchases in tissue paper and then seal it with a "Tommy" sticker...well they would BEG for a roll of the stickers. Strange. I digress...

This morning I woke up and it WASN'T RAINING. Do you hear the "hallelujah?" So I decided to forego the living room work out and go for a run. I hadn't eaten breakfast, and this bit of information would be completely asinine if it weren't that I was about 100 feet behind a woman 10-minutes into the run that was wearing copious amounts of "Tommy Girl," and I really felt like if I had eaten I would have chucked right there on the street.

Without warning I was right back in that little store in the Galleria. Busy Saturdays with at least 500 "trial sprays" of Tommy Girl from obnoxious groups of teenage girls on the prowl. I guess this is all to say that not all Europeans are "fashion forward."


Spring?

Photo by: Grefft

I really wish I could take credit for this photo, but I can't. It's in NYC...and it's amazing! But the rain here isn't so magical!

I rode my bike to work this morning...had to be there at 8. It wasn't raining, but in Belgium (especially in the Spring) there is ALWAYS potential. It didn't rain the entire time. Wow!

I rode home at 9:30 and it rained the whole time. I rode back at 12:30 and the sun was shining. I rode home at 4:45 and it rained the whole time. Do you see a pattern?? NO?

There ISN'T ONE! It's the most random weather right now. I guess you could say that "Spring has Sprung?" I don't know...I don't love it, that's for sure!

Monday night I ran from one class to another and as I arrived, my sweet student looked at my rain-soaked face and hair and said, "Yep, Belgium in March."

Drama Street

We came home from dinner with friends last night to find this...




And the best part is it was for NO REASON! Just bored I guess. But hey, I'll take it. It's better than this and this!

Zurich, Strausbourg, and a long drive home!


The Saturday we left Austria we made our way to Zurich. I was so excited to be in Switzerland...not sure why, I guess it just seemed "really far away" when I would think about it from the States. That sounds stupid, appease me!





We arrived, checked in and made our way to the city center. We found about 15 Starbucks in about 3 minutes (which made me happy) and then found the cute shopping streets. We stopped for a little food and wine and then toured the city! The lake, river and beautiful scenery made for a fantastic afternoon.





That evening we had a nice meal and chat, then retired early to prepare for our long drive home on Sunday! We woke up for breakfast with the intention of eating a yummy muffin at one of the aforementioned Starbucks. Well, after two tries and two fails...we finally found the ONE Starbucks open on Sunday and dug in. We decided we should shove off rather soon, since we had about 10 hours of driving ahead of us.








Our first stop after leaving was Basel. We didn't turn off from the highway. So I lied, it wasn't a stop. It was a drive-through. We then headed to Strasbourg. We realized soon after exiting the highway that there was a lot of traffic. Once we arrived in the city center, we were happily met with a CARNAVAL PARADE. Stephen and I have a knack for finding festivals and parades by chance...and this was no exception.


We decided to park and partake, taking as many candid photos (read could have been killed if caught) as we could! It was fantastic! I love random parades, and I really love parades where not only those involved are dressed up, but the crowd as well. Carnaval is a bit like Halloween as far as dressing up...just check out the pics!





After Strasbourg, we headed to Trier, where again we didn't find it necessary to get out of the car, and then made it home. Around 9pm. We were pooped. Maybe that's why it's taken me four days to blog this. Anywho, I'm making ground people! I'm blogging more...get happy :) (all 5 of you that read this :))


Too much...

My friend Emily posted this on her blog, and I couldn't stop laughing! Seriously???

The hills weren't as "alive" as I'd hoped...

We arrived in Salzberg after driving for an hour and a half in some serious snow. As we approached the countryside surrounding Salzberg, the snow faded and the sun came out. Spring looked like it was approaching the city...until we parked. Then the snow we had left behind caught up with us! It was snowing so bad, it was vertically hitting us in the face under our umbrellas.


We decided instead of sitting in a packed, hot and sweaty tour bus that seated 10 (and not to mention the sickness that would have ensued after going through the "hills") we decided to do the tour on our own. I'm glad we did...we were able to see the sights I wanted to see, and at our own pace (meaning we would stop in warm shops to heat up).



This first picture is in the Mirabell Gardens, where the Pegasus statue sits. Maria and the Von Trapp children sang "Do-Re-Mi" around the statue and the gardens. You can see in the picture how snowy it was!




The second stop on our tour was the house the Von Trapp family lived in in the movie. We weren't able to get to it, so all of the pictures are from far away. The front side of the castle was used as the Trapp family home, the children were boating on the Leopoldskron Lake and fell into the water. Too bad it was frozen, or I might have tried a re-enactment :)


This picture is of the Nonnberg Abbey. It's the oldest convent in the German speaking part of Europe. Maria was a novice there. The baron and Maria were married here in 1927. The scenes for the movie made here include the opening with the nuns going to Mass and Maria coming too late. I'm behind the gates that they shoot the movie through, where you see Maria running to catch up.





The rest of the pictures are from the other famous sites in Salzberg. The Salzberg Castle, the Dom (Cathedral) and the shopping streets. While at the Castle the weather cleared up, and we were able to get a view of the city from the top. It was fantastic. We ended the night at the Augustiner Brauhaus, supposedly the best beer garden in Austria...we thought Munich was better :)

The hills are alive...

Stephen, Gracie and I drove from Liege to Munich on Friday. We walked around the city, found a hidden gem for a restaurant, and then made our way to the Hofbrauhaus...home of the Octoberfest festivities and such. It was pretty great, and the people we met were really interesting! Gracie couldn't drive fast enough to get there, but eventually she enjoyed her beer and was happy! :)




On Saturday, we picked up the Dotson's to make our way here, to Kirchberg, Austria! It's absolutely gorgeous, and I am not exaggerating! Look below :)



We've done a lot of skiing, and a lot of falling, but it's been incredible! The weather is so nice, and we have at least 2-4 inches of snow every night to enjoy! The food is as you'd expect, but we haven't had anything disappointing yet!


We close every evening playing a VERY serious game of Spades, and wake up to enjoy the skiing in the morning! Tomorrow, though, we're going to take a day off and head to Salzburg. Not only is it the birthplace of Mozart, it's also the home of the SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR. Can you hear my excitement???? I'm pumped, and Stephen isn't, haha! Good thing my mother-in-law is here to enjoy it with me!




And don't worry, I found that there is a restaurant/bar where you can "sing-a-long" all of the songs from the musical. So, I'm channeling my inner Julie Andrews, and will be belting out some tunes! You're so jealous!!



And, as my mom-in-law gently suggested last night...I need to blog more. I had no idea I had any readers...but apparently I do, and I'm disappointing you all. So...say no more! I'm back in folks :)