Germany : Day 9 : Day of Relaxation @ Penthouse (Germany Rocks!)

So these pictures were actually from Friday after Heidelberg . . . . (read below to hear about Saturday)

Remember when I said we made shirts for our trip to embarrass Dan & Marissa when they picked us up at the airport? Well . .we had to get some group shots of us all in our shirts!

The setup was kinda funny. Glad Rita (mother-in-law) got a shot of it (I didn't have my tripod so had to be creative).

Here we were pretending to like each other.

Us again. We are sooooooooooooooooooooo cool for all having the same shirts. I know.


Bry, Sommer, & Bryce (Dolly too)

Bryce & Marissa!! Bryce warmed up to Dan & Marissa pretty fast for not seeing them all the time!

Bryce, Me, & Shaney!

Sommer and Bryce playing with Bryce's new toys from Uncle Dan & Aunt Marissa!

Rita captured one of Bryce and I's nightly rituals. First, we had to clean out the computer room and put the air mattress down and make the bed and pretend to sleep, then we took the computer chair and Bryce sat in it while I raced her around the apartment. Then Sommer (Bryce's mom) got mad at me for getting Bryce all riled up before bedtime, but hey. . . that's what aunts are for, right?!

Saturday - Dan, Marissa, Don, and Rita all went to the "May Fest". From what I know it is a wine tour.

Bry, Sommer, Bryce, Shane, and I stayed back at the Penthouse (what we called Dan & Marissa's apartment because it was huge and beautiful and at the top of the city). Sommer, Bry, and Shane watched Dexter, Bryce napped, and I finished my New Moon (from the Twilight Saga) book. It was actually very nice to just relax.

Only one more day of Germany and then we were headed back home!


Germany : Day 8 : Heidelberg

In Heidelberg on our way up to the castle! It was so steep they had to make the bench like this!

It was quite the trek! Sommer, Bry, & Bryce wandered around in town and we met up with them later.

The castle! We had to pay to get in. EVERYTHING cost money over in Europe. You even had to pay to go to the bathroom! Everywhere! Even in convenience stores!

Dan & Marissa took off work on Friday to spend the day with us! It was so great getting to spend time with them!

Don checking it all out!

He always makes me giggle. Here he is trying to listen in on the tour (that we didn't pay for).

Supposedly the largest wine cooler in the world!

Heidelberg! Beautiful city!

Europeans bike everywhere. I wish it were more biker friendly here in the US, because that would be fun! And a great workout!

Soooo . . . . when the boys (and Sommer & Rita) went on the Germany trip in high school, their teacher and tour guide said that if you spit off this bridge, legend has it that you will return back. And they did! So, we all spit (spat? spitted?) again! I tried to look this up online though, and nothing. . . so I think the teacher just wanted to make fun of everyone (although they did return)!

That night we headed back to Wiesbaden to Paulaneer to have dinner with two of Dan & Marissa's good friends. They were awesome.

At this point, I couldn't believe we were almost ready to head back home.

Germany : Day 7 : Rhine River Cruise

Thursday, Day 7 of our trip, we decided to go on the Rhine River Cruise.

Since Dan & Marissa both needed their cars to go to work, we all rode the bus down to the train station.

We JUST missed the train we needed (because of rush hour traffic on the way to the train station), so we had a while to sit and hang out at the train station until the next train left.

This reminded me of Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter. So then I was looking up stuff on Platform 9 3/4, and they actually put a pretend "Platform 9 3/4" at King's Cross Station in London with a luggage trolley cart sticking halfway in the wall. Hmm . . . that might have to be my next vacation destination. . . .or the actual Harry Potter World! I think I need more vacation time.

Tasted that "vodka" . . . . wouldn't you know they were lying!?! It was really water!!

The Rhine River Cruise was soooooooooooooooooo relaxing, and so beautiful, and I highly recommend it! I never saw so many castles in my life!

On the boat, they had a playground for the kiddos, a full menu, and even ice cream!!!

We thought this landscaping was pretty interesting.

So we came back from playing with Bryce and saw Don like this. . . completely oblivious to what he looked like. We all started cracking up, while he quickly tried to rub the sunscreen in better!

You could continue on the cruise, but we made our final stop at St. Goar.

The Burg Rheinfels (behind us) is the largest castle overlooking the Rhine.

Here is the view from the top! Don, Shane, and I walked up and had a drink while we looked at this beautiful view (and had a guy that knew 10 different languages give us his whole life story).

We walked around town a little more. Bryce was scared to go up to this bear at first, but after she saw a bunch of little kids go up and stick their fingers up its nose, she was ok with it.

Bryce being very European (and looking very grown up) in her new scarf!

If Bryce wouldn't smile for us, we would say "show us your teeth". Worked every time, but just not the natural smile we were going for.

So we took the train back to Wiesbaden from St. Goar and found these cute little things in the water by the train station! I mean seriously. I screamed when I saw them and ran over with my camera.

Probably some of the cutest things I have ever seen in my life.

We had a great relaxing day on the river, and were headed to Heidelberg the next day!


Germany : Day 6 - Part 2 : Ropes Course

Looking at these pictures again makes me remember how much fun this really was! There was a ropes course only 5-10 min away (WALKING) from Dan & Marissa's apartment! And it really was one of the COOLEST, most FUN things I have ever done in my life!

Here we are! Bry, Shane, and I ready for our ropes adventure! (Don & Rita went to a different town this day, Dan & Marissa were working, and Sommer & Bryce were baking yummy cookies at the apartment).

This is just to show you how high we really got at some points in the course! Just crazy! I tried to not look down most of the time, because every time I did that, everything got a little spinney and dizzy (Shane and I are at the waaaay bottom of this tree).

So pretty much when you get there, you give them $20-30, you get your gear (harness, two cables, and a helmet), you get a 5 minute shpeal about how they are not liable for anything, but if you fall they will do whatever they can to help you (sign a waiver), you can practice on the "practice course", then off you go! The practice course was like 3 feet off the ground . . HUGE difference when you are up in the trees.

Here I am walking across! They had various obstacles to get from tree to tree, and 3 different levels of courses. We started at easy, did a medium, then did 1 difficult course (Shane did the two difficult courses, but more on that later).

This was one of the easiest, least scary obstacles. You just jump in the net and walk across.

Here is Shane ziplining! And me waiting. Only one person could do the obstacle at a time, and only 3 people were allowed on a platform at a time.
So. Funny story. We had two cables with clips attached to our harness that we were supposed to use when we were up in the trees. There were two because one should be on a course cable at all times, so if you slip or make a wrong step, you always have that safety cable there for you. At least 3 times, I look back at Bry and he's just holding both of his clips in his hands by his chest. Me - "umm . . . .Bry . . . " (I point at his cable clips). Bry - "Oooh. . . that's a bad habit."

Here I am starting at the difficult course. Boy - once you are up there, you are up there. I don't know how they would get you down if you chickened out or couldn't do an obstacle. It's quite the rush!

Everyone was so nice there too, and spoke English pretty well. At one point, one guy came over to where we were and said, "How's everything going? Are you having fun?" To which we replied, "Yes! It's awesome!" Then he said, "it's kinda hard to see everyone at the same time, so . . . don't die." . . as he walked away. That boosted our confidence.

Here was the hardest and scariest obstacle!!! You literally had to swing from your feet then try to grab the hand bars then swing on those to the next foot bar. It was so physically exhausting, but such a sense of accomplishment when you were done! (I don't think the guys that worked there thought I was going to make it, because this was the only obstacle where they came and stood down below to watch . . Boy, did I prove them wrong! . . . Barely. Ha!)

Me ziplining down on my last course!! My legs were going crazy because I kept spinning backwards, so I was trying to prevent that so I could land on my legs instead of my bum.

Shaney decided to do the last course (this was after we were already there for three hours). Bry and I decided to just watch. This one was definitely the most difficult of them all.

Right about here (or maybe before) is when he said, "no part of this one is fun". Ha! He was really tired and those courses take a lot out of you!

The last obstacle was where you just had to jump off a ledge and let the rope take you down. This was the only reason I really wanted to do the last course. It looked so fun. I can't even imagine the anticipation, suspense, and fear on if that rope would really catch you when you jumped. Shaney finally did it and just fell right to the ground (just kidding). He rappelled down (at a pretty fast rate), and was just glad to be on the ground again.

We really had a blast! And whenever you are in the town of Wiesbaden, Germany, I HIGHLY recommend checking this place out!