Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nana and Grandpa come to visit

(Warning: lots of pictures! :)

A huge thanks to Nana and Grandpa for coming out and staying with us! They spent some time in Normandy before heading our way and their experiences there were amazing. Be sure to ask them about it!

After they arrived and unpacked, we headed out to see the sheep. Unfortunately, the sheep didn't make an appearance, but shoulder-rides certainly did. Grandpa got very familiar with our "country roads" and ran out there quite a bit. The ladies cheered him on from the house. :)

Just as Nana and Grandpa arrived, Jon's work schedule went crazy, so the poor guy had to work a ton. Thankfully, he didn't have to leave until after they left, and he was able to enjoy some time with the fam at a favorite spot...the bakery.

And at a new favorite spot, Mainau Island, on the Bodensee. What a beautiful place! It's a private island on the largest lake in Germany, and the flowers and greenery around were wonderful. Grandpa thought it was so beautiful he even took a picture of the trash cans. (Ask him about those, too.)

Playing around in the kids' area (complete with small lake and boat...which we tried hard to steer Ellie away from. It worked.)

One thing Ellie was particularly excited to try was the pony ride. She loved it! (Gram, this movie's for you!) Kate wasn't interested in riding herself, but she cheered Ellie on.

(Yes, Grandpa, you DID make the blog!) :)

For another day trip, we headed south again to Bebenhausen, which boasts an incredible old monastery that dates back to the 12th century. (It blows my mind that it existed before Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales!) Here are Grandpa and Ellie, in a spot she created for herself.

And the girls enjoying the beautiful gardens at the monastery. We paid for the tour and were thinking we'd be handed some information printed on English (as all tours are in German), but lo and behold, we ended up having our own private tour in English! We asked a ton of questions and the guide was wonderful, excited that we were excited about learning more.

Nana and Grandpa braved the children alone as Jon and I went away for a night (and day) out. Everyone enjoyed the ice cream, bakery trips, and market trips the time with Nana and Grandpa afforded. And Jon and I had a great time hiking, going out to dinner, and exploring some ruins at our own pace. Delightful!

Keeping cozy on the way into town.

We also visited the Rittersport Factory, which is a chocolate factory just about 15 min from us. What a fun place! There's not a lot to it, but the girls discovered this little gem and we realized why Pavlov was so successful at training his dogs. :)

Celebrating the 4th! Fun times had by all. Thanks, Nana and Grandpa! We miss you already!

P.S. And I couldn't help but include this shot of the number of wine bottles consumed while our guests were in town. Granted, two bottles are unopened and one was bottled water, but I think that is an impressive amount of alcohol consumed! (Especially as they were here only 10 days.)Those who thought Nana and Grandpa didn't drink, behold! Germany is wearing off on them. :)


Irishdrums said...

grandparent time is so special. Glad the girls (and you two!) got to enjoy visitors. Like all the wine bottles pictured at the end here :o)

Irishdrums said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like the visit was grand. Did Nana bring home one of those chocolate trains for A. Cindy/ Looks like the thing I would like to have in my kitchen lol. I would be bigger than ever then. I am so glad to see the blog. I had lost the address so now I can get back into the routine of following the girls growing and learning. Love You.

b.niel said...

first of all, WOW!! Look at all that wine. Good job, mom and dad. Looks like it was a super fun trip! Awesome, awesome videos. And I'm so happy dad made the blog! Love you guys, wish we could've been there! love, aunt b + uncle ev

Betsy said...

Boy, I sure am having trouble leaving a message! LOVE this! What a GREAT visit for all. Just love the videos...Gram's favorite, the pony ride...Pops loved the chocolate factory. What a delightful vacation for all. Love, G+P

Nana said...

What a wonderful time we had with the fam in Germany. Our time with Jon and Jen and Kate and Ellie was a delight. The girls have grown and changed since January and we loved every minute of our time there. Thanks, too, for the trips to castles, the ice cream shop, the bakery, Bodensee, etc. What a beautiful country Germany is. And we're so proud that Jen and Jon are doing so well with their German! It's only going to get easier for them. Much love,

Shari Baker said...

Well, I guess it's no wonder that Grandpa and Nana see so happy and high-spirited. Hoooo! (Did you notice my joke, "high-spirited"). :)