Ladies and Gentleman, after a hiatus of a year we are back. There is no legitimate excuse… we did plenty of cool stuff last year. Although, I will attribute it to that, cool stuff, cool friends, and just overall goof-offery … Continue reading
Hello All! I wanted to make a post for my family and friends that have been asking about our wedding registry. Kenny and I are finally registered online at Target, Macy’s and Pottery Barn. The invitations should be sent out in the next few weeks:)!!!
FINALLY, it is here. This is a big week for the Frease’s of Germany. A day we have been anticipating since it was made official. COREY AND RACHEL ARE COMING TOMORROW. I know that you are all super jealous of the two of them; we would be as well. These honeymooning lovebirds get to spend a glorious week in our company. Worry not blog-readers, I will try and do our time together justice.
Also, I would like to take this time to reflect on another countdown of ours. Currently, we have 49 days until our tentative flight home for the summer. Can you guys believe it? Time really flies! Also, to keep the theme alive, we have 141 days until our wedding. Naturally, this fun little fact incites equal parts excitement and panic.
Moving forward, not much has happened since my last post. Except, OH YEAH, we went to PRAGUE! A couple of weeks ago Kenny got four days off of practice; obviously, we took full advantage. Unbeknownst to us, Prague was less than a five-hour drive away. Also, bonus, our friend Brendan Coleman from Xavier is living in Prague at the moment. He’s on a program called “TEFL Worldwide” where he helps Czechs learn English. (BTW he sent me a link… definitely looking into this for next year.) So, Kenny booked our hotel that Thursday and we left Sunday morning. We got an incredible deal on an amazing hotel right in Old Town. We felt super fancy when we walked into our room and saw this:
Also, I have to post photos of the chandelier from the lobby. Each crystal is suspended from a separate string = coolest chandelier I’ve ever seen.
Anyway, after we toasted to our unconditional love and downed the bottle of champagne, we made plans to meet up with our friend Brendan. Brendan took us to a little restaurant he likes that serves genuine Czech cuisine. It was very good! And the beer was very, very good! Speaking of that sweet nectar, after dinner he took us to a charming little bar with an impressive array of beers on tap. My deepest regret is that I did not get a picture of him and Kenny together. C’est la vie, next time! After we said our goodbyes we were anxious to get back to the hotel. There was a king-sized bubble bath calling my name. Also, there was a casino in the hotel for Kenny, need I say more?
In my opinion, one of the greatest parts about staying in a hotel is the complimentary breakfast. My attempts to rouse my husband were futile. His late night in the casino turned him into an angry morning bear so I gave up and dined solo. I felt badly because; let me tell you, this was a breakfast fit for a king. Though, forgiveness came easily when he saw the big pile of pastries I brought back for him! We had a big day ahead of us so we set out to feed the hangry (hungry + angry. Go ahead and use it) bear. The Palladium, Prague’s giant shopping center, was directly across from our hotel. When I say giant…
I mean giant! Naturally Kenny beelined for the fried chicken. After Kenny consumed mass quantities of KFC we set out for our adventure! That is until, I saw it: Starbucks, in all her glory.
Now, finally, we were off! We stopped back at the hotel to confirm our route. The concierge drew us up a foolproof map and sent us on our merry way. We were first to take bus #8 and get off at specified location and then take bus #24. This is where it all went wrong. I would like to preface this journey by reminding you people that Kenny and I are not city-folk. We have no idea how to use the public transportation system. We were like two newborn baby turtle hatchlings trying to find the ocean for the first time. The funny thing is that we were completely unaware of our blinding incompetence until we got to the tram stop and the doors opened in front of us. There were people with tickets, some people didn’t have tickets, there was pushing and staring and babies crying. It was a mess. We ran away confused. I said we should go back and ask the concierge how to do it; Kenny said that was too awkward. Kenny offered a cab; I said it would get too expensive. We were really in a pickle here, guys. Finally we came to the conclusion that we should just jump on the #8 bus. I mean, what could go wrong?
The answer to that question is: a lot. A lot went wrong. We ended up on bus #8 for a good 45 minutes to an hour. Let it be known that I wanted to get off the bus when we first started to realize these we not the correct tram stop names. But Kenny just kept saying, “It’ll loop around,” “It’s gotta loop around,” “It’s going to loop around soon.” It became his mantra for the day.
Long story short it did not loop around. No looping happened at all. We were dying laughing; it was so hilarious. We were in the middle of nowhere next to a strip joint and XXX video store.
We did get to see some beautiful local artwork…
This poor woman was lost with us…
Apparently, we went in the exact opposite direction. There was nothing left to do but hop on another bus and head back to where we started. The tram took us about 20 minutes down the way when decided to cut our losses and grab the first cab we saw.
Finally we made it to Prague Castle! We were so relieved to be back on the map we almost didn’t notice the lack of people in the courtyard…
The castle was closed for the day. Imagine that! So we just snapped some pictures of the stone cold guardsmen underneath some brutal statues.
Also there was an awesome view to the right of the castle, but I will post that next time in order to do it justice.
Anyway, back to our trip from hell. After we saw as much as we could, we began our trek home. Our path lead us down the side streets of Prague. Ken and I must be spoiled in the pristinely clean and always salted streets of Germany, because this place was awful. It was nothing but brown slush and garbage. We had three maps, two more maps than you need really, and they all turned out to be completely useless in these side streets. However, we did see this little gem drawn on a fence outside of the vast courtyard.
To make a long story short, about 30 minutes and a pair of boots later we located the river and got a cab (R.I.P. Tan Leather Boots.)
We got to the hotel and headed straight to the hot tub to melt away our troubles. In order to use the hotel “spa” you are supposed to the wear the “spa slippers.” Needless to say they fit Kenny like a glove.
After our hot tub dip and a surprise sauna visit we headed back to our room to get cleaned up. Due to the failure that was our day Kenny and I decided we would treat ourselves to a lovely dinner. Let me tell you, lovely doesn’t even begin to describe the perfection of the meal we consumed. We went to a restaurant called “La Dégustation.” The menu was in a fancy shmancy envelope.
There was a choice between a six or an eleven course meal. After a great debate I convinced Kenny that a six course meal would be sufficient.
Here is Kenny looking extra classy and philosophical.
That about concludes our fantastic first day in Prague! Despite all of the setbacks I still had a wonderful time with my husband. It really made for a great memory. Cheers!
As per usual I need to preface this blog post with an apology to my avid readers out there (moms/grandmas). I have no legitimate excuse for my excessive delay other then my addiction to the Game of Thrones series and that Kenny bought me a gym membership… However, to make up for it, I have some excellent photos for you guys! This post will finally conclude our trip to Zugspitze! Holy cow, that was a long time ago…
Mountain peaks are really cold, guys. Once the exhilaration wore off I could no longer feel my face. Thus, due to that and my admittedly incessant whining, we decided it was time to go! Lucky for us, a train was headed out within the hour. Except that the mountainside is too steep for trains and we had to take another lift car just to get to the train station. Kenny was hoping he had seen the last of these…
Fortunately, this one was a larger than the last. Plus! There was the softest most adorable Lassie-dog on it! The “Lassie-dog” was named Duke.
Contrary to my initial thought, the dog was named after the monarchical station, rather than the university. At least that’s what I gathered from his owner’s blank stares in reaction to my Blue Devils reference. My awkwardness strikes again.
Also, awww… look how cute we are.
And here is my happy Kenny about to step on solid ground.
The train station turned out to be quite the charming little stop.
The gift shop was pretty standard. Although we did find giant gloves for Kenny’s giant hands! The best part is that he has not even lost one yet; its been months! Additionally, there was an outdoor café. Clearly, it’s a popular place.
The view was incredible. The lack of guard rails provided equal parts excitement and terror.
Also, there are some truly remarkable snowboarders out there, check this out.
Those zigs and zags were intense.
Next, we visited the highest chapel in Germany: Maria Heimsuchung.
Apparently this chapel, known as the “Chapel of Visitation” was consecrated by the Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI: very impressive. The inside was modest, yet beautiful.
The quaint little chapel was well suited for the serenity of the mountainside.
We only had a few minutes before the train was to arrive so we took it all in, one last time.
Kenny and I were both exhausted when we got on the train. We had such an amazing day. Here I am with a happy, tired Kenny.
Now, here is a happy, crazy Kenny.
I can’t lie to you guys, the fact that Kenny was able to wake up before 8am in a good mood almost impresses me more than the mountaintop scenery, and that is really saying something because -let me tell you- this stuff is GOOD. I can’t be sure whether it was the complimentary breakfast buffet or the excitement of the day that got him out of bed without x10 “snoozes,” but it truly was a moment of shock and awe. After our traditional European (aka weird) breakfast and coffee we packed up our things, checked out, and put our stuff in the car. Luckily the mountain scaling business takes place right across the street from our hotel. After a little bit of awkward conversation we purchased our tickets for the train and the sky-lift and boarded the train. It was around this point in time when Kenny began to show signs of mild anxiety, however, he was not to the point of admitting it… yet.
The train ride up the mountain was very scenic, which was fortunate because I could have moved faster than that thing. The outskirts of Garmisch have not yet reached the 21st century, to say the least. Goats, cows, horses and pretty much every barnyard friend you can imagine were were roaming the fields. Also, there were dozens of very primitive little wooden sheds with gigantic spikes jutting out of them (unfortunately we neglected to get a decent picture). These were either for storing hay or killing people… I can’t be sure.
Anywho! Finally the train managed to crawl it’s way to our next stop: the sky-lift station. PS Maddie, every time I say “sky-lift” I think of “Skyward Sword”?
Kenny, at this point, was visibly nervous. I think his biggest issue was the size of the thing… or lack thereof. After all, he is an extra large human being and this rather small “vehicle” will be scaling the mountain at an exceedingly sharp incline suspended over jagged rocks and ice…
There was probably less than a foot of room above his head. Here is Kenny just lovin’ life…
I, on the other hand, loved it! It was incredible, with every gradual movement more wonderment was revealed. This is Lake Eibsee mirroring the treetops from the surrounding mountains. It was really cool to the see different angles reflected as we ascended.
Next, we walked in the building and into tourist-land! Overpriced everything with a side of uselessness:) Except for the café section… coffee is never useless. Nevertheless we bypassed it, climbed three flights of stairs, and (finally) opened the doors to the most mind-blowing spectacle I ever did see.
Fun fact: the “Summit Cross”marks the highest peak in Germany. It has been taken down twice, once on account of multiple lightening strikes and once after an American soldier shot it at the end of WWII! Third times the charm, I guess.
A nice German fellow helped us out with this one…
We felt like we were on top of the world. We could stand in one spot and turn 360 degrees and we were able to see 4 different countries. No foolin’! Mountain peaks from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy were all visible! This particular mountain in the Bavarian Alps officially belongs to Germany but the border between Germany and Austria divides the mountain. Fun fact #2: apparently there used to even be a border checkpoint at the summit… although I cannot imagine how that would work.
Next post follows our journey down the mountain! Cheers!
Hey guys! Aren’t these breaks fun?!
Kenny and I have been a couple of boring turtles these past few weeks. So we decided the time was ripe for an adventure. About two weeks ago (mind you, this was at about 4AM after I had waited in the car for an hour at his away-game pick-up point) my darling husband announced a fabulous idea for a weekend getaway! First we will head to the Zugspitze mountain, the highest peak in Germany! Following, and on the way home, we will see Schloss Neuschwanstein, the castle Disney modeled Cinderella’s castle after! Needless to say, we got home, booked our hotel, and packed that instant. The next morning we got up bright and early (10AM) and began our (my) drive to the city of Garmisch – home of the tallest mountain in Germany! It really was a gorgeous day for a drive…
The drive was really excellent. As everyone knows, highways in Germany have large sections without speed limits. Let me just say: I was flying and Kenny was extremely jealous. I was going about 109 mph for probably 30 minutes straight and it was AWESOME.
Also, as Garmisch is located just near the border of Germany and Austria. I got to drive a manual car through the mountains of Austria like a badass. Meanwhile Kenny was holding his breath and white-knuckling the door handle… Some of those sharp turns had no guardrails. I mean, this is a mountain people, c’mon! Anyway, we made it in one piece and arrived in the adorable town of Garmisch.
The town was set in a valley of the Nördliche Kalkalpen Mountain range… which in English we just call the Northern Limestone Alps (not as cool sounding.) We checked into our hotel, ascertained a map, and walked around the wee little town.
We walked in the direction of food because I was famished and had been whining for the past half hour about it. We sat down to dinner just as the sun was setting behind the mountains. It was beautiful.
We enjoyed the view with a couple of German beers and some tasty homemade pumpkin soup at a little corner restaurant. This is one of the many fantastic things about Germany: there are no Applebees or Ruby Tuesday’s types anywhere. Ma and Pa places are all around and everything is homemade and delicious.
After our relaxing dinner we walked around the village and popped into a couple of Christmas shops. Germany LOVES Christmas, almost as much as I do.
Anyway next we headed to the hotel and got freshened up for our big Sunday night on the village! We barhopped around to a couple of hotel bars (walking not driving, parents) and finally settled on the fabulous, “Salsalito’s.” This is where Kenny and I may or may not have gotten extremely intoxicated. Entirely not our fault – we had not seen a selection like this since the States…
Kenny and I were going on about 7 hours of sleep between us and had to wake up bright and early to catch our train up the mountain, thus we stumbled home at a decent hour.
Next post will be a big one! Our trip up the mountain of Zugspitze. Cheers!
Happy Halloween errbody! A couple of weeks ago Kenny and I played host to one of my very best friends (and future bridesmaid!), Laine Mello. She stayed for a short week and I missed her as soon as she was gone… It was so nice having her here. Some of you might have seen the album I posted on Facebook of our little trip to Paris: a magical experience that I cannot wait to have again! After we returned, Laine, Kenny, and I had the amazing opportunity (thanks to Dave Mello and, of course General and Mrs. Repass) to visit one of the locations for the US Army in Stuttgart: Patch Barracks. It truly was a mini-America; it was almost like being home! It was really cool to see how those who serve America live, it was like a small town within Stuttgart; they have one of everything they need. Plus, it was really nice (and strange) to hear English all around us! General Repass explained to us a bit of what he does on a daily basis. It was really incredible to hear how much these guys deal with that we, as citizens, don’t even know about. The Repass’ showed us around Patch, cooked us a delicious meal, and even gave us gifts of things that Kenny and I have been missing from home, little things like (REAL) Diet Coke and (REAL) Ranch dressing. Lastly, Mrs. Repass (whom I decided may or may not be Superwoman) took us “thrifting.” -Mom, I cannot wait to show you these places- There are several dirt-cheap amd authentic antique stores around Stuttgart! I seriously could have spent hours in there. The Repass’ were very wonderful and down-to-earth people; we cannot begin to express our gratitude for such an excellent day!
After Patch, Kenny and I wanted to take Laine sightseeing. One of our favorite places near Stuttgart was the mountain from our previous posts that holds the Collegium Wirtemburg Weingarten and the Grabkapelle Rotenburg. Kenny and I have always wanted to go back to the winery during opening hours and buy a couple of bottles!
First we drove up the mountain to the Chapel. I know I have already posted many pictures from this place, but we arrived just before sunset, and the view was remarkable.
We walked around the “Chapel of Eternal Love” a few times appreciating the views before we asked Kenny to be our photographer…
Stupid bags in the picture. Now… to the alcohol! We were all very excited to discover that the Weingarten was having a wine tasting, only €5 to taste 5 different wines, and generous portions I might add! Laine (proudly) took this little beauty when we sat down…
We passed around our wines in an orderly fashion so we each got a chance to try them all. Laine and I have quite opposite tastes in wine, and Kenny, true to form, pretty much liked them all. Before we left we stopped to enjoy the view and have a few more pictures taken by photographer Kenny.
First and foremost, before I begin, I would like to wish my beautiful mother a very happy 27th birthday. I could not ask for a better role model and friend. Your daughters and husband love you very much and are lucky to have you!
On to Schloss Lichtenstein! I am not going to lie to you people… these pictures are fantastic. This is largely thanks to Dr. Fritz (The Fritz’s are a very nice German family we have come to know), as he let me borrow one of his amazing cameras, that of which takes very high quality photographs. We also had a very beautiful subject. The castle of Lichtenstein seemed to have been plucked right out of the Middle Ages. It was not as grandiose as others we have seen, but it certainly had the most character. The castle is perched atop a stony mountainside. It being contrived mainly from stone as well, giving the illusion it has simply sprung up from the mountain itself.
As per usual, Kenny and I arrived just as the internal tour was starting. Naturally, the tour was entirely in German, but due to dumb luck, a woman in the tour was whispering translations of the whole thing to her two friends, whom of which (if my eavesdropping skills are up to par) were from New Zealand. Apparently, there has been a castle in this location since 1200. However, it has been destroyed twice and the current structure has only been around since the 1800’s.
Side note: forgive the horrible quality of the photos from inside the castle… picture-taking was frowned upon, thus, we had to be sneaky again.
The first room we entered had painted murals from floor to ceiling.We also found these rather interesting paintings on either side of the room. The first is Count Eberhard I, Duke of Württemburg and the second is Count Herzog Ulrich von Württemburg. Each painting features a peculiar phrase at the top.
How embarrassed must Count Herzog be? What a lame caption to be eternally associated with. At least Count Eberhard gets to be daring…
Anyway! The next room was really beautiful. It boasted gorgeous stained glass windows overlooking the valley below, as well as sundry suits of armor and weaponry.
Apparently, according to the New Zealand lady, boys as young as 12 and 13 were made to fight as well (Kenny and I had originally deemed them midget-armor). The following armor was designed to fit children (not for Tyrions).
Oddly enough the coolest part of the room was a rock…This is a part of the mountain from underneath the castle; they literally built the castle around this chunk of mountain for fear of disrupting the mountain’s foundation.
The next room was the “gentlemen’s drinking quarters”. It featured more elaborately painted murals and all sorts of old-fashioned drinking paraphernalia. But first, this room had the most beautiful hearth I ever did see…
What a pretty green color!
The room, in itself, was comedy. The mural depicted men doing manly things… which in these times (still accurate if you ask me) meant drinking, hunting, fighting, and smoking a pipe… Believe it or not, this tubelike thing is a champagne flute. It takes 4 men to wield it and holds up to 3 bottles of champagne, if memory serves. These guys clearly liked to party.
Side note: what people did before technology… Below, there is a small, fancy sort of gate opening at the top of the wall. There is a hidden room through the tiny gate where musicians would sit and play during parties for hours on end… rough gig.
Lastly we entered the castle’s chapel. This really was a lovely chapel, except my pictures turned out awful because it was really dark and we were in stealth mode so using the flash was not an option. Thus, all you guys get is a photo of their stained glass window behind the mini alter… Es tut mir leid.
Also, I had to post this picture. This “C’mon Emily” pose is nearly identical to the picture from Tübingen when I was taking too many pictures…
Guten Morgen! Ich möchte sprechen Deutsch. Wir haben gelernt, ein wenig. Act like you’re not impressed. Kenny and I officially began our German lessons last week. Slowly, but surely we are learning the language… it really is exciting. We, including a few of Kenny’s American teammates (basically whoever shows up), meet every Tuesday at the office for lessons.
Also, today marks the start of my new job: Kenny’s chauffeur. For those of you that haven’t already heard Kenny got a speeding ticket the other day. Germans do NOT mess around with speeding. Not only did we have a very hefty fine, but also Kenny has to give up his license for a whole month! I mean c’mon Germany – no warnings or nothin’?? …Pretty unreasonable if you ask me. Anyway! If he gets caught driving without a license it is a whole month’s pay and possible jail time! Again, Germany… really?! Needless to say, we are not risking it. Thus, begrudgingly, I am his driver.
Despite my frustrations, I will say this on Germany’s behalf, though they are pretty ridiculous with some of their laws and customs (do not get me started on separating garbage); I have never seen a safer, cleaner, or more environmentally conscious place.
Anyway! That is all for tonight/today! I will leave you with a few pictures I took of the fields behind our village when I was on my run a couple of days ago:)
I named him Phillip.
Also, one last (and even more random) thing: I am proud to say, Kenny and I finished our Disney puzzle! Here is proof:
TA-DAA! Our next posting will be about our visit to the beautiful Schloss Lichtenstein! Cheers!
…Kidding! Hang onto your brains fellow babies because I’m back! I would like to informally apologize for my extended absence… I really don’t have an excuse aside from pure laziness. However, I love my grandma, and G-Money requested more entries so here we are! Clearly we need to play a little catch-up… so I am going to begin with our trip to the Italian/French festival in Tubingen a couple of weeks ago. This festival takes place twice a year over a sequence of four days; once in the fall and once in the spring. It was truly an awesome experience. Vendors filled the streets of Tubingen selling everything you can imagine. A few notables being: an exquisitely hand-carved wooden chess set (€200 BTW!), brightly colored yard ornaments reminiscent of our Family Farm Froggy at the lake, some lovely clay pottery – so lovely in fact, that we purchased two coffee mugs (except I broke mine and am still upset about it) and last but certainly not least, an array of French and Italian wines, all of which you could carry freely throughout the streets because Germans are cool. Here are a few visual aids to help you understand the enormity of this festival…
At every corner I was greeted with a different form of amusement. The entertainment was primarily musicians playing from their culture and background… However there was this guy…
Now, I can’t say for sure if he was supposed to be a mime or a robot, and although he was rather amusing, he failed either way. The rest of the corners were great, though! Very festive!
And… true to German fashion…
Lastly, possible cake for this August?
Just kidding, sorry Aunt Lorraine;))
Then finally my darling husband joined me in my explorations!! Look how cute he is:)!
We set out together window shopping and found this nice quirky fellow selling a various assortment of colorful clay creations. I – being a caffeine addict – really loved his coffee mugs. Kenny and I bought a sea-foam green one and a blue one! The sea-foam green mug became a favorite part of my morning routine! Until I broke it. I was so upset, you would have thought my puppy died; luckily, Kenny is used to my emotional overreactions.
Next we tried a bit of yummy gelato. Here is Kenny standing outside of the gelato stand while holding my empty glass of wine (that I forgot to mention) and looking miffed by my incessant picture taking…
We sat down on a bench and enjoyed our gelato while taking in some excellent people-watching. We were making our way for the car when I saw it…
Iced Coffee!!! Except not really…
But it was still really tasty:)
The festival was a really great time – we can’t wait until there is another one!
Before I sign off I wanted to post a picture of the festival at night! It was beautiful!