Goodbye Europe

September 3, 2013

It was a fun filled 2 weeks in Europe and I can’t wait to return and see what else it has to offer! The German house provided many memories and the driving adventures will never be forgotten!  Goodbye Europe, I hope to visit again soon.

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The only drawback…. the 3am breakfast we had the next day courtesy of jet lag.

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Since August seems to the be the season of festivals for the Germans we had to join them. The kids rides were a little questionable but it was still a great time had by all.

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The next day we split up boys and girls to have a little fun.

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Not sure what the boys did but I think it included beer and a nap!

Frankenstein’s Castle

September 1, 2013

After settling back into the farm house we headed out for a much shorter adventure.  We wanted to at least visit one famous castle and Frankenstein’s castle was the closest.  It was mostly destroyed but what it had to offer was quite fun!

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We stumbled upon a few men practicing their dueling skills!  Was a little like watching Medieval times in a real Medieval castle.

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And luckily like most other places we visited there was a nice Beer Garden / Restaurant.

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Touring Frankfurt

September 1, 2013

We decided instead of making a trips all around the German country we would explore what Frankfurt had to offer.  We again were so thankful to have Matt and Laura take us around to the different festivals, eateries and attractions.

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We enjoyed the people watching, the locks of love bridge and the outdoor beverage stands.

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For dinner we ate possibly the best Fried Chicken we have ever eaten.  Added bonus the playground that was next to all the tables so we actually had a fairly relaxing dinner!  Wish there was a Chicken Shack in CA!

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The next day we went to a market that felt like a postcard.  Butcher shop, fresh flowers, fresh veggies, bakery, restaurant and farm animals surrounding.  It was almost to much to take in.

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Still had a few more fun filled days to go!

Trip back to Germany

August 30, 2013

My most favorite day was driving back to Germany.  In true Matt Mulvihill style we had to stop at a few places on our way back to the Germany house.  We stopped in Belleau Wood France to visit a historic battle site and Memorial.  Fairly far off the highway was the most beautiful town with an amazing cemetery and memorial.  The kids have played in many cemeteries around the US and now over seas they can bring joy to a place where the ultimate sacrifice was made.  I have to believe that there is a time and a place for quiet reverence but there lives were given so these generations can have the freedom and that should be celebrated.

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The wall of those missing in action. Unreal.

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After visiting the gravesite we walked across town for a Marine Corps tradition.  Take a drink out of the devil dog fountain.  History says that when the Germans saw the Marines coming at Belleau Wood they called them Hounds from Hell or Devil Dogs.

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Side note, if this house next to the fountain was on VRBO I would be all over it!

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Then we took a walk back to the car and drove to another site to explore the Black Forest and walk through the German trenches.  It was hard not to think of the amount of blood the soil had absorbed from countless lives lost many years ago.  Truly one of my most favorite experiences of this trip. Really walking in history.

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Stopped at a Kabob shop for lunch and we were back in Germany.

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A few days after we arrived in Germany we took a drive to France and more specifically Paris.  I can’t explain how beautiful the French country side was.  Rolling hills, farms, and quant little towns spread here and there.  It was quite a long drive and since we were making such great time we forgot to stop for lunch. Despite their growling tummies and tired bottoms the kids did an amazing.  It truly became an adventure when we entered Paris.  Brian should get a metal for his driving skills.

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After what felt like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride we arrived at the Four Seasons.  Let’s just say they know how to make you feel welcome.  As soon as they saw the kids a toy cart was wheeled out so they could pick out some toys.

What was a little crazy is the girl who checked us in knew my friend Jessica from Carlsbad, CA.  SMALL WORLD.  Needless to say she was wonderful and upgraded us to a suite. (SCORE)

We had to wait a total of 5 minutes for our room to be ready but they went above and beyond to make those minutes as comfortable as possible.

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When we arrived to our room we were greeted with amenities galore!  Sparkling juices, chocolates, berries and more yummy treats.  10 minutes later we received a note of apology that we had to wait for our room with a chilled bottle of champagne and more sweets!  Can we move here??

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Of course we proceeded to order more food!

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Matt and Laura joined us shortly after and we headed out to the Eiffel Tower and to explore the city.

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Didn’t expect to be so over come with the Tower but it was almost to much.  I’m surprised I wasn’t covered in bruises from how often I was pinching myself.

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Of course we had to get more food after walking the total of 2 blocks!

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This might have been one of my favorite meals.  Caleb broke a glass and no one flinched, they just swept it into the street!!  Paige ate snails and loved them and despite Levi not feeling his best the slow paced meal and casual atmosphere made it a great Paris experience.

Levi and I went back to the hotel to sleep while the other kids stayed to experience a little night life….

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Hard to see but this is where Uncle Matt and the girls had to strike a pose and Vogue!

GOOD NIGHT!

Our only full day in Paris was spent trying to see as much as we could!

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Riding the red tour bus was a great way to get as much coverage of the city as possible!

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Hanging out in front of the Notre Dame.

and then more food….

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Then back to the hotel for some swimming before more eating and more desserts!

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Then off to dinner!

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Then more ice cream!

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Then in true Matt and Brian style we went to an Irish pub for a pint and adult conversation.

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What a day!!  Tomorrow we headed back to Germany with a stop in Bellewood.

Jumping the Pond

August 25, 2013

Not sure how many blog parts this is going to take but here’s #1:

Taking a limo to start our trip was so much fun!

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After a fairly uneventful 11 hour flight we made it to Frankfurt and after some divine directions we made it to Fishbachtal and our home away from home!

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We spent the first few days getting used to the time change and exploring the sweet little town we would call home base for the next 12 days.  Let’s just say we explored the local bakery the most!

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Farmer Caleb showed up many times this trip!

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There was lots of food!

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Hours of court yard fun!

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Cigarette vending machines everywhere…. sadly Brian quit 5 years ago.

Two days later we headed to France!

Summer Days!!

July 30, 2013

Summer flew by faster than it ever has!  It was quite a summer to remember.

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That was just a SMALL glimpse of all we did!

The girls successfully passed Kindergarten and 1st grade!

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Onto 1st and 2nd grade!

A hot but great time in Palm Springs celebrating family!

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It was a cool 115 degrees!

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The fun was extended back to Long Beach

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Can’t wait for them to come back to CA!