Sunday, July 13, 2008

To Belgium and beyond!

So we did it. Today we took an epic adventure, and we made it home intact. What is this nonsense you may ask? Well, I will tell you. Coming to Europe my dear husband and I decided that we were going to become bike riders. Not just your every day hop on and stroll through the neighborhood kind of riding, but people who ride their bike to places. Ever so slowly-for me, and not so slowly for my husband- who by the way is very quick on the bike, have been building up our stamina.
Now to put this into perspective, I think my stamina is the one who needed the building. So almost daily, when the weather permits, I've been trailering W. over the local hills. To the base, to a friends house, to the park. Where ever we needed to go, that we could reasonably ride our bike to. J. on the other hand has been steadily riding his bike EVERY day to and from work- about 8km one way since January. So you see, it is now July, and we should be able to do more then a quick outing.
Belgium. This is where I thought it would be fun to go to. To get there, we had to cycle through the outskirts of Germany, and then traverse through Holland over the bridge and through the woods to Belgium. What a cool way to spend the day! Finally looking at the logistics, we figured that we would drive to Belgium- Massik, and then ride home from there. Somehow we'd figure out a way to get the car back. After an hour and a half of riding, we all decided that we were getting pretty hungry, and stopped at the local train station, 10 minutes from our house. It was a great setting to finish our goal. We rode 30km today, and through 3 countries. How many people can say that they did that this weekend?!

Post script: Here's a few pictures from last weekend. W. and I went to the neighbors house to ride their horses. We both loved it. I can't believe how lucky we are to have such great people living by us!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Well, it's been pretty mellow around here lately. All of our visitors have gone home, and the temperature is warming up. So, last Saturday we were feeling a little lazy, and decided to get up and check out another local castle.

Burg Trips is located in the town of Geilenkirchen, about 15 minutes from our house. It is now a retirement home, but visitors can still admire it's beauty- if only from afar. Only visitors to the residents can see the inside.

Surrounding the castle there are several walkways and bike paths that meander through rose gardens and beautifully up kept lawns. The castle is surrounded by a moat which is now home to many ducks and a swan family. Luckily for us, the swans are used to people, and will let you come quite close- providing you have a snack for them. W. was in love their babies, and wanted to follow them into the water.

As many of you know, we have the tiniest of back yards. However, our neighbors have a huge yard. Horses, dogs, a cat, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and children fill the area. Well last weekend there was an addition to their amazing play area; a pool. It's summer holiday here, and so the kids are out for the next six weeks. Heaven for W. since there is usually always someone around for her to play with. With the addition of the pool, the kids are always out in back, and W. is right there wanting to be in the action. The children are good natured about it, and play with her for a little while before they go back into their crazy wild ways. W. loves it, and anytime she hears voices outside she gets a huge grin on her face and shouts 'kids!'

We've also been working on potty training and art. Sometimes at the same time. Potty training is not so bad, providing W. is not wearing any pants. As soon as something covers her bum, then she forgets all about it. So, this summer we have joined the bare bottomed club, and walk around with out anything on. Well W. has a shirt on usually. And I almost always have something on... ok this post is getting out of hand...