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You'll never believe where GPS took me...

Monday, June 29, 2015
It's not hard to give in to GPS when she knows the way around a foreign country and you can't read the signs.

So I have had my good friend and bff from high school and college, and after college, visiting. She is attending school for the summer over here in Europe. She came to visit me before she went off for a month to get smart. I told her I would take her to her final destination which ended up being only a 2 hour drive for me. I've posted about this place before but we missed a bunch of it on our first visit.

Anyway, on the way home my dear GPS took me a different way home. I'm smart enough to know how to read a map so when I saw a sign for Weiden idf, and GPS wanted me to go a different way, I questioned it. However, I wasn't rushed for time and instead went the way she wanted. Ladies always get what they want right? I'm glad I did because I drove by a logging farm. I don't know what those are called. But there were giant stacks (piles) of logs. These piles were as tall as a barn and when I drove by them in my non air-conditioned car with the windows down, you can imagine that smell. I almost turned around just to smell it again. It was a live version of a bath and body works candle. I saw about four more new-to-me villages I've never known existed all within 10 minutes of me.  Now, I don't remember their names, and there was nothing super significant about them but it was such a good reminder to me of how I often take for granted the fact that I live in this beautiful place. I am so lucky!  I also saw so much beauty this day. The best part? I didn't take any pictures. So you'll just have to trust me. That, and there's no pressure for me to post the pics because there just isn't any. Well okay, I took like 2-3 but they are terrible.

That first place I mentioned? The one my friend is living in for the next month? Prague. Prague guys. That's a 2 hour drive from me. I keep comparing it to the drive I used to make pretty dang often from Paulden to Phoenix. Weiden to Prague. Crazy. She is staying in a part of Prague I've never seen or been to and I was so overwhelmed with the awesomeness! I couldn't stare as much as I wanted to because I was driving the crazy streets while she navigated.

Anyway, it's these experiences and so many more that have kept me busy this past week or so. There's so much I need to tell you about, and I will! I've set a goal of doing a post a day until I catch up on my travels. Although listen, I'm not a travel blogger so don't expect that! I am an experience blogger though and I can't wait to tell you about all of those soon! What have you been up to this summer? I almost forget it's summer because it's been crazy cold and crazy rainy and then crazy hot! What?

Here's those 2 pictures I mentioned.

Super unsafe to try and take a pictures with GPS talking to me AND one way roads. Please don't judge me. 

sky. green. 
First day of school pic!!! 

Is it Cologne or Köln? Is it T Swift or Taylor Swift?

Friday, June 19, 2015
Did you know Köln is Germany's 4th largest city? I didn't. Until I had to Google Cologne in order to get Koln with the umlaut. But now I know how via Windows Alt Key Codes. It's Alt + 0246. Try it. ö ö. Magic. Did you learn something new today? Yes you did.

Anyway, back about four or five or six months ago I saw that TSwift was coming to Europe on her 1989 tour. So then I looked at dates and I realized it coincided with Chelle being here and I knew Mariah would be here by then. So helllo! Fun.

There are so many details I don't want to forget.

James Bay opening!

The bracelets!



The company!




I've been blessed with a hubby who generously agreed to watch the kids for 3 days so we could go. No, I did not guilt him with all of his 3 month long being-gones. No, I would never pull rank like that. 

Anyway, we drove straight to the hotel, checked in, and got ready to go. Originally the plan was to take the train or a taxi but we drove instead. Parking near Lanxness Arena wasn't actually that difficult. They have it pretty well laid out, I get stressed out though and did a circle before driving into the parking garage with ten levels and going to the very top, passing attendents on my way. We were the only ones on the top floor. I went up for the view which was totally worth it. If you're headed to Cologne and want the best view, for free, this is it: 



After the concert we went to a place Mariah had found in some forum online advertising the best local place to hang out. And it was. There was live music and lots of fun! It was located in what appeared to be a run down warehouse but inside was definitely NOT run down. This ended up being one of my most favorite days of the trip. However, how does one choose when picking from here, Amsterdam and Brugges? 

Hard life right? 

Black Bar Status

Thursday, June 18, 2015
In between the travels, David was promoted! Yay! There wasn't a ton of hoopla surrounding it because there were 100 other things (so many changes of command) happening at the same time nevertheless, it was a big deal. For him and for us. The entire posse was there, David even made a joke about his wives. How Mormons don't actually have multiples, it just looks that way. Pretty often with him. lol.

Sorry the video quality is so bad. I was really trying to be present for it, but also film it for all of the family and friends that couldn't be there.


Congrats to my main man for this! Yay! 

I got no other pictures or anything. It was super rushed. Everyone was so nice to be late to banner day in order to be there for this. So thank you S2 shop! And thank you to David for working so hard to make this happen. So much love. 

Speaking of the changes of command, I went to pick David up and was early. We got to witness them practicing for the ceremony. See if you can see David! 




Bayreuth

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Its time for Bamberg! Chelle and I took off in the non air conditioned beast. Along the way both of us were surprised at how crazy beautiful it was. At one point we had to stop for construction and i snapped some doesn't-do-it-justice photos.



We made it to Maisels Brewery in time to also take some selfies before the tour. It was almost just us and the guide said we might get lucky and have the tour in English. Alas, our luck ran out. But we still had a great time. They provided us with a printout of the tour in English and the guide, reba, was happy to insert a few lines here and there in our native tongue. Chelle and I both got super hungry. At one point during the tour they give you a sample of wheat and barley to taste (its what they use in their beer) and Im pretty sure we both snuck a little extra. I kept thinking I was eating a wheat thin. Thats what it tasted like. I wasnt hungry at all. I ate all the mints in my purse.

So after the tour, and after we drank/ate our free beers, we headed to Oskar at the suggestion of our guide. Once we stepped into the city center I knew this was my new favorite place. It reminded me a little of Regensburg the way the building curved in a semi circle. We found it and got to work. Yum. I am super super mad because i got water after already drinking my alcohol Frei beer and then found out that Oskar has Pepsi products!!! Omg. Diet Pepsi is hard to come by in these parts. After that we went to the mall. The mall! It was amazing. I found some sweet deals on some pants for my boyfriend, got some chocolate and we headed to some gardens.

Here is a link for google stories. I couldn't get my stinkin' photos to load.

On the way home I couldnt help but be super grateful for the opportunity I have to live 30 mins from these destination spots. I really do count my blessings. Next up? Köln!

Bamberg is Bright!

Sunday, June 14, 2015
I don't usually post a ton of pictures on my Facebook page because I always swear I'm gonna blog about it so I don't want to be SUPER braggy. Then I never do those posts and the pictures get lost among the many hundreds of them in my phone. I recently cleaned out my photos. I'm down to like 1200 now. How many pictures are on your phone?

Anyway, I'm not one for a lot of words when it comes to my travel posts. I'd rather let me crappy cell phone pictures do the talking. One of these times I'll get up enough energy and gumption to take my nice camera. It just seems like a lot of extra work to haul that along with my 3 kids and the various items needed for travel. I'll probably regret it huh?

According to Wikipedia, Bamberg "...is a town in Bavaria, Germany, located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site."  Known as Franconian Rome, Bamberg is built on seven hills, each hill is crowned with a church or a castle.

We took the train there. This was the kids first train ride in Germany. They loved it. I did too. I wish it was just a tiny bit cheaper. We may have to invest in a train card. The Nuremburg train station is really nice! It was like a mall! I don't know why I compare every shopping center to a mall. Maybe it's because I haven't been in a U.S. one for over a year. lol.

My boyfriend is hot. My kids are cute. 



I love my double chins. And our "handshake" You should see it in person. 






My first spaghetti eis. And it was bomb dot com! 



We took a ferry ride. It was hot but worth it. 








Um. Excuse me glorious Dunkin Donuts. How does one spell that? Doughnuts? Anyway, it was at the end of the day and we walked around this corner on the way back to the train station and found it. It was a gift from above on a Sunday.

From this site: 
The early 11th-century Bamberg Cathedral (its full name is St. Peter's and St. George's Imperial Cathedral) boasts numerous features of interest, including the Prince's Doorway (Fürstentor), the principal entrance with its figures of apostles and prophets and a relief of the Last Judgment. Inside, is the tomb of Emperor Henry II, who died in 1024, along with his wife Kunigunde, while in the choir is the figure of the famous Bamberg Horseman dating from 1240. On the outside of the stone choir screen are figures of the 12 apostles and 12 prophets, and on a pillar between the prophets are Mary and Elizabeth. Another notable tomb is that of Pope Clement II from 1047, the only Papal tomb in Germany.

Over the course of this past week we have visited a few churches/cathedrals. And my kids favorite part is donating a few euro to light a candle or 2. I love watching them do it.












And as a special treat: