Sunday, September 27, 2009

Our "German family"

Lea, Liv and the affe.

We arrived in Stuttgart on Wednesday afternoon. Martin met Curt and me in Munich late Tuesday morning. We hung out and then the guys went to a football match. Tuesday morning we had breakfast and then drove to Stuttgart.
When we arrived Stefan and Sandra were also there for lunch. Simone went to pick Lea (4-year-old) from school. Lea was shy at first. She knew that Curt and I didn't speak German and she had told her mom that she wouldn't be able to talk to us, which I felt bad about. I wish we would have learned a little more German before we arrived.
Soon after lunch Liv (1 1/2-year-old) woke up from her nap. She was hesitant of us at first. But that didn't last long. She learned my name pretty quick and would yell it out often over the next few days. (She also has this great cheesy grin she loves to give a lot. I don't think I ever actually got a shot of it.)
It was much easier for me (and us) to communicate with Liv than Lea. There were no conversations with Liv--mostly one or two words. And I learned her language and her knowledge of German pretty quick. There were times I wasn't sure if she was speaking German or baby. HA!
We did give the girls books about San Francisco in English. And we also brought Lea two kid music CDs in English. Lea is figuring out what "speaking English" means and I think is excited to learn. It was funny hearing those songs again, like Hokey Pokey, Oh Susannah, Three Blind Mice, etc. She said she really like the music. And you could tell with the dancing, turning up of the music and her running to the speaker to listen closely to certain songs. She told her dad she liked the music and that in school she would learn to speak English and from the CDs she would learn to sing in English.
Later Wednesday evening Martin, Stefan, Sandra, Curt and I went to a type of winery to have dinner and enjoy some wine. Apparently these places are only open for dinner about 6 weeks out of the year. So we felt lucky to be able to eat and enjoy the atmosphere at the winery.
Thursday morning Stefan and Sandra came over with breakfast. I walked with Martin, Lea and Liv to take Lea to school.
After that we all had breakfast. Man, that Liv is a hearty eater. She loves to eat. It is pretty cute. After breakfast Martin, Stefan, Sandra, Curt and I headed to Heidelberg. We visited the castle, which was pretty magnificent. After the castle visit and tour we headed to the city center and had lunch. We walked around the area and then had some coffee before heading home.
When we got home Martin said Lea told him she was disappointed when she came home from school and we weren't there. Awww.
Friday morning we had a yummy breakfast and then Curt and I along with Martin, Simone, Lea and Liv headed to a museum for the kids. We learned all about animals. And both girls really enjoyed it. We liked it, too, even if everything was in German.
After the museum we tried to go to this cool place on a hill that looks over Stuttgart. But it was closed when we got there. Bummer. We got back to Martin and Simone's. They made homemade zucchini soup. It was so good! I kept wanting to eat it. But I knew I had to limit myself since we were having a family barbecue later.
Both sets of grandparents came, Stefan (Martin's brother) and Sandra, and Markus (Simone's brother) and Gisella. Stefan grilled, Martin's mom, Elizabeth, made potato salad. There is a saying that you want to marry a woman whose mom makes good potato salad. HA! Well, I think Martin is gonna be OK. :) It was a fun time. Man, I gotta learn some German! I can't even speak my family's language so I am not sure if there is any hope for me.
Saturday morning we had breakfast. Martin went out to get stuff from the bakery. Man, the bread and pretzels are so good. As soon as he walked in with the bag Liv ran up to him and said, Oooohhhh. Martin said time for breakfast and Liv marched right to her chair to eat.
Curt and I got packed up, hung out with the family for a bit and then headed to the airport.
We flew from Stuttgart to Heathrow and had a little more than an hour for our layover. We made it--had to hurry. In Heathrow even if you are switching planes you have to go through passport and security. And our suitcases made it. We weren't sure if they would. We figured we would.
Today started off early--5 a.m. Been catching up on shows and laundry and all that good stuff.
And Curt has posted all of our trip videos here. He has set up playlists for each city and Oktoberfest. Just click on any one of them to the right and it will take you to all the videos in that category. (I just started watching the videos Curt posted and Liv does her great grin on the Stuttgart--backyard video.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The photos of the girls are fantastic! They are very pretty!
Sounds like you had a fun time with your"German family". Curt's videos are great. You both look like you had a terrific time! Glad that you were able to have such a wonderful vacation. Hugs -M

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8:32:00 PM  

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