Friday, October 24, 2014

My Travels Abroad: Rhine River Cruise & Wine Tasting

On our way to France we enjoyed a 2 hour Rhine River Cruise.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. 

 We didn't have time to explore the town where we caught the boat.  But we did have time to snap a picture and buy chocolate croissants.  I sure do miss those chocolate croissants.

 There were beautiful castles all along the Rhine river. 

 I would love to live in one of these villages.

 Each village had a beautiful church.

 Not far from the beautiful church was a beautiful castle on a hill.

 Beautiful couple.

The weather, scenery, and company were wonderful.

We departed the ship just steps away from the quaint wine shop where we were scheduled to have a wine tasting.  I enjoyed myself so much that I didn't take one single picture.  Thanks to Stacy and Solveig for the pics.

A chocolate croissant for breakfast, a small plate of fries for lunch and 6 wine tastings make for one happy Katie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

While I was in Cologne and Aachen

..the boys had another action packed day.

My parents took the boys to the C.R. Smith Museum where they had a traveling exhibit on Lego castles.  The boys were very excited.

There were also airplane rubbings for the kids to do.

If there is an electronic game to play, John will find it.  But at least this was game that made him think. He was able to build a castle by dragging lego pieces onto graph paper.  At the end it told him how many lego pieces he would need to build his castle.

While John played the game, the two youngest to decided that electronics were not necessary.

But even electronics can't keep this kid from the lego table.

After the museum it was off to Founders' Plaza to watch airplanes take-off and land.

They had a wonderful time watching the planes.

Look at these three.  They look so cute and innocent.  
Looks can be deceiving. 

But, on this day they must have been good because Grandma and Grandpa treated them to frozen yogurt at TCBY.  The boys were very excited to take me here when I came back from my travels.  They loved the fact that you picked your own ice cream and self scooped all different kind of toppings.  Their combinations were very, um, interesting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Travels Abroad: Schloss Merode

On our way back to Cologne from Aachen we stopped by the Merode Castle.  If I remember correctly I believe the Fienes are distantly related to the Merodes.  After looking at several castle ruins it was cool to go into a castle that was still standing and had been renovated.

 This castle has had quite a history. During the 19th century the castle fell into disuse when the Merode family moved to France.  In 1946 Charles Merode decided to move his family back and begin restoration on the castle.  Every room had been re-done and modern amenities were installed.  Then, in 2000, the castle caught fire, damaging every story of the castle.  The Merodes were devastated, but not willing to admit defeat. When funding permits they will begin to restore...again.  We only entered the main floor of the house, but we were able to see some of the damage the fire caused.

This is the front entrance taken from the inside.  The castle is surrounded by a moat. It was beautiful.