Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Christkindlesmarkt

Well, we had another new experience in Italy. It's Christmas time over here as well as it is in the states. I love it! I'm never sure what to expect during the holidays. I'm learning however and since it's almost been an entire year since we moved here, I know what to expect on just about all of them, and what NOT to buy! LOL....
The Christkindlesmarkt was so much fun to see! There were home made things every where. From pine cone porcupines to hand blown glass to homemade food right there where you stood, it was awesome! I thought our craft shows back home had a lot of neat things. I couldn't believe some of the stuff they had here.
They had ornaments galore. Anything you could imagine and they had it.
They had hand painted carousels and village houses that I just love! I wanted to buy each one but we didn't have the money when we went so I didn't even look to see how much they cost.
They had pretty rocks that Bella would just die for! She's obsessed with rocks and Trinity had just broken her pretty one so when she saw these she wanted one of each!
They had homemade candles with fruit in them. Looked really cool.
They had a booth of nothing but hand blown glass. From small figurines to the large trees and church that light up. I was so afraid my kids were going to touch the table! It was all sparkly.
They had an entire booth for nothing but German Chocolate, again I wanted to buy one of each!Santa was also there! The Italian one of course and when we asked how much it was to get our pictures taken with him, he said Dieci, do you know how much that is??? 10 Euro to take your picture with Santa. I'm not sure if he was just pulling our legs because we were American or if that was the actual price but we didn't stay there long enough to find out!

Christmas in Italy, it's definitely different then in the states and I love it! Everyone should experience another cultures Christmas once to see how different it is. If anyone wants to see it here, let me know, Next year is right around the corner!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Germany Vacation

Our trip to Germany was one I'll never forget! We had an incredible time with our friend and the kids! We left early on a Sunday morning and were only staying Sunday night but it was so worth the trip! The Alps are nothing like anything I have seen before. They are more rocky and jagged then the Rockies and seem to be taller even! I love it!We got to Edelweiss early and were afraid we wouldn't be able to check into our rooms for 3 hours so we didn't know what to do. However, when I went and checked in they gave us our keys right away! Brandon and I had a suite and our friends just had a regular room but that's ok. Most of the time was spent in our room anyways playing Hand and Foot. We had several hours to kill before bed time so we went swimming in the pool. It was awesome! They had a little kids side that made life so much easier. Even Benjamin wasn't afraid to run around in the water and if he fell over, he'd pick himself right back up.

Also along with the pool they had a hot tub, however the hot tub was OUTSIDE!!! The temperature was about 10 degrees or so and Angel and I were taking turns with the guys running out there and jumping in. It was the most amazing experience. Cold and hot at the same time, wonderful! After all the swimming we went and ate dinner. We didn't want to eat Chinese at the buffet and the other place you had to have a reservation for so we ended up eating at the regular spot with pizza, hot dogs, etc. The food was good and company was better. Poor Tres couldn't even stay awake until his food got there. He was so cute! Ours were ready for bed too after we wore them out swimming but they were more hungry then tired!

Monday morning we woke up to it Snowing! The most amazing thing of the whole trip. We promised the kids snow and were so afraid we weren't going to see any but there it was! All white big flakes, falling in the morning! Perfect!
Of course the snowing didn't last long but it didn't matter. We were on a new adventure and weren't sure where we were headed yet. There were a couple castles that everyone wanted to see just about 30 minutes from where we were so we decided to take a few pics with the mountains and then head out for another fun adventure.
The trip to the castles was fun. It took us through several small German towns and wound us all around a little river. With the little bit of snow that was on the ground we couldn't help but stop and take a picture. Not many cars were on the roads either because of the weather but that didn't stop us.
We got to the castles in no time at all. The kids were super excited and I took way more pictures then any one person should but I couldn't help it. The weather was cold but we survived it just fine. At the back of the Hohenschwangau Castle we sat on the ledge and took family pictures. Our kids weren't having much of it but it was still fun. We were able to do a tour of this Castle. Since Brandon and I had been here before without the kids we knew what it was going to be like and knew our kids would be ok with the tour. Our friends had a good time too!After the tour we waited in line for our carriage ride up to the Neuschwanstein Castle. The kids were super excited to be able to go on a horse and carriage ride so it was well worth the wait.
This castle is every little girls dream castle. It's considered the Disney Castle because it supposedly looks a lot like Cinderella's castle (I'm not sure, I've never looked into it). I know that pictures don't do it justice. I've been there twice and both times the castle has taken my breath away. It's HUGE, Beautiful and overlooks the German country side! It even has it's own little waterfall with a hanging bridge. Amazing to say the least
After the Castle trips were done we had to get souvenirs. Brandon got a stein and I got a new plate for my china cabinet. I also got a shot glass since I collect them and all I couldn't leave without one.

This had to have been one of the best trips we have ever been on with friends. The rides to and from were great, the company was fabulous, the food was good, and the sights we saw were amazing! I'd do it again if I could, only next time, it'd be during a warmer time of year for sure!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chocolate Festival

Every October Italy has a Chocolate Festival. I know, it's the most incredible thing in the world!!! Imagine 50 booths of nothing but chocolate. Every kind you could possibly imagine from regular chocolate to chocolate tools. I bought several of the chocolate tools hoping to mail them to family but a lot of them got broken on the way home because of the kids. They had everything from carberators for cars to paint burshes and light bulbs. They had pliers, screw drivers, hammers and saw blades. It was awesome to see them and they didn't look at all like chocolate. Almost too good to eat!Most of the booths would give you just a sample taste if you wanted one. At one we got chocolate covered almonds and Brandon took a piece of chocolate that he didn't know what it was. He said it was really good then we walked away and his mouth started burning! I couldn't stop laughing it was so funny! That'll teach him to just eat stuff when he doesn't understand what they are telling him it is! I also didn't know what I was getting myself into when I bought 10 Euro worth of these little guys. They are so cute and colorful but man, some of them were soooo descusting!!! The little ball on the right had some type of creamy yellow stuff in it that was bad and then the second one from the left tasted like drit. Seriousily....just like dirt! The blue one is Liqour (very strong) the green one is Lime, and other then those I'm not sure what they were. One was dark chocolate, one was Coffee, one was just the milk chocolate and oh one was bannana. I have no clue which was which but some were good and some were really bad!

More of the wierd things they had were chocolate eggs and chocolate cheese. We didn't taste these or anything, they just looked nasty!

The logs of chocolate had to have been amongst my most favorite. It's amazing how big they got some of those logs to be and they tasted incredible too! Wish I could make my own chocolate like that!

At the end of our trip I had to buy a chocolate tea cup and spoon. It's really too cute to eat. I was trying to take a picture of it and this Italian guy wanted me to take his picture too so I couldn't help it. They are just as big of dorks as the Americans! LOL. I can't wait until next year rolls around when I have more money to spend when I go. I'll get everyone something next year!!!