Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Winter

It's December, and here in Albuquerque winter weather is well underway.  This picture was taken out of my office window just last week.  As you can see, there is nothing but white (and reflections of my office) past the ledge.

This is what I can usually see past the ledge!  Despite all that white, we only got a few inches here and there and now it is almost all melted.  A little snow is still big news in Albuquerque!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pop Pop

Jesse had a work trip in Maryland last week, and was able to take another day to stop by and see his mom, Pop Pop, and Uncle JP in Delaware.  We look forward to seeing all of you again at Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Soccer Tournament

Jesse's team played four games this weekend for the end of the season tournament.  They ended up with 4th place, and I attended their final game (as I shivered under my blanket).  Jesse played really well, and looked good doing it!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Last place beats DNF

On our Europe extravaganza Dave and I drove the Nürburgring in a rented VW Scirocco.  It was a lot of fun, and despite one harrowing incident involving screeching tires and a fast approaching grassy knoll, we had no accidents.  The same cannot be said for the folks in the video below.  This montage gives you an idea of the mayhem that is tourist driving on the Nürburgring.  By not ending up with my hazards on in a barrier, I can say that I drove better than most in this video. 

Take a look and you'll see how our planned four laps could have been stopped short.  Note, according to Autoblog none of these crashes resulted in serious injuries.  I can't say the same for the crash that stopped our fun.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Street Fighter

Have you ever seen Jesse dressed up for Halloween?  Me neither . . . until now!  Seeing is believing:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Be Happy

I was able to squeeze in one layout this month.  I don't have the opportunity to use pink a lot, so I was very excited to use pink in this sister layout of Rachel and my weekend in Chicago last year.  I used My Mind's Eye's October sketch as my inspiration.

I also made this card for Scrapbook Express's October card sketch.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Europe Part 4: Köln

We spent our last few days in Cologne, Germany.  Our first day there was wet and cold, but Jesse and I braved the elements and walked across the Hohenzollern Bridge where they put up tons of love locks.  Once we crossed the bridge to the opposite bank, we had a great view of the city's iconic Dom Cathedral.   

We also explored the inside of the cathedral, which has impressive, grand Gothic architecture.  It also (supposedly) has the skulls and bones of the three magi, which are kept in an ornate, gold and jeweled box.  There are numerous other pieces of significant art and stained glass.   

After our tour, Jesse sneaked in what he considers an obligatory McDonald's stop.   

Wesley was so excited about taking a boat ride.  We booked a one-hour sightseeing cruise on the Rhine and enjoyed some luxe seating on the upper deck.  It was a great way to see the city, although Wesley would have preferred it if we went super-fast!

We walked around the cute city acting like dorky tourists . . .

and Wesley got attacked by the kissy monster more than once.

We finished the day with a Cologne must -- dinner (sausage, meat, and potatoes) and Kölsh beer at a Brauhaus.  

The following day, we took another fun mode of transportation -- the Schoko-Express (a really cute little touristy train).    

We took the train up to the cathedral area, where we we showed our true colors by having breakfast at Starbucks (do you see how huge those mugs are?!?)  After breakfast, we went to the museum Ludwig, where we saw (but could not photograph) a variety of contemporary art, including Picasso, Warhol, and some really out there stuff (which was fun for entirely different reasons).

After the museum Ludwig, we took the Schoko-Express down to the chocolate museum, which houses a collection much more up Wesley's alley.  We saw cool chocolate sculptures, read interesting facts about chocolate, saw actual Lindt chocolate being made, and received a free piece of Lindt chocolate and a wafer dipped in a chocolate fountain (yum!)  Those treats weren't enough, so Jesse and I scored a nice box of handpicked German chocolates from their extensive chocolate shop. 

That evening, we had another highlight: attending the Germany v. Ireland World Cup qualifying game, where we cheered Germany on to victory!  

The game definitely had good atmosphere, with tons of cheering, singing, and clapping.  Here is a video of the kickoff.  

Germany scored the first goal of the game at the first half, and we had the perfect vantage-point.

Ireland put up a decent defense, and kept the score 1-0 at the half.

It was a little cold and rainy, but our seats were covered and the excitement plus layers kept us pretty warm.

In the second half, Germany scored two more times to tremendous applause.

Germany's decisive win secured its spot in the World Cup!

We are so blessed to have had such an amazing trip!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Europe Part 3: Cochem & Burg Eltz

The next day we woke up in charming Cochem, a small town on the Mosel River (an area known for its Riesling wines).  It is hard for me to pinpoint my favorite part of the trip, but this day was probably it.  There was just so much beauty to soak in!

Situated on a hill right in the middle of town is a lovely castle (Reichsburg Cochem).  We walked all the way up past the grapevines that grow on the steep river-side hills.  We did not have time to tour the inside, but were able to walk around the grounds, enjoy the views, and watch a falconry show.

We had a special treat for lunch because my friend Maria (who lives in Germany) drove up to see us!  Her visit made the scrumptious outdoor patio dining even more fun.  We (of course) had some wine with lunch and then tasted and purchased a number of different wines at a couple local wineries and wine shops.

We finished the day at Burg Eltz, another castle not too far from Cochem.  Unlike most castles in this area (including Reichsburg Cochem), this castle was never destroyed so we were able to tour a true medieval castle, including a number of fully furnished rooms and the castle treasury.  Wesley, being the expert on castles, was on the lookout for dragons and princesses, and kept asking where they were.  Despite his vigilance, we did not come across any during our tour, so we bought him a stuffed one from the gift shop.  Being the bright kid that he is, he immediately declared the dragon a toy, not a real dragon, but he soon got over that small point and enjoyed running around with him. 

Believe it or not, we fit all of this fun into one day.  Say tuned for the final post on our trip to Cologne!