Almost as soon as Brandon and I returned home from our trip to England and Scotland, my parents arrived in Germany to visit us here for the first time. They arrived on Tuesday, July 21st and stayed with us through Saturday, August 1st. We stayed very busy exploring the Hohenfels area and Bavaria. I found it strange that I could blog throughout the UK, but I wasn’t able to find time while my parents were around. So, here is a summary of what we did each day:
Tuesday, July 21: I picked Mom and Dad up from the Nürnberg airport in morning. They were tired from the long flight, but all had gone smoothly. We went back to my house and just tried to keep them awake as long as possible so they could adjust to the time difference.
The Roman Shades Mom made!
Wednesday, July 22: We didn’t venture very far this first full day. We went shopping and ate lunch in Parsberg, and I gave them a tour of post (that only took about 10 minutes!). We also put up the Roman shades that Mom had made for the living room windows. The material had been purchased here in Germany when Mark and Linda were visiting, and they had taken it back to the U.S. It’s wonderful to finally have curtains!! That evening, I had my last German class and then a celebratory dinner afterwards at the pizzeria in Seubersdorf. Brandon, Mom and Dad joined us for the dinner and we all had a fun time.
Thursday, July 23: We did more shopping this day! This time we went to the fabric store in Katharied and the chocolate factory in Laaber. We also explored the town of Hohenfels and attempted to get to the castle ruins before realizing that just wasn’t possible!
On Regensburg's Old Stone Bridge
Friday, July 24: We went for a walk in the morning. Mom was very interested in the crops being grown in the fields around our house. Brandon was able to get off in the afternoon, so we went to Regensburg. We saw went inside several churchs, including the Dom, saw the bridge, and just walked around the old town before eating dinner there. We stopped in Parsberg on our way home for some yummy Eis (ice cream).
Mom and Dad at the Augustiner Beer Garden
Saturday, July 25: This was likely to be our only full day to travel with Brandon, so we went down to München (Munich). We basically did the same day trip that we had done when the Caves visited in April. We used the Hop-on, Hop-off Tour Bus as our transportation around the city. We hopped off at the Nymphenburg Palace, Olympic Park & BMW Headquarters, and the Old Town. We experienced a few downpours during the day, but managed to be inside most of the times it rained. We ate dinner at the Augustiner Beer Garden before driving back home.
At the Velburg Castle ruins
Sunday, July 26: I played for both the Catholics and the Protestant services in the morning. Brandon brought Mom and Dad on post for the Protestant service. Since most things are closed on Sundays, we decided to explore some castle ruins in the area since they are always open. The weather was beautiful to be outside and hike up to the ruins in Velburg and Lupburg. We stopped again at the ice cream shop in Parsburg after all of our exercise.
Liberation Hall in Kelheim
Monday, July 27: Brandon was able to join us for a half-day trip in the afternoon. We started the afternoon at Prunn Castle. Unfortunately, the tour was in German, but they did give us an English handout. Then we went to the Liberation Hall in Kelheim that was built by Ludwig I in memory of those that liberated Europe in the Napoleonic wars. Our last stop for the day was the Weltenburger Kloster where we ate dinner and had some good beer.
Tuesday, July 28: After all of the activity of the last few days, we decided to get some stuff done at home this day. I borrowed the concrete drill from Self-Help and we tackled the last remaining items that needed to be hung on the walls. We put the shelves we had purchased from IKEA up above the TV, and hung the two Van Gogh prints that we purchased in Amsterdam up above the piano and our bed. We also hung the wall quilt my grandma made in the stairwell. Having Mom and Dad here was definitely a calming influence on Brandon and me as we tackled these last few projects!
An ice cream break in Nürnberg
Wednesday, July 29: On Wednesday, we rode the train from Parsberg to Nürnberg. We were pleasantly surprised when Brandon came home from PT and said he’d be joining us! We explored a little of the Old Town by ourselves before having lunch at a delicious brewery. Then we took a walking tour that showed took us around the Old Town in more detail and ended with a tour of the castle. It was a beautiful, sunny day to see the city. We rode the train back to Parsberg and went to the Winkler Brau for dinner.
Wine Cellar in Parsberg
Thursday, July 30: Since their visit was quickly coming to an end, Mom and Dad started to get serious about finding souvenirs. We went back to the fabric store and chocolate factory that we had visited earlier to buy gifts. We also went to the wine cellar in Parsberg, which was a bit of an experience since the owner didn’t speak English and I only know a little German! We managed to buy several bottles of Riesling though. On our way home we stopped at a self-cut flower field to get some gladiolas. We grilled some German sausages in honor of Mom and Dad’s 32nd anniversary.
Rothenburg Main Square
Friday, July 31: On the last full day of their visit, we drove to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. They did some serious souvenir shopping at Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Christmas Shop! After a delicious lunch, we took the city walking tour to learn more about this Medieval, walled city. Unfortunately, our guide was not the most enthusiastic speaker and the tour was a bit slow. We drove home to get Brandon, and we went to properly celebrate Mom & Dad’s anniversary at Gasthof Lindenhof in Schmidtmühlen. There was a fest in the small town of Raitenbuch that we stopped at on the way home. I was hoping there would be crepes, but the fest was so small, they only had one outside vendor that was selling nuts. Mom and Dad will have to experience a bigger fest the next time they visit.
Saturday, August 1: Brandon and I took Mom and Dad to the Nürnberg Airport in the morning. They were to fly from Nürnberg to München and then on to Chicago where Dad has a conference that starts Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, their travels were not to go smoothly. They made it to München, but the next flight was canceled due to maintenance needs. They spent the whole day in line to reschedule the flight. They were lucky enough to get another flight out on Sunday morning, so they stayed in München that night.
Sunday, August 2: Mom and Dad managed to make it from München to Berlin and then to New York. However, their luck ran out there. The last flight from New York to Chicago was canceled due to weather, so they had to spend the night in New York before finally getting to Chicago Monday morning.
Overall, it was a fun and wonderful visit! I just hope that their hard time getting back to the United States, doesn’t prevent them from visiting again.