Saturday, October 15, 2016

Our First Foray into the City

Today we ventured further than the grocery store.  Hyrum took us to some of the places he's been over the past several years while here on business.  We got off the tram at the Karlsplatz and wound our way to St. Michael's Kirche (kirche=church in German), Frauenkirkirche and onto the Marienplatz and a look at the famous clock tower and glockenspiel.  We popped into Peter's Kirche for a few minutes but there was a worship service going on and Ben wasn't cooperating with the call for silence : )

Karls Tor

I just loved the flower boxes.

We found catfish to play in, stones to climb on, wonderful musicians on every corner, pretzels, surfers and playgrounds.  It felt good to get out the apartment to do something besides grocery shopping.  We spent several hours in the Englischer Garten (English Garden), the largest urban park in the world.  It was so peaceful and green.  I forgot I was in the city.

This clarinetist was awesome. 

Catfish statue outside the hunting and fishing museum.

Fountain, pool thing near Peterskirche.  The kids loved the stones they could scramble on.

Hyrum shared historical information with us and I look forward to learning more.  My experience with Germany is largely what we learn in school about WWI and WWII but there so much more to the country than that.  Bavaria, the state Munich is in, has such a rich cultural heritage and I look forward to leaning more about it.

New City Hall at the Marienplatz.

This gentlemen was very good too.

This was probably our favorite musician.  He was playing water glasses, really well.

Surfers at the Englischer Garten.

Sunset from our apartment.

I forgot to add that people occasionally ask to take pictures of and with our family because of our hair color.  Today, we had a three oriental women each take turns posing with us.  The kids were totally wigged out but we smiles anyway.  Talk about cultural experience! 

Some Days . . .

 . . . You just have to dance!

The kids wanted to the song "It's all about the Bass."  I'm not a fan of the original lyrics so we turned on the baseball edition and a dance party was born!

Our playlist:
It's All About that Bass. Baseball Edition!!
Hooked on a Feeling
The Numa Numa Song
That Thing You Do
Joy to the World

Good times were had by all!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hallo München!

We arrived in Germany on Monday evening and went through the initial meltdown phase in trying to establish our household in yet another local.  This post has actually been really hard to write.  I am well aware of my limitations in preparation for this trip and in no way think the American way the only right way to do things, but yet my emotions and experiences over the past few days have left me feeling quite homesick and uncomfortable.  While coming to terms with the language barrier and the difference of life around me, my feelings when written on paper seem to convey a bit of entitlement mindset, I really don't espouse.  My efforts to write about our first week here have been a bit futile, but here it is now.

Colorful houses across from the park.

I listened to an interview this evening about traveling as a family.  The woman in the interview mentioned the challenges and discomfort that comes with traveling with children as one of the great rewards or benefits of travel.  I have felt the challenge and discomfort this past week.  It is such a lonely feeling to walk into a store where you can't read a single label, and where the culture isn't an overly friendly one.  Add to that there are not many people that will openly admit to speaking your language and it is really hard to feel comfortable in such a place.  Grocery shopping here had truly been a cultural experience from the lack of cold cereal to the large refrigerator compartment of different sausages and the fact that Colby Jack cheese doesn't exist here (my kids are dismayed).  So many things are different, I have found it hard to see the similarities and joys of the experience.

One of the sidewalks we will be come familiar with.

Our time here has been spent primarily in our apartment.  We were blessed to find a great place in the city, close enough for Hyrum to walk to the office.  There are several stores and parks near by as well so location wise things are great.  I have been to the grocery store everyday and a trip takes quite a while since I have ti try to decipher food labels and put together decent meals.  Yesterday we ventured out to a fabric store, that led us on a grander quest for balloons and glue. (We had a craft project today, more on that later)  We ended up in a department store which was a secret blessing.  We bought a few toys for the kids to help keep them occupied as it gets colder here along with our needed supplies.  Today, we made it to the park after our box of winter coats arrived.

I love Fall.  These leaves were stunning on the side of this building.

It is certainly an adventure and I think it will be a good one.  We're settling in and hopefully next week we'll get out a bit more and explore this city we call home for the next few months.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Weekend with Prophets and Apostles

General Conference was last weekend and was different this year than other.  Mostly because we are 7 hours removed from Salt Lake.  It was strange to spend Saturday and Sunday doing our normal things. (Sunday we had friends over for lunch instead of dinner)  We ate dinner a bit earlier those days since Conference started at 5 pm.  Saturday, after a bit of deliberation, Hyrum and i did watch the Saturday afternoon session.  I am so glad I did.  It was an answer to prayers.  The Priesthood session was a little late for Hyrum--1 am--so he watched that Sunday morning instead.

Play video

It was a great weekend and a good time with our family and friends.  I am so grateful for living prophets.  I learn something about the gospel and myself every time we watch and listen to their words. Today I was pondering 2 Nephi 32:3.  I believe that the men and women who spoke during conference are those angels and they speak the words of Christ.  Their words will draw us near to God and a happier life now and in the life to come.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Giant's Causeway and the Carrack-a-Rede

Our morning started a bit earlier than I wanted but all's well that ends well as they say and we were up and out the door by 9:20 this morning armed with jackets, snacks, lunch and water.  Our first stop for the day's adventure was the Giant's Causeway.  This is a basalt rock formation in Northern Ireland from a volcanic eruption many tens of millions of years ago.  Through the millennia erosion has caused these rocks to weather in a geometric pattern of 3-9 sided figures, always forming Y connections where rocks meet.  We all had a ball scampering around on the rocks.  first down to the sea then up on a larger formation then back down again.  One of the highlights of the day was watching a pod of dolphins swimming out at the mouth of the bay.  We watched them for probably a good 15 minutes.  It was fun to hear the stories of the giant, Finn MacCool and his feud Scottish giant that required him to build the causeway and the other stories about different parts of the area.  The kids were enthralled.  It was, yet again, rugged and wild but awesome!!

After Giant's Causeway, we drove up the road two trips and a stagger as they say here to the Carrak-a-Rede Rope Bridge.  It is a rope bridge to an island used by salmon fishermen not so long ago.  I wasn't sure I was going to make it across but thankfully, I had to be strong to get Spencer across.  He only thought I was talking to him as I encouraged us both just to keep watching Hyrum's head in front of us.  It was gorgeous though.  The views were great and it was well worth the time.

The water was so clear and blue.
It was like being in the tropics but we knew the water was freezing.

We had a good day on our last adventure here in Ireland and the United Kingdom.  Monday we move on to Germany and our adventures on the Continent.  Stay tuned for our Germany adventures!!