Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Break Adventures

When we originally planned our trip to Germany for Christmas we talked about going down to the Black Forest for a few days, but we ended up deciding against that and do a few day trips instead.  We were just not ready to get back into the car after our long trip and doing London for a few days.

 Ashley came from London to spend Christmas with us, so she joined us for our adventures.  Going anywhere with the Clubine Party of 5 is always an adventure.  First it takes us forever to get anywhere and we have lots of meltdowns along the way (and we have very stubborn kids, so these meltdowns can take a while).

The day after Christmas we went to Limburg, just to explore and look around.  
Nora kept walking up to this nativity scene and saying "Hi baby Jesus".
Limburg is a cute picturesque little town.  Everything was still closed for the Christmas holidays, so we didn't get to do a whole lot.  We had lunch at a very cute little pub, but I didn't get any pictures of that.
Hannah was jumping up and down to get into this picture
Unfortunately the Christmas market behind us was closed as well
The sun came out and the lighting was pretty cool
Apparently it was a day for lots of selfless.
The next day we decided to go ice skating in Cologne.  One of the Christmas markets still had an ice skating rink set up.
Before the ice skating Hannah needed to fuel up with this…..yummy
Evan wanted to ice skate as well, so I pretty much pushed him around the entire time.  He did not get tired of it……me on the other hand got pretty tired and my back was killing me:)
This ice sating rink was really big and set up kind of fun.  These long straight stretches connected two round rinks and there was a bridge to watch from.  All in the middle of the city with great views.

These kids did not want to stop and we skated for two hours…..poor Scott had to walk around with Nora for that long and keep her entertained.
Taking just a little break
Ashley captured this picture of my favorite German city
Our next adventure took us to Moersdorf to cross the Geierlay suspension bridge.  This bridge was pretty awesome and worth a visit.  It was quite nerve wracking crossing it with three kid and it was super busy that day.  I am sure this would be even more breathtaking in the Spring or Fall and when it is not so busy.
The bridge is 360m long and 100m high.
I had to hold on the entire time.  It was definitely a little scary.
These pictures just don't do it justice.
The frost on the trees was so pretty
Almost across
We made it across… we just had to make it back
Going back across the bridge did not go so smooth for us.  Remember when I mentioned our kids having meltdowns.  Well this was one of those times……on a suspension bridge up high in the air.  The frost made the first part of the bridge really slick and we were just sliding down.  Nora wanted to walk all by herself (just like a two year old always wants to do) and didn't want to hold my hand, which was impossible and way too dangerous.  So, she decided to have a meltdown on this bridge.  I was sweating trying to calm her down and carry her across this bridge.  Once Nora finally calmed down Evan started to cry.  I can't even remember why he cried, but I am sure it was completely justified.  Haha!
Then we had to walk another 1.2miles back to the car and Evan kept throwing a fit, because he wanted to be carried.  We were pushing an empty stroller, because Nora was walking, so we refused to carry him.  He refused to sit in the stroller the entire time and kept crying… made for a loooong 1.2mile walk back.

Scott had booked a night at the Cologne Hilton and the kids were supposed to stay with my mom.  I was not feeling well that day, so our plans changed and Scott took Hannah and Evan on an overnight date in the city
The kids always love a hotel stay and going out to eat.
This is the dessert they ordered
My mom was letting Nora make her own hot chocolate for breakfast.  My mom got distracted for a few moments and left Nora by herself.  These are the results.
Her chocolate milk was more like chocolate pudding
Of course she was happy as could be…..messy hair don't care

The next day was New Years Eve and we went on another day trip.  We visited a Nature park/path.  This place was really nice, but would also be much better in the Spring or Summer when you can see more animals.  The kids still had a great time.  We climbed this tower and had fantastic views.  
After that we walked on a path above the tree line through the woods.  You have a completely different perspective from there.  They had several interactive stations along this path to learn about animals and the environment.  Then we played on the nature playground until our fingers and toes were completely frozen.

We spent New Years Eve at my parents house and did a taco bar, played lots of games and watched "Dinner for One" (its a German tradition).  This was Hannah's first time watching it and she thought it was quite funny.  All of the kids made it up until midnight and we went outside to watch the fireworks. Everybody shoots of fireworks on New Years in Germany.  Nora did not like the fireworks and Hannah is not a huge fan.  Scott took Nora back inside and Oma followed with Hannah a little while later.  Evan on the other hand was fascinated by the fireworks and loved them.  He did not know what direction to look, because they were everywhere.  Me and Evan walked down to the river to get a good view of all the fireworks.  We stayed outside until almost 1am to watch.  The grin on his face and his excitement was priceless.  It was a wonderful way for me to ring in the New Year.

On our last day in Germany we had a little bit of snow and the kids took this opportunity to make a snowman.

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