Sunday, August 4, 2013

Visitors from DC! Part I

We just had another awesome visit with great friends from DC.  Jason and Liz arrived in Stuttgart on a very rainy summer day.  For some reason, it seems like all of our guests arrive on rainy days!  We had planned on showing them around Stuttgart a bit, but we decided against that because of the torrential down pour!  Instead, we headed home so that they could reunite with our dog, Gizmo, and take a nap. Kyle and I got our Portugal blog post up, and by then the weather had cleared up.  We headed to Tübingen, our usual stop with our guests on their first day here.  We admired the quaint town, and had a great German dinner at the Neckarmüller Brauerei.  It was a great, relaxing first day!

Jason's pic of Tübingen

First beer in Germany! (from Jason's camera)

Punting party on the Neckar River!
Unfortunately, Kyle had to work for the next three days, so the three of us hit the road and did some site seeing together.  Our first destination was the gorgeous medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, just about an hour and forty-five minute drive from home.  Kyle and I had just been to this town for the first time a few weeks ago and fell in love with it.  It's so quaint and picturesque, just exactly how you would picture a German village.  It's actually the village that inspired Disney's village in Pinocchio!  (It's also been in other movies, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1!)  We had a wonderful time wondering through the quiet streets and gardens.  I didn't bring Kyle's good camera, but I did snap pictures on the I phone, so pardon me that the pictures are not up to Kyle's normal high quality.  Jason and Liz both took some wonderful pictures, so I borrowed some from them, too.  (I'll mark their pics to give them credit for their artistic eyes :-)

Jason's lunch and pic

We got back in the evening just in time to fix dinner and eat with Kyle when he got home from work.  It was so much fun to cook together again!  We used to make dinner together all the time in Maryland and DC, and I missed that so much!

The next day we headed through the Black Forest to the Alsace region in France.  Jason had never been to France, so he got to check another country off of his list!  As you probably know since we go there a lot, I am in love with the Alsace!  The landscapes and villages are absolutely perfect.  The wine is excellent, and cheap!  We started toward the southern end of the wine route in the town of Riquewihr where we had lunch.  We then headed north on the wine route to walk around Ribeauville.  We did some wine tasting, bought a few bottles and then headed north to Strasbourg.  Stasbourg is such a great city.  It's pretty big, but not big enough to be overwhelming.  It feels like a mix of elegant Parisian architecture with quaint German village mixed in.  We walked around for a bit and had some amazing gelato before heading home on a different route through the Black Forest.  We got to hang out with Kyle a little bit before he headed to bed.  (He works extremely early in the morning!)

Jason's pic, wine tasting!

My pic, on Jason's camera!

Jason's pic

Mmm, quiche!  But who put those nasty beets on my plate??

Strasbourg Notre Dame Cathedral

Jason caught this on camera driving home through the Black Forest

The next day the three of us decided to stick around and relax a bit.  We slept in and took a picnic to the pool.  I think we were all in need of a breather day after our busy days of site seeing!  That evening when Kyle got off of work, we headed to a great biergarten that's just about five minutes from our house.  It's in the middle of the woods, so it's shaded and relaxing.  We hung out there for a while before heading back home to get ready for our trip the next day to Croatia!

One of the three pools!
Jason's pic, beating the heat!


Now the girls!  (Liz's pic)
We had an AMAZING trip to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.  Kyle took so many awesome pictures, I'll have to put Croatia in a separate post!  Here's one teaser pic, though!

We got back from Croatia pretty early in the morning, so we took a day to relax and hang out.  The next day, I dropped Jason and Liz off at the train station for their overnight trip to Munich.  It sounds like they had a wonderful time touring the city and relaxing in biergartens.  They also went to Dachau, the concentration camp which they said was depressing, but also interesting.  I picked them up from the train station in the evening the following day.  We had dinner together, then they had to pack up to head back to the States the next day.

We had a fantastic time with Jason and Liz.  We're so glad they took the time to come over for a visit.  I don't know when we'll get to see them next, but I'm thinking that meeting up in Spain and Morocco would be perfect!

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