Monday, September 7, 2015

Southern drawls and sweet tea

Hey there, stranger!

I can't say that I'm back on for good but I thought it was time to give an update on our new "adventure", a whole 6 (ish) hours away from the GREAT state of AL (no..not an ounce of sarcasm there).  We said so long to sweet home Alabama and headed on to the peachy state of Georgia, Savannah to be right on the money.  Pretty cool place!  We had been here as tourists nearly 6 years ago, never thinking we'd end up living we're pretty pumped.  We arrived at the very beginning of August and are slowly working our ways at becoming "locals".  We live around 10 miles from the center of downtown..making it the perfect medium and lots of things to do (thank the LAWD, I don't know how much longer we couldn't tolerated a trip to Target as a "night out").  

My mom and David visited this past Labor Day weekend, the first time in nearly 2 years since I've seen her and the first time I'm seeing her in the U.S. in 5 years (the other times were in Korea and weird but cool).  Here are a few shots of our time together...Charleston was super cute but Savannah has and always will be #1 in my book.

In Charleston, the super cute "Rainbow Row".  There's a lot of historical information about this street...but I'll have to refer you to my husband because I was more interested in taking pictures, I mean, come's not like I wouldn't retained it anyways.

The Angel oak.  Named after a family...but I thought the name was very fitting for how magical this tree was.

Nothin' like sum crab cakes 'nd sum greyns! (insert Southern accent or it's just embarrassing)

Now entering Savannah...perhaps one of my most favorite things about this city is their romantic Spanish moss oak trees and their open container policy.  I mean, who wouldn't enjoy a nice drink as they stroll through history?  Awesomeness.

The rugged, yet pretty Tybee Island.

Let's all take a moment and give thanks for our seafood to no longer be staring back at us.....

Huzzah!!!  That's what I'm talkin' bout!

Ahh, Forsyth Park.  Breathtaking in person.

Andddd for the Grand Finale.....the moment you've all been waiting for (totally kidding).

Love from us to you from Savannah!

(there are many more pictures but I have to preserve them!)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A "true" German experience

Oh, the sweet, sweet sound of Bavaria.

When someone thinks of Germany, they typically think of beer, castles, and sauerkraut.  Ha, maybe not those exact things or in that order get the gist.  While Wiesbaden is so beautiful, it really is no Bavaria.  Since MLK weekend was a 4-day weekend for the military, we decided to jet off to the Alps for some skiing, sightseeing, and getting extra squishy from the local cuisine.  

Instead of staying at the famous "Edelweiss", we opted to stay at a more Mom & Pop type bed and breakfast and we are so glad we did.  I feel like most often, when you venture outside of the box, your experiences are much more authentic and it also challenges you to figure things out on your own so to speak.  Our hotel was family owned and they took care of every entity of this place.  It was nestled into a small town, about 15 minutes down the mountain to the popular ski and downtown area.

I think the U.S. literally stole all of the snow for Europe.  We are hiking the SKI SLOPES.......

This is on our way down to the ski slopes.  This is a monastery.  Most monasteries brew delicious beer as well as bottle and distribute to the local area.  Very neat to experience the differences in each little town.

We decided to hike (walk up a steep, paved road) up to Neuschwanstein Castle.  This castle, as I'm sure many of you know, was the idea modeled for Cinderella's castle at Disney World.

If you don't want to walk, you could always take a carriage ride to the top!

One thing I haven't touched on in the blog much is the fact that you have to pay to use the bathroom.  INSANE--especially when you don't have that dreaded 50 or 70 cents on you.  They come equipped with turnstiles, meaning there is no cheating (trust me, I've tried).  We came to know this when we first went to Italy last year..boy was that a rude awakening after a cab and an hour long train ride.  It's all about makin' memories I suppose!  Shiza.

Oh, the dreaded ski experience.  So, I've had a lot of anticipation (not the positive, exciting kind) about snow sports.  Let's face it, I'm a FLORIDIAN to the bone..meaning..I do things that are water related.  I love snow but I just had this feeling I was going to be an embarrassment to winter sports and boy was I right on the money.  It didn't help that for my very first time..I went on the slope I like to refer to as "Mount Everest".  I had zero lessons (which was my choice) but I also didn't even do the bunny slopes.  No, Brittany thinks it's a good idea to just give it a whirl and my butt was making me pay the next day.  There are so many funny stories of which I won't bore you with but to sum it up..I stopped the entire ski lift, cried 2 times on the way down, and Mike split his shin.  Good times had by all!  And no, we didn't return a second day.  We went to Munich instead...nonetheless, it was so beautiful and worth every second, tear, laugh, and memory.

Pretzels or Bretzels as Germans call them..the size of your face.  Only in Bavaria would you find them this huge!  I am a pretzel-holic so yes, that bad boy was eaten.

Typical German cuisine....

The beautiful Munich.  I didn't know this before coming but it is actually spelt and pronounced "Munchen".  No clue why Americans call it Munich.  Even Koreans called it Munchen, ha!  If they can get it right, something's certainly wrong.

Beer was only served by the liter at the biggest beer house in the world.  Oye.......

The atmosphere was incredible.  They had a traditional band playing, it was just the quintessential German experience.  Loved it!

Well, of course there are a ton more pictures and stories but that'll be all for now.  Just wanted to give a quick update.  We have one more trip left this coming weekend and then that'll wrap up our Europe extravaganza.  I keep joking that once we return stateside I'll start blogging about how I took a shower, went grocery shopping, and that I brushed my hair.  Exciting things coming people, exciting things.

Till next time....


Monday, February 3, 2014

YOW-ZA, it has been a while!

A leeeetle behind!

I wish I had a good, logical excuse for not blogging these past 2 months but I don't.  I'm just going to blame it on the fact that we are in Europe and are soaking up and loving every second.  Instead of recapping from after Switzerland until now, I've decided to go from NOW back to after Swiss wonderland.  Maybe that'll give me enough time to dust off the rust on my brain.

I suppose the most recent trip was the impromptu decision to do a day-trip to Paris.  I type that and laugh to myself, "A day-trip to Paris", WHAT?  That just seems so odd yet surreal.  Even when I was standing under the Eiffel Tower, inside Notre Dame, and on top of the Arc de still doesn't seem that this is real life.  

The Army puts together these day, weekend, or week-long trips all throughout Europe.  It's kind of like a giant tour-group.  A lot of people prefer to travel this way because it's typically a package group deal and they feel overall more safe as a group than traveling as a family.  I, however, do not prefer to do trips this way (nor does Mike) but since Paris wasn't on our list..I figured I might as well jump on it.  Mike didn't go (he wasn't disappointed in the least) because France is considered a "high-risk" country to visit because of...just all the weird things that happen?  Anyways, it ended up being a few girls I know and some of their friends.  We boarded at 2 A.M., yes, I typed that correctly, arrived in Paris around 8 A.M., boarded to leave at 6 P.M., and arrived back in Germany at 12:45 A.M.  Today is the first day that I haven't felt like a semi-truck nailed me in the face.  Very worth it though!

We decided to kind of "wing-it" as far as planning.  This was our ride for the day...the infamous red "Hop-on, Hop-off" bus.  By far the cheapest and most convenient option for a day in the city.

Though the day started out pretty rotten weather-wise, it sure turned out to be B-E-A-UTIFUL.

This photo was taken pre-almost death.  You see, we all know of that famous roundabout around the Arc.  If not, it's almost like a circular fan of automobiles with angry, angry French drivers behind the wheel.  So as the 4 of us, one who has a 3 year old in a stroller, are staring at this massive circle..wondering how in God's green Earth do we get across?  Oh, I know.  Let's ask a guy photographing this very spot.  "Oh, youz cross zee street.  Don't worry, zeh don't heit youz."  We look at each other and logically, we run.  FOR OUR DEAR LIVES.  Why?  Why would we ask him and more importantly, why would we listen?  All you could hear was "HONK HONK" and arms flying up in the windshields.  Whoopsy!  In our defense, people were doing it from every end.  So, I screamed as I ran, which I am sure he caught on his super-zoom camera lens.  What we didn't recognize was the underground entrance.  Live and learn I suppose!  Just glad we lived...but I have to say, that is probably a moment I'll never forget.

Notre Dame!  Very beautiful from the inside, out.  

This is a picture taken from the top of the Arc.  It was an amazing 360 degree view.  Totally worth the 9.50 Euro!

Paris definitely had an interesting flair to it.  It's architecture is nothing like I've seen anywhere in Europe before (which was to be expected).  We didn't have a chance to go into the Louve, which I can't say I was too heartbroken about.  A tip if ever in Paris...BYOD.  A Sprite was about $7.50 and let's just say there is no free-refills!  It comes in this tiny bottle.  Thankfully, I wasn't the one who made the mistake and ordered it.  It is outrageously priced there but then again, people will always pay that price.  

Well, that about sums Paris up in a nutshell.  I have a bunch of more pictures but I figured you had, had enough.  Next blog post will be about our trip to Munich, skiing in the Bavarian Alps, and seeing "Cinderella's" castle (Neuschwanstein).  It was a fantastic trip!

Until then....

Love to all!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Swiss Getaway

Switzerland was LOVELY.

I have never been around such beautiful scenery that ranged as small as the details on the houses as the enormous Alps that surrounded us.  Though it was a short 4 1/2 hour drive, there were differences in culture, which surprised me because we often think Europe is just one big country.

For one, the food.  Good LAWD, German food is way better and considerably cheaper.  You know, I've always known that Switzerland wasn't famous for being an affordable place to visit..well they ain't KIDDIN'.  I would say the average meal, very in a roll and a sausage..ran you about $36.  Not to mention, Francs aren't cheap.  The food was just kind of "blah", too.  I know they are famous for chocolate, cheese (which, we had both) but it really isn't anything to be "wow-ed" about.  Here's a picture of a meal I ate at the top of the Alps.  Traditional Swiss mac n' cheese with potatoes, bacon, and a good ole' dollop of APPLE SAUCE.  Who does that?

One of the stranger experiences of the trip is on our last night we weren't starving, just looking for a quick bite to eat.  We literally stayed in the smallest village (pictures to come), leaving this cute little bistro.  We thought, why not?  We walk in, we were greeted in some sort of language and we respond "Hello" and alllllll eyes slowly turned towards us.  We sat ourselves, which is normal in Europe, and it was literally the most uncomfortable dining experience.  It was so unwelcoming and I couldn't really give you a specific answer besides, it just was.  It's almost like we walked into this sacred "local hangout".  The cuteness of this "Bistro", which by my book, was TOTALLY NOT A BISTRO.  It should've said, "We have heated up sausages and hard bread".  Anyways, live and learn!

Before I ramble are a few shots.

Our hotel lobby!

This little town, not sure of the name, is a non-driving city.  You can't have a car, or rather, it can't be here.  This looks like it's at the base of a mountain.  No.  It's ON the side of a mountain, maybe 5,000 feet-ish?  How fun is that?  Mike doesn't agree.  Anyway, it's cute!

Our plan was to ski but "unfortunately" (see what I did there?) it was closed and open only on weekends.  It's not that I didn't have the desire..I'm not ready to die just yet.  I don't really feel the SWISS ALPS should be my first ski attempt.  They do have beginner routes but…I mean, how beginner can they be?  Maybe another time!  Instead, we ate (my applesauce mac n' cheese) which was more up my alley despite the weirdness.

Before I wrap it up, Mother Nature decided to surprise us with another cold gift.  I figured, well, it wouldn't be the Alps if it didn't……

A little different of a view from the day before, huh?

It was just magnificent!  So happy we had this opportunity.  

Next post, Christmas markets!  Love to all!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Germany's famous Black Forest

Our weekend trip!

We always knew that we wanted to take a trip to the Black Forest before we left, primarily to get a famous "CooCoo clock" they are known for.  The Black Forest covers a substantial amount of land, somewhere in the realm of 2,300 sq. miles.  We visited the city of Triberg, specifically, which is home to the "House of 1000 clocks".  No, there weren't 1,000 BUT it was still so overwhelming to just chose one but then you see the price and think "Can I just break a piece off of one?"

Getting to the actual city was fairly easy and probably ranks as the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.  The drive looked a little like this (although, pictures don't do it any justice at all)..

That's a random castle we passed!  Best shot I could get.

The problem came as we were trying to find our hotel.  Seems easy, right?  Wrong.  It seems that Google Maps doesn't entirely aline with Germany.  Who knew?  We sure do now!  We probably looked for over an hour, weaving through mountains, in and out of tunnels.  The frustration was building, Danny was throwing up from car sickness in the back, Shep's on the other side of the backseat looking at me like "Um, we've got a problem."  So, we decided to stay somewhere else & it all ended up working out. seems as if a GPS is on our list of upcoming purchases.

Triberg was so cute and quaint.  I really loved this little city!  One unexpected thing happened (besides getting lost and Danny puking), our cold, white friend visited us!

We decided to visit the famous Triberg Waterfalls.  Don't feel too bad for Shep..he was LOVING IT.  Oh, and just ask my handy "map-man" how lost he got us trying to find this waterfall.  

We had a great, relaxing time.  If you ever happen to be in Germany, I would say the Black Forest is a must-see.  The fresh air, sweet atmosphere, and beautiful sights is enough to pull anyone in! 

This coming weekend we are going on a boat/restaurant on the Rhine river.  Hoping to have a few pictures of that!  If not, I'll blog after our weekend in Switzerland.

Till next time...Chao!