Friday, July 30, 2010

Parsberg Metro Area

This is probably a joke only Americans in Germany will get. Because Germans don't know the term 'metro area' and most American's don't realize that using the term 'metro area' in reference to Parsberg is completely laughable. Parsberg is a little German town, or at least little by American standards. We do have 3 grocery stores, 2 banks, tons of restaurants and a pet store crammed into less than 1 square mile. No Walmart. No Target. You get the picture. Actually, I've always wondered how 3 grocery stores survive in our town- two of which are LITERALLY next door to each other? Must be a German thing.

I spend the better part of the week home with Jackson and the two dogs. So come the weekend, I'm eager to get out and explore. Thankfully there is PLENTY to do. Usually the hard part is getting motivated to get out and DO it. With Andy's upcoming roataion (read an entire month of working 14-18 hour days) we have lots of motivation to spend our last few weekend days doing something FUN. So we've been taking lots of day trips (and lots of pictures!). These trips are all within an half hour driving distance hence the quip of the Parsberg Metro Area. So funny you forgot to laugh, right?

Wallhalla better falls into the category 'Regensburg Metro'. It's located on a hill just up the Danube River from Regensburg and was built by Ludwig I, King of Bavaria in 1830-1842. **Please forgive my history lessons. I just feel the need to include SOME factual information so when I look back I can pretend to know the history behind some of these amazing places.

'The' Wallhalla is a hall of fame for Germans, I guess. There are 65 plaques and 130 busts (according to Wiki) of famous Germans including King Ludwig I himself, and the other famous Ludwig- van Beethoven (both pictured above).

The busts were cool in the creepy white marble eye kinda way, but the real beauty is the building they are housed in. I love the towering columns, and the alternating pattern of light and shadow they make on the ground.

Y is for Yaya! In the picture below Jackson is making a 'Y' to show is Yaya (grandmother) we are thinking of her. It's been her idea all along to visit here, and she is the one who told ME about it. Subsequently I've told everyone I know in the area to go visit, too!

Along with Parthenon-esque architecture, Walhalla has phenomenal views of the river below and farmlands and cities beyond.

I'm pretty sure there is nothing better than spending the day outside with my boys.

Jack's New Ride

How ever will the ladies be able to resist?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Milestones Part III

Sorry to interrupt the vacation posts (Yes, there are STILL more to come, sorry), but our much anticipated milestones are finally here. I can feel (even though he refuses to let me 'see') the tip of Jacksons first tooth- his bottom right poking through the gums. All that grouchiness before is nothing compared to this. Oh my. Experienced mamas- how long does this LAST? ** edited to say that today is MUCH better. Cold watermelon (of course) and cucumber seem to be favorites right now. However, our nights are pretty miserable.

Crawling- he still doesn't use it as his main mode of transportation, but he can do it. He often starts out with a few 'steps' before flopping down and doing the drag/push Army crawl (or low crawl as Andy told me is the correct term).

Regardless of how he gets there- he is EVERYWHERE. Favorites? Pushing open the screen door to let the dogs in, playing in the dog's water bowl, and of course, chasing the dogs.

Pulling up- it's so fun to watch his slow, deliberate movements to get himself into a standing position. He lifts a hand and waits to steady himself before raising the next. Then scooting his knees up under him before taking the final step to pull himself all the way up. I know soon enough he will be able to do it quick as lightening, so right now I'm enjoying the 'process' it takes.

Reading. Forgive the poor quality of this photo, but I couldn't resist. I found Jackson like this reading his favorite 'touch and feel' book all by himself.

Oh, and while I certainly don't consider this a milestone, I stood Jack up against our dining room armoire and took this super cute picture. It's hard to believe sometime soon he'll be standing on his own and taking those first steps. . .

And my favorite memory of the day (ok, week): After getting home from a BIG day of errands Jackson was elated to be free from the car seat, stroller, and being held. He speed (low)crawled over to the music table, pulled himself up, and grinned. At that moment I let out a hiccup, one of those very loud, sometimes embarrassing, HUAAH noises and Jackson burst out laughing. He continued to laugh at each hiccup I had- oh how I love that baby's laugh.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


We got up early one morning to hit the town of Pula, Croatia. Really we got up early every morning on vacation because Jackson thought 530 was 'morning'. Oh how parenthood changes you. No more late nights drinking copious amounts of wine and watching the sun come up. Now we still see the sun come up but it's in the form of early morning wake ups, days filled with strollers, diaper bags and naps. Don't think I'm complaining though, not even a bit. Forgive the cliché, but I love my life and wouldn't change it for anything.

The biggest attraction in Pula is likely the Arena. We haven't made our way to Rome yet, and thus haven't seen the Coliseum but that is exactly what the Pula Arena reminded me of. Hopefully we will one day make it to Rome so we can compare the two. One thing that I don't think will compare are the pictures. We made it to the Arena less than half an hour after they opened. The morning was still cool and the visitors were still few.

Now I'll be the first to admit it. I STILL don't REALLY know how to work my camera. Yes I know I NEED to learn, and it's been on my list for a while, but I tend to 'learn' by picking up small new pieces of knowledge here and there and applying them. Ok, really I just point and shoot, occasionally playing with the settings so I look like I know what I'm doing.

I try not to think about how spectacular these pictures could be if I REALLY knew what I was doing. But I console myself when I get a shot that I love, or 10. I love these pictures of Jackson and myself. Love them. Also, no, I didn't realize we coordinated.


We also hit some of the other sights Pula has to offer.

Cathedral of Assumption

The Harbor

Town Hall

Roman Theater

Old Town

Triumphal Arch of the Sergi

and Temple of Augustus where we met with a meltdown.

We trucked it back to the car with a hot, tired, crabby baby. Looking back now, I realize we should have found a shaded sidewalk cafe and sat down for something to drink and attempted to coax Jack into a nap, however short it may have been. I'll be sure to remember it for next time. Travelling is a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.