Note: Our internet service has been sketchy at best, and we also lost our voltage convertor. So, although I have not been able to post as much as I had hoped, I am still journalling the journey. I will definitely post all pages that haven’t yet been posted, when we return home. Keep checking back though… who knows what will happen next!

15 July 2009, Wednesday

Hi Little Girl,

This morning started off a little differently than the rest of the days so far. To start off, you and daddy enjoyed a slumber party last night, and Nana slept in the other room with me. I heard you two talking for quite a while, but noticed that as soon as he said good night to you (and you said good night back), you went right to sleep. When we awakened today, we got dressed quickly, packed up some food and got on the road. After driving for a little while, we found a nice place to pull over, lay down a nice blanket, and eat a picnic breakfast. Because of our remote location, hardly anyone drove by, and you were able to run and play in the grass. Nice way to start the morning.

After our picnic breakfast, we hopped back in the car and headed toward a new destination, Germany. I noticed that on the way there, you and nana took a little nap, which was good because once we arrived at our destination we were up walking all afternoon. We headed toward the Mosel River, a favorite place of mommy and Nana from many years ago. We drove for about 1.5 hours, and eventually pulled off the freeway into the mountains surrounding the river. Once we were there, we looked at all of the vineyards lining the river. You awoke about his time, where-upon I told you that we were in Germany. Your response, “Really? Wow, it’s nice here.” I definitely agree.We meandered our way through the river valley, finally coming to a little town called Bernkastlel, located right on the river’s edge. The picturesque little town was the perfect place for us to walk around, window shop, and meander through the city center. You loved the opportunity to dance and play while we strolled through the village. Daddy and mommy of course took lots of photos while we were there. We finally settled at a nice little restaurant and enjoyed a drink and a little food. You provided some entertainment during our meal by singing and dancing for us, which in turn received lots of laughter and applause. After our meal, we finished our stroll through the village, with just enough time for daddy to buy an authentic beer stein (something he really wanted).

Our next destination was a riverboat that meandered its way up and down the Mosel River, taking us by other little towns and castles located in the river valley. You loved the boat ride, making sure to enjoy all of the scenery while aboard. For the adults, we loved the peaceful journey through the river, admiring the grapevines lining every inch of mountainside possible. We were all amazed at the fact that the grapevines meander up mountainsides with slopes that at times are greater than 70 degrees (90 degree would be totally vertical). It is truly awe-inspiring to know that the grapes on those vines are eventually picked and turned into wine… delicious, yummy wine. By the way, mommy made sure to buy a bottle before we left, and I cannot wait to try it later on our journey.

There was a funny thing that happened while we were on our journey today. We found numerous reasons to laugh as we travelled to and from the River. Every time we passed an exit sign while on the freeway, we would chuckle. We ended up laughing hysterically with each and every exit, and your daddy made sure to make some funny comments. You see, little girl, we use the word exit to tell drivers that they can use the ramp to leave. The German word for exit is Ausfahrt, and when said aloud sounds a lot like a silly sound. Yes, we enjoyed many a laugh today.

We finished our day by going to a little restaurant that is walking distance from the cottage. Because we had already eaten dinner, we walked there for a nice dessert and a drink (yes, another great beer!) for the guys. After looking over the menu, we made our choices and waited for them to be brought to the table. While we were waiting, Nana told us a story about a time when she was with a group of people in the Netherlands who, like us, ordered some nice desserts, and as each dessert was brought to the table, your Nana kept waiting and waiting for hers. After watching everyone else eat delicious desserts, she finally discovered that the restaurant had forgotten her dessert, so she ended up eating after everyone at the table. It was a story that made us all laugh… until it happened again, tonight. Daddy, mommy, and Marcel received their desserts first, then you, and finally Melanie (she ordered crepes). At that point, Melanie asked the waiter where your nana’s ice cream was, and they looked around and said, “Oops, we forgot.” So, apparently your nana has a difficult time ordering dessert, in Europe.

Here are some more pictures from our day:

The skinniest house in the village, A very pretty entrance-way, Daddy’s wonderful kisses, You being extra comfortable, You and daddy on the boat, Three generations, You on the boat, Our view from the boat, the vineyards behind the buildings on the hills, Marcel on the boat at the end of a long day. You!!! Love you Kiddo, enjoy your sleep!