Monday, April 29, 2013


Goodbye Germany.  Hello Austria!  We left Munich yesterday morning.  We drove to the church there in Munich but for some reason it was all locked up:(   Maybe it was their Stake Conference??   Anyhow, we didn't get to attend church and that was a big bummer for us.   So what to do?  We just started our drive to Salzburg.  We arrived about 2:00 and got checked into our hotel.  It is a nice place just on the outskirts of Old Town.  We didn't do much because of it being the sabbath day and all so we just wandered around the Old Town.  We found many Catholic Cathedrals and enjoyed walking through them and listeneing to the church bells ring.  Really Awesome!!  After dinner we read a couple of Conference Talks and then played a couple of games.  To end the night we plugged in "The Sound of Music (yep, we really did:) and immediately I started recognizing places in the old town that we had just seen in real life.  Totally Cool!
After a good night's rest we started the day off with a Segway Tour.  That was a first for Rick and I.  I got a little nervous when I found out they DON'T  HAVE ANY BRAKES!  They are totally run on your center of gravity.  After a couple of parctice tries we got the hang of it and were ready to hit the streets.  Our guide took us back through the Old Town and told us all kinds of interesting info.
Here we are in front of St. Peter's Church
After returning the Segways (Rick wants to buy one now:) we started another walking tour of the Old Town.  As  we mosied about we stopped and shopped in the little shops along the way and bought souvenirs.
In this picture Rick is standing in front of the smallest house in Salzburg.
It is now a tiny shop.
A veiw of the shopping district withe a bell tower in the background.
We stopped at a stand to get a hot dog for lunch.
In the market there was a fruit stand with the most delicious looking fruit.  I spied this vegetable right next to the cauliflower and had to get a picture of it.  It is really interesting looking.  If anyone knows what this might be I'd be interested in finding out. 
It has the stalk of broccoli so maybe it's a distant cousin.
Rick eating a gigantic donut that we found in the marketplace.  They had gigantic pretzels too.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthplace.  There is a lot of Mozart memorabilia in this town.  Busts, music, shirts, and even chocolate in his name.  Later in the afternoon we were able to go to the Archbishop's Residenz (A fantastic building where the archbishops of the Catholic Church used to live) and listen to a Mozart Concert.  It was really wonderful.  There was a man playing the harpsichord and a woman singing soprano. The last song she sang was one I recognized from Pride and Prejudice.  It was a delightful concert!
We also stopped an Salzburg's oldest bakery.  They still use the same recipe that the monks from hundreds of years ago used.  It is rye bread that is baked in a wood fired oven
We rode the funicular (a tram) up to the Salzburg Fortress (castle).  It gave us a stunning view of this wonderful city.  It the background you can see the Salzach River.  We had to walk across it to get to Old Town from our hotel.
After the castle we went into St. Peter's church and listened to a perfomance by a boys choir.  There were actually older men singing as well.  It was neat to hear the accoustics as they were singing.
Last but not least we enjoyed dinner in the oldest restaurant in Europe called St. Peter's Stiftskeller.  It's been a restaurant since the year 803.  That's 1,210 years ago!!  It took a long time to get our food but it was nice.  I had something called "Saddle of sucking pig" with roasted potatoes served cordon bleu style.  Sounds a little strange but it wasn't too shabby:)  Tomorrow we are off to Switzerland.  It'll be a bit of a drive but we will stop and see the sights as we go.  Goodbye!! Wonderful...... Charming,.......Lovely Salzburg!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bavaria and Neuschwanstein

Today (Saturday)  Rick and I drove into the Bavarian countryside.  It is so lovely!  Our destination was the Neuschwanstein Castle.  It is located on a cliff up in the mountains.  It is the castle the Walt Disney modeled his famous castle from.  We got to tour the inside and it was very nice. I have decided that I would not like to live in a castle because it is very dark.  This place had quite a few windows which helped but still, I love lots of light in my dwelling place:)
We caught the horse drawn carriage up to the castle.  Like I's up on a cliff. A very steep walk!  In this picture Rick had just bought himself a nice German hat.  He looks nice, ja?
Here's a nice shot of the countryside.  We drove through many quaint small towns to get to Neuschwanstein.  I loved all of them.  The area smelled exactly like my dad's farm in Mesquite....cow manure:)  I didn't mind.  It added to the ambiance:) 
No wonder it's so green:)

In the castle courtyard

Afterward we drove over to Oberamaurgammen and did a litttle shopping.

We bought a few souvenirs for the kids.  We found a really cute music box for Rafe with dancing fish on the top.  It's adorable!  Our big purchase was a cuckoo clock that is being shipped home.  It has a cute little bird that comes out on the hour and has an owl's hoot.  Pretty cool!  Oh yeah, I bought this fancy hat!  Really only to cover up my nasty hairdo.  I didn't wash my hair today!
I love this hat!!  It was a great purchase!
We ate dinner in this same town.  I had some cheese soup and it was seriously THE
 BEST cheese soup I have ever had!! I love Germany!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flossenburg Concentration Camp

Today has been a good day.  We left Prague at about 11 AM and arrived at Flossenburg around 2:00.  Flossenburg is one of the MANY concentration camps that were here in Germany.  We spent 2 1/2 hours walking through the museum which is housed in the old laundry barracks. 
It was very informative and sad. 
It is hard to understand how people could be so inhumane and hurtful to other people. 
These two pictures are of the area called "The Valley of Death".  Thirty thousand people were killed in this camp and many of them were buried or cremated in this area. 
There is a sacred feel to this place knowing what occurred here.
There is a guard tower in the corner.
The crematorium is at the bottom of the trees.
The square foundation below the crematorium is where mass executions took place.
The mound just below that is called "The Mound of Ashes".  Now explanation needed there.
The monuments in the foreground are called "The Square of Nations". It represents all of the nations that had prisoners die in this camp.
This is the roll call ground behind me where all of the prisoners would meet each morning and night to be counted.  I love learning about history.  Even the hard stuff.
On our way back to the autobahn....yes, THE autobahn, we stopped at this hotel to grab a bite to eat.
Another delicious meal in Germany.  Our meal was huge.  We were both so hungry because we hadn't eaten since breakfast but we couldn't finish our meals.
Back to the autobahn.  It's all it's cracked up to be:)  We stayed in the right lane for the most part because cars were passing us like we were standing still.....and we were going 80 MPH.  We calculated that some cars were traveling 120-130 MPH.  I know Rick would have loved to go faster but he knew I was adamant about NOT going to fast.  I know....I'm a killjoy:(

Thursday, April 25, 2013

European Vacation (Prague at Night and Freiburg Temple)

So after a little rest and some hors de vours at our hotel on Wednesday afternoon, Rick and I went back to the Town Center and since it was starting to get dark we thought it would be fun to get a glimpse of Prague at night from on top of the clock tower.  It was very beautiful as all of the old buildings are lit up. 
 This is 'The Church of Our Lady before Tyn'
I  don't know what denomination it is but it is very medievil looking (built in the 14th century)
A night view of the castle and cathedral that we visited during the day.
Today (Thursday) we started out early as we had a 2 1/2 hour drive to get to Freiburg.  We realized after we left that we forgot our passports at the hotel so it added a whole hour to our trip just to get back and get them.  It was OK though because we were able to get to a later session and we had time for a little catnap before the session was to begin.  This was a very small temple and the people were very helpful.  It was a new experience for me because although I have seen many people use the translators in a session, I have never used them.  It worked great!!  There were people on the session from Bulgaria, so Rick and I weren't the only ones with the translators:)  Rick and I were asked to be the witness couple.  A good experience!
Our fancy shmancy car.  Not really but it's getting us where we want to go:)
After the temple we stopped at a darling place to have a late lunch.  It was by a little lake and we were able to sit out on the patio.  Did I mention that the weather was gorgeous today??
So I survived my first experience with authentic German food.  You now what?  It was great!!
Here's Rick showcasing our food.  For our appetizers (not shown) we had some Baked Camembert (cheese) with toast, cream and cranberries.  I have never had camembert before but I loved it!  The waitress suggested the Solyanka with bread so that is what Rick had.  It is a delicious soup reminiscent of chili.  For our main course (shown below) I had something called Schweinschnitzel while Rick had Pork with spaetzle.  I think I just might like German food!  I hope the rest of my experiences with it will be this good:)
After lunch we mosied around the town.  It was really quaint and different than what we are used to.
Tomorrow we are heading off to Munich to stay for a few days.  It's gonna be great!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

European Vacation (Prague)

We made it to Prague!!  We left early Monday morning and flew throughout the night into Frankfurt and into Prague.  We arrived at the hotel about 1:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday (Prague is eight hours ahead of Salt Lake) and even though we were both very tired I knew that if we took a nap that our bodies would really have a tough time adjusting to the time difference.  We set out to find something to eat and started our sightseeing:)  Prague is a very beautiful city.  The architecture of the many buildings here is amazing!  Everything seems so ornate.  The streets are made of cobblestone and of course the city is very old. 
We walked to "The Town Square" and enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. 
We stopped at a stand and got something called a Tredlnik.  It is dough rolled onto a long post and then dipped in sugar and roasted over a flame (spit style).  Rick just loves this kind of stuff!
Around the corner of the town square is the astronomical clock.  It records in three different times;  Old Bohemian time, time as we know it, and Babylonian time.  It was built in 1552.  On the hour those two doors above the clock open up and statues of the 12 apostles pass by.  It's pretty neat!
We rode to the top of the clock/bell tower by way of elevator and got a beautiful view of the city.
After seeing the sights for about 4 hours we headed back to the hotel.  I took a hot bath to get warmed up and actually fell asleep in the tub because I was so tired.  I don't think I have ever done that!  Thank goodness for a nice soft bed!
The next morning we got up bright and early....Rick woke up at 4:30 and went jogging but I made myself stay in bed until 7:00.  Darn jet lag!! 
We wanted to see Prague castle so we used the public transportation (the tram).  That was interesting!  The concierge told us exactly how to get to where we wanted to be but we still made a couple of mistakes.  (It is really difficult when everything is spoken and written in Czech).  We had to make a tram transfer and when we got to our stop I hopped off but the doors closed before Rick could get off.  I just motioned to him that I would wait right there until he got back to me.  I wasn't all to nervous because I figured I could find my way back to the hotel if I needed to.  After about ten minutes I saw him walking with a girl.  She had been on the tram with us and realized that he might need a little help so she got off at the next stop with him and walked back to find me:)  We made the transfer and after only one more wrong stop we finally made it up to the castle. 
 Here we are at the castle gardens.  The tulips are just about to bloom:)
Inside the castle courtyard
The amazing gothic St. Vitus Cathedral.  It is an amazing building!  Lots of spires, stained glass windows, and gargoyles!
Here's a view from the front with the clock/bell tower.  Rick climbed to the top of the bell tower. 
Two Hundred Eighty five steps!!  You can barely see him in this picture.  He is in the middle of the three openings and is barely visible.  He was way up there!
Rick with our # 22 tram coming to pick us up:)
The Vltava river.  In the distance is the Charles Bridge.  The funny thing is that I thought we were on the Charles Bridge.  It is one of the places that I wanted to go so we walked all the way over to it just to cross it.  It was worth the walk.
The Charles Bridge lined with statues and the bridge tower in the distance.
Prague is known for it's handcut crystal.  I was just going in this shop to look.......really I was.
I bought a beautiful vase to bring home:)
After lunch we walked back to the Town Square for more sightseeing. 
On the way back to our hotel I found a stand selling these scrumptious brownie things. 
I haven't eaten it yet but I'm sure it will be delish!! 
LOTS of walking but all in all.......
A wonderful day in the Czech Republic!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Funny Faces

This past weekend we drove to St. George to celebrate the wedding of Derek Allen to Nikki Monnett.  At their reception on Saturday night they had a picture taking booth.  It was different than  any other picture booth that I have ever seen because it had fun props to wear.  It was kinda silly but lots of fun.

 I'll start with the bride and groom...
The Phelpses and the Bomans


The Allen girls and The Cousins


D & D and The Harrington's
Kallie and Hannah
The Matt and Daniel Allen Families
It was a fun evening!!
Congratulations to to the bride and groom!!