Amusement at Europa Park

Larissa and I spent the day riding roller coasters and enjoying the sights of the different countries represented here. This is the largest amusement park in all of Germany.
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If you travel with your kids. This would be a great stop for them. Have extra clothes handy – lots of water rides at this park.

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Fun in Freiburg

Visiting Larissa in Freiburg.
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Freiburg is a University city. Larissa attends classes on the 5th floor. She is studying to be a journalist.
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Went to a Biergarten with Larissa and Andrea. The weather was fantastic. We watched the moon rise – spectacular full moon too.
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More views on our way to the Biergarten.
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Our apartment in Boetzingen (small village outside of Freiburg). It was cheaper to rent an apartment outside of Freiburg. Only 35 Euros a night for 2 people.
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Freiburg is another city with a Muenster. The stained glass windows were amazing to see. I’m hoping I will be inspired to design a quilt from these.
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Market day at the Muenster in Freiburg. People came out inspite of the rain and cold.
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After going to the market we went back to the apartment and played games. We laughed, we cried (losing) in the end we had a great time inspite of the weather and Andrea winning (naturally, lol). “I’m Sorry” Pictured: Larissa, Sonja, and Andrea.
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Andrea made a fantastic meal with the renowned white asparagus the first of the season. Yummy!!!
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The view from our apartment balcony.
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Travel Tip: Whenever possible rent an apartment outside of the major city you would like to visit. It will be cheaper, quieter, and more spacious. You may even get a great view too. Also, you will more than likely not have to worry about driving and parking – take the public transportation.

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Ancestors in Oberlenningen

Most of you know I’ve done a lot of family research trying to find out more about my roots. Last year I was blessed to meet my Tofflemire family (my moms dads side) at their annual reunion in Oregon. There I learned that David Tafelmeyer is the first known ancestor recorded to our knowledge. He was born in Oberlenningen, Germany.
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This is the church where he was baptized there, married, and buried at the church in this little village.
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The stone walls are over 500 years old.
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The front and back view of inside the church. The church was renovated at least 3 times. The small window is the only original window left.
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This is one of the items left within the church that David and his family would have seen used.This wood carving pew was created in the late 1500’s for those that had prestigious status.
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“Blooming Cross” The Priest would take this cross with him as he traveled for home visits. The half moon at the bottom is representation of the “darkness” the leaves represent the “life” that came out of the darkness.
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David and other ancestors are buried somewhere here around the church. Only a handful of headstones are remaining, unfortunately David’s not one of them.
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The Village’s Schloss (castle).
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Oberlennigen’s current Rathaus. David’s sons helped build the village’s first Rathaus. It is no longer existing because of a fire.
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Herr Preissler and I. Herr Preissler did the research on my family and gave us a personal tour.
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Life in Ulm

The Benz Family home – my home for the past month, 🙂
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Andrea had a request for me: to make a curtain for her bedroom. We had a great time picking out material from this little fabric shop in the middle of nowhere.
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The finished product.
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I attended a language class for 9 days at Inlingua. I met some great people from all over the world -Vanessa, Lidia, Nadia, Sebastian, Dameon, and Emma (pictured). Argentina, Spain, Bosnia, Canada, Saudia Arabia, China, and Korea are some of the places the students were from that I had the privilege of meeting.
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Lunch with Emma. Emma moved to Germany with her husband just 2 months ago from Canada. I had the privilege of getting to know her and introducing her to Andrea (mom away from mom).
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Gas prices. Keep in mind this price is per liter, 4 liters make 1 gallon. So 1.64.9/liter * 4 = 6.59 Euros a gallon. Also, right now 1 Euro = $1.30 US dollars – $1.30 *6.59E = $8.57 US dollars for one gallon of gas in Germany.
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Germany is also having a problem with fast food chains including KFC.
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Card night with the ladies. Andrea and these lovely ladies have been friends for over 20 years. All their families are friends and they vacation together. On May 1st we are going on their annual hike – this year it is 10km starting in Roggenburger.
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The Q-Muh is one of my favorite restaraunts – the food is great and the waitress is very kind. Even though she spoke english she graciously allowed me to struggle through my broken German.
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Using the bus system – every 10 min. you just needed to know which line and stop. The #5 was my bus line that I took each day for class and to just go to the market platz.

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Worth visiting this cafe again, food is very tasty.
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Spent several hours at this fantastic piece of paradise. http://www.therme-badwoerishofen.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=191%3Asprings-of-health&catid=50&Itemid=142
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Travel Tips:

1.When you travel abroad be sure to ask the Gasthaus keepers, hostile owners,  if towels and sheets are included. Some places especially those that are along the hiking paths do not supply them. Also, if you go to a place such as Therme be sure to bring a towel, body wash (you have to take a shower before getting into the pool), and a robe (recommended if you spend all day).

2. Bus passes. If you plan on staying in one area for majority of your stay, look into getting a bus pass for that period of time. It is cheaper and less frustrating to get the right amount of money out each time. You can get these passes at the train station. Also, bring along a plastic sleeve so when you are asked to show it, it is easy find in a hurry.
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Visiting Family in Osnabrueck

The Engel Family -Aunt Eleanor, Cousin Thomas, Anya (wife of Thomas), Machell, Cousin Andrea, and Uncle Hans
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A typical German breakfast. Meat, cheese, fruit, veggies, eggs, and lots of bread. Yummy!!!
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Catholic Church – they have a courtyard that is a cemetery for the former Priests.
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This is the court house where all couples go to get married before they are married within a church. Andrea and Otto were married here.
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One couple just came out and started having pictures done with the church next door as their backdrop before heading to their wedding.
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Leysieffer – a cafe that is famous for its delicious food and yummy desserts.
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No matter where I am at in the world this will always be one of my favorite places to be- a fabric store.
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Osnabrueck’s market on Saturday morning.
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Okay Zachary here is the bike for you along with the side-kick car, :-).
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Natalie (second cousin) and Andrea before our dinner out at a chinese restaraunt.
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I was able to order Chicken Fried rice and get exactly what I thought I order – so excited- all auf Deutsch too. Not too shabby.
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Stopped at this little Village- Melsungen, on our way back to Ulm. They were able to preserve the way it was from the 1500’s.
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This is a cafe we had Kaffee und Kuchen at for our afternoon break.
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Two Concerts in Ulm

On Tuesday April 16 right before a Klassische Konzert Andrea and I went for a walk down at the Danube (Donau). It’s one of the locals favorite places to walk. Behind us, the building in the middle (between the white and yellow) is the one she works in, in Neu-Ulm.
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I was surprised to learn that the Conductor does not use a script for most of the pieces.
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This was the program for the evening. Loved the peices.
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This young man is only 26 and played the piece by memory. AMAZING!!!!
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The orchestra sounded as if it was one instrument playing. Fantastic. I am very thankful I had the privilege of attending.
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On April 17th – Joe Cocker – Fire It Up concert. He sang for nearly 2 hours straight. I also really enjoyed the band who opened for him- Joannes Oerding. Great German Pop songs.
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A Sunday Trip to Tuebingen

Tuebingen is a University city in Germany and is mentioned throughout my American “Deutsch Heute” textbook. Andrea was excited to take a trip there because this is the city where she studied at. What a treat it is to take something you see and read about in a book and look at in person!

On our way to Tuebingen we made a short stop in Blaubeuren to see where the Blau begins. The Blau is a river running through Ulm. The city also uses it to make energy to help run the city.
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Tuebingen’s Rathaus (City Hall)
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Zenturm (center)
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Schloss (castle) that was donated to the University in the late 1800’s.
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One of many walk ways through out the Schloss.
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The home with the yellow tower is where the famous Freidrich Hoelderlin a poet lived after he studied at the University in the early 1800’s.
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Such a beautiful day – everyone was outside enjoy the 25 degree C (77 degrees F) weather on the Neckar.
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I’m pretty sure this is one of the best Eis (ice cream) cafe’s -hmmm… could it be the long line that gave it away?
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The Engel Family has family connections to this lady -Ottilie Wildermuth.
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And of course what is a day trip without Kaffee und Kuchen?
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Market at the Muenster

Every Wed. and Sat. most get their fresh meats, cheeses, breads, vegetables, and flowers for the week (esp. for Sundays and holidays because nothing is open on those days- except for Cafe’s and restaraunts) at the market.
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These bells ring at noon – so fun to hear.
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A water fountain where the villagers use to get water for their home, now its a nice water feature to listen to while having Kaffee und Kuchen.
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Staying Busy in Deutschland

Am Dienstag (On Tuesday) helped Sonja move into her dorm in Ludwigsburg
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Am Donnerstag Morgen (On Thursday morning -April 4) Andrea and I went shopping in the city.
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Kaffee und Kuchen in the Stadt Haus (City House)
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Ulm is known for its Sparrow Folk tale –
When the Muenster was being built a Sparrow showed the people how to get the materials into the church through small spaces.
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Sparrow from the Jewelry shop
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I made my first German Pfannkuchen (pancake)
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Here is the Pfannkuchen mit apfelmus (pancake with apple sauce)
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On Freitag (Friday) we went to the Textile Museum in Augsburg, Germany. This building was built in 1890 and used to house the industrial machines for producing textiles. A “surprising” note: Men made up the “Guild” while the women did the work.
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A cotton comb was used to thin out the cotton so that it could be spun into thread.
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One of the first looms
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And of course after so much intellectual input-what is a trip with out Kaffee und Kuchen?
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On Samstag Morgen (Saturday morning) went for a hike in Ulm’s Forest.
Kindergarten school in the forest, kids spend all day learning outside.
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Schnee (snow) was still on the ground – brrrrrr
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On Samstag Abend (Saturday evening) we went to the German NBA in Ulm –
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The Game was sold out – 6,000 fans came out to participate. The fans were very enthusiastic throughout the whole game.
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Most of the team is made up of American players. John Bryant is one of the most favored by the Germans. However, my favorite was Guenther who is German. He is short but very quick on his feet, made a lot of shots, and the team respected him.
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The Ulm team won 104 to 77.
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Am Sonnetag nachmittag (On Sunday afternoon) We went in search of the Maerzen Becher (March Cup) Flowers. They are only in bloom for 2 weeks out of the whole year. We were blessed!!!
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The Swabian Rocky Mountains – according to Otto. Pictured: Machell, Andrea, Sonja, und Otto
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Again Schnee is still on the ground. Do not visit Germany in April if you do not like cold weather.
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Unsere schokaladen seite (our chocolate side- a.k.a. our best side) Sonja und I
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Trip to Ravensburg & Friedrichshafen

On Monday we went to visit Otto’s family. On the way we stopped in Ravensburg. The newspaper company, Schwaebische Zeitung, Otto works for is in the process of moving its main branch to this new building.
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One of several look out towers.
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This Street is now called “Green Tower Street” before 1934 it was called “Jewish Street”
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Most German streets are very narrow – It is very helpful to have a small car, that is for ease of parking.
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More pictures of Ravensburg market place which includes the Church in the middle of the fortress
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Ahhh a relaxing sidewalk water feature – Can you guess what it used to be?
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We arrived at the Benz’s family farm, they sale: Apples and Schnapps
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The dining room of the farm house
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After our Coffee and Cake time (Kaffee und Kuchen zeit) Simon played many songs for the family including “When the Saints Go Marching” in my honor because of it being an ‘American’ song
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Both families took a trip to Lake Constance (Bodensee). Back Row: Harald, Otto, Andrea, Elke; Front Row: Machell, Simon, Sonja, Larissa, and Patrick.
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In honor of my husband, Paul, I choose to have Stracciatella Eis (Chocolate chip ice cream), his favorite. While we walked the promenade a favorite past time for the Europeans even though all shops were closed (the Monday after Easter is considered a Holiday).
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Friedrichshafen is known for the “Zeppline” you can take a tour in one for the low cost of $200 euros per person for one half hour.
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