Mar 28, 2010

New BMW Motorcycle!

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our family : ) It's a BMW R1200 GS Adventure, and it's going to be our new mode of transportation to cruise around Europe!

Our new wheels!

Since we arrived in Germany, Brian has been corresponding with the BMW Military Sales representative about purchasing this bike. He has done countless hours of research and preparation, and all of his hard work finally paid off on March 20 when we drove down to the BMW dealer to pick up his new motorcycle!

The dealer was in Kaiserslatern, which is about 1.5 hours away from Frankfurt. We drove the Honda so that Brian could follow me back on the bike. On the drive out, I was extremely excited and anxious about our new toy - you can only imagine how excited Brian was!

When we arrived, the completion of our purchase didn't take take long at all. It was obvious that Brian had done his homework! Our salesman, Uwe, walked us through some of the basics of the bike, and then it was time for the journey home!

Love at first sight : )

Going over the different features of the bike with Uwe

We're so excited!

Brian had packed all of his riding gear in the Honda, so after the purchase he got ready for his ride home in the parking lot. I told him I wished he had come to buy the bike wearing everything including his helmet. I thought that would have been hilarious : )

Gearing up for his first ride

First time on the bike - all smiles

The first ride!
Brian's first ride on the bike was the long drive back to Frankfurt. We had worked out a system ahead of time - if Brian flashed his brights at me that meant he needed to pull over for a break. I really expected that we would need to pull over during some part of the ride since it was so far, but Brian was a natural. When we arrived in Frankfurt, he wanted to ride more!

All we need now is the registration so that we can get license plates! We can't wait for our first weekend adventure!

Mar 21, 2010

Janet and Stefan's Visit

When I got home from the States, Janet and Stefan were in town! What a fun way to come home to Germany! They stayed with Brian and me for a week, and we had so much fun with them. Here are some of the highlights of their trip!

We took them on a walk through Frankfurt. Unfortunately another cold front had blown through, so it was really really cold, but at least it was sunny!
To warm up we stopped for coffee and tea. We were very excited to find a place that was open on Sunday!

One evening we tried out a new restaurant. It served the most delicious traditional German dishes I've had since we moved here! And the desserts were phenomenal - we had a cherry crepe and an apple pastry.

On Tuesday morning, we dropped Janet and Stefan off at the train station so that they could go to Hamburg to visit the Heinrichsin's! Brian and I really wish we could have joined them, but we unfortunately had to work. Janet and Stefan said that they had a really great visit! Thank you for hosting them, Jens and Barbara!

After Hamburg, Janet and Stefan took a train to Amsterdam to meet up with Brian and me. We hadn't been to Amsterdam yet, and so we were excited to explore a new city with the Rentsch's!

Check out all of the bikes! According to WikiTravel, Amsterdam has over 600,000 bicycles in the city!

We found a delicious chocolate shop that had all kinds of beautiful treats for Easter.

In a cute square while we were on our walking tour

Getting ready for spring! There were lots of flower shops on the walking tour

We stopped at a cute restaurant for delicious pancakes

I love this city! It's so beautiful with all of the canals!

On the walking tour

Part of the famous Red Light District

Enjoying the architecture and the sun

We took a tour of the Heineken brewery, which was very tasty AND informative

Is there any beer in there?

Very impressive!

Mmm...barley and water...the beginning ingredients for a tasty beer

The finished product!

Tap that

We went to a diamond museum and watched the pros do their work

We also went to the Van Gogh museum. I loved walking through it and learning a little bit about his life. The museum had really beautiful displays of his art!

After a fun time in Amsterdam, we drove back to Frankfurt for the evening. The next morning, we went to visit the Reiner's in Rottenburg!

Andrea cooked a wonderful lunch for all of us. Janet and Stefan had a great time catching up with more family. Thank you for hosting us, Reiner's!

The 500 year old building where Klaus works
We drove back from Rottenburg just in time for our dinner reservations at Kubu. Brian had planned a wonderful evening for my birthday!

After dinner, we went to the Jazzkeller for drinks and live jazz! I had been wanting to go to this jazz club for awhile, so it was so thoughtful of Bri to take us there for my birthday!

The setting was awesome - literally a cellar

The music was fantastic!

The morning after my birthday, Janet and Stefan flew back to Michigan. We were sad to see them go because we had such a great time! Thank you for visiting, Janet and Stefan!

Mar 14, 2010

A Visit to TEXAS!

I went back to the States for training for two weeks, so I had a weekend to kill in the good ol' USA! What did I do for my weekend of glorious American fun?? Went to Texas, of course! Because of my training schedule, I could only be home for Friday night and Saturday, but it was totally worth it!! My Mom, being the scheduling master that she is, was able to squeeze in a lot of fun things into that short time.

When I arrived on Friday night, we headed straight for Taco Bueno for fast food Mexican delicious-ness. Oh, how I love Bueno! When we got home, my favorite kind of cake was waiting for me - red velvet with cream cheese icing! My family has been going to the same bakery for red velvet cakes for at least 25 years, and we get the same cake for every birthday we celebrate. It is such a delicious tradition, and I was so excited to get to celebrate my birthday early with my family! Thanks, Mom!!

On Saturday morning, my mom, Kelly, and I went on a quick shopping spree in Kelly's new car! Notice how we are wearing t-shirts - I was SO happy to be in warmer weather!

To really take advantage of the gorgeous weather, we came home from shopping to enjoy an afternoon happy hour on our deck. I loved spending quality girl time with my mom and sister!

My dad and Kevin had baseball stuff to do all morning, so they met up with us at home and brought us Sonic burgers and cherry limeades for lunch - yum!

This is a bench my dad built in our backyard. It is so comfortable!

After lunch, we met up with my Aunt Debbie, Uncle Bruce, Cousin Lindsay, and her baby Noah at Kevin's baseball game. We had a great time watching Kev play and catching up with the fam!

Noah is getting so big! He's SO precious!!

Good game, Kev!

That evening, we met up with my dad's three sisters, Nita, Ann, and Sheryl. They live in West Texas but were in town for a garden show. I hadn't seen my aunts in almost three years, so it was fun to see them and catch up!

My dad and his sisters
We all went out to dinner at Papasitos for some delicious Mexican food and the world's best margaritas! I really miss having good Mexican food in Germany, so I couldn't get enough of it while I was home.

Then on Sunday morning, sadly, I had to fly back to Virginia. I had so much fun with my family and was thankful for the opportunity to see everyone. It really was the perfect weekend!