Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week Nine: Independence Day Holiday

Week Nine: End of Month Two Holiday?

How to start, how to start? This past week has been so eventful, I had to jot down notes! Only a word or two, and not even full sentences, but I filled up a page. Okay, so hm. Well, okay. Yeah, I don't know.

Okay, so first off, most of this week was fairly boring. Other than a jaunt out to the pool not much happened...until Monday! On Monday, we left the house about as early as our family leaves for anything. That is, an hour later than we swore we would. Vacations huh?

Where were we going?


(That's a theme park by the way.)

Europa is kinda of like Disney excellent without the characters. It exists solely as a theme park, and while they have 'princesses' and a mouse's got nothing on Disney. However it has a lot of the same types of rides with the same types of themes.

The Epcot center space mountain ride was there. No joke. I was amused by the similarities. Anyway, we were there for seven hours and had a blast! It rocked, though the fourteen-year-old and I kept getting in the line for the wrong ride.

This resulted, amusingly enough, on me going on a huge roller coast with a giant drop and at one point I was completely sideways. Did I mention that my feet weren't long enough to touch the floor of the roller coaster cart? No? Because they weren't, and I was terrified and could barely walk at the end. The man next to me thought it was hilarious. It was like I had sea legs and was trying to walk on land! Apparently even coming out I looked frightened.

And yet I loved every second of it.

Amusingly, there are never picture of me on a roller coaster doing the whole hand in the air thing. The terrify me but at so much fun I can't help myself. Though that was not the one I was looking for. The one I was looking for was much calmer.

So after a long day at the park, we headed to a European hotel. Now, I have heard horror stories from Americans about European hotels. They're too small, they're cramped, they lack in this and that.

I don't know I liked it. The beds were not as wide as an American twin sized bed. In fact, there was one 'twin' bed pushed against a wall, and two twin beds pushed together to form a larger one. The room was slightly smaller, but didn't feel it, because the beds weren't behemoths. The TV, which worked just fine, was small, maybe a 12" TV.

The complimentary soap and shampoo came in liquid form ina dispenser attached to the wall, so there was no taking it home with you. Oh, and you were expected to scrub the toilet bowl if you made a mess of it. There was what we would call a wardrobe, but they call a schrank, and in it was a small safe. No fridge, microwave, coffee pot or dresser.

So it was smaller, and there was less. But it was all perfectly fine to me. And breakfast was included with your room at this particular hotel/restaurant. If there hadn't been a restaurant attached however, there probably wouldn't have been a complimentary breakfast.

So after getting fast to sleep and waking up the next day, we put the blankets back how we found them. (folded and sideways. Huh?) After having gotten everything together, and eaten breakfast, it was discovered..I had left the room key. In my suitcase. In my room.

Oops! So we had to be let in to grab our things. We found the key pretty quickly, and we were off!

Onwards, to Treiberg, two hours away and home to the House of 1000 Clocks! It is an apt name. There were tons of hand made clocks there, the wood hand carved, and the vaste majority of them were cuckoo clocks of course. They were all quite gorgeous. But the fun part fo that day was the hike to the end of the town to see the waterfall.

I should like to note that just walk through the city was a hike in and of itself, as it lies in the foothills of the Alps, which are roughly the size of the Appalachian mountain in the US. The foothills are, that is. They are Very Large, and also Very Gorgeous, and we were right in the heart of the Black Forest, which made it all so much better.

I know you've heard of the Black Forest. Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and an assortment of other Grimm Fairy Tales were based in this Forest. It's named because in parts, the sunlight doesn't penetrate the canopy of leaves. This is highly believable. I suspect if there hadn't have been a hiking trail, where the trees had been cut down, that where we were would have been just as dark.

So we hiked up to see the waterfall, and by up, I do mean up. About a mile's worth of steep trail. We lost the step mother about half the way through, and the fourteen-year-old kept up...though she stopped an awful lot. Meanwhile, myself and the littlest forged ahead! There was no stopping us, until we came to the end, and would have had to pay more to go higher.

Daddy, who had been hanging back with the fourteen-year-old refused. Oh okay. So we went back down, and began to trip home.

Oh there's so much else I could say. Like Europa's mouse mascot crept me out. I'm not certain why. Perhaps because it wasn't Mickey? And that I loved the drive through the Black Forest to get to Treiberg, because it reminded me of where I grew up and the Rocky Mountains all at the same time. It was gorgeous. And we say a pink bus on the way, tons of cows and horses, and so many things.

We traveled over the Rhine and over the Maine. We saw so many sights and so many things, but if I include them all, then I'll never finish the blog. Who knows, maybe next week I'll cover some of what else I saw too.

We'll see!

One Final Byte: Next time, we are so bringing a picnic basket.

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