Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter weekend

Happy Easter everyone! Well, a day late. We hope you all had a wonderful and very happy Easter weekend. I bet you thought I would have tens of thousands of pictures to bestow upon you from this weekend, thinking surely we did something fabulous and saw more amazing things. I am sad to report to you, we did nothing. We had plans. Big, amazing plans. We decided at the 11th hour that we were going to drive to Rome for Easter weekend! We would leave Friday morning and drive a little over 8 hours, stay at Camp Darby along the Italian Coast near Florence (military camp - great rates), wake up Saturday morning and drive the 4 remaining hours to Rome. We wanted to spend Saturday night in Rome and Easter Sunday at the Vatican. We would head up to Vicenza, Italy on Sunday night (military base) and return home on Monday. We made last minute phone calls and got hotel reservations (amazingly) and had the trip all planned out, right down to all the bottled water and diet Coke I loaded into the car (people were telling us they charge 3 to 4 euro for a can of Coke or bottle of water in Rome). We were a little concerned about the weather - it was supposed to be a rainy weekend and we wondered if we would be soggy and soaked the entire time. But we thought Easter at the Vatican?? What's a rain shower or two? But alas, when we woke on Friday morning, Germany was covered in snow and road alerts were red (dangerous driving conditions). We were wondering how much of the trip would be snow-covered and as it turns out, most of southern Germany was covered and my car does not have snow tires on it. (Besides, what fun is driving through and exploring new countries when you are trying not to die in a snowstorm?) We reluctantly decided to cancel our trip. When Luke woke up an hour later, it was apparent we made the right decision. He came downstairs with a fever and a horribly runny nose and cough. Our Easter weekend was spent hanging out inside our house. And you know what? It was wonderful. We weren't rushing anywhere, running anywhere and we had not one plan. Unfortunately due to the amount of snot Luke was producing, we decided that it was best if he did not participate in the neighborhood Easter egg hunt (which took place in snow and the bitter, bitter cold) and on Sunday not only was he sick, but Brian was sick as well. The Easter bunny came and delivered some toys and candy to Luke and we had our own little Easter egg hunt for Luke in the house (sad) because yet again, it was cold and wet and now I had 2 sicky-poos. I did, however, get to catch part of Mass from the Vatican on TV and did you notice the torrential downpour there? Somehow I don't think that would have been much fun to have a toddler stuck in a stroller in a horrible downpour during Easter Mass. I guess there is always next year.

After 3 days of resting, relaxing and doing absolutely nothing (okay, okay, I cleaned and organized and nagged Brian to clean and organize and then I did a little shopping at the local stores in Parsberg...Brian, on the other hand, did in fact do nothing) we decided to go to a little Flea Market in a tiny little town down the road from us. In Germany they celebrate Easter Monday as well so everything is closed down the day after Easter, except town flea markets. So we drove through an abandoned Parsberg and on to Dietfurt. And a flea market it was....lots of trash with a few treasures. We left with nothing but a few soft pretzels and sausages but it was an experience and I'm sure we'll go to a lot more of them. Although there wasn't a lot of amazing stuff, the items they did have were neat - rosaries and crucifixes, copper kettles and old fashioned cameras - and shoot, after experiencing Hawaii's "crap" fairs, this was high class! :) (I really don't mean to rip on Hawaii, I love Hawaii, I just don't love all the flipping seat covers and Care Bear burp pads that every single person tries to sell at a "craft" fair.) Upon loading up in the car to drive back home I threw out the suggesting to head to Nuremburg - it was the last day of the 3 week long Easter Market up there and I was dying to see what it was like. My adventuresome hubby agreed and he plugged it into the GPS and we headed off.

Nuremburg is AMAZING. Holy cow, I had no idea. Just absolutely beautiful. We drove into the Haupmarkt which is the old historical part of town and is strictly pedestrian, except for buses. The churches are AMAZING, the clock tower is AMAZING, the market square is AMAZING. And did I have camera with me to capture every single thing that I saw? No. I didn't. I know, that is sad. :(
We didn't know where we were going and Brian herded us towards the center of town. We found a group of tousits being poked and proded along and Brian exclaims "Follow them!" Lo and behold, we walked towards the crowd and stumbled upon an amazing fountain, a gorgeous church and clock tower and found the Easter Market in the, well, market square - go figure! It was great - vendors from Germany, Russia and Poland, different types of wares - wooden children's toys, Polish pottery, Russian nesting dolls. There were wurst stands and small bakeries and candy booths, booths filled with baskets and shopping bags and booths overflowing with window sheers and drapery fabrics. It was so much fun to walk around the square, up and down the aisles. We stopped in the McDonalds on the square (yes, a McDonalds right in historical Nuremburg, but if it makes you feel better, it is not very obvious, just another door on the facade- no red, no yellow, no golden arches, just McDonalds above the door) and Luke had a cheeseburger for lunch and then we headed to Starbucks (I know, I know, but I haven't had Starbucks since we've been in Germany!) for a latte and back out into the square for more browsing. Luke loved the clock tower and every time the bells chimed he exclaimed "bells! and craned his neck to find the tower. At 12 noon the wooden characters on the tower played their drums, danced, tooted their horns and then the bell master rang the bell for about 5 minutes. It was neat to see and it definitely kept Luke occupied. We headed out of Nuremburg after a couple hours in the city. We'll return again soon to properly check out all the amazing historical monuments and buildings and hopefully we'll be able to make a trip or two to the zoo up there. It was a great day and even the sicky-poos had a good time (although one of them kept mentioning how cold he was and the other would not keep his mittens on - you can figure out who is who). And so I leave you now, not with pictures of the amazing beauty of Nuremburg under the bright shining sun in the crispness of a cold, yet gorgeous day, but with pictures from our sad little Easter in the land of snow, sicky-poos and chocolate eggs.




1 comment:

Kathy said...

Sounds a lot like the Easter we had. Friday we got 15 inches of snow dumped on us. So our Easter egg hunt was also inside. What an experience that would have been to be in Rome for Easter. Like you said there is always next year. Hope everyone is feeling better.