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We’ve been taking a “furlough” these last five or so weeks hitting all of our supporting congregations and have landed in Florida for a few weeks to be with our sponsoring congregation.  We’ve had our fill of sun, pools and family (well, maybe not our fill of family 🙂 ) and will be ready to head home in another week.  In the meantime, I’ve uploaded some photos so far of our trip on our Flickr site.  I also updated our header with our newest “beach shoes” photo. Enjoy.

Family Reunion1


Dad and Nate’s Visit

Dad, Alex, Chris, Olivia, Randy and Nate

Dad, Alex, Chris, Olivia, Randy and Nate

Okay, so it’s a while in coming, but I wanted to post a link with a short post about my dad and my brother’s visit to Dresden in October.  For my dad it’s the umpteenth visit to Europe and the *pause while I count in my head* 4th or 5th visit to Dresden to see us since we’ve been over here.  However, it was my brother, Nathan’s, first time anywhere across the Atlantic and so we were all pretty jazzed to show him around.  That meant, of course, that he was going to be pulled in all different directions with hardly a moment to breathe (sorry about that, Nate).  He had only 10 days, no experience with jet-lag and not enough eyes to take everything in.  He sucked it up though and toughed it out and I don’t think he was lying when he said he had a great time. 😉

Up in the tower on the Charles Bridge

Up in the tower on the Charles Bridge

Dad wanted him to see Berlin and I wanted him to see Prague, so, of course, we both got our way and we all saw both.  Dad and Nate and I also went to the opera and saw Don Giovanni which was a pretty good performance and we all had a good time.  It was a full house, of course, and the Semper Opera is a beautiful opera house with a rich history.  Dad had wanted to see a show there since he first visited Dresden, so we finally made it happen!

Walking near the Elbe to Olivias school

Walking near the Elbe to Olivia's school

And naturally we did the prerequisite tour of Dresden, seeing most of the main attractions and also fit in a visit to the panometer Dresden right behind my house, which is a huge 4 story high depiction of Dresden in its hey-day during the Baroque era that I’d never taken the time to see.  We EVEN took a trip out to see Königstein a medieval fortress near Dresden.

If you want to see more pictures of what we did, just go to our Flickr site.

Sorry Nate–we sure had a lot of fun, though!  Dad, you already know what it’s like 🙂

Soooooo….who’s up for round two?  Anybody wanna visit? 🙂

Sopot, Poland

Well, we finally managed to drag ourselves away from Dresden off to beautiful Sopot, Poland on the Baltic Sea.  Our friends and missionaries there, Mike and Molly gave us a great deal on a large apartment in their church building complex so we had first-hand knowledge of the area of Sopot within our grasp just one floor below us (not to mention a nice cup of hot tea and good conversation!) and the beach and main tourist drag was within walking distance.  We played it cool and basically just lounged on the beach, played on playgrounds and went for long walks around the area.  We ate out once just to say we sampled the cuisine and of course indulged in ice cream once a day. 

After living in Florida for five months before we came to Germany, we discovered that we quite enjoyed a nice warm day at the beach–provided there’s lots of sunscreen, water and nearby shade–and we were eager to see the Baltic Sea since so many of our German friends regularly take their vacations on the “Ostsee.”  The only slight downers were the one day of rain and a 10 hour car ride (during which the kids were GREAT).  Two creatures deserve mention on this trip:  Jellyfish were there in abundance in the water and getting washed up on the beach.  We avoided them like the plague until we saw a little four-year-old girl picking them up and putting them in her sand bucket, then dumping them out and picking them up to show her mom.  We figured they must not do very much, so Randy picked a few up and then Olivia held one for a few minutes (I wouldn’t touch the things).  After Olivia put it down she complained that her hand felt weird, but that was all we heard of it.  I have no idea if size matters (these were about the size of my palm) or if it’s the species, but I guess they were low-grade stingers.  The other creature worth mentioning was the ladybug.  These guys were everywhere.  On the sidewalk (Olivia lamented many a crushed ladybug), on the beach, on buildings, on backpacks and we even found a couple in each others’ hair.  I don’t know what it is about Sopot that they liked, but the kids enjoyed it.

Well, so far this vacation brings up to a total of two since we’ve been over here (7 years now), the other being our trip to Amsterdam to see my cousin Adrian play baseball.  Most of our vacation time is used up when we go back every other year to the States.  And so far we’re two for two!  I would recommend either for families 🙂