Sunday, June 27, 2010

Auf Weidersehen Deutschland...Howdy Texas Party

On Friday, June 26th, we hosted a going away party at a local restaurant to say "Tschüss" to all of our Frankfurter friends. A number of Shea's coworkers, friends from church, and German friends we have made along the way, came to wish us farewell and that we all intend to see each other again along the way. We hope that is true, as we have greatly enjoyed all of our time and experiences here. We both feel we have learned a great deal about ourselves and a little bit about the world we all share from our years in Deutschland.

Thank you everyone!

Sailing on the Edersee

Shea and I were invited by one of her co-workers for a day on the Edersee. The Edersee is a lake in a nature preserve about a two hour drive from Frankfurt.

We woke up early and met her co-worker and the captain of the ship at the main train station. From there we all drove together to the lake, where we meet the last of the group and boarded the roughly 30-foot sailboat. We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon enjoying the beautiful landscapes of this pristine area, while letting the wind do all the work. We had a nice time "learning the ropes" and taking our turns at the helm.

We really enjoyed our time on the lake and Shea is now planning to purchase an eye patch and parrot.

Agadir, Morocco for Shea's 30th Birthday!

For our last big trip before heading home and to celebrate Shea's graduation from her wild 20's to her super-wild 30's, we stepped over to a new continent for us...Africa. We caught a flight for a 4 nights stay in Agadir, Morocco at a wonderful beach resort. Usually on our trips we race to see as much as possible, but the vibe on this trip was set to lazy. We ate, drank, and sunbathed to our hearts' content.
Each day we would head down to the beach and get a chuckle out of the diverse cultural differences between the Europeans and their choice of bathing attire (or lack thereof) versus the Moroccans and their beach burqas. Neither influence offending the other.
On Monday, for Shea's big day, we made reservations at a Moroccan restaurant to get an authentic taste of their cuisine. They treated us like kings and made it a very special special evening for Shea, with a bottle of champagne, cake, and an interesting version of "Happy Birthday". Each night we would wander down the boardwalk and try to walk off a bit of our overeating. We weren't successful.
After a couple of days of rest, celebration, and relaxation we bid the resort "adieu" and headed home for our last few weeks in Frankfurt.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Shea and I flew over to Edinburgh, Scotland from Friday, May 21st through Monday, May 24th. We arrived around lunchtime and took a bus from the airport to our B&B hotel near the heart of the city. We dropped off our bags and headed back into the city for a 3:00 walking tour that took you along the famous Royal Mile. They told us a lot about the history of Scotland and Edinburgh as they showed us the Edinburgh Castle, Prince's Street gardens, Greyfriars Cemetary and Greyfriars Bobby, William Wallace and the Stone of Destiny, the home of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and of course for you Harry Potter fans the original Hogwarts.
Known for its bad weather, we were treated to nothing but bright sunny skies and warm temperatures throughout the length of our stay. We thought the city was amazing with beautiful views and wonderful old tenements all leading up to the castle seated atop the hill. After the tour, we headed to a local pub to reward ourselves with some traditional Scotland cuisine...haggis, neeps, and tatties. Haggis is sheep, but I will spare you what parts, neeps being turnips, and tatties are mashed potatoes. We had heard that most Scottish cuisine was based on a dare, but we found the food to be delicious.
After filling our stomachs, we headed back to Maggie Dickson's Pub and sat outside and made our first Scottish friends until it was time to head to bed.
On Saturday, we started the day with a traditional Scottish breakfast...blood pudding, beans, egg, hashbrown, ham, and spam (our arteries will remember this trip longer than we will). We then headed to the Edinburgh castle for a tour of the inside. We arrived as the military was on parade with baggers and kilts everywhere. We took the tour of the castle, which took several hours to complete. Then we walked back down to the other end of the Royal Mile to see the Royal Palace and the new modern Scottish Parliament building. From there, we wandered into the "New City", which is the more modern area of town dating back to the Enlightenment period when Edinburgh became known for its writers, poets, artists, and culture. We were rewarded with some amazing views of the city from here.
That evening we had some dinner, then stopped into a pub to watch the end of the European Soccer Championships. We were quickly adopted by some new Scottish best friends, who proceeded to show us all the best pubs on a makeshift pub crawl. After hours of laughing, drinking, dancing, and trading stories, we headed home for bed in preparation for our Highlands tour the following day.
On Sunday, we woke up early and headed into town to catch a bus for a Scottish Highlands tour. The tour guide drove us into and through the Scottish mountains, with breathtaking views of waterfalls, lakes, and mountain summits. Along the way, we were introduced to some shaggy haired Highland cattle and Shea took the opportunity to feed them while doing her best William Wallace impersonation. The tour then drove us North to the famous Loch (Lake) Ness, where we boarded a boat to do some Nessy hunting. Unfortunately, we didn't get a glimpse of the old girl, but we did get to enjoy some natural splendor and a taste of some local whiskeys. The tour went as far North as Iverness, before we headed back to Edinburgh and over the Firth of Forth, finishing a 12 hour mad dash through the middle of the country.
Monday, before the rain started to come in, we caught our flight back to Frankfurt. We had an absolutely wonderful time in Scotland. The people were out-of-their-way friendly and the landscape was historic and beautiful. We would love to get a chance to go back someday and experience it even more.