Tag Archives: Germany

Better Photos

I’m learning to take better photos. I met Hal at a party and he gave me a few tips and then I thought, hey, why don’t I actually read the book that came with the camera?

This evening while the sprinkler is going on the garden I took some flower photos which you can view here.

The TV is all effed up because between the dvr box and the tv itself and the combo video/dvd drive — the magic buttons were not pressed in alignment and all we can do is view video/dvd or snow. Not optimal but hey, a night without TV is like a gift from the gods. Go take pictures of your dahlias.

When we were in Germany at Christmas time for some reason I brought 2 half-dead camera batteries instead of fresh ones so when my battery finally died I had to buy one in Garmisch, a tourist town, with the crappy dollar so it was like a $25 camera battery and I’m thrilled to report it’s still going strong. I have two new batteries sitting here but haven’t had to touch them yet because the $25 Bavarian battery is kicking ass.

The Tribes are going back to Scotland. BBC link here. (The BBC knows my tribe exists. How cool is that?)

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Birthday in Bavaria

Blogger had problems on the 26th because apparently pamrentz.com was down but blogger saved mz post and I just clicked the button and published it. yay.

Now it’s the thirtieth: I’m 40.

I don’t have much time because we’re about to go to dinner so here’s the short version:

Bob and I did a day trip to Munich and a goofing around GAP day and a lazy day hanging around. Bob still hasn’t shaken his cough and we decided to take it easy and see if we can get him back up to speed.

Today we had a fantastic brunch and cake with the kids (who especiallz liked the cake part) and then Lisa, Bob and I went to the Buchheim Museum (possibly incorrect and too lazy to run in house and find leaflet). The guy who wrote Das Boot did all kinds of things including collecting art and he’s the mastermind of this museum. Then we went to Murnau for a quick walk around town and now back here to get readz for dinner (just the grown ups).

Tomorrow we will watch the ski jumping and then pack up all our sh*t (and there’s a lot more than usual since we aren’t doing the usual hauling our stuff around ourselves as we visit so manz differnt spots) and go to Munich and check into a hotel. We’ll meet Lisa, Flori et al. for a New years eve party with their friends. New Years Day I imagine we’ll say goodbye and then wander around and on Fridaz we are up earlz and to the airport for the return journez.

We went to the Pinotek Moderne in Munich while we were there and were hoping to go back — tons of great stuff, great building and not enough time. But apparentlz the museum is closed on the 1st. Bummer.

Russell Banks: Cloudsplitter is verz good but about 400 pages too long. I’m plowing through the last 200 pages or so with a bad attitude. Odd coincidence: Lisa is also reading Cloudsplitter — our own mini book group. I bought Harrz Potter (Erin alert!) for the plane home. I’m onlz on volume 4 which is still brick sized and should last me until I get home.

Won’t check in again before home. See ya.

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A Visit From The Christkind

It’s about 7 o’clock on the evening of the 26th. Flori, Bob and the kids spent the day skiing and Lisa and I went for a marathon walk through town. We all arrived home at the same time and just had a wonderful dinner of pasta with leftover mushroom sauce from last night.

I had done additional editing on yesterday’s message and realize now that it was lost in the blogger-burp. What a drag.

Back to the Christmas celebration. On the 24th Flori and Bob took the kids sledding to get them out of the house. The Christkind (Christ Child) comes and decorates the tree and leaves the gifts for the kids. It makes the story about the fat guy in the red suit sliding down chimneys sound logical, eh? As soon as everyone was gone, Lisa and I hurried to decorate the tree and put out all the gifts and then got ready for church.

We crammed into the beautiful small community church for the children’s mass at 3:00pm. For the play, the shepards were dressed as Triolers which Bob and I found hilarious. The play was in German but the gist of it was something about no room at the Inn.

After church we headed across the street to a nice local drinking establishment where Flori and Hans and several of the kids were waiting. We sat at the Stammtisch after we were assured that no one would expect to sit there until later. Stammtisch is a German tradition – it’s a table that’s always reserved for locals to hang out and drink. About three minutes later a group of 4 men came in wearing traditional outfits: green felt hats with braiding and ornaments on the left side, green blazers with buttons that look like log slices and sometimes green leaves embroidered on the lapel and then a sort of embroidered looking bib over a white shirt and black ties with silver pins in them. I will point out that they wear this with zero irony or self-consciousness whatsoever. They’d just come from a funeral (and apparently some other bars in between) and they said it was fine for us to sit there. The oldest guy spoke a dialect that I could understand nothing of but it was fun to sit there with them in their traditional clothes and drink after church on Christmas Eve. Two of the guys ordered beers but they said they were cold and it was bad for their stomachs to drink cold beer so the waiter brought them little copper buckets with hot water to warm their beers.

Next we went to the cemetery where a ceremony takes place to honor the dead family members. We put a candle on the family plot and tried to stay warm as by now it was dark and quite chilly. Ugg boots and wool socks are the best – no more cold feet. In the cemetery a brass band plays melancholz xmas songs and people have candles or sometimes even small xmas trees on the graves of their loved ones.

Next we went to Flori’s folks where the kids were climbing the walls in anticipation of the Christkind. We had a fantastic supper of assorted salads and Spanish wine and Parma ham and various other goodies. Then we sat in the family room and read the storz of Christmas and the kids sang songs for us until FINALLY we heard the bell ring annoucing the Christkind had come and left the gifts. You have never seen children move so quickly. The xmas tree was lovelz with real candles and the kids went nuts over their gifts.

And that was Xmas in Bavaria.

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Christmas in Bavaria

Good gollz miss mollz — what a funkz browser. It sazs Internet Explorer but it doesn’t look like the Exploder I’m used to. El crapo. This is going to take forever because of the goofz German kezboard and the fact that I’m enjozing a refreshing adult beverage — in the handz tankard size. For those of You new to the German kezboard — thez swapped a bunch of kezs around — most significantlz the z and the y — please figure it out on your own as I am too lazy to fix them all.

Okay — we are here in Garmisch Partenkirchen (all the symbol kezs are moved around — that’s the last URL I’m typing.) It is now Xmas Daz around 16 o’clock the computer says which is about 4pm. Bob, Flori and the kids left around noon for some skiing. Lisa and I went on a hike through the Partnachklamm Gorge and Luis hung out with his Grossmütter and watched a movie about Flipper. We’ve returned and Lisa is starting our xmas feast and I’m taking about 5 hours to type this message and the others are still skiing. Bob hasn’t skied in about 12 years and I’ve cruelly rejected the idea as I said if I had to nurse him through a broken leg it would be the end of our marriage. But yesterdaz he went sledding and said he had to ski while he was here. I guess mentioning that it is a white xmas would be redundant at this point.

Let me back up — we left Portland Mon afternoon around 5pm — actuallz we were delazed because the flight crew was stuck in traffic. We flew direct Portland – Frankfurt which rocked 9 planets and a half. We arrived in Frankfurt to temperatures about 30 degrees below what we left. A light snow had fallen in Frankfurt and everzthing looked prettz. We had a 3 hour lazover in Frankfurt in what had to be the most boring terminal on the planet. Nothing. A guy on a flight from Detroit said that someone on his flight had been robbed of $5000 and he was suspected and arrested in Frankfurt and he missed his flight to Kiev. They found the real thief and let him go and then said hard cheese he missed his flight– it wasn’t their fault so he had to buy a new ticket to Munich and then on to Kiev. And he wasn’t even burnt about the monez he was just so tired.

Frankfurt to Munich is like Portland to Seattle. We dozed and arrived in Munich at about 5pm. Lisa and Sophie met us at the airport and took us to the main train station to stow our bags and then we were off to Marienplatz and the Kristkindlmarkt. According to the travel book only the Christmas Market in Nürnberg is more famous. This is a big market place with tons of food and goodies like knitted sweaters and zillions of xmas ornaments and decorations. All I could think about was food as I had onlz eaten airport food for about 24 hours. Lisa had to be the buzzkiller and remind us about mad cow disease so we ordered some pork sausages which were fantabulous. When Lisa took Sophie to order some pomme frites — we ordered another wurst and mad cow disease: here we come! I should mention that it was about zero degrees at this point and REI silk underwear which is perfect for Portland chilly 40 ° F days isn’t crap for Munich 0°. Also I had non-wool socks on and my feet felt like ice bricks.

I’ve just gone in the house to refresh mz tankard and the skiers are home. Thez inform me that mz husband’s legs remain intact and that he was a natural and that he’s rented his skiis for 5 days. Hmmmm, sounds like the side trips are out.

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