25 April 2016

Essen... In Essen

A quiet weekend is not in the child's handbook. Kirstie found a hands on Science museum in Essen. We took this to mean we can set the kids free and they can trash the joint, right? 

"Can we climb the tower, Mum? Dad? Can we?"

Artsy shot.

Shoes off? Check. Socks off? Check. None of us are quite sure why though. Especially not Josh.

But he came around.

Lewie remained confused. "Shoes?" 
"Yes darling, shoes would be a good idea right now."

We made it!

"Will this thing hold me up?"

Lewie loved exploring in and out and all over the exibits.

As did Josh.

Bike power! (It was even harder than it looks!)

Making a tornado, Josh (look away) style.

The call came to climb the coal tower, "Can we climb it NOW, Mum?" 
"Of course!"

Loves a good stair climb.

Wir essen in Essen!

The playground outside was also great. After a long wait, we finally had a turn on the pendulum swing!

Day at the Fussball/ Welcome to Köln Nanna!

It was the last chance to go see a football match so off Ben went with the boys to see 1.FC Koln play some lowly team. 

It was a tense start to the game, but about 40 seconds in Koln scored and it was pretty much all over!! 

Viva Colonia!! 

Meanwhile, Kirstie and the kids had the seemingly simple task of picking up Nanna from the train station... With no phone contact. After two hours, skyrocketing stress levels, multiple checks of the platforms, assistance from Information, far too many chocolate croissants and not enough coffee, we finally got the call from Information that she arrived. Just as we were going to leave! Welcome to Köln, Nanna!

And then this happened... Brrrrrrrr...!!!

Close up of the trampoline still doesn't do it justice. It was completely covered in snow. Yes, it is officially Spring, but as they "April, April, er macht was er will". 


Last Summer's exhaustive BBQ research resulted in NO BBQ at all. So we were keen to avoid a repeat and the first BBQ on sale was hastily purchased. 

Hmm Fleisch...

10 April 2016

Easter in Epinal, France

Our Easter long weekend away in Epinal saw us stopping off in Luxumburg for a play at an awesome Pirate Ship Playground, Parc de Monterey (on the corner Boulevard du Prince Henri and Avenue Monterey).

The slide here is HUGE! Unfortunately due to the weather it was wet and therefore "not very fast". We'll be back to try it again in Summer!

Mmmmm... French food! With a healthy salad on the side.

This is how we roll. Back on the road again, and on the way to Epinal.

And we made it! It's pesto pasta and straight into bed for the kiddos; stinky cheese and champagne for the grown ups!

We stayed in a lovely French farmhouse, with all the charming touches you would expect. Fire, boar's head...

...deer antlers and many, many stairs!

Josh and Maxie made a tunnel out of the antique furniture. How much was that surprise bond again?

The joys of being "above average" height in old houses. I'd like to say we only did it once or twice before we learnt, but we didn't. Ouch! Ouch! Ooouuuuuuucccchhhhh!

Ooooo! Thanks Maxie!

The view of the neighbouring countryside. Beautiful!

Exploring the food market at Nancy. We would like one of everything, merci!

Sunny day(s) in France, in front of St Sebastian.

Stanislas Square, Nancy. It's UNESCO World Heritage listed, and therefore requires serious faces.

The gate is certainly very impressive!

And just through the gate, another huge playground at Parc de la Pepiniere.

Exploring the castle ruins of Epinal.

The life of a toddler on the road. Show me the sights, Mum! Schnell!

View over the city from the castle.

Budding photographer in the making.

And the shot. Very creative!

The weekend playground trifecta: a playground WITHIN the castle ruins!

Thank goodness the bakeries were open so we could feast on French bakery treats in the park. Yum yum yum!

Lighting candle to remember my Grandma. You are loved and missed, Grandma Pearl. We light a candle for you wherever we go.

Lewie trying to blow the candles out.

The kids are excited to see if the Easter Bunny found us in France. Well, Abbey and Josh are particularly excited, Max and Lewie not so much.

He found us! It was so beautiful to see the kids working together to find the eggs.

"I found a... Hang on, this is not an egg!"

Lew feeding the local wildlife.

Sehr muede!

We didn't make it as far as Trier for our planned stop over on the way home, instead stopping in Saarlouis for a special German lunch for Auntie Sal. Happy birthday!

We now know where the name came from. Rock on, Benz!