S: Sulzberg 2011
BC: Made with love by Marita
FC: Celebrating Omi's 89th Birthday! | Sulzberg 2011
1: Mom was searched three times at the airport in Detroit. In Germany we got the royal treatment and our own electric car with driver. First class tickets on Delta for Omi. | Vincent got to sit in the Pilots seat with his Pilot uniform.
2: Claudia, Mom, Alise and Vincent on our first day. | Home Sweet Home | Matthias and Claudia visited before they left on their camping vacation to Croatia.
3: First Sunday in Sulzberg and the Ruine is open. We just walked up and looked around were we played growing up. It has now been nicely updated for the use of the community. Marile and Sepp the ultimate tour guides and hosts came along. Pictures of castle are from the 1200s.
4: View down to the farm from the castle and the Hoermann farm below.
5: Coffee and cake on Hans and Yuthamats terrace. Marie Bertele and Emilie stopped by too.
6: Cake and coffee everyday and when we missed a day, Vincent noticed. No one makes better Tortes than my cousins.
7: Vincent immediately made friends with the cows. He would make a good farmer just like his mom.
9: Vincent, Alise and Dominick rode the Bobbie car down the hill for hours of entertainment. The Castle, fruit trees, soccer and the playground, the kids never wanted to leave our little paradise. Alise said Germany would be perfect if people spoke English.
10: Our first hike from Sulzberg to Moosbachwith Hans, Yuthamat, Patrick and Dominick for an ice-cream treat. We cooled our feet off in the Rottachsee.
11: On our way we passed by a farm where they were bringing the cows in for milking.
13: The town of Moosbach and Rottachsee in background and the Grunten. It was a good start to our hiking vacation in the Alps
15: We had a beautiful day to celebrate on our patio outside. The day began with Heike coming by with flowers at nine and we were all still in our P.J.'s Tante Centa came from Herrsching by herself. | Happy Birthday Omi 89 years young. The plan to go out to lunch in Moosbach changed, mom had an upset stomach. We instead all ordered our own pizza from an Italian restaurant in Sulzberg. The kids, Emilie, Hans & Joe all went to the Rottachsee to swim. Mom tried every remedy to calm her stomach. She even got to take a nap in the lazy boy outside, on the terrace.
16: Robert Berger (moms cousin) and his wife Irmi came from Kaufbeuren to celebrate mom's birthday at the Sulzberger Hof. We sat ourside and watched the sun set over the mountains. Mom ordered the Kaiser Schmarn. Our new favorite dish that Marile made for us. | Coffee and cake time, telling stories, jokes and laughing was a daily event.
17: Michael getting ready to go out to the Kempten Festwoche. Just relaxing and enjoying every moment we had. Sami and Stefi came every weekend to spend time with us.
19: Ruine Sulzberg right in our own back yard! | Nesselwang, Alpspitz 1500m.We took the bahn up and walked all the way down. Our muscles were sore for four days. We rode the Rodelbahn !Vincent and Patrick were the fastest.
21: We stopped along the way and picked the most beautiful wild flowers I have ever seen.
22: The Grunten, the town mountain in the background. Enjoying the views into the mountains and the sound of the cowbells ringing in the hills. | Out for a walk toward Burgratz were Tante Gusta and Dodle (Tante Maria Berger) Oma Bergers sisters lived and where the wood clock is from in our living room.
23: Ruine Sulzberg and farmer cutting the fresh grass for the cows.
27: Hans enjoying a beer after work, on our terrace. | Sepp & Marile have the most beautiful gardens. | Sepp & Marile's house and winter garden room that we enjoyed many Tortes and meals at. | The old tractor that the kids got to drive in the fields by themselves.
28: WOW,!Mouse bread and heart shaped salami. Vincent and Alise would go to the bakery and butcher shop to help pick out the food.!
29: Starzlach Klamm Again we had a perfect day with Sepp and Marile. It was overcast during the walk through the gorge and forest. The sun shone on us in the end. We ended the day with dinner on the terrace at Hans and Yuthamats. Delicious Thai food. The kids especially loved the Spring rolls. We watched old movies and laughed a lot.
30: Hiking on the trail.
31: Vincent loved Germany so much he kissed the ground. I am so glad to be able to share these beautiful mountains and towns in Bavaria with them.
32: Nice cold mountain spring water to rinse off after our long hike and snack. No complaints out of these kids.!
33: Family gathering at Rainer and Emilie's home. We had the most fun and enjoyable evening together. Playing games having weise wurst, beer and wine and enjoying each others company. Looking at old photos , including one of Hitler, and mom telling stories from the old days. It was so good be together again. Katrin, Sami, Stefanie and Christian.
34: Vincent showed Rainer how to play Angry Birds on the Ipad. Rainer could not talk, but enjoyed the company and kids energy.
36: We could not have asked for a better evening at the Miller home.
37: Love, Love, Love
38: We woke up to a beautiful day. We took the Mittagbahn up and hiked up to Steineberg 1660m over Baerenkopfle (1463m) with Hans Dominick and Patrick. At the top we met up with Katrin then Sami and Stefi. What an unbelievable hike, Straight up over very difficult terrain, cows and in the end a 60 foot ladder. It was a three and a half hour hike. Sonthhofen and Bad Hindelang in backgroud.
39: Alise and Vincent posing on very old pine tree and the Gipfelkreuz on Baerenkopfle. | The first mountain top we reach was Baerenkopfle. The hardest part was yet to come.
40: Group photo. Stefi and Sami started on another mountain top and met us on their way to Baerenkopfle.
41: Vincent doing some serious mountain climbing. Alise going up the Steineberg Leiter with me behind her. Joe and Vincent climbed up first, to the Gipfelkreuz. Vincent loves cows. He wanted to hug one so bad.
43: Ice cream, beer and playgrounds at every stop.! | Steineberg 1660m and back to Mittagbahn station for our ride back. Watched two Hang gliders take off.
44: When the rain stopped we saw Alexandra and Richard's house from 1830 the first record of updating. | Emilie insisted we stop by in Immenstadt at her house to pick up a cake she made for the kids. Maulwurf Kuchen. She was right, they loved it.
45: Sunday we woke up very tired with lots of rain and a long drive to Herrsching. We had a nice dinner with Christian, Denise, Marcela, Sebastian and Tante Centa. I had my favorite Viener Schnitzel. The Loidls got to bring their new black lab puppy in the restaurant. How cool is that? Then we visited Alexandra's old farm house.!!
46: The previous farmers were very poor and it showed. They had a really hard life in this farm house.
47: Mom was such a sport, she climbed up to the second story by pulling herself up by a rope that was the banister, and up the steep and narrow stairwell. Everyone was impressed. She had waited a long time to see this house and was not going to miss a single bit of it.
48: It even came with its own John Deer tractor and will be lovingly restored by Alexandra and Ricky. Vincent picked the right shirt to wear. | Desert was a fantastic chocolate cake that Christian made and other delicious Tortes. It was so good to see Onkel Fritz.
49: Mom and her cousins | The Berger familie before leaving to Thailand | Saying good bye. It was so great to see them again! | Dominick, Patrick, Vincent and Alise made some good memories together.
50: Omi, now 89 the matriarch of the Berger and Kasper family going strong. School friends visit, Mina Ilenfritz from Stuttgart and daughter Margaret and neighbor Klara Schweiger (L).
51: Hohenschwangau, The castle where King Ludwig grew up.
52: Another trip to the most photographed place in the world. The crowds were heavy but we managed to get the perfect parking spot and had beautiful weather. Thanks to Sepp for driving us.
54: The views are incredible. It really is a fairytale castle.
55: One of the five lakes you can see from the castle and Hohenschwangau behind Alise and Vincent.
60: Ice cream stop after our hike.
61: Hay stack at the Gebhard farm in Nageleried, by Sulzberg.
62: Alise said she and Vincent had an amazing adventure when she went to the Gebhard farm. Her favorite part was getting to pet the cows and see all the milk.
63: Milk can. Milk gets stirred to cool it off and then picked up only once per day. The milk from the cows at the farm is used to make swiss cheese.
64: Gebhards Maria,with children, Christian,Freddie (farmer not shown) and Helga, the police officer.
65: Panoramic view to to Sulzberg, the castle and farm. Also the picture that is painted on The wall in Alise's bedroom.
66: Our home away from home. So comfy and cheerful and bright. Beautiful views of mountains, cows, castle and flowers out of every window. The sounds of cow bell ringing in the hills.
68: The Feneberg and Berger residence where Omi and all of us grew up. | Playground and castle | Berger | View to Sulzberg
69: Alpsee Rodelbahn, the longest in Germany. It was pretty fast too. | Dieter and Mari Louise with sister Mathilde and husband. Daughters of Hilde (Bertele) and Ulrich Berkmann.
70: A fun day day at Burg Ruine. Alise and Vincent spent two hours completing the course to become Knights. They had to complete six disciplines at the castle. In the end they were both knighted.
71: At entrance to castle.
75: King of the castle and his loyal knights.
76: Auf der Burg wird heute Zum Ritter geschlagen Alise and Vincent Maffesoli. Alise said she had a lot of fun fighting her brother.
77: A castle in our own back yard. What more could you ask for?
78: Vincent being knighted by the King. | Alise was the first girl to be knighted
79: Bergbauernmseum in Diepolz where Katrin lives. | Alise milking a cow. | Bales of fun. | Jumping into the hay off a very high ledge.
80: Mission Accomplished. Thursday, July 27th. I woke up, packed my bag, took Alise and Vincent over to my moms to either help her pack or say good bye. I was removing the orange nail polish that Vincent and Alise had on and It was all veryrelaxed. Mom said she was not going. The kids insisted she go. I had unpacked the food I brought over and went over instructions of what to do. Mom then lay down because she felt tired. The kids were getting restless, around twelve I said, "I think we better head home now, Richard is picking us up at two". All of a sudden mom perked up and before I knew it, was sitting on the stair chair on her way upstairs. I really was not sure yet what was going on but she then said, "I better pack". Next thing you know, I jump into action and start packing all her clothes that we had set out. Then I threw in some more clothes, went downstairs and started on her medication. Before I went back up, I called Joe and told him she was going. We quickly re-arranged the driving plans with Richard. I had to bring home all the food I brought over to Omi's and put the address hold slip in the mailbox. We were ready to go. Since January we had been working toward this trip. Between physical therapy, new glasses, shoes, clothes, hair, nail and many doctor appointments. You name it we had done it all.!At first, I was a little scared. Did I take on too much? Joe said it was awesome, when I told him. Richard said, it was fantastic. At the airport mom got searched because she set off the alarms. She was taken into a small room and checked by security. We met up with Joe, his Starbucks coffee and went to gate 28 were we waited 20 minutes before boarding. Just before the flight we had Joe get us McDonalds. Once on the plane we were taken by the pilot in the cockpit. The Pilot came back to our seats. He literally picked Vincent up from his seat and brought him up. We had our pictures taken in the cockpit and got to check on Mom in business class. She was treated like a queen.
81: Once in Frankfurt, Germany we were picked up by an agent with an electric cart. The kids rode with Omi and Joe and I had to walk. We picked up our car and stopped on the way to Sulzberg for Weiss wurst, potato salad and coffee for Joe. Just before Ulm Joe hit the guardrail. We did not stop until Sulzberg where we called the insurance company while sitting in the Feneberg parking lot. It was a hot, long and painful wait in the car after driving for over 4 hours. After many trips to the rental company it was all worked out and the insurance company paid for the damage. Once we arrived in Sulzberg we were immediately served coffee and cake. Then, Marile made us dinner and breakfast the next morning. We moved into our apartment and Omi stayed in Stefanies old room so we shared a balcony. We enjoyed our own meals in the morning with mom and many lunch and dinners. It was so nice to have mom so close she could just come over from her balcony door to ours. We also managed to get a few trips shopping into Kempten and Immenstadt. Mom also got picked up by her friends and taken to lunch and desert. Joe got his morning runs in around Oeslesee and I rode the bike around the lake for some excercise too. One evening we visited with Heike and Richard Steck. We also got to see Michaels new apartment with the beautiful view of the mountains in Sulzberg. We did a lot and will be back for more.
82: Another beautiful day in Allgau at the mountain farmers museum.
83: I remember taking a bath in a tub like that. | Joe in Museum. | Sami too tall to be a farmer.
84: I totally remember going to the bathroom on the clo just like this one and using torn newspaper for toilet paper. Emilie and Joe with the Grunten in the background. Sepp on old fashioned bike.
86: Stefi, Marile and Sepp | Emilie and Katrin | Stefi and Marile
87: Sami and Alise with their Rhino noses. Stinky pigs, but still cute.
88: Kempten Festwoche | We had so much fun. It was a great way to end the best vacation ever?
89: What's better than a wishbone challenge? Sharing a pretzel in Germany.
90: Pure joy.!
91: Yeah, Yeah Yeah, whats going on?! | In the Caipirinha tent for night cap. | I can't wait for the next fest.!
92: In this Chapel overlooking the Rottachsee, Omi said a prayer that Marile had never heard before and it moved her to tears. This chapel was built by a farmer who made a pledge to God that if his prayer was answered he would build this chapel. May you be blessed too, to have a wonderful life and may all your prayers be answered.