S: EUROPE 2013 .
BC: pics by Nico & Marlies Wobben (and friends) ~ http://www.wobben.org
FC: europe 2013 ~ meeting up with family and friends in (mainly) Belgium and Germany ~
1: flights - august 16-17 Time to go overseas again for family visits, more specifically this time for Marlies's dad's 95th birthday! We also wanted it to be a vacation. Last time we visited 3-4 people a day in both our home towns and more, this time we visited several German friends and spent a week in Belgium with the family. No Netherlands (hardly)!! We flew to Toronto where Jessie (former Regina resident) came to the airport to hang out with us, and Ivar popped by (a fellow immigrant we hadn't met in real life yet). The Lufthansa plane to Düsseldorf was a different one than planned, and we got bumped up to business class... WOW!!!
2: erkrath - august 17-18 Cora came to the Düsseldorf airport by bus to pick us up and we drove to Erkrath Rock City (our nickname for the small town) in our rental car. After a nap we went to the Altstadt in Düsseldorf, where Cora took us on a boat tour with free beer! Jetlag + beer = :) The next day it was raining and we visited the Neanderthal (gorgeous valley!) and the museum of its prehistorical inhabitants.
4: Ahrweiler - august 19 We left Cora in the morning and on our way to Hessen we passed Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, where we used to spend one or two weekends a year, so we had to re-visit the old centre of Ahrweiler. Unfortunately our friend Irmgard wasn't in town, but it was great to see it all again!
8: hessen - august 19-22 In the German state Hessen we rented an apartment in the small village of Usingen-Wernborn, which was our base to meet up with Thorsten & Monika (and Markus & Lena) in Bad Nauheim, cruise around in the beautiful Hochtaunus district (ahhhh THIS felt like vacation!) and spend a day with Paddy (and meet Steffi) in the old "altstadt" of Frankfurt am Main. | Usingen-Eschbach | our rental car | busy autobahn near Montabaur
9: pic 1-4: Usingen | pic 5-7: Usingen-Wernborn and our apartment
10: In Bad Nauheim with Thorsten
11: 21st: geocaching day in Usingen-Eschbach and the Hochtaunus | Eschbacher Klippen
12: Weilrod | Brombach | Grosser Feldberg, highest elevation (881m) of the Taunus
13: Grosser Feldberg, highest elevation (881m) of the Taunus | Meeting up with Thorsten, Markus and Lena in Bad Nauheim
14: 22nd: meeting Paddy (and later Steffi) in Frankfurt
15: views from the Main Tower (200m) in Frankfurt
18: Frankfurt am Main
20: peer (Belgium) - august 23-29 On our way from Usingen in Germany to Peer in Belgium, we made the only stop of this trip in Holland: to see Chantal, Roald and kids (esp. their new addition Avalon and Theo also popped by). When we got to the Center Parcs bungalow park in Peer, Erperheide, we were welcomed by our family in the 3 units dad rented for all of us. We'd be there with dad and Amalia for a full week, but Ton & family could only stay for the weekend. We celebrated dad's 95th birthday together, had a lot of great meals in the buffet restaurant, got visitors from both our hometowns and did some geocaching in the area. | Koblenz | visiting Chantal & family
22: HAPPY 95TH BIRTHDAY!!!
25: Center Parcs Erperheide (Peer)
26: visitors (no pics of Miranda and Dionne/Resy)
28: geocaching in the Bree area
29: bottrop - august 30-September 1 In the Ruhr district we visited Volker & Martina (and little Johanna) for a relaxing last weekend of the trip. Good times, good food, good company (friend Jorg also visited and we went to Sascha's record store) and we even got some geocaching in.
32: flights home - september 2 Time to fly home again from Düsseldorf to Toronto (background, insert Mississauga) and then to Regina. It was a great trip, happy to see family and friends again, and it was most of all also a vacation this time!