Saturday, June 28, 2014


So it turns out we are not much of big city people.  I have thoughts occasionally about how convenient all these great parks are.  How fun all the options are for events and activities. For instance, Emma and I went into town the other day and watched a fun little (very little) dance performance and listened to a band, for free in the local spa park.
As it turns out, we are not actually in a big city.  The rolling farm fields should have been my first clue.  I'm not sure we could have found a place in a foreign country as similar to our own home! :)  Funny story in point, Sarah Goracke and I searched high and low for local Oregon produced hazelnuts to bring as little gifts.  Guess what is a commonly eaten here? Hazelnuts.  Everything is hazelnut flavored and we have bought bags of them as snacks often. The kids and I are literally tortured on every walk or bike ride we take past fields of raspberry canes, laden strawberry plants and the final insult.... a large multi acre field of sugar snap peas! It was out in the middle of nowhere, full of some sort of grain as well as weeds... and many, many ripe sweet peas.  At first we didnt let the kids pick any... then the next time we let them have a couple.... and then walk along picking and eating....  Turns out we should have gone up and picked them every day, they were not harvested and are probably just delivering nitrogen to the soil.  They are now spoiled.
But one thing we do not have is local train transit and the kids have really wanted to take a train ride.  It has been much more convenient to take the car places.  Last week we decided to take the train to Wurzberg.  Wurzberg is about an hour away and last weekend they had a free music festival.  We didn’t really plan to do much more than walk through, but thought we would time our trip to be able to check it out.
We missed our first train.  By 1 second.  Literally.  There was a huge debacle with a woman in front of us in line to buy tickets and by the time we gave up at the station counter and went to the ticket vending machine we had only minutes.  We bought the tickets and went to board the train and were literally with bent knee to step on the first step when the doors shut.  Neither the door handle or button would make them open.  We stepped back and looked up and down the train… and it left!  Just like that. 
I spent a few moments wondering what on earth we would have done if one of our kids had been seconds ahead of us and was boarded already and giving myself panic attacks about that…. Good grief!
But no problem the next train was only 20 minutes later.  And we ended up on the same train as one of JB’s professors, who is also here with his family.  They have older teenage boys but have traveled here every year for about 10 years.  They were headed to Wurzberg for shopping, but did tell us about a theme park that we had not heard of, and we were very glad to learn about.  More on that later!

Coming out of the train station I felt a little like Brendan Frasier in Blast From the Past, when he comes out of his 1950’s bomb shelter into the big city of the 1990’s. 
 In truth though, Wurzberg was a a pretty unattractive, stinky and generally just “big city” place. Yes, there are castles and palaces and the like.  But we ended up at the festival which was free with some great kids activities.  Bouncy houses!  Who needs castles?  Climbing walls! Who needs trees?  Well, we found those too…  
and some old fashioned toys!

We had a very good time a finished the day checking one more item from our to do list…. Italian Spaghetti Ice Cream.  We had not had these yet, and apparently they are a must.  From a real Italian eis place that makes their own ice cream no less!! 

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