Monday, May 10, 2010

It's been too long mey frieeeeends!

I am so very sorry for being away for so long. I could go on and on about all the reasons why, but let's just say there were new teeth, colds, a birthday and a very unproductive typist involved! But, as so much time has passed and there have a been a few travels since my Mexican adventure, I will try to summarize them into one post.

First, we joined Grandma M, Auntie Mimi and cousins Jon and Sammi for a week in Bonita Beach, FL for Christmas As this was my first Christmas celebration, I was unaware that it is somewhat unusual to spend this holiday at the beach with warm-ish weather. I do not understand this however because we had a lot of fun partaking in what I assume are typical Christmas activities like a mini-golf tournament, evening walks at sunset and going to the pool. Call me crazy, but I really think that all of these would have been much less exciting with cold snow blasting in your face in sub-zero temperatures.

1. Mini-golf is such a snooze.

2. Sammi and her new friend, Brooke, heart the pool.

3. The sand was kind of freaking me out.

4. The sand was still freaking me out.

And then, to top it all off, Santa himself came by our condo asking if we had seen his reindeer! I really wanted him to stay so I could play with his boots (those buckles are so big and shiny!) but i was a good samaritan and pointed him in the right direction.

I saw them very clearly going off that way!

But on to our next Hurrah - which will actually be a schmorgas of my trip to Germany last May ('09) and then my German girlfriend's visit this March ('10). I must start by telling you that the trip Germany, when I was only a mere 4 months old, was not a holiday in the usual sense. We were there to scatter my Guapa Holger's (Grandpa) ashes in a ceremony for his family in Northern Germany. It was a somber time but certainly not without some good days spent with family and friends. We were in Hamburg (Altona), Lübeck (Stockelsdorf) and Schwerin (a former Eastern German city and prior to that, a Royal seat of the region).

The first days were spent with Iso, Achim and my German girlfriend, Helen, who is one month younger than I and about as darling as a girl can be. We liked being driven around the city in our Kinderwagons and hanging out at their flat.

1. Helen is a bit camera shy, so I'm showing her how to ham it up for the photo.

2. Daddies and their wheels!

3. Happy new Mommies

Then we were off to Lübeck to be with my and Holger's family. We spent one day walking around Holger's hometown, Lübeck, and then a day in Schwerin, where gorgeous gardens with many different kinds of flowers and special artist's installations frame the beautiful castle. We were there with Uncle Klaus, Aunt Beate and Uncle Johannes as well as Grandma M, Auntie Mimi and cousin Jon. There was this wonderful thing called a Hüpfkissen (a hopping pillow) that we all jumped on. Well, I wasn't jumping because it was time for my afternoon nap and you know what a stickler I am for keeping my schedule or else I have a big fit and then no one is happy.

1. Don't they look like gingerbread houses? Lübeck from a church tower.

2. Uncles Johannes and Klaus hüpfing it up!

3. Family and flowers make me happy.

4. The Schwerin castle

5. Not only were there amazing flowers, but there was also a tribute to Salzkartoffeln (boiled salt potatoes) that featured the herbs that are typically cooked with the taters.

The next day was one of mixed emotions. We began the morning at Oma Lore and Opa Hans' house with my Dedication ceremony that was performed by long-time family friends and pastors, Mary and Alfred. My travel companions, Mommy and Daddy, made a promise before our family and God to raise me in the Christian church and hopefully lead me to choose to be baptized when I am able to make that decision for myself. The ceremony was done in English by Mary and in German by Alfred, and I was so pleased to share this moment with my German family, so that's pretty special!

1. Pastor Mary & Alfred gave a very nice ceremony.

2. Sharing a moment with Oma HanneLore and Pastor Alfred.

3. It's not a dress, it's a traditional Christening gown and I think I looked rather dapper.

Later we all drove to a small harbor village, Niendorf, on the Baltic and boarded a boat from which we released "Guapa" Holger's ashes in a urn adorned with flowers into the sea. Even though I never had the chance to meet him, I know there will always be a place in my heart that loves and misses him.

((more to come))