Saturday, June 30, 2012

A few tidbits...

I'll get Matt's input later, but here are a few things I'll want to remember about our trip:

1. You pay 50 cents for bathrooms in public areas.

2. You pay for water at restaurants, and in Germany, water was more expensive than beer.

3. It is vital to look for "niet" when reading train schedules...that means the train is NOT stopping in the listed city!

4. When you pay to have your clothes washed and dried, you have NOT paid for them to be folded. They will be stuffed into your bag and quite wrinkled if you don't pick them up in a short amount of time.

5. Shopkeepers in Noordwijck are most generous with their city maps and helping you figure out how to get back to your hotel.

6. Your spouse will be impressed with how much of the city you covered on foot, despite you not having any idea where you were until the aforementioned shopkeeper helped you figure it out.

7. Ice cream/gelato/sorbet portions are small.

8. My hair devices did not work, so I (mostly) embraced the short hair sticking out all over style.

9. My wonderful parents urged us to go and came to stay with the kids while we headed over to Europe. When we left, the boys were both fighting colds. A few days after we left, my parents turned up in the Urgent Care with strep throat! I felt so terrible (but they probably felt worse!). Thank you for suffering through that for us, Mom and Dad!!

10. My wonderful friends who were a few time zones away and responded to my pleas to help my parents. Thank you for easing my mind and my parents' load!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Schloss Neuschwanstein

This castle was incredibly beautiful! Construction was immediately stopped when Ludwig died (under suspicious circumstances), but the parts that were completed are breathtaking.

It's Sleeping Beauty's castle! 

Schloss Hohenschwangou

The "orange" castle, or Hohenschwangou. Matt spent the better part of this day being entertained by my efforts to pronounce the name correctly.

This was the castle in which King Ludwig II grew up. 

The entire fountain was supported all the way around by lions. 

There were swans aplenty as well. They were associated with the area and so were integrated into the castle design, even down to swan chandeliers and door handles.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Who can resist a picture of armor? Not Gabe, our 4 year old, so this one's for him! (As a random aside, we met some other BYU fans while waiting for one of the castle tours to start. It always takes me a minute to realize we are easily identifiable as such because Matt is usually sporting a BYU hat or shirt.)

Marienbrucke, or Queen Mary's Bridge. This bridge was a birthday present for her. !!!

I imagine I would find a bridge an acceptable birthday present.

A picture taken while we are standing on Marienbrucke. It was hard to navigate the bridge amidst all the umbrellas, due to the rain! Lots of rain and clouds, but still incredible!

A bakery and hotel that we saw on our way out of Fussen.

Austria, continued...

At the Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, wandering through the gardens before the concert...

...the concert room, in which Mozart performed in his day. String quartet + pianist... 

One of the few times Matt would allow me to hand off the camera to someone else so we could both be in the picture!

BIKING IN AUSTRIA!! The views were fantastic (although the temperature was a fair bit warmer than Holland)!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

More of Austria!

This is the second hotel on this trip that has provided slippers.  Matt found us some GREAT hotels!

For Naomi and Gabe to see the horse-drawn carriages the tour all over Salzburg. 

Recognize this? (Not the creepy eyes! The background!) Think Julie Andrews.

 On the way down from the Hohensalzburg Castle, which is up on a hill. One of those lovely squinting pictures!

The castle from a little ways down the hill. This one's for our kids, because we told them we were going to a castle today!

Also on the agenda today was the house where Mozart was born, the catacombs, several museums and cathedrals. Still to come is a concert in the Mirabell Castle, where Mozart actually performed!

Friday, June 22, 2012

On to Austria!

Last few minutes in Noordwijk, enjoying some Flemish fries! They actually give them to you in a cone-shaped paper with a fork. If you requested some type of sauce, a whole bunch of it is squirted over the top, and you just eat it with your fork! Matt chose plain fries, and I went with a curry sauce (which seemed very similar to sweet and sour sauce). Yummy!

We took a sleeper car on the overnight train from Amsterdam to Munich. Quarters were tighter than expected, but it was more comfortable than sitting in a chair all night!

Lunching in Austria!

View from our hotel room in Austria, over the Salzach River!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Matt's poster, which is why we got to have a good portion of this trip subsidized by his lab!

...the title. Truly fascinating. You should ask him about it sometime! ;)

Me at the hotel, waiting for lunch.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Noordwijk by Bike, Part I, Section A

What does one do to fill the time while her husband is occupied with other scientific minds? If she had been harbouring a fancy for using bike transport as so many Europeans do, then she would rent a bike and set out into the city!

Noordwijk is much more laid-back than Paris and Amsterdam, traffic-wise.
It was a beautiful day on the bike, albeit windy!

Check out the views over the handlebars! Nieuwe Zeeweg, the road between Noordwijk aan Zee (our area) and Noordwijck Binnen)...
 This is what happens when you don't have anyone to take your picture, and you lack experience in doing it yourself.

A-ha! I am in the frame! I lost the building, though. It's the Oude Jeroenskerk, from the 12th century, renovated in 1450 and still in use.

Noordwijk by Bike, Part I, Section B

A mermaid for Naomi...

...the beach...

 ...intersection of Schoolstraat and Hoofdstraat, both streets lined with shops.

Noordwijk by Bike, Part II


...Koningin Astrid Blvd (named for Queen Astrid)...

...back to the hotel, Huis ter Duin.

Den Haag

On Tuesday I spent a chunk of time in Delft (think Vermeer and Delft blue china/tiles) while Matt was off conferencing. We met in late afternoon at Den Haag, and here are a few pictures! (Phone pictures = low quality. Sorry!)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pictures of Paris

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Paris. After awhile our feet protested, but we pushed on and saw incredible buildings, fascinating historical sites, bridges, statues and gardens!

The pictures on this post weren't necessarily our favorites, just ones we took with my phone camera instead of the big camera. More pictures to come!

Some of these were taken specifically to entertain our kids, who seem to be loving Grandma and Grandpa time a lot! One is us enjoying sorbet, one was to impress the kids with Daddy's strength. And the Hotel Beaubourg was home base.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Today was our first day in Paris! We covered a lot of ground and are now planning out tomorrow's agenda. Some great moments:

The Parthenon

Dessert: soft white cheese with honey for me, apple tart and ice cream for Matt

Focault's pendulum

Parisians know how to do libraries! Look at the size of it! We got some pictures inside with the other camera, so those pictures will be posted when we are back home.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Prep Time!

Last night was finally time to pack for our upcoming trip. The last thing we did before going to bed was put on my motion sickness patch. Each one lasts 72 hours, and I have a nice little stock to see me through the entire vacation. I fully expect this will make the overseas flights MUCH more pleasant!!

Gabe's nighttime habits

Gabe often wakes around 4:00 AM and joins us in bed. Since my parents will be there for the next two weeks, we installed them in the master bedroom first thing. I thought that might cure Gabriel of playing musical beds, but apparently not!