Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Osterferien- Easter Break

Easter Break, or Osterferien in the Rheinland Pfalz is about a 3 week break in April.  It takes place over the Easter Holiday.  This year, we had several local activities as well as a trip to Paris France.

Teddy had a fussball tournament over Osterferien.  His team took second place in the entire league for the season.  Teddy's footwork has improved tremendously and he is continually building much needed confidence in a competitive league.

We also took a family trip with friends Rachel and her two boys Jack and Gabriel.  The boys have become very close friends with Jack through the Grundschule.  He is 9, right in between Teddy and Patrick.  We drove to a nearby town for a scottish festival where they had basket weaving, blacksmith work, and highland games.  Although it was rainy we had a great time.  We enjoyed a bratwurst, soda, and beer.  The same day we drove to check out Rachel's family friend's house on the Mosel River.  The house is situated right on the banks of the Mosel, complete with wine cellar.  This home was purchased with rights to the vineyard.  The cellar is chucked full of wine bottles from years and years ago.  I believe the house was built in the 1600's.  It was like stepping back into a time capsule.

Rowan's class had a drumming event at the local Burgerhause.  They learned several songs and sang them at a local community dinner.  Rowan's German is taking off.  She remembers all the songs and sings them often at home.  She has also learned the meal time blessing in German and recites that often at home as well.

We went as a family to our first FCK Kaiserslautern Fussball game.  Germans LOVE their soccer!  The fans went wild stomping their feet and cheering through the whole game.  The kids have started fussball card collections and are very much interested in local and international teams alike.  They could not get enough of The World Cup.  Germans love their Fussball so much, they allowed the kids to come into school late at 10am the morning after the championship game.  The whole country was glued to their televisions that night.  At midnight when the game ended, fireworks were let off in the streets, cheering, and honking of horns could be heard everywhere.

We had a fantastic time in Paris France.  We stayed for about 3 nights.  We saw the Eifel Tower, The Louve, Notre Dame, Arch di Triumph, Napoleon's Tomb, took a river cruise, wandered the streets and bridges, and enjoyed fine French food!  The kids are just as excited as us to try local foods when we travel.  They have everything from escargo, frog's legs, to stinky cheeses and various fish.  Teddy has been begging for a pocket knife.  On this trip, Daniel finally allowed him to get a French Army knife.  The other kids also got souvenirs of their choosing.

On our way back from France, we visited the Belleau Wood battlefield and cemetery in France.  There were cannons still on sight from the battle, trenches, and fox holes.  It was quite eery to walk the trails of this historic site.  This is the battle from World War One when the Marines earned their name, Devil Dogs.  It was said the US Marines fought so fiercely, it was likened to Dogs from Hell, "Teufel Hunden," or Devil Dogs.  The kids had a fantastic time playing war in the trenches and the fox holes.  Liam was the artillery man.  We could not stop laughing at him, he would run and pretend he was fighting in a battle, and stop momentarily to blow the fuzzies off a dandelion.  I am fairly certain these same tactics were not used in the actual battle.

All in all, I would say it was a successful Osterferien.

FCK Kaiserslautern game

Kids in front of Notre Dame

Smoochin' in the streets

Liam not willing to take a photo with the rest.

The Louvre

The Louvre

Locks of Love on the bridge

River cruisin'

My girl

Teddy & Patrick on the cruising the Seine River

Taking in the view

Waiting for the subway.  

Napoleon's Tomb

Highland Games fun

Fox Hole at the Battle of the Belleau Wood

Trench from Battle of the Belleau Wood

Beautiful forest.  It was a gorgeous site to think such tragic fighting happened in this very spot.
There is your artillery man bringing up the back.

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