Sunday, August 23, 2009

Funny video from our trip

video

Grant's B-day and other happenings at the Sturms

So let me start this off by saying that our life is not all sunshine and lollipops and grand vacation trips to foreign countries, as two out of three posts would suggest. But, as I have nothing of real interest to write other times, and I am feeling the crushing guilt of not having posted anything for Grant's b-day... here goes!
The whole trip was based on two things: getting Grant to Legoland for his birthday (he got in free,) and taking Britt to see some of the cool stuff in Bavaria before she goes home next month.
We headed out Wednesday night after Doug got off work (got stuck in awesome traffic for and hour) and arrived at our hotel at 11:00pm, but we were thrilled to find that the two rooms that we had paid $42 a night for were actually family suites, so everybody got their own rooms... if I had known ahead of time, we probably would have just gotten one hotel room, and snuck in the extra kids, but it was nice having the extra space!
The next morning we headed out to Salzburg, Austria while singing songs from the Sound of Music, but things took a dark turn when, due to a "miscommunication" we ended up getting gas at a place that we thought would accept our American gas card, that allows us to pay in dollars and has no taxes... but it wasn't. Needless to say gas is a LOT more expensive with the German taxes added, and it was not a happy moment in the Sturm vehicle. (Poor Brittni, we found out later, had to go to the bathroom reeeeeeally bad the whole time, but was too scared to ask, due to the vigorous "discussion" that was going on up front.)
Salzburg was beautiful and awesome though, and we saw lot's of great things - and only a few naked pictures and statues, which is always a bit of a gift in a large city over here.
The next day was the much anticipated Legoland day, and of course we had a ton of fun. It was hot and crazy, but not anywhere near as crazy as Disneyland would be this time of year. I think that the longest line we waited in was maybe 20-25 mins. The one thing that kind of irked Doug and I was both of our older boys unwillingness to ride anything that looked even the teeniest bit thrilling or action packed - they were both terrified. They did both go on the Splash mountain-like log ride, but only because we "accidently" got in what we thought was the jungle cruise line... Grant started to figure it out as we were climbing the hill to the top, and began to whimper, I was still reassuring him that it wouldn't be scary, when we rounded the corner at the top, and then he said "And now, we die," in a very matter of fact way. That made Brittni and me laugh, and Levi start crying. Obviously they survived it, but I swear if Grant ever found out that I tricked them I would lose all credibility until the day I die, so no loose lips dear family and friends!
It really was a fun day, and except for all the children running around naked in the water area I would have thought that we were in Legoland California!
The next day we headed down to Fusen to see the Neuschwanstein Castle, and the surrounding area. It was also really amazing, but a TON of walking, and consequently whining from the peanut gallery… that is the cold hard truth of touring Europe with the kiddo’s. They really don’t get, or appreciate most of the stuff that we do or see, and everything is so much harder!
Our last day we went to see Dachau concentration camp before we headed home, and the kids were actually really good – since we lectured them nonstop on the way over about being reverent and respectful. It was pretty intense though, and we had to distract them a few times so that they wouldn’t see some of the pictures or displays in the Museum. Thankfully they really didn’t seem to get what the deal was, except that Grant did have a few questions afterward, but I am sure he really didn’t understand.
Oh yeah I left out the best part of the trip – When Grant peed on Brittni’s face… Yeah so we were driving somewhere on the autobahn, when all of a sudden Grant starts hyperventilating because he has to go to the bathroom so bad, so we tried to find a place to pull over, but there was nothing, so we handed back a bottle (yes we do, do that occasionally – no judging!,) but by this point he is screaming because he has to go so bad and he is frantically trying to unzip his pants. Cue Brittni turning around to check on him and a moment later the deed was done! Sorry Britt. You are the best aunt ever for not permanently disowning him!
So that is our trip in a not so small nutshell. Oh yeah and Happy Birthday Grant – I can’t believe you are Seven! Seriously the years have flown by, and I am pretty sure that I am going to turn around tomorrow and he will be 18!
We miss and love you all,
Laurapants
And Fam
PS brace yourself for about 9 million pictures!



Doe a deer, a female deer!




Mozart's house




"I have confidence in sunshine... "



"Rolf - you're only a boy... "



the abbey graveyard from above in the crypt









Fun stuff in the floor




Creepiest doll in the world at the marionette museum







Right after the deadly ride!











This is the schwan-something-or-other lake by both of the castles that we saw






Looking for change?



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

OUI OUI PARIS!

Yes, I do have the best husband in the world. Yes, he did take me to Paris for my birthday. Yes, we did climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower (and by climb, I mean ride the tram - we're not crazy!) Yes, we did hear the bells of Notre Dame. (Don't worry, I didn't embarrass my husband by singing the song too loudly, but yes, I did sing it.) Yes, we did visit the final resting place of Victor Hugo. Yes, we did walk around all over the city in the middle of the night and eat dinner at 11pm. Yes, we did stand in a room with millions of dead bodies, and it was AWESOME! Yes, we did make it to the train station for the trip home only 2 minutes before our train left, and finally, Yes, I did eat oysters, but I didn’t try the frog legs or the snails. – don’t get me wrong, I absolutely would have if we had been there longer, but we only really got to eat one real dinner, so I had to make sacrifices.

Seriously though, probably the best 2 ½ days ever. It was hot and stinky and we must have walked a million miles, and ridden way too many Subways filled with way too many people who have never heard of deodorant, but still hands down, the most fun I have had in forever. Two words my friends: NO KIDS! And that truly was the most joyous part of our little escape. I honestly think that we could have been in Milwaukee, and it would have been almost as wonderful as this was... Almost. After all, it was Paris!

PS I justify my shameless bragging by telling myself that you are all welcome to rub it in when you are watching movies in a real movie theater, or eating American hamburgers or (sigh) real Mexican(american) food, or spending time with family that you didn’t have to fly internationally with your three insane children to visit. No bitterness there, right?


Doug at the top of the Eiffel Tower - with crazy eyes!





poor painter guy...










Bells, bells, bells, bells...
bells, bells, bells, bells...
BELLS OF NOTRE DAME!!!!!! (performed by Laura)




One more pic that we took ourselves and thus cut out the main object...





Scary place - scary face (not sure what is up here!)




Me and my buddy Vic...




We walked like 5 miles in the middle of the
night to get this awesome blurry shot!





"STOP! This is the empire of death"




Poor Tido...




Giant hand...
Itsy bitsy teeny weeny - Arc de Triomphe





Yeah I can't really explain these last two pictures other than to say that we could only take so many dorky pics of me or Doug by ourselves, or the long arm double chin pictures, and since the kids weren't around... Although, since it is fast Sunday today, I am particularly enjoying the second to last pic, and I am kind of wishing that I had skipped a couple of those other dumb tower pics, and taken more awesome food pics!