Sunday, August 23, 2009

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,
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?


DebLawson said...

WOW. That's all I've got to say!
Such cool adventures!
So fun to have your sis visiting. Bet the boys are in heaven.
Legoland looks just the same as the CA one... in fact, I am drinking from Haley's legoland mug at this very moment (as I enjoy my 2nd breakfast of the morning)
So wish I was there with you guys. The history and castles and everything, it's just mindblow, breathtaking.. whatever you wanna call it.
Lucky ducks.
Lucky, lucky ducks!!

DebLawson said...

Just me again..

Isn't that castle you went to (like I can spell it) the one where Walt Disney got inspiration for his Sleeping Beauty castle? The Disneyland Castle! Gene's been there....

You make me jealous.

Susie J. said...

LOVE IT! Sounds like a wonderful trip, and such great pics!

Lacie said...

Why am I not there already?!?!?

Lori Muir said...

So cool! It's great to see the kids. Wonderful pictures! We miss you. I loved the pictures of the abbey. Too cool.