Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alex, der Deutscher Bube!

Greetings, greetings! We are back from Germany and mostly settled back into our routine! It was such a nice trip, and I was such a good boy.

We started our trip in good ol' Columbia (duh). We hung out at the airport, and I watched the planes...then I got to get on one! It was the most awesome thing ever. It worked out rather nicely...I was able to prop my feet up on the tray table in front of me! However, I wasn't able to do so on the second flight, and that did not sit well with me. At least I was lucky enough to have an empty seat in front of me on that first flight, and there was a baby sitting in front of me on the second flight.

I stayed awake a lot of the second flight (the loooong one!) but finally fell asleep about half way through, snuggling with Mommy. She put me back in my seat so she could get up after a while, and I just curled up and made myself comfortable! (ps - do you totally love my red toe nails? I picked the color myself!)

Of course, one of the first things we have to do upon our arrival is go shopping! We got settled into our apartment, then headed off to see Papa. But we did need to stop for some amenities on our way home. I loved shopping in Germany because most of the stores have little Alex-sized shopping carts! I felt like such a big boy, pushing the cart...and I even did good and didn't add too much random stuff to the cart!

We also had to get started on exploring all the playgrounds in the area! There are many many playgrounds around...some were nicer than others, but you get that just about anywhere :) Gigi climbed all the way to the top of this play structure, and I was ready to catch her should she fall. Well, fine, I wanted her to pick me up there, but my caption is much cuter!

In order to get me to walk a bit better, Gigi came up with this fun game, where we were cars driving along the side of the road! Every so often, we had to stop by putting our foot on the brake. I had a lot of fun and made the best car noises!

The best part of being the only kid there was that everyone was willing to play with me! It was made all the more better because Gigi and Aunt Chelsea don't see me very often and couldn't get enough of me :) They even got on the playground stuff with me!

Aunt Chelsea stubbed her toe, and I was very concerned. I ran off, found a band aid, unwrapped it, then put it in place on her toe. She was very touched by my efforts and it was all better pretty much right away. I should probably look into being a doctor when I grow up.

One of the highlights of the trip was my sweet Cars packpack. Mommy had packed it with loads of goodies to keep me entertained on the plane, but I also used it to drag around my treasures while we were there. There were many days I insisted on packing it and bringing it along, only to end up letting someone else carry it when I got tired of it.

I had lots of fun hanging out with Papa! He was such a good sport putting up with me and all my little shenanigans. I unpacked my packpack and showed him everything that was in it. He was very interested in everything, especially Mommy's sunglasses. I wish I looked that cool in them!

I finally found him a little bag to put all the treasures in once his lap got too full!

Evenings at our apartment were nice and relaxing. Gigi bought me a Thomas Memory game, and I had a lot of fun playing that. I play it more as a matching game than a Memory game at this point, though. It worked out nicely, I played my game on half the table, while Gigi played her new game on the other half!

Slide. 'Nuff said. FUN!

We drove a few towns over to find a playground Gigi used to play at when she was little. We did find a playground, and I found a friend! Leni lives across the street from the playground. I showed her the slug and the ladybugs that I found. She wasn't all that impressed. But I took her on the teacups, and that was a bit more fun. Afterward, Papa visited with a man he used to work with while Aunt Chelsea, Mommy, and I went on a walk around a nearby pond. Oh, and we spent some quality time baaing at the goats nearby!

Gigi and Papa's friend Keesi came to visit for a while! We went to the train station to pick her up. I felt a bit ripped off by my first real train experience. We waited and waited, it pulled up, people got off, then it kept going. I just stood there, wondering where it went and why I didn't get to explore it bit more!

There are always lots of neat things in the park. Gigi found little pods that have just enough stick on them so we could make silly noses!

During the summer, a different local oompah band came and played on the market place each Sunday morning. The first one was my very first concert experience! I thought it was pretty special. I liked dancing to the music, and Keesi even took me closer so I could see a bit better.

Gigi set me on her foot and bounced me good to keep me entertained when I started getting bored with the music. I got some really awesome air a few times!

On the walk from Papa's to our apartment, we always had to go through a tunnel that has the best acoustics. We simply had to stop and make little peeping and booping noises every time!

Considering how close we were to the duck pond, we really had no excuse not to feed the ducks on a regular basis! We even brought Papa along a few times! It's an awful long trip for him, so we had to push him in his wheelchair. A few times I even caught a ride ;) I let him help me feed the ducks, but was very stingy about rationing out the bread!

Gigi has a few boxes of stuff at her friends' house, and had to dig through it to pick what to bring home this time. She found the most awesome headdresses in there! I looked just like a super cute little Indian in my headdress!

One of the highlights of my trip was definitely getting my bike! It doesn't have pedals, so I can work on my balance without worrying about training wheels. Once I got the hang of it, I was zooming up and down the sidewalks!

The nursing home grilled for lunch one day, so Papa invited Mommy and Aunt Chelsea to join him. They said it was super tasty!

One of my favorite parts of feeding the ducks was chasing them back to the water. Ducks belong in the water, you know, so I was really just doing them a favor! The whole time, I was shrieking "swim ducks swim!"

We went to take Keesi back to the train station so she could go home. While we were waiting for the train, a giant cargo train pulled in! It made such a racket, it was so noisy! The engine detached and did some maneuvering in order to get around to the other side so it could push it somewhere and still get out. After the noise that the train made initially, I was expecting the din every time the engine slowed down...of course, the engine was the quiet one, but I still kept my hands over my ears just in case!

Once the train was gone, we had nothing else to do but wait...Aunt Chelsea, Mommy, and I went on the train with her (just for a couple of stops) just to make up for my disappointing experience the prior week!

I really liked looking out the window and seeing the countryside pass by! Gigi came to pick us up in Munnerstadt, the next town over :)

One of the highlights of our trip was the ice cream. We did our best to eat ice cream at least every day. But since we missed a couple of days, we had to make up for it by having ice cream multiple times other days! Sometimes it was just grabbing a cone to go, other days we sat at the ice cafe and ordered fancy ice creams or drinks. It was always good and tasty!

I really enjoyed spending time with Papa, and I think he enjoyed spending time with me too! I liked catching a ride with him on one of his wheels - his walker had the perfect little seat on it!

Plus it gave me the perfect seat for nose rubs :)

Another highlight was seeing manpris. For those who don't know what manpris are, they're capris worn by men. Apparently this is quite the trend in Germany. We turned it into a road game (only for when we were walking). We had to spot as many as we could! I got pretty good at spotting them myself, and would scream about manpris when I saw them!

We had quite the routine for getting to Papa's. "Drive" up the side of the road, stop to see fish at the first bridge, look at the sign about fish, run to the tunnel to make noises, stop at the second bridge to see fis, stop at the sign to see bugs and crabs, jump off the curbs in the parking lot, push the button to cross the street, tap the rocks against the flag poles, jump on and off the steps, look at the pig, look at the boat in the travel agency, look at the fish at Kupsch, then beg for ice cream, and finally, push the buttons to get into the home, summon the elevator, get into Papa's area, and end up knocking on his door!

We had to get a group shot with the headdresses!

We went to have coffee and cake with Elly and Gerhardt, and Gerhardt showed us his awesome train set! He's been working on it since 1970, and it is super impressive! I was so excited watching it go, I was shaking!

Gigi bought some new reading glasses and I got to try on a pair. I look awful cute!

We finally got a picture of the whole family - Aunt Chelsea, Me, Mommy, Papa, and Gigi.

I was ready to get home and see Daddy. The trip home felt super long, but I was mostly good. We got moist towelettes on the plane, and after I wiped myself down, I used my towelette to get Stinky Dog cleaned up too.

We had a bit of a layover in Washington, DC, and they said that there was a problem with our plane and it would be at least another hour. Luckily, they were able to make the repair really quickly and we took off just a few minutes after we were supposed to! I got super excited to see Daddy when we got home, and ran to him as fast as I could as soon as I spotted him! I was so glad to get home and get back to my bed and my house and my stuff.

Of course, we've done more since then, but that'll be updated another time! In the meantime, you can find videos from our trip on YouTube - there's a number of them, so be sure to browse through them :) Enjoy!!

Oh, and of course, you can check out the updates on my baby sister or brother...we'll go find out what Peanut is next week!

And you can see an extended version of the photos on FaceBook - there are two albums:
Volume 1
Volume 2

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