Friday, July 16, 2010

Our summer so far, Part II (Austria, Germany and The Wedding)

We all packed up and flew off to Germany at the end of June, where we stayed with my very first BFF, Myriam, who is still the soul of awesome. We met and fell in love when we were 7 and my family was living in Stuttgart. We did many things during our weekend with her, but remembering the camera was not one of them. Some of the things you can't see are: a trip to the Munich Zoo, hilarity on the biggest and coolest swing I've ever seen, and watching Germany beat England in the World Cup while in a Biergarten surrounded by, literally, thousands of screaming Germans decked out in red, yellow and black. We remembered the camera 5 minutes before we pulled out and got a few pics of us girls.
We also forgot the camera during most of the first week we were in Linz hanging out with dad before the wedding, when we went to Salzburg and the Salzkammergut and when we hit the city of Passau on our way back to Germany. Passau, which is my new favorite German town. So cheerful and cute and beautifully situated!

We DID remember the camera when we took a gondola up into the mountains. It was HOT while we were there, which is why everything was so hazy, but beautiful nonetheless. What you can't hear in this picture is the sound of cowbells in the distance as dairy cows meander through their summer pasture, and the almost breathless whirr of paragliders passing overhead. It was lovely.

It was so hot that we had to rest often and the kids took this opportunity to learn how to tie their shoes. REALLY?? THIS is the place, and THIS is the moment you NEED to learn to tie your shoes? OK. Weird, but they both learned.

An aside. While we were up there, we had lunch at one of the huts that serves hikers food and drink. At the table next to us was a gang of men having a day out. They were aged young to old and in varying degrees of in-shapedness. They were all polishing off large steins of beer when the waitress brought over a round of shots. I assumed they were done hiking and would soon stagger over to the gondola and hitch a ride down. I was wrong. We finished eating and got up to leave at the same time they did. We all headed down the trail together, but they soon out-stripped us, even a drunk Austrian being faster than a 5 year old. I wished them happy hiking as they passed. LITERALLY 300 yards after we started we came to yet another hut that served food and drink, albeit it, not quite the variety of the first. By the time we got there, the gentlemen were already ordering their first round, and it dawned on me: we were witnessing an alpine pub crawl! When we returned by the same route 45 minutes later, they were paying and pointing to yet another hut that could be seen in the distance. They were going for it. These guys were not in shape, a few of them had not seen their toes in quite some time. They must have made it despite the heat and liqour because we didn't hear anything about a rescue of 15 drunk Austrians from the alps.

Saturday, July 3rd (wedding day) dawned beautiful. We took a train to the wedding hotel. At the station, Zach took a picture of a train heading to a famous Austrian town (the other one being Fucking. Swear to God, that's how it's spelled!) When in Germany we saw signs for Pupping, which is spelled harmlessly but pronounced "Pooping." Zach and I have an infantile sense of humor, we giggled for miles.

Waiting for the train.

Wheeeeee!!!!! Watch out for branches!

When we got to the hotel (which they rented in all it's entire, awesome, cool, glory,) there were several hours to unwind, swim, play raquetball whatever, before the ceremony.

Below is my 1/2 sister Isabel. She's 9. Dudes, my next post is about my family, it's make-up and why the people who fight for the supposed "family values" have no idea what they are talking about. We are about as twisted a family tree as you can get, but you cannot tell me we are not awesome! I think that will be my next post.

Isabel and her adorable and sweet friend Unji, whose name, I realize, I have no idea how to spell. Any Koreans out there familiar with that name? (pronounce Yuunji)

Getting the flowergirl ready.

Dressing the ring-bearer.

The blessing- water-carrier hugging the flowergirl.

Now, it should be known that I adore my father and that, furthermore, he is clueless when it comes to pop-culture. So please know, it was not his intention to dress as Doctor Evil, but it was, alas, the result. The man is one hairless cat away from world domination! He, of course, has never seen the movies.

Maki, his new wife, is lovely, and talented and sweet. She nursed him through cancer and all the kids adore her.

This picture makes me very, very, happy.

Maki's mom came from Tokyo and sang several beautiful Japanese folk songs. She speaks neither German nor English (I speak German with Maki as do most people, dad included) but she sang beautifully. Maki translated the words. Then dad spoke to her in Japanese, which made me cry because it was very sweet and clearly meaningful to her. They will repeat the ceremony at a temple in Tokyo later this summer so Maki's family can be there.

My gorgeous sister provided the music.

word about the reception. The FOOD!!! Dear God, the FOOD! They spared no expense. It went on for hours. There was a different wine for every course. It was amazing.

The next day we walked from the hotel down to the Danube, about 7 miles away, on a path that followed a lovely stream.

Once there we were hosted to delicious coffee and cake at this castle, where my father's dear friend Heribert lives (in an apartment, not the whole thing.) His girlfriend Ula made all the cakes. They were amazing. Then we took a boat back to Linz on the Danube, about a 3 hour ride, which was great, but a little too long for those of us with 2 year old trying to fling themselves into the river. Fortunately they served beer onboard.
We were done taking pictures by the time we got on the boat. We were fried by then, but the kids loved it.

Anyway, the weather was great, the trip was awesome and the wedding was beautiful and thoughtfully planned. We had a wonderful time and wish Dad and Maki every happiness.

Some thoughts on family coming soon........


D and A said...

I really enjoyed your photos! The Dr. Evil bit truly made me laugh out loud, and then I just felt guilty because the wedding pictures were so gorgeous and meaningful. Family is beautiful, no matter how it comes.

Jackie said...

What a beautiful trip with wonderful photos!!!

Adoptive Mommy x 3 said...

Hi Taylor's!! Fellow Kaz Mom here! We actually trailed right behind you in Almaty in October 2005.

I lurk your blog every so often- you have one beautiful, wonderful family. :-) Loved this post about your dad and his beautiful wife. We happen to have 2 lil' monkeys from Japan.

Best to you!

-Eryn Cech
Mama to Emerson Grace (Kaz, 2005)
Miyako Claire (Tokyo, 2007)
Nikko J. (Tokyo, 2009)
& one home grown surprise