Yesterday we celebrated Spencer’s 10th birthday and Meg’s 8th at the local pool – Aquana. I think everyone had a great time. We ended up with 6 girls and 6 boys total, plus Clare, Rob, Dave, and Ellen. Meg had requested a rainbow cake. She and Clare spent quite a bit of time researching recipes, and even made a practice cake. The final result was quite stunning. Spencer wanted an ice cream cake again, and we also had to do experimenting with ingredients and different types of ice cream. His turned out quite nice too. It was a little tricky to figure out how to transport the cakes. We eventually decided that Clare would drive back home quickly to pick up the ice cream cake when it was time to eat, since it is only a few minutes away. That ended up working out really well. As usual, Dave and Ellen were really helpful. Thanks for making the long trip from Colorado!
The kids have lunch everyday at an after school program. Elementary school here gets out about noon, but the after school program helps with homework, has enrichment courses, and includes a hot lunch. One of the kids favorite lunches has been pfannekuchen, which translates to pancakes. Pancakes here are more egg-y than American pancakes, somewhere between what we think of as pancakes and crepes. We used this recipe: www.oetker.de/rezepte/r/pfannkuchen-eierkuchen.html They turned out great and were a big hit!
Last weekend there was a festival in Aachen called September special. It was free, and they had bands playing all weekend on 5 different stages. Of course they had other obligatory festival attractions like food and beer, balloon animals, and even about Ferris wheel. Meg and Clare went on the Ferris wheel, but Spencer and I skipped it. We listened to a fun rockabilly band. The bass player played his bass above his head a couple times, which was pretty impressive. We took the bus there, which takes about 30 minutes. A little longer than driving, but nice not to have to worry about parking, and I can take Clare and the kids along with me for free on the weekends with my monthly bus pass.
It was a nice way to forget our worries for a bit. Especially since I had just broken the shower drain shortly before the festival that day. I called our super Monday morning and she arranged for a plumber to come fix it that afternoon, which was good, though we still need to get one tile replaced, which had to be broken in order to get access to the drain. I did learn from the plumber that you can get products like liquid plumber in Germany. I had assumed that they didn’t have such things, since in general it seems that Germans don’t use as many chemicals as in the USA. So next time the drain is slow, I know am easier solution.
On Sunday we went to a music festival in Aachen. As we were walking through the city center I noticed this bread at a bakery with a picture of the Aachen cathedral on it. It is surrounded by printen, which are traditional gingerbread cookies from Aachen. They sell them all year round. They are quite tasty.
Tonight we took Dave to a typical German restaurant – a Dönerimbiss. Döner is actually Turkish, similar to gyros, but there are a lot of Turks in Germany and so they have gotten quite popular. Clare and I stumbled upon this place near the University in Aachen called Adam’s Grill, which is very small, but has really great food. Spencer had schnitzel, Meg ate Spencer’s fries, Clare and Dave had döner, and I had falafel. At Adam’s he loads them up with all sorts of yummy salads and spreads, like red cabbage and baba ghanoush. As you can see, they were quite huge.
This past weekend Meg finally learned to ride a bike!! We are very proud of her. Just a week ago I had to force her to practice just for a few minutes, and now she is riding around town with Spencer and Grandpa. Here are a couple videos showcasing her rapid improvement.
This week the Würselen city soccer championship is going on. The games are at the field just a few minutes walk from our house. Tonight Spencer and I watched one of the quarter final games. It was quite nice. Only 3 euro admission, and beer for one euro. We might be able to catch the finale on Sunday. Our team is currently leading.