Clare mentioned recently that she has been trying in vain to capture the beauty of Colorado skies. Sunday she took a couple pictures from the berm behind her parents’ house, and I think she captured some really great shots. It is indeed a very beautiful place.
Saturday morning we made another big breakfast – this time Clare and Rob made german style pancakes, which are much more like crepes. They were also popular.
After breakfast we all split up for a bit. Clare dropped Spencer off at uncle Drew’s, Meg at Sarah’s, and then did some grocery shopping. Rob cleaned up from breakfast, then headed over to visit with our neighbor Keith to get the latest gossip.
Around noon, the Adams arrived from Salida. I mentioned it while they were here, and I’ll say it again – with some friends, you can pick up right where you left off, even if it has been several years since seeing them. We mostly just hung out, drank PBR and margaritas, grilled some veggies and steak, and unlike most of our barbecues back in the day, got to eat mostly uninterrupted and without kids on our laps. After dinner there was hot tubbing, and the women and children got frozen yogurt, while the men sat by the bonfire.
Friday proved to be just as busy as every other day. Dave made a big breakfast of pancakes, plus biscuits and gravy for the 10 of us (including Louis and Angie). Then Dave and Spencer went golfing in the morning, while Clare, Rob, Meg, and Wolfie met Sarah at the Splash pool in Golden. Again, little photo evidence of these activities. It’s hard to get pictures at the pool if you are also swimming. Wolfie really loved getting splashed by the gigantic bucket.
After a quick lunch the fun continued. Meg and Clare went to see Sophia and Liz, while Spencer played with Bruno at his house.
Wednesday happened, but apparently we forgot to take any pictures, so you will have to take our word for it. In the morning we met Sarah and her girls at the Apex for swimming. Clare and I went out to lunch, and then later the kids went to Skate City. Dave made tasty quiche for dinner.
By Thursday we were all starting to get a bit more used to the rocky mountain time zone, which meant that instead of waking up at 2 am and struggling to get back to sleep, we all woke up about 6 a.m. We had an early breakfast, and decided to do a few things around Arvada before heading up to Boulder to see Greg and Mekayla. The boys went to the driving range to hit some balls, and the girls went to Target to pick up a few items of clothing for which the American version seems to fit better than the German version.
Shortly after we got back, we got a surprise visit from Louie and Angie Fender, old friends of Dave and Ellen from Indiana. We chatted with them for awhile, then headed up to Boulder to meet the Ichneumons for lunch at a Mexican restaurant (we have really missed Mexican food). Centro is definitely much more of a hipster fusion Mexican style than Tequillenos, which was a nice contrast. The employees all wore t-shirts saying “build tacos not walls”. After lunch we walked around the Pearl St. mall some, enjoying the scenery, the street performers, and the splash pad. Meg really wanted a snow cone, but the rest of us held out for Sweet Cow ice cream, which was very tasty. Afterwards we hung out and Greg and Mekayla’s house, catching up on all the happenings of the last year. We worked together to make a simple yet tasty dinner of pasta with sautéed veggies and sauce. It reminded me that I haven’t really cooked with friends in a long time. It was really great to see them.
Tuesday morning we woke up treated to a breakfast of biscuits and gravy. We learned that morning that Meg’s old scout troop was making an outing to the art museum and that Meg was invited. Ellen took Clare and me to Walmart to get some temporary SIM cards for our phones so we could communicate better during our visit, and then she dropped off Meg and Clare at the new train station in downtown Arvada which finally opened recently. They had a great time.
While they were at the art museum, we got Spencer some football gloves and a new pair of shoes in preparation for an American football practice that evening with his old flag football team. I will never get tired of watching football with the sun setting behind the mountains.
Monday morning we left our apartment in Würselen at 8:15 in the morning. We arrived in Dave and Ellen’s house in Arvada about 22 hours at 10:15 in the evening, after a long trip of taxi, fast train (200 miles per hour), walking a mile in Frankfurt airport, a one hour flight to Zürich Switzerland, more walking and a short train, a 10.5 hour flight to Denver, more walking, customs (contrary to advice previously given to Clare, they do not allow you to bring sealed meats like sausage into the USA 🙂 ), and a 45 minute drive from the Denver airport to Arvada. When we arrived, Clare and I headed straight to bed. Meg headed straight to the hot tub. Meg and Spencer are really great travelers.
- biking to the Burg Wilhelmstein in Bardenberg
- Ice cream taste testing at Peppone and Casal in Würselen
- Another bike trip to a different castle in Stolberg
- A trip to the thermal baths in Aachen
- Eating pancakes with the scouts in a 400 year old city gate (Ponttor)
- Standing in 3 countries at once at the 3-country point and labyrinth
- Scaling the Indemann sculpture to peek into a gigantic strip mine
Beach, bikes and Belgian waffles with Lena, Christian, and the crew.
We took a long weekend to the beach in Belgium. The part of Germany we live in has several long weekends about 2 months after Easter, and we have been busy with summer fun. Europeans are not really in summer mode yet, as they really seem to reserve that for July and August. Everyone seems to be enjoying the longer days and warmer weather.
Anyway, happy solstice from my family to yours ?
No, not the Akropolis in Greece, the one in Aachen! it is on the Lousberg, a big hill in the middle of the city. Apparently the columns known as the Akropolis used to be part of a restaurant which was destroyed in WWII, and they decided to leave the columns as ruins. It was really beautiful and peaceful there. You can not tell that you are in the middle of a city at all.
Meg’s scout troop celebrated its 5 year anniversary recently, and I was fortunate enough to be able to join in on the festivities, and even stay the night, which was a treat, since usually the parents are not invited on campouts with the scouts in Germany. The last time I was camping with the scouts in Germany was about 20 years ago, with my guest brother Emmi. Not much has changed it seems. They still have great big tents called Kohte (from native american “Dakota”), and Jurte ( English Yurt). The tents are canvas and built in modular sections which you button together. This design means you can button several together to form a really big tent. They had Jurte together for the main gathering tent, which included a stage for the kids to perform skits and songs, and a firepit, around which we sang songs until 3 in the morning (well, Meg and I went to bed around 11, but many stayed up later).
I am really proud of Meg for being such a great scout, and thankful I got to share the experience with her.