Monday, May 25, 2009

Black Forest Germany

Nick is the most thoughtful and loving man I know. He listens to me, he is there for me, and always does something to let me know how much he loves me. Case in point, planning a wonderful family vacation to the black forest in Germany. It was exactly what we needed. Perfect timing.

We haven´t had a family vacation within a year because our last experience in Italy with Geno was difficult. However, I believe that we are starting to turn a corner. Geno was a lot of fun and very adventurous on this trip, even when he had to miss his nap. The only difficult time was dinner time. Geno just doesn´t like to be fenced in. The beer garden was perfect because he could walk up and down the isles and climb on the picnic tables, and no one thought anything of it. He even slept through the night as long as Daddy tucked him in and cuddled him to sleep.

Our hotel apartment was gorgeous and scenic. Once we picked up our key, we drove up a couple of hills and we were there. There, on top of a hill that overlooks lake Titisee and endless forest. It was truly breathtaking. Coretta even made a couple friends that lived above us. When I walked in, I was pleasantly surprised with the decor and the space. That is something you get used to in most of Europe. Most hotels and apartments are economy small, however this place had two floors. The upstairs had a couch, chairs, dining room table as well as a walk out patio. The lower level was accessible by walking down this beautiful wood spiral staircase where there were even more beds and space. At night, it cooled off considerably since it was underground.

The first day, we decided to walk into the small village of Titisee and do some exploring. Once down there, we took a stroll down by the lake and followed it up to the old part where there was shopping and eating places. Coretta even tried bungee trampolining for he first time and loved it. That night we followed this up with a swim in the pool at the hotel. Here there was also a spa and sauna, and a wonderful area to sit and watch the kids. We were lucky enough to have the whole pool to ourselves.

The next morning we had our complimentary breakfast in the hotel which was a German style buffet with freshly squeezed fruit juices, coffee, smoked salmon, cheese, salami, eggs, bacon, croissants, homemade jams, granola, cereal, yogurt, and fruit. We then decided to drive into Freiburg for the afternoon. It was about a forty minute car ride with very scenic views. Once there, we parked, and decided to explore the old part which led us to the most amazing farmer´s market I have been to that sold not only fresh produce, meat, and flowers, but also several artisan booths with goods such as marbles, wooden toys, and jewelry. We then had lunch, and continued to explore our way to the University section of town where there were even more vendors selling merchandise. It is here that Nick bought a new wedding band and I bought a mother of pearl ring. That night, once we were back, Nick took the kids swimming.

Here is a link to Coretta and my photo shoot in traditional German dress as well: PHOTO SHOOT

We then followed up our adventure with several hikes in the black forest. The fresh smell of wilderness and trees brought me back to our experiences in Minnesota on the North Shore and the Gunflint. A definite place that we will be returning to in years to come. Here´s a video of Coretta doing the bungee trampoline as well as a video of the live sidewalk entertainment in Freiburg.

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