Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 3: Through the Black Forest

The day started like any other day, I got up and started doing my hair... but this time my hair straightener wasn't working. (Keep in mind that this straightener has been with my for all my travels to Europe.) Well I guess it wasn't feeling it and it surged and burned the back section of my hair!!! I was freaking out to say the least! SO, no pictures of me on this day since I looked like a HOT MESS!

After that horrible mishap we left Mannheim and headed through the Black Forest and stopped at Hofgut Sternen. This little "village" consists of a cuckoo clock maker (since cuckoo clocks originate in the area), a glass blowing shop and a super cute Best Western that apparently was fit for the future Queen of France! The one and only Marie Antoinette.

{Best Western at Hofgut Sterned}
{Largest cuckoo clock ever at Hofgut Sterned}

{Hofgut Sterned}
After that we were on our way to the Germany/Switzerland border where we had to stop for a boarder check. We stopped in Schaffhausen to see Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe (no offence Europe but Hawaii's are better :P). You can see the personal post card I sent of the falls here and send your own personal card here.

{Rhine Falls}
Once we were in Lucerne we viewed the Dying Lion Memorial which commemorates the Swiss Guards that were lost in 1792 during the French Revolution. After that we were suppose to go on a lake cruise but I had to find a mall so I could get something to fix my hair and a new straightener! Once we found that and fixed what I could we walked around to a few shops before they closed at 6pm and then met up with our group for dinner.

{Lion memorial of Lucerne}

Have you ever had any electrical mishaps while traveling?

Check out our time in Amsterdam and Germany.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Off to Germany We Go!

We left Amsterdam early and ended up in Boppard, Germany. We got a small tour of Boppard and had some lunch before boarding the boat for a Rhine River cruise. The boat ride was wonderful and a good time to relax. There were so many castles; including Liebenstein, Rhinefels and Katz. And then, at the end of our cruise we saw the Lorelei statue. The statue is a bronze statue about 16 feet in height. The statue is just north of the Lorelei Rock, the narrowest section of the Rhine River and has a cliff face almost 400 feet high. 


{Liebenstein Castle}

{Katz Castle}

{Rheinfels Castle}
Lorelei (aka Loreley) is a legendary German mermaid, who was created by Clemens Brentano in 1801. The legend goes something like this: A beautiful maiden named Lorelei waited for her lover on a rock at the narrowest and shallowest point of the Rhine River. He never returned, so she jumped off the rock to her death. The legend is that her spirit remains at the rock, seeking revenge against her unfaithful lover. She sits on the rock, now named for her, combing her long blonde hair and singing softly. Sailors are so enchanted by her beauty that they crash their ships into the rock or run aground in the shallow water. 





{You can see how big the statue is compared to the people walking below her}
After the cruise we were on our way to Heidelberg. We didn't go up to the castle but it was a sight to see! We had some free time to roam around and we came across these cookie balls (later I found out they are called schneeballen) and they are delicious and someone in the US should start making them! 


{Heidelberg Castle}

{Cookie Balls! Schneeballen}
From Heidelberg we went to our hotel in Mannheim. After eating dinner all the shops were closed and it was dark :( so we just walked around the Rosengarten and then headed in for the night. 


{Rosengarten Mannheim}
Check out Day 1 of our trip here and our flight across the pond here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Less than 24 hours in Amsterdam

For those that are new to the blog or missed a post, we took a Trafalgar tour for this trip.

We arrived at our hotel around 2 and decided to wash off all the travel and freshen up before we headed out for our tour of Amsterdam and canal dinner cruise. Once we all boarded the bus we headed out to the city center. BUT! Turns out there was some road closures so our tour was cut a bit short (after arriving home I found out that Euro Vision or something like that was there the same time we were). We were dropped off near the train station and walked to Dam Square. After that the tour director took some of the group to the red light district for the “hidden treasure” we opted not to check it out and just sort of walked around. There was a TON of people around and it just wasn't fun with all the crowds.

{Dam Square}

{Amsterdam Centraal Railway Station}

{The Dancing Ladies, famous for how much each one is leaning}
We went on our canal cruise which served us authentic Dutch food…for a second I thought I was going to have to find a burger but it ended up being good. On The cruise we saw a part of the red light district, the Weeping Tower, and the skinny bridge. Along with other popular bridges. And the cruise brought us right back to the hotel!

We were staying at the Mercure Hotel Amsterdam City; it was located further away from the center but still on the water. We really liked the hotel and it was the only one we had that had a king sized bed! 

We did notice how much they loved French fries with mayonnaise…. Gross!  Get some ketchup!



Friday, April 11, 2014

Flight to Amsterdam

Hey y’all! I took Monday off because I was tired from the 11 hour flight home and then we had to drive to pick up the pups from my parents.

I bet you’re wondering how our trip was! Well I’m going to take it day by day and maybe have a few breaks in-between for editing and going over some pictures.

I’m going to start this blogging journey with our flight to Amsterdam. We used rewards points so we had a few stops. We started in Houston and flew to Dallas, then went to Frankfurt and then made it to our final destination, Amsterdam.

We flew Lufthansa Business Class and it was nice! I don’t think I can go back to sitting economy for long distance ever again! We had an updated aircraft so everything was new. We enjoyed out preflight cocktails, before dinner drinks, appetizers, main course and dessert. After all that we settled in for some sleep by reclining our seat into a flat bed…oh so nice! My only complaint here was that the seats made a noise when you moved them and even with earplugs I could still hear everyone adjusting their seats.




We woke up and had some breakfast before landing … you sure get a lot of food up in Business and First Class.

We made our way through the passport and security checkpoints and I will say that they were very rude to us as we went through the security checkpoint. Both Matt and I got a pat-down.

We made it to our connecting flight and on board we were given another meal! Their shorter flight business class consisted of a row of three seats but no one sat in the middle seat. 


When we landed we had about an hour and a half before our free transfer to the hotel. We opted to take advantage of that instead of wasting money on a taxi, bus or train.





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Send a Personal Postcard with Lettr

So I'll admit, I love getting letters and postcards in the mail. I have ever since I was little. I still send out Christmas cards and Thank You notes to friends and family members. And when I'm on vacation I always make an effort to send a post card. Problem with sending a postcard is that the recipient will most likely get it once you are already back from your trip. 

So, I was excited when Lettr approached me to try out their product. Lettr allows you to send your loved ones a postcard with a picture YOU have taken. 


{Here is the Lettr postcard I sent my family while we were on our vacation}
How Lettr works?
Lettr allows travelers to send innovated papery postcard from any place in the world. No need to have a pen, stamp or even a postcard. On the back side of the postcard, there is a message, sender’s signature and a map with the location showing the place where the postcard was created.

- The user takes a picture of his or hers awesome moment. That picture will be printed on the front side of the postcard.

- Sending personalized postcard is that simple. Just a smartphone or laptop with internet connection is required. Once the postcard is created, it is sent to one of our center. Then the order is sent to the closest place of the final destination. We take care of express printing and delivery.

- The postcard is printed on traditional paper, the same kind travelers are used to sending. Delivery time is usually 2-3 days instead of after the traveler returns from vacation.

Lettr has given my readers the chance to send a postcard for free. The first 10 people to click the link will be able to send a personal postcard via Lettr for FREE! Please use the link below.





* I received a free postcard for trying the service out, all opinions are my own. I will receive compensation for any future use of the link provided once the 10 free postcards have been used.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pinspiration

After moving into our new home we had a dilemma, where do we keep the dog food. First, before we bought a dinning room table, we had a sweet little set up for them. But once we had a table we didn't have room for their little buffet
{Their old set up equipped with puppy buffet and personal fans}
And it was inconvenient to pull their food out twice a day and then put it back again. So we ended up just leaving them out on the counter… but that didn't look nice. So off to The Container Store we went! They really didn't have any super large glass containers that were air tight so we bought the biggest ones we could find (1.5L). They also didn't have any that would hide what was inside.

I had some chalk board paper that I was able to wrap around the whole canister to conceal most of the dog food.

{Old}

{New}
Now we can leave it on the counter and it looks cute!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Travel RoundUp

1 A group of passengers is suing Carnival Cruise Lines for damages after an engine fire left their ship adrift for days. They are asking the company to pay $5,000 a month for the rest of their lives for medical bills and mental anguish. I think this is a bit much!

2 – A US Airways plane had to abort its takeoff after its nose gear collapsed while leaving Philadelphia International Airport, sending the plane skidding off the runway. Click link to see video!


4 – A Delta flight lost part of its wing during a flight from Orlando to Atlanta! Scary!

{Source}
5 – I thought these pictures of North Korea from space were really cool.

{Source}
– An eight-car Chicago commuter train ran across a platform and scaled an escalator at an underground station at Chicago O’Hare…. Go home subway train, you’re drunk! 

{Source}
– Airlines are now moving to an even tighter economy class, "Slim-fit". From what I can tell they pretty much look like glorified lawn chairs... Check out the video at the bottom of this page link

{Source}

{Illustration by Heather Jones for TIME, Source}




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