Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hi from Koblenz

Hi! Well the ship does have e-mail occasionally so I will pay the 5 euros an hour and split the time with Tammy. The ship is great - first class all the way. We have been very busy but did have massages yesterday to start the day - it's a rough life I know. It took me awhile to not be a wet noodle but came back to life for our walking tour of Cologne. Yes, it is the very city where eue de cologne was invented in the 1700's. Farina was first and 4711 came later and is the most famous. We like the smell of both and bought some little samples. Kohn (German name) is also famous for Europes 3rd largest cathedral. It was the biggest and tallest when it was built but has been outdone since. It was started in the 1200's but not finished until the 1800's - over 600 hundred years to complete! It is supposedly the home to the relics (bones) of the three wisemen. They are enshrined in a very large and ornate gold sarcarphagus. It is covered in precious stones also and has been here since the 1200's. It was a windy but not rainy. We also saw a Roman mosaic from the 300's. It was really big (room size) and perfectly preserved.
Today it has drizzled all day. We took a walking tour thru Koblenz, a town I had never heard of. It is where the Rhine and Mozelle rivers come together. Our tour guide today was a lady about my age and she was so enthusiastic and dramatic - it was great. We saw many squares and buildings dating to the 1200's. A fun wet tour. After lunch we went on an excursion to the Marksburg castle also built in the 1200's that was untouched during the war. They have rooms decorated as they would have been in the Middle Ages and it was very interesting. Dad was in heaven - you know how he loves that time period!
Tomorrow we enter the Romantic Rhine area where lots of castles are - hopefully the weather will be a little better.
Well, I best go get ready for another great meal - Tammy and Eric already got a bratwurst at the carnival just down the road. They were really big and only 2.50 euros - a bargain for here! I saw a really cute skirt in a store yesterday but they wanted 129 euros so I passed. Oh, Tammy and Eric made a good impression on the captain and were invited to sit at his table for the Captains dinner last night! They had a great time at the 3 hour meal. We peasants had to wait to be served all 6 courses until they were done!
Well, take care and know I love and miss you but are having a great time. Hope all is well there.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Goodbye from Amsterdam

Hi! This may be the last e-mail for a while since we are leaving this wonderful home and getting on the boat today. We took the train to Delft and thru Rotterdam to Barendrecht yesterday. It was a pleasant surprise and we wandered the old cemetery for a long time. We found many Barendregts but not sure if they were our direct ancestors. Took pictures and will check it out when we get home. The weather has changed and is cloudy - may get some sprinkles today. We have been lucky so far. Well, hope to find a computer again in a few days. Hope all is well there.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Off to Barendregt Today!

As a disclaimer...any photos I show on here before their return are from an online source. I cannot wait to see their shots! Well, I now know exactly what heaven looks like - Keukenhof Gardens. It was far more beautiful than I had expected. There was not a wilted flower anywhere and there were millions and the place was gigantic. It was wonderful just way too crowded - tried to tell them to leave my garden! The dutch do not wait in line - they just cut in front of you and when you say something they just look at you. We went to Haalem on the way home and had a great Indonesian dinner - a first and it was delicious. We're off to Rotterdam, Delft, and Barendregt - should be fun. Hey Amy, what did you find out at the ultrasound and were the kids excited to see it?

I'll have to have Amy leave a comment on here so you can all share in the excitement of baby #5 (grandbaby #8)!

Friday, April 24, 2009

We miss them!

Jen here... I just wanted to explain
something....I am a VERY dependent
girl when it comes to my parents!
3 weeks without them seems like
torture. Luckily my mom is cool enough
to stop into internet cafes and update us
ever-so-often. I am constantly thinking
of them....with dumb things. Making rice
in my rice cooker, I am reminded of how
my mom taught me to fill it to my first
knuckle. Making Pineapple Upside Down
Cake makes me think of dad and his 60th
birthday party. We are so lucky to have
healthy, fun, and loving parents and grand-
parents. We love them and are counting
down the days until their return!Mom's update from this morning in Amsterdam:
Hi! Hope all is well there - keep us informed so we don't miss out on 3 weeks of your life while we are gone. We had a great day museum hopping yesterday. Anne Frank in the morning for a very somber tour of a very small dark home where a terrible tragedy happened. It was indescribable the feeling there. From there we took the canal boat to the Van Gogh museum - so so because that is not my favorite and then to the Rijksmuseum and we were in our element. I just love the Dutch masters. We had a great Italian dinner and then a walk thru the Red Light dist. - gross! This really is a seedy city with some great things! We'll just stay away from that area and glad our wonderful hotel is in such a great area. Well, we're off to Keukenhof and the flower fields - can't wait!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Short but sweet from Amsterdam

I went for a nice walk this morning to the flower market and want to buy everything but don't know how to get it all home. I am walking right now to the Anne Frank House to buy tickets for later with another girl from Calif. Everybody else is still sleeping. What a fun and kind of seedy city!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hi from Amsterdam!

Well, we all made it to the Hotel Keiserhof right on the canal in Amsterdam. It is so cute and was built in 1762! The only bad news is there are 4 flights of very steep spiral staircases to the top floor where Tammy and Eric are. Randy and Cheryl and we are on the third floor. They overlook the canal and we overlook the garden and it is a great one. We got here first after a very crazy night trying to find a hotel cuz we were a day early! We got lost alot again on our way here and some of our lostness was wonderful and others not so much! We went to Volendam and wonderful touristy village right on the coast and bought lots of souvenirs and had a great dinner. We also drove across the very long dike that connects northern Holland. It was very weird because you couldn't see land in any direction! We also passed some amazing tulip fields and they are unbelievable and every once in a while you pass a windmill - its great! We all went on a canal boat tour today and got off at Amsterdam Central Station - reminded me alot of Paddington on the top level. The neat thing was that I know my grandparents walked those same steps many years ago. Since we have no real knowledge of where they lived or worked that was a real connection for me. The weather continues to be wonderful but very cold when the wind comes up. Tomorrow we head to the Ann Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh museum. Everyone is very tired so we are all heading to bed early tonight if we can just climb the stairs.
Love you all,

Remels, Germany

This is Jen posting. Grammy and Pops are
in Holland as I type. We are receiving email
accounts of their travels and this was their
first email account of their 3 week travels:
Well we made it and it is wonderful so far. Jetlag got to us and I slept 10 hours last night. We got terribly lost yesterday thru Holland and Germany but found the most beautiful countryside imaginable. It is so green and clean everything is spotless and no one speaks English! Even the computer keyboard is different. The weather is perfect about 65. We spent a lot of time at the church and cemetery in Grossenkneten where dads family dates back to the 15th century. We met some very distant relatives the Hellbuschs and they were wonderful and even took us to the church office where we got to touch the book of records that records the births back to the 1600 and saw his distant ancestors name right there. I got to touch the book that dated back to the 1400s~ at home it would have been under glass in a museum. What a different way of life - they ride bikes everywhere. All ages from little kids to old people. They have their baskets and racks and off they go. Bikes are everywhere and they don't lock them even. I would love it but your dad complained on the little ride we went on yesterday from Grossenkneten to Sage. Dad is so excited to smell the air where his ancestors lived. It is neat. We are on our way back to Amsterdam and hope not to get as lost today. We have had a few amazing race experiences and would probably have been eliminated! Well we best be back on the road. Dad just got gas and went to get more euros. Love Germany so far and look forward to my roots in Holland. Miss you and wish we could share this with you. Hope all is well there.
Mom and Dad

Lucky Foster Kids!!!

The 7 kids you see here
are the most spoiled, adorable,
loved, and luckiest kids on
planet earth! Want to know why?

They just happen to have the
worlds greatest Grammy and Pops!
We started this blog to document
the fantastic people they are. We
hope you enjoy this glimpse into
our lives....and theirs! Now, on
with the show! ACTION!!!