Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Right now, Martin (Simon' dad), Hannes (Simon's brother), Lea (Simon's sister), Simon and I are all smooshed into the family car driving the 6 hour stretch from Wunstorf to Munich to visit family.
 It is not comfortable.
 I am sitting in the middle of the back seat wedged between my sleeping husband and my sweet sister-in-law. The whole car kind of smells like BBQ Pringles because after almost a week of bread, potatoes, cheese and various foreign-to-me meats, I was dying for a familiar flavor. Yes it is pitiful, but there is nothing like a family road trip to bring out those things in you. Not to mention I can definitely say I have been listening to, and attempting to speak, more consistent German than ever before; That wears me out. So, while that is a terrible excuse to break down and indulge in junk food, it makes me feel less wimpy... Sort of.. Well that is at least what I am telling myself. 
Anyways, between trying not to inhale my precious, incredibly expensive Dr. Pepper, and stuffing my face with BBQ Pringles, I decided it was a good time to blog a little bit about some of our trip so far. 

Our first days consisted of pre-Christmas festivities like Christmas markets, baking cookies, wrapping presents, decorating the Christmas tree and, of course, seeing The Lion King Musical. I already blogged on Christmas. Sorry these posts are out of order. I made a mistake and accidentally posted the other one earlier than I meant to. 

The whole fam, along with Hannes' sweet girlfriend Vicky, met up in Hamburg Sunday afternoon for dinner and the musical.  It is one I have been wanting to see for a long time so I've been looking forward to it for months! We have been listening to "The Original Hamburg Musical Soundtrack"; that was really good, because I had never heard the songs in German, and it gave me some time to try and sort out the lyrics - and get even more excited. :)  We had to take a boat to the little island designated for Der König der Löwen.  The whole thing was, of course, even better than I'd imagined, and I can't even say thank you enough to Simon's parents for inviting us all to that great night!! The costumes were beautifully colorful, and every minute was so full of creativity that you almost forgot that there weren't really any animals on stage at all. Elephants, zebras, giraffes, and even flying birds came down the aisles and off the balconies to the sounds of African chants. Whether they were rejoicing in a new birth or mourning the death of a king, you couldn't help but get sucked into the magic of it all. It really was just wonderful. 
We weren't allowed to take photos inside the theater, so I snapped a few outside.
This was a boat taking some people to the little island. 

While that musical was something I had alway hoped to attend, Simon has long been hoping to visit the Miniatur Wunderland exhibit, also located in Hamburg.  So, after the musical Martin, Irene, and Lea went back home but Simon and I, along with Hannes and Vicky, stayed the night in the city. 
The following day, we took a guided tour of the "behind the scenes workings" before exploring all of the exhibits. Each exhibit is the replica of a place; with moving cars and trains, flashing lights and everything. There were dozens of different miniature lands to see. To read more about the exhibits, Click HERE
Here are some pictures from Miniatur Wunderland:
I thought this was a pretty neat picture, because it was an exhibit of Hamburg, and it showed the theater where we saw the Lion King. So this is both a photo from the Miniature Wonderland and a view of the theater from the night before :)

Street scene
This might help you picture what the whole thing was like. Every 15 minutes it would slowly turn to night and then shortly turn back to day. So you are able to see the worlds in both. There were SO many people there that day.  It probably took us more time than normal to see all we wanted to see, because we had to fight our way through think crowds.  That was really the only negative thing I can say about the museum.  

Here is a night scene. 

After that, we piddled around Hamburg a little until it was time to head to the CHRISTMAS MARKETS!!  I love Christmas so much and one reason I really wanted to come to Germany at this specific time of year was to enjoy the tradition of Christmas markets. There were several good ones in Hamburg, so a few weeks ago we decided to alter our initial plans of traveling several hours to visit the Nuremberg Christmas markets and instead, just lengthen our Hamburg adventures.  The things I wanted most out of the Christmas market were Glühwein, some wooden Christmas ornaments, and a nutcracker. I found 2 out of 3 :) no nutcracker. But we had a great time, and it was all I had hoped for!  
After we had made our way through 3 or 4 Christmas Markets, we picked up our luggage at the hotel, said goodbye to Vicky as she went home to spend Christmas with her family, and the three of us went back to Wunstorf.  That concluded our Hamburg adventure.  Here are a few more pictures of our fun time.  

This is a picture of Hamburg as we walked to the Miniatur Wunderland


All of us walking around Hamburg.

 Christmas Market!!

It was cold y'all. 
This is me all bundled, about to enjoy my first Lumumba (hot chocolate with amaretto) yummy!!! 

Look what we found!! 

A night-lights photo


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