Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tag Sieben - Der Farewell Tour (Day Seven - The Farewell Tour)

On our last full day in Germany, we headed to nearby Swetzingen to tour the gardens of the Schwetzingen castle. The gardens are a bit elaborate to say the least. There are dozens of fountains, hundreds of paths and too many flower varieties to count.

The boys enjoyed the meet and greet with ducks at one of the ponds on the property. Leftover animal cookies made for perfect food to entice the ducks ashore. We even had them eating out of our hands until Josh let Sam loose, and the chase was on.

The excitement died down, but only momentarily because we quickly happened upon several flocks of geese. Josh encouraged the boys to "go get 'em!" And the hilarity ensued. Jack startled quickly and easily when the geese would turn around and hiss at him. Sam, however, was not as easily frightened and pursued the flock until one flapped him in the head!

We decided to test the cuisine at a Mexican cantina on the street in Swetzingen. It was pretty good, but we all agreed Mexican is not the same without chips & salsa. Our waitress spoke very good English, and we were surprised to learn she had grown up there. She was delighted when we told her how great her English was.

From there, we drove over to Mannheim, the previous homestead to my sister. We parked downtown and headed straight for der Wasserturm or the water tower, which is one of the focal pieces of the bustling town. Jack was thrilled to dip his toes in the reflection pool, and the lush grass was an inviting place to take a load off.

Later, we walked across to the main shopping district. We enjoyed more gummies and window shopped before heading to a seven-story sporting goods store, engelhorn. Imagine Dick's meets REI and throw in a lunch counter and cafe, and you have a pretty good idea of what this place offers. The boys each took turns on the kids' climbing wall, but their favorite activity was definitely riding up and down the escalators.

We are all wiped out and had so much packing and preparing to do we decided to head back towards home. Josh, Lisa and I popped into a bakery and picked up a huge sampling of delicacies to enjoy with dinner back at Emily's. We barely put a dent in the smorgasbord.

So, as you can see we had a wonderful time on our European vacation. And I know it may seem like we spent all summer in Germany, but in reality it just took me all summer to finish blogging about it all. I hope to fill you in soon on what fun we've been up to since then...you know, like in July and August. Can't believe pre-school starts next week!

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