Last Sunday we squeezed our car with 4 adults and one busy toddler and went with Dallas and Thomas to Monschau, Germany. It is only 1.5 hours from Brussels and is one of those grapevine places people tell you you ought to go. So we went.
Before we left we tried to find out a little more about Monschau in one of our many travel books. But wouldn't you know not one of them mentioned Monschau! Kirk was a little wary that I was dragging a car full to a town not even in our guidebooks! But I had faith. Connor was a little unsure too....And indeed we found Monschau, a small German town that oozed German charm and flair. Thomas at first blush told me about Helen, GA - which is apparently a town in Georgia trying to be stereotypically German - comparing the two. But he then recanted as we walked into the city center and said, "Oh no, this is MUCH BETTER than Helen!" I guess there is a lot to say for the authentic Germany. The half-timber houses right on the rushing river definitely imprinted in my memory book. We enjoyed just walking around the maze-like streets and taking photos. When I am around Dallas and Thomas I want so badly to be a better photographer. They are both incredible and could be professionals with their talents. And Dallas is a gentle but exacting teacher. She is humble in recognizing her talent, but she knows so much. I appreciate her bite-sized lessons and her patient technique. (The vast majority of the photos in this blog entry were taken by Dallas or Thomas).
After bee bopping through the town we decided we just had to have Schnitzel since we were in Germany. We checked the menus of several places right on the water, but the prices seemed pretty steep (I guess that water view comes with a price). But when we came across "Lemon Tree" with schnitzel for 5.90 euro we knew we found our spot! And as luck would have it we were the only patrons at Lemon Tree so Connor got to dance and jive all over the restaurant without disturbing other diners. Which she did to the delight of the restaurant staff. It is so difficult to keep her still these days!One other fun fact about Germany. January 6 is The Feast of Epiphany (Three Kings Day). This day is also called Heilige Drei Könige, which means Three Wise Men. The three kings who visited the Christ child were Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. A German Christmas tradition is to write the initials of the three kings in chalk the night before the Feast to protect the home and family. I guess it really hasn't rained very much since January, because we saw several of these chalked initials still bold and bright on the doors.As we were strolling back to the car we came across these fun puppets. Most of them made corresponding animal sounds with a squeaker. Dallas and I had fun trying them all out. And in the end I bought a non-audible puppy puppet for Connor. She is a big fan!
On the way home the 3 ladies all fell asleep in the back seat. And none of us is a particularly glamorous snoozer. Leave it to the guys to capture it on film! I take our exhaustion as evidence of a Sunday well spent in Monschau, Germany!
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