Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things I want to do when I go home in June.

I am planning a trip home for a few weeks towards the end of June.  My bestest good friend Beth and her husband are moving to Japan in August and I decided to fly back to Idaho to see them before they leave considering it will be much harder to see them when they are on the other side of the world.  Not impossible, but just alot of damn travel.  At any rate, I am very excited to go home to see family as well and there are a few things I would like to do when I'm home.

  • Go to Papa Kelsey's at least twice to enjoy a ham and cheese sandwhich and a lime rickey.
  • Spend as much time with my nephew as humanly possible without having my sister alert the authorities of a kidnapping. :)
  • Have a huge family party at my Granny's so I can see everyone.
  • Get some alone time to talk to Granny and Grandad without everyone around.
  • Getting kidnapped by my wives so we can spend hours/days just laughing until we hurt and spew liquid out our noses.
  • Spend at least one Saturday night annoying my father by watching the British comedies on PBS with my mom and talking with an English accent all night.
  • Sit outside BSing with my family drinking margaritas.
  • Have a bonfire (Daddy?? Please?)

That's about all I can think of at the moment.  I'm sure in the two months I have until I leave I will come up with many more ideas about who I want to see and what I want to do while I'm home.  I know that unfortunately there won't be nearly enough time to see everyone and do everything I want but hopefully I will get as much done as I can.  And what I don't do this time I'll just have to save until my next trip home.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Libraries are my thing. . .

I'm really weird. But then again, if you've met me you know that already. But the reason I'm talking about is that I love the smell of old books. When I go into a library or an older bookstore I usually just stand and breathe it all in for a second, then I move on. I know, it's crazy but it speaks to lit geek in me. So here's a little post about libraries and my love of books.

One of these days I want to have a library like this. Although, I would have to leave out the big long table and uncomfortable chairs. I'd replace them with big oversized leather couches and chairs and lots of big soft pillows and blankets. You see, it's always been my dream to have my own huge library where I could go to get away. This would be my woman cave. I would have all the unlimited mochas I want to drink and I could sit and read for hours. Especially on cold rainy days.

Anyway, these are pictures of a virgin library in a castle that we visited here in Germany. Virgin means that none of the books have ever been read and I think that's amazing (for any of you wondering, they know none of the books have been read because they are uncut. Before modern day printing of books was used they would print the pages on lager sheets, fold them in quarters, and then bind them in the cover, no cutting was done. It was up to the purchaser to cut the pages to be able to read the book.). To be a collector of all these books but never read one is kind of sad to me but at the same time it's a great thing to preserve. Hopefully this guy had his own stash of books somewhere that he actually wanted to read and not just show off.

I wonder what book leads to the secret hallway? Hmmmmm.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Chocolate Museum

So this is the second part of our trip to Cologne - The Lindt Chocolate Museum. It's a nice walk along the river from the cathedral and it was fun just to take in the sights of a different city. The part we were in  actually reminded me a little bit of New York City. I'm so excited to be going back to get more delicious chocolates from the store and to take my parents there. They can go walk around the museum while I sit and drink hot cocoa and eat yummy desserts. We didn't get any of said yummy desserts while we were there because we were going to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe afterwards, but I don't plan on forgoing that pleasure this time. They had some amazing looking stuff that I want to try.

These are molds of the little chocolates they hand out to you when you buy your ticket. They have a production room in the museum that you can watch them being made.

David and I had a discussion on what this thing used to pick up the chocolates to put them on the belt to be wrapped.  We wondered because the logo was on top and it would have to be something that wouldn't screw it up.  I guessed suction and I turned out to be right.  If a chocolate gets left behind it gets dumped into a bin and when there are enough they are recycled through to be remelted and remolded.

This was the chocolate fountain.  The workers dipped wafers into the warm chocolate and handed them out to the visitors.  It was amazing.

How cute is this?  A hot chocolate service set from somewhere in Europe, I forget where.  But I remember reading that because the cups people had for tea didn't have handles they had to put them on the cups used for hot chocolate because it got hotter than the tea, thus the modern day mug was born.  Yet another reason why hot chocolate is better than tea :)

I want that pitcher full of hot cocoa  . . . mmmmmmmmmmm.

I can't remember what origin this is but I know it was in the section geared toward the Incans and Mayans and their contribution to chocolate - mostly growing the cocoa beans and trading them with the Spanish.

One of many old vending machines they had on display.  Could you imagine putting in a coin and getting a piece of chocolate out of this thing?

And the culmination of this trip, the hot chocolate.  I have never tasted anything so decadent and yummy in a glass before.  And it's fresh whipped cream on top, not marshmallows or Cool Whip (although they certainly have their place, don't get me wrong).

So that's a breif rundown of our trip to the chocolate museum.  Like I said earlier, I am so stoked to bring my mom and dad here. Anyone that visits this area I think should go to Cologne.  Not just the cathedral and the museum but walk around and take it all in.  From the small part we were in I knew it was my kind of city.  It just had the feel to that I knew I would absolutely love living there if I ever got a chance.  I hope to find a city like that back home wherever we land.  And I KNOW that it won't be Utah :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Cologne Cathedral

Since David had a 3 day weekend over my birthday we decided to go on a road trip.  The weather is finally clearing up somewhat and we were both kind of going a little bit stir crazy just going back and forth between home and the base essentially. So we decided to go to a town called Cologne. The reason we picked that town? It has a Hard Rock Cafe! I know, lame.  But David has this thing where anytime we're near a Hard Rock we have to go.  I had no objections so we went.  Before we left we did some looking on what else we could do in Cologne other than drive 2 1/2 hours four lunch.  They have this amazing cathedral that is right next to the Rhine so we decided to check it out.  Plus it was only about 4 blocks away from the restaurant so it tied in nicely. :)

My camera really kind of sucks so you can't really see the scale of this thing but it was immense.  I was sitting on the ground taking this picture of David.

We parked at an underground facility right next to the cathedral and when we walked up from down below  this is what we saw.  And this is the side of the cathedral, not the front part which is the tallest.

This picture kind of gives you a better idea of the enormity of this place.  Those people walking by don't even come up halfway to any of the arched doorways or entrances.  Apparently after it was finished in 1880 this cathedral was the tallest building in the world. 

This is the front entrance and a look up.  I was bent over backwards to get this shot.  I might as well have just laid down on the sidewalk and done it that way instead.

I just liked the way this hotel looked.  It was right next to the cathedral and is right above the underground parking.  Around the corner they have a few high end shops that I didn't even dare go in.  It's just so odd to think of a Louis Vuitton right next to a huge Catholic cathedral.

I tried to take some inside pictures but my camera is horrible.  It was bright enough to see inside the cathedral but it wasn't enough light for my piddly little thing of a camera.  None of the pictures I took of any of the statues or pipe organs turned out well because of the lack of light.  I did use my video camera, though, and that worked better on the inside. As soon as I can find the cable to do it I'm going to try and download them and post them here. 

We walked around here for a few hours and then we went to the chocolate museum. Thanks to the Travel Channel website it gave us something else to do and it was only a quick walk down the river from the cathedral.  Both of these places were so great I decided to give them each their own special blog. So stay tuned for that one, I'll probably have it up later today.