It's been a while since we've posted anything.... sorry about that... but we've been busy entertaining. My parents came last week to visit, as our first guest couple. Chris was the most wonderful host, and started by picking them up at the airport on his last day off of class. While I finished up a school week, Chris showed them around the university.
We spent the weekend wondering around the city, tasting kölsch and other fine food (though not so much German), and making some delicious dinners.
By Monday morning, my parents were ready to see some more of Germany (and let us attempt to get back to our daily routine) so they headed south to the Mosel River to visit Trier. They returned Wednesday night, and I was able to take off Thursday to show them some more of our favorite spots, including the Nippes Market. We stumbled upon a fantastic coffee shop/roasterie (anyone who knows my family won't be surprised by this). There was some absolutely wonderful coffee, and before long we noticed that every old woman who walked by the shop stopped for a moment and stared. Turns our that the shop, Kaffeebaum (literally coffee tree), was just a few weeks old, and the coffee roaster in the middle of the store made everyone who passed by take a second glance. Chris met up with us later that afternoon for lunch at the University Mensa, a definite site to see. We then enjoyed some fine art at the Wallraf-Rachartz-Museum.
Saturday we rented a car and first stop was Ikea. Fortunately we had better luck finding it this time than last time Chris and I searched. We got some wonderful early Christmas presents, including some great decorations for the winter season. Having a car made it easy to show them our old Marienburg place and the neighborhood of mansions there. Then it was back to Kaffebaum (Chris had yet to visit there and try the coffee). Being a Saturday it was quite bustling, but we did manage to meet and talk with everyone that was connected to the shop. We bought some veggies for a fish stew at the closing market and headed to Edka, a large grocery store by our place. Normally we don't have a car, so had never experienced the parking garage. It was your typical underground garage, with an elevator up to the store. Imagine our surprise when we all got stuck in the elevator with another couple. Eventually we got back to the garage and walked into the store. I believe this was a first for all of us, and luckily it didn't last too long.
Sunday we were up early (with daylight savings time it wasn't so hard) and headed to the Netherlands. Our destination was a fantastic national park that my parents had ridden their bikes through on their first cycle tour of the Netherlands. The large park is furnished with white bikes that anyone can borrow, so we grabbed some bikes and rode to the middle of the park to the Kröller-Müller Museum, a collection of mostly Van Goghs belonging to one of his great patrons. The art was fantastic and the setting beautiful. Though because of the cold weather, we didn't get a chance to explore the surrounding sculpture garden. Much to everyones dismay, we never really got lost on this trip and did find some good Belgian beer to have with lunch.Monday they headed back, via Amsterdam. It was sad to see them leave. We celebrated many a holiday in one short week. Who will be next to visit?