Sunday 5-6-2018 Alessandra’s First Birthday

Another perfect cloudless day. Kathryn toasted bagels and we started the day with bagels and coffee.

Kathryn had to go pick up AJ’S birthday cake in Weiden. Cathy and I went along. We parked in a ramp a couple of blocks away. The ramp was covered on the outside with vines and didn’t distract from the scenery.

The Bakeri has outside seating

Kathryn and Cathy went in to get the cake

The cake had a glass stand and it wasn’t clear how we would carry it in the car. Basically only the stand fit in the box. One of the women suggested we drive the car to the door. Kathryn and I went and got the car. By the time we got back, they had come up with a plastic container to carry it in. It rode in the car seat and made it safely home.

We sat on the couch in the patio and had Prosecco wine.

It is bubbly wine and really hit the spot

The glasses were especially designed for this type of wine.

Erik brought out a bottle of Rauchbier from Bamberg for me. He didn’t like it, but wondered if I would

Rauchbier is made from barley dried over a fire and had a very smokey smell and taste. At first I didn’t like it, but with Cheetos, by the end of the bottle I was enjoying it.

At 2:00pm Kathryn and Erik went to a neighbor’s for a gender disclosure party. They got to meet neighbors, including one of the original American first Sextuplets, named Quin, number 5 of the 6.

About 6:00pm it was time for Alessandra’s birthday cake smash. The cake was put on a blanket and Alessandra was turned loose on it. She was very lady like and dainty about it. First removed the flower and then pieces of cake.

Kathryn and Erik helped her

We went inside to watch Vegas Vacation. I had a beer that Erik especially likes, Monchshof Maibock. It was very enjoyable.

At about 9:00pm we enjoyed a meal of Chicken Wild Rice Casserole that Kathryn prepared. It was especially delicious.

Saturday 5-5-2018 Day at Home with Erik

Slept in till 7:30am. Erik didn’t have to work today.

Had coffee and bagels for breakfast.

Had another quarter of sub I got at commissary yesterday for lunch.

Erik brought out the patio furniture and we sat in the nice sunshine and drank coffee.

The household was running low on beer. The beer market closes at 2:00pm on Saturday, so Erik and I went to Weiden to get beer.

The Getrankemarkt has beer on one side

And soda, juice and water on the other side.

The bottles are returnable and come in nice platic cases. We even got non alcoholic beer for Cathy.

We had a beer on the patio.

Kathryn, Cathy and I then went to the EDEKA Grocery store

It was a very nice store and had a great variety of everything.

At 5:00pm we went to Old Weiden to do some shopping.

When we were at the Maibaum

Erik pointed out the US Army shield

Cathy bought Alessandra a pair of sandals.

We stopped at an outdoor restaurant

Erik and I had beer

Cathy had ice tea and Kathryn had white wine

When we got home Erik and I decided to go to OBI, the European version of Home Depot. It is colored the same and layed out the same.

We went to get wood for a patio fire and a free standing lamp for the guest bedroom.

We had fajitas for dinner for Cinqo de Mayo.

We ended the day by watching European Vacation.

Friday 5-4-2018 Neustadt am der Naab Crystal Factory

We got up a little later this morning. Had coffee and scrambled eggs.

About 11:00am we went to the Nachtman Crystal Factory in Neustadt am der Naab.

On Friday they have a warehouse sale

They have just about every thing in crystal, especially for wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages

They have someone there who will do etching for you

We bought a few things and then went to their Outlet Store.

It is arranged by the brands they make.

We then left to visit the Army Post in Grafenwoehoer. Kathryn got us visitor passes and we went into the PX

We had lunch at the Food Court. I had tacos from Taco Bell

We then went into the PX where Cathy and Kathryn shopped for AJ

It was like a very large Walmart

We then went to the Commissary to buy groceries. They had just about everything

We checked out and filled the trunk

We then went to see Erik at his office

AJ was glad to see Erik

There are a lot of barracks on the Post

On the way back to Rothenstadt we went through Mantel, a very beautiful drive with forests, rivers, lakes and villages

We got home and unloaded groceries. AJ had a bath and we are watching Vacation.

Thursday 5-3-2018 Weiden

Got to sleep in until 6:30am. Had a cup of coffee and Kathryn, AJ, Cathy and I headed to Old Weiden. Kathryn parked in under ground parking. We went up to the City Center near the Rathaus. We could see the Weiden Maibaum

Quite a bit larger than in Rothenstadt.

Kathryn went off to the opthalmologist for a check after Lasik surgery. Cathy, AJ and I found a coffee shop

We ordered Cappuccino

Kathryn had to wait and hour and a half to see the doctor. She joined us and had Cappuccino and bacon and eggs that really looked good.

Kathryn and Cathy then went to order AJ’s birthday cake.

We then headed back to Weiden. Kathryn’s car had been shaking badly at Autobahn speeds, do she dropped it off at the garage in Rothenstadt.

We walked back to Kathryn’s house, less than a mile.

Erik had to work late again, do the three of us walked a couple of blocks to Salute, a Rock and Roll Musik bar and restaurant.

There is a Biergarten in the back

They specialize in burgers. I ordered a Big Western Burger. It was perhaps the best burger I have ever had. Great seasoning and a wonderful coarse texture bun.

It was thick and had bacon in it

I ordered a vom Fass (draft) beer

It was decorated like a lot of bars in the US and most of the patrons looked like bikers.

We ordered pasta take out for Erik.

Erik got home shortly after we got to the house. He said the pasta was good.

Wednesday 5-2-2018 Prague to Rothenstadt

Up at 5:00am today. Breakfast at 6:00am. Had coffee, orange juice, eggs, bacon and cabbage with peppers.

Had to get on the bus at 7:00am. Kathryn was picking us up at Lauf an der Pegnitz, so had them load our bags last.

We had people from a couple of other tours join us and some from our tour leave. Sad to see them go. The couple with the 7 month old baby were some that left. They sat beside us the whole tour.

Some Spanish speaking people joined the tour. A girl from Brazil and her mother now sat beside us. The girl had been an exchange student in Iowa and liked cold weather.

A lot of beautiful scenery and farms on the ride.

We stopped at a rest area just before the German border for a break.

We went into McDonalds for a restroom break and coffee. The newly married Saudi couple bought us coffee.

We rode on to the Bavarian village of Lauf an der Pegnitz. It is a very picturesque village with a covered wooden bridge and classic German architecture.

The city center was especially quaint.

We sadly said goodbye to those we had met, like the family from the Philippines. Both parents were doctors.

We then carried our bags to the Hugo Gastronomie and had lunch.

Cathy had a curry soup and I had a ham, salamie, cheese and egg sandwich and Pils beer. All delicious.

Soon Kathryn and AJ joined us

Kathryn drove us to their home in Rothenstadt.

Erik had to work late, so Kathryn drove us to Neustadt an der Waldnaab where we ate at Messer in the hotel. Cathy had spaghetti carbonara and Kathryn and I had Jagerschnitzel, a favorite of Erik and Kathryn. We took a take out order of Jagerschnitzel for Erik.

On the way home Kathryn showed us the Rothenstadt Maibaum (May Pole) erected on April 30.

And the fire to burn the witches to end winter

Monday 5-1-2018 Walking Tour and River Cruise

Got down to breakfast a little after 7:00am. Coffee, juice, hot sausage with peppers and cold cuts.

Got on bus to Prague Castle at 8:15am. Went through Security. Metal detectors and back pack inspection.

First toured the St Vitus Cathedral adjacent to castle.

It was too large to get a good picture.

The parliament meets in the castle.

There are very small houses attached to castle. They are now little shops. One sells beer shampoo.

We then walked down to the stone bridge, the oldest bridge in Prague.

We ended the walking tour in the City Center.

We then went to lunch at the same restaurant as last night.

They have several beers on tap

I chose Master 13 Semi Dark

It was very good. That is Isha from Saudi Arabia who joined us for lunch. She is a physical therapist traveling alone.

At 2:00pm we went on a cruise on the Moldau River. It was nice to see the bridges from the water.

After the cruise we took a taxi back to our hotel.

We rested a couple of hours and then went to the Albert super market a few blocks away. While there we saw several from the tour.

Will leave at 7:00am in the morning. We will leave the tour at Wurzburg, Germany, where Kathryn will pick us up.

Monday 4-30-2018 Budapest to Prague

Had to get up at 5:30am again. Got a quick breakfast at 7:00am. Very good breakfast of pasta salad, sauerkraut and sausage, ham and cheese and pastry.

We rode for about 2 hrs and stopped in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. We had an enjoyable time walking through the city.

Stopped for lunch and sampled another beer. I also had Mediterranean Toast. Toast, olives, pesto and tomatoes.

Turpiner Slovakian beer

Mediterranean Toast.

Went on towards Prague, a 5 hour drive. Stopped for a break 26 mi from Prague. Tried another beer, this time Czech Pilsner Urquell.

Shortly after the break we got to the hotel. They thought traffic would be bad and take over an hour from the rest stop.

Checked into the Olympic Hotel Congress. Very nice accommodations again.

Extremely nice bathroom

After a quick check in we went to explore the City Center.

On the way back to the bus, Cathy and I stopped at the Pilsner Urquell Restaurant. It was about 3 blocks from the brige where we had to meet the bus. I had Onion Steak and Cathy had pasta with beef and mushrooms. I had a draft Pilsner Urquell.

Got back to the room and found out we had to pay for WiFi in the room. It is free in the lobby. Had to pay 140 Czech Crowns for two nights.

Sunday 4-29-18 Cruise on Danube

Awoke to a perfect day for a cruise on the Danube, warm and sunny.

Went down for breakfast at 8:45am. A lot of good things. I chose eggs, bacon, cold cuts, cheese and pastry. They had a Douwe Egbert coffee machine. I had black coffee.

Where we sat we had a nice outside view.

Left for cruise at 8:45am. We sat in the outside bow area.

We got to see everything we saw yesterday, but only from the river.

After the cruise the bus took us to the Marriott, but wouldn’t return to pick us up until 8:00pm. We made plans to share a taxi with another couple at 3;00pm.

We walked along the Danube to the Jewish Shoe Memorial.

We stopped at the bar under the Lion Bride for drinks. Iced tea for Cathy and beer for me.

Krusovice from Czech Republic. We moved on to the shoe memorial.

It is a memorial to the Jews that were taken to concentration camps.

Walked back to Marriott to take taxi to hotel.

Cathy learned a lot about Hungarian economic conditions from the cab driver.

Toured the Japanese Garden at hotel. They are really beautiful.

Watched dogs play and people dancing the Salsa.

Went to dinner at the Lobby Bistro. Cathy had chicken breast and I had schnitzel. I had a draft Deher brewed in Budapest.

Saturday 4-28-18 Vienna to Budapest

Got up at 5:30am. Showed and got luggage ready. Went down at 7:00am for a great breakfast.

Stopped St LIDL next to hotel for snacks and a shopping bag. Emptied refrigerator into shopping bag and took luggage to bus.

We left at 8:30$am for what should have been a 3 hr trip. Due to accident or something, we lost an hour in traffic.

We stopped at Hungarian Border to change money into Hungarian Forent.

At 12:30pm we went to Central Market in Pest.

On the main floor they have all the food vendors.

Meat

Fruit and vegetables

On the second floor clothing and souvenirs

While waiting for bus tour, I had a local Double IPA craft beer.

At 2:30pm we took a bus tour of the city and went to Buda Castle.

We then went back to City Center to shop and eat dinner. We ate at McDonalds.

I had Csfile cslkok (chicken tenders) and Cathy had Tripla sajtb (triple pattie burger)

After eating we walked down the walking street of shops.

We then walked back to bus stop along the Danube.

At 8:00pm we took the bus to our hot, Danubiius Margitsziget. It is on an island in the Danube. Very deluxe.

Heated towel rack

Friday 4-27-18 Touring Vienna

Awoke to a beautiful sunny day in Vienna. After a great shower, went down for a wonderful breakfast. Fruit, cold cuts, bacon, bread, juice and coffee.

We both enjoyed it

After breakfast we went back to the room. At 11:30am we went down to meet the tour. The bus pulled in with others for the tour from Salzburg.

We headed out to first stop, the Schonbrunn Palace and gardens.

We could just tour the gardens at no charge or buy tickets for the palace. We just toured the gardens.

There were lots of fountains and sculptured hedges

There is an Avery where special pidgeons have been raised.

We got back at the appointed time to be picked up by the bus. We then took a bus tour of major buildings and the Danube.

We stopped at the Hundertwasser House, an attempt to change the drabness of Vienna. He was an artist wanting to fulfill the environmental and psychological needs of our time. There is an arcade, the Hundertwasser Village, across the street named for him and his imprint is on the wall of the WC in the basement.

We then went to another palace, the Belvedere, summer palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy. He had seven palaces.

We then went down to city center where we had 2hrs of free time to shop or eat. We went to a coffee house.

Cathy had soup and I had goulash.

I also had a cup of Julius Meinl espresso.

We then walked back to meet the bus and got back to hotel at 8:45pm.