Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cannon's 6th & Weihnachten Markt

We woke up to snow on Cannon's 6th birthday. Pretty fabulous for our first morning in country. Shane had to get up for inprocessing. I think the rest of us slept until about noon. Poor Shane.

At one point I heard the kids toast their hot chocolate to the snowy first morning in Germany. A  moment forever burned into my memory.

When Shane came home, we packed up the kids around 5pm, and our new friends lead us to the Heidelberg Christmas Market. We knew we had to do something pretty special for our Cannon. Unfortunately for all parties involved, Cannon threw the tantrum of a lifetime because a.) his pants weren't tight enough, b.) he didn't want to wear his snowboots, and c.) because I wouldn't tighten his belt before I made him put his dreaded snowboots on.

Seriously, life changing.

 We ended up carrying him to the train stop (1/2 mile), in his socks. his will finally caved and the snow boots were strapped on. By this time he'd forgotten all about his pants not being tight enough (they were sufficiently tight).

Anyhoo. We got off the train at Bismarckplatz and started our first authentic German experience. It was pretty darn spectacular.

As we strolled we discussed the many dinner options, and when left to the birthday boy to choose, Pizza Hut was the winner. Shane and I saved our appetite for the local fare.
In defense of the German Pizza Hut, it was unlike any American Pizza Hut. We were seated. We ordered water and got sparkling water, pretty common I hear. The menu was loaded with options, and the service was very nice.

Oh- and the toys that came with the kids meals were wooden, not the plastic made in china garbage. That was my favorite part.

After the kids ate, we met back up with our friends (shane's co-worker and wife). We ventured further down and found some dinner for ourselves. We tried kinderpunsch, a spiced non-alcoholic wine. Very tasty! We also had kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) with applesauce, schweinebraten (marinated pork steak sandwich), and nutella crepes (heavenly). Certainly not a healthy, well-rounded meal- but it was great to indulge in the traditional foods...

Heidelberg Castle illuminated

The kids rode a little train, and watched the iceskaters.

After all of the eating and perusing we headed back to the train for "home".
We stopped to listen to carolers sing "angels we have heard on high" in german. It gave me chills, it was  magical. Another one of those moments.
Cannon and I had a snowball fight by moonlight on the walk home, another one of those memories.
Once we got back to the apartment and warmed up we let Cannon open a few presents, then I was assigned Lego duty.
Shane and Theo crashed, so the kiddos and I popped some popcorn and stayed up until 2:30am building Hogwarts Express.
When I tucked the kids in, we prayed together, then all told Cannon our favorite things about him. It made him feel special. He is such a sentimental guy.

And that, was our first real night in Heidelberg, Germany.


Em said...

Now you see why I am completely jealous about your Christmas in Europe. So much better than America, right? So glad you're finding fun and joy there :)

Jeanie Whitelaw said...

Thank you so much for sharing these memories. You guys will have so many and it is exciting to see it start to unfold. Can't decide which photo is the best... but Cannon on his birthday at the German Pizza Hut is truly special.

Mary Sue Whitelaw said...

Looks like a pretty spectacular 6th birthday to me in spite of loose pants, an aversion to snow boots and that wretched belt. The Christmas Market looks awesome. You're already making so many wonderful memories. However, I still miss you all being 5 minutes away.

Jennifer R. said...

Chad and I just perused through your pics. Thank you SO much for sharing them! What a beautiful night! Hope all is well, please tell your family Merry Christmas from ours!