Bernkastel-Kues, Germany

Driving home from Trier a few weeks ago we came across the town, Bernkastel-Kues. A castle that sits over the town first caught our eye, but then as we rounded the corner the town itself came into view and we were in awe. Quaint, lush, & sitting right on the Moselle. I quickly added it to the “must visit” list on my phone. I told the hubs we should come here during the week together, just us, a sort of day-date before school let out. He made it happen just a few days later .


I look this photo from the car on the drive home from Trier, this is the castle that first caught our eye and piqued our interest. While I would have liked to stop right then, the date sounded nice and we always try to limit how much we squeeze into a day when we travel with the kids. We are lucky in that our kids seldom complain about anything when we drag them around other than being hungry or thirsty. Technically those probably are not even complaints so much as they are statements, but I digress.


The views as you make your way into town.


Ruins of Landshut Castle // Circa 1277

In 1692, the castle and all its’ treasures, were destroyed in a fire.  You can still climb the tower and the views over the town & Moselle are spectacular!


Bernkastel – Kues

Bernkastel is located on the right bank while Kues is on the left of the Moselle. These two villages merged in 1905 and have a bridge that joins them.




In the Bernkastel-Kues marketplace you will find gabled timber-framed houses from the 17th century, foremost among which is the narrow Spitzhäuschen (also known as the Pointed House) from 1416. The main floor is narrower than the second floor which makes this house look a bit wobbly!





I seriously don’t think I will ever tire of visiting all the little (& big) towns (villages) of Europe!

| Visited May 29, 2014 |


Augsburg, Germany



Augsburg, located in SW Bavaria. We took a little side trip to this amazing city during our spring break trip in April (yep…I am that far behind on photo editing!). While Augsburg is the third largest city in Bavaria it is not considered a big tourist spot because it lacks must-see sights. We disagree. We loved this city and enjoyed strolling along the cobblestone streets and getting a bite to eat at a little cafe. If was very quaint & very European. Traveling with kids we like having stops that are more about relaxing than running around to see this and that. After two full days at Legoland, this was a treat for Mom & Dad!!






Chuck Norris. Apparently it is a club.  One of my favorite photos from the trip of course!!



St. Ulrich & St. Afra Cathedral



| Visited April 8, 2014 |


Possibly the oldest city in Germany (I read somewhere it has three competitors for that slot!), Trier is located in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It sits on the banks of the Moselle not far from Luxembourg and is part of the Mosel Wine Region.

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Roman Ruins : Porta Nigra (black gate)^ is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps and was built between 186 and 200 AD.



Hauptmarkt (Market Square) & St. Peter’s Fountain



Cathedral (Dom St. Peter), this is the oldest church in Germany.



Mariensäule (or St. Mary’s Column), this crowned statue of St. Mary sits upon a pillar 130 feet high and looks over the city.


FYI>> If you want a photo of the front of her you better do it from down below! She sits so high it is impossible from this vantage point. It is worth the jaunt up to see her in person, the view from where she sits is simply spectacular!!


Palastgarten (or you could call it the Palace Garden). I think the kids enjoyed this spot the most! There was a lot of open space (i.e. lots of running around, acting goofy, and burning energy off before a 2 hour drive home kinda space), the weather was so nice for being outside and you just don’t run into gardens this cool everyday! So happy they took advantage!


We didn’t quite see everything there is to see in Trier, but it was a perfect day trip. Long enough & short enough that the kids didn’t drive us crazy & vice versa! It is definitely going on the “Wouldn’t Mind Visiting Again” list.


| Visited May 24, 2014 |

Opel Zoo

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Opel Zoo is in Kronberg im Taunus, Germany. It is one of the most beautiful zoos I have been to, spreads out on the side of a hill facing nearby Falkenstein Castle. It is stunning! Hopefully we will be visiting again soon!




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IMG_5673| Visited Mar. 29, 2014. |

a couple of weekends

We have been traveling locally on the weekends and I keep meaning to post photos but get busy doing other things. So here it is…two weekends of local travel! (Warning :: Lots of photos!)


<< Burg Reichenstein Castle  & Bacharach >>










One of the things I love about where we live is that we are close to the Rhine. There are so many castles/cool little towns/cathedrals/and a wine route along this river that we can easily make a weekend of it without involving our luggage or hotels and it feels like we are on vacation!

On this trip down the Rhine we visited Burg Reichenstein Castle. This is one of the smaller castles we have been to but worth a visit and it has a hotel & restaurant. Circa 1290, and originally belonging to some Dukes of Bavaria (i think…cant find my pamphlet!). Just down the road from the castle we discovered the quaint little town of Bacharach.  We strolled around here for a bit, but since it was Sunday everything was closed. I loved this little town though and intend to go back at some point to explore further!

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<< Schloss Vollrads & Johannisberg | Rheingau Riesling Route >>


I am a sucker for a cool sign and I really like this one!!

Originally we just thought we were visiting a nearby castle. To our surprise we found ourselves on the riesling route and visited two! It was one of the best Sundays ever and we intend to hit more spots on the route (hopefully as soon as this coming Sunday, I mean why wait?!)!!

A map of the  Rheingau Riesling Route.

Rheingau Riesling Route






There were a dozen (give or take) of these babies sitting outside of Johannisberg and I would happily drive any one of them!!! Of course, that wasn’t really an option. *sigh*

The view from the estate grounds.




IMG_5321We were on the wine route, so of course we bought wine at the places we stopped! Oh…and some jellies.

The Fabulous Weekend Getaway That Wasn’t

I planned a weekend getaway for the family that was going to be fabulous, only it didn’t turn out that way. I was so excited, a weekend of burgers + movies for the kids and a day spent in France for all of us. It started with a seedy hotel room that looked like it had been flooded at some point, which led to us just driving back home. No big deal, we can still leave for France early Saturday and make a day of it. So we didn’t get away for the weekend, I can’t complain when I am still going to be spending a day in France!IMG_2035

<<  Eating donuts in the car + headed for France.  >>

So, Saturday morning comes and I wake up and notice sunlight coming through the curtains. My first thought: “Why hasn’t my alarm gone off?”. Turns out I set my alarm clock for pm rather than am (Ooops!). No worries…it’s just an hour later than planned. We threw ourselves together in record time and headed out. First stop, fuel + breakfast. Our choice: donuts + juice + coffee. Perfect.

We hit the road. An hour into the drive it started to drizzle. Meh…we are still an hour away, it could be dry & sunny in France for all we know. We were hopeful.


We arrive. It is raining now. It is cold. The umbrellas are not in the back of the car. Nice!

Oh well…we’re here, it’s France, let’s do this!


<<  Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune  >>







<<  Kammerzell House >>

The house on the corner is the Kammerzell House,  one of the most ornate and well preserved medieval buildings in the area. It belonged to the Holy Roman Empire at one time.


<< Strasbourg Cathedral >>

The second most visited cathedral in all of France. It is indeed spectacular and I am afraid my photos do not do it justice. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral built entirely during the Middle Ages.


<< Strasbourg Cathedral // Astronomical Clock >>

The current clock dates back to 1843 and houses a a perpetual calendar, a planetary dial, a display of the real position of the Sun, the Moon, and solar + lunar eclipses. There is also a procession of figures featuring Christ and the Apostles, which occurs every day at 12:30 while the life-size rooster crows three times. We just happened to catch this little event for the day!



While visiting the cathedral the temp must have dropped, we could see our breath in the air before us and the rain had gotten worse. I didn’t want to give up and leave France just yet. I suggested having lunch someplace we could warm up, refuel, and give the rain a chance to let up.


Where we lunched. Pizza, pasta, bread, & beer.02152014FRANCE21The rain did let up, but only briefly. We walked around a little longer, got a few more photos and decided it was time to get out of the rain. Everyone was cold, wet, and I wasn’t feeling so great. We climbed into our warm + dry car and did a little exploring through the city, stopping at a museum before finally heading home.


<< The Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg >>

Or the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art if you prefer.



So our fabulous weekend got off to a bad start, we woke up late, it was cold, it drizzled, and it rained but France was beautiful. It could have been fabulous despite all the little unpredictables except that Sunday…it became clear that we had food poisoning. And with that…the ‘fabulous’ was taken right out of our weekend getaway!!

France, we loved you and we will be back….hopefully on a dry + sunny day and maybe with our own picnic basket of food.

TRAVEL | Worms, Germany

Worms (pronounced Vorms) is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It sits on the Rhine River and is about 60 kilometres south-southwest of Frankfurt, Germany. A must see attraction in Worms is Worms Cathedral (Wormser Dom). Worms Cathedral is one of three great imperial cathedrals on the upper Rhine , the other two being in Speyer & Mainz. This cathedral has four round towers, and two large domes. The cathedral is 110 m (just under 361ft) long and 27 m (roughly 88ft) wide. The nave (main body of the church which provides the central approach to the high altar) is 26 m (roughly 85ft). Only the ground floor and parts of the western towers belong to the original building which was consecrated in 1110, the rest was done in the 13th & 14th centuries and later (parts of the cathedral, the domes for example, have been rebuilt over the years).

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Seeing all three of the imperial cathedrals is high on my list, but so is visiting as many Christmas markets as possible! I have three years in Europe, it will go quick, and Christmas is just once a year! The markets all have some similarities but they are also unique. I also discovered that each place has its’ own take on glüwein (mulled wine) and some of it is pretty potent! I find myself having to try it at each market and for a € or so extra I also get a collectible mug.2013DEC18 WORMS5


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 We also made sure to walk around and view monuments and other historical sights while in Worms. It was a great day trip & I got a new mug!


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