31 July 2011

Goodbye, Germany!

The last two months have been the most incredible of my life. I'm the luckiest girl in the world, to be able to call Jordan my husband. He's the absolute apple of my eye and I wouldn't change a thing about him. Saying goodbye tomorrow will be bittersweet. Although it's never easy to walk away from him, this time will be the last for a long time. We'll only be apart for three months (which seems like next to nothing, after a 12 month deployment) and then it'll be 24-7 Jordica in Ft. Carson, Colorado. 

Jordan is off to WLC (Warrior Leaders Course) for a couple weeks in Grafenhoer, and I'll be on a plane headed for home to pack our stuff and get ready for the big move (and also eat Cafe Rio). It's on to bigger and better things for these two Dowlers and we couldn't be more optimistic. Big changes are about to occur- stay tuned!

The Ball

The Welcome Home Saber Squadron Ball.

We got to dress up, eat great food, hang out with friends and drink from the Grog. There's nothing like Cavalry tradition, I'll tell you that much.
[terrible lighting + zero flash = no desire to take photos]

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle
[Disney Castle]
This castle was built in the late 1800's by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Although it took 17 years to build (but was never completed), the King only lived in his castle for 172 days before he was disposed of as king and passed away mysteriously, only days later.
Look familiar? This was the inspiration for the castle seen at the beginning of every Disney movie you've ever watched.
 
 Since the only English tour wasn't scheduled for another 3 hours, we took the time to explore the town, grab some lunch and pick out souvenirs, before heading up the hill on a horse drawn carriage.
The tour lasted about 30 minutes and I regret to report that no photography was allowed inside the castle. You'll just have to take my word for it- the architecture, art and furnishings were immaculate and ornate.
This is the view from one of the windows on the servants' floor. As you can see, we climbed pretty high up to get to the castle- all together on the tour, there were 165 stairs to climb and 181 to descend.
 This is the view from one of the terraces. On the left is the Alpsee Lake. Hohenschwangau Castle [which happened to be the childhood home of King Ludwig II.] sits above the lake and the town, in the middle of the photo.
 NOTE: No matter how hard to you try to look cute and coordinate outfits so that your photos turn out perfectly, you should always, always, ALWAYS plan for rain while in Germany. It's almost inevitable.

24 July 2011

Ye Old Fair

We went to a Medieval Renaissance fair in Munich. It was amazing! The jousts were full of special effects and both the actors and horses alike were incredibly talented. Of course, the entire thing was in German, so we had no idea what was going on most of the time, but we were still impressed. The stadium held 13,000 people and the stands were packed, making for a great night.



Volksfest

We went to a Volksfest in Vilseck. It seemed less like a German celebration and more like a gypsy-run carnival. We had a blast playing arcade games, eating fried food, drinking beer with friends and watching Jordan ride the mechanical bull.




We won mini air-soft guns. The amount of fun with those in the house has been limitless. Can you taste the sarcasm?

A Sunday Afternoon Walk

I swear, every single time Jordan asks me if I'd like to go somewhere with him (which really means I have no choice and best have my shoes on in two minutes), it includes a walk hike in the rain. Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about walking hiking, especially in the rain. 

This particular day, we walked to his barracks room. It was uphill, both ways, in the rain.  

Please note the one man mud trail, depicted in the photos.

17 July 2011

Kaiserburg Imperial Castle

 The view from the base of the castle, built in the 11th century. It was one of the most important imperial palaces of the Middle Ages, holding all of the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, at one point or another.
 The view looking back at the hill climb we had to make to get to the castle. Now I know why the rest of the world thinks Americans are lazy- I can't even explain how many times I wished for a moving sidewalk or a tram of some sort.
 All incline, no stairs, but we made it! The best part: we got to the top just in time to look out at the town and hear all the church bells.
It was an amazing experience, with incredible views. We learned a lot and sweated even more. On the way down, all I could think about was Gelato.

German Food

First thing's first: 
I HAVE to blog about the food.
Fresh fruit  ALWAYS looks fresher in Europe.
 A pretzel a day keeps the doctor away. At least, that's what I'm telling myself as I stuff myself full of  more salty, carby goodness.
 These mini-brats were outrageous. My mouth is watering as I remember them...
 My first German beer! It was a Dunkle Weissen, or Dark Beer.
 *glug*glug*glug*glug*
Apricot Gelato, on the streets of Nurnberg, with my husband. Need I say more?

*Disclaimer: Not ALL food is good food in Germany. Last night, Jordan and I spent the night writhing in pain after eating bad Mexican food. Verdict: When in Germany, stick to German food.*

08 July 2011

Procrastination at its Finest

we found purple wigs and cat 
ears in one of my old suitcases.
[we'll get around to packing.. eventually]

06 July 2011

Post Deployment Leave 2011

And so it begins again...
The packing of bags, the reviewing and re-reviewing of itineraries, the high nerves, the last minute trips to get everything in order, and the too-soon "see you laters". 
Except, this time...
I'M GOING TO GERMANY WITH HIM.
The last month has been a whirlwind of events and I wouldn't have had it any other way. We had such an incredible time visiting family, hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones. We drove across a desert, pushed our poor dead car a half mile through Death Valley, walked along the beach together, free fell 150 feet, went to countless bars, made up ridiculous songs, and got to know each other even better.

Friday, we jet off to EUROPE, where our story will continue to unfold. I'll be there for about three weeks, he'll stay until late October. I'll do my best to keep everyone updated. Who knows? Maybe my next post will be from Paris... a girl can dream. VILSECK GERMANY, HERE WE COME!

02 July 2011

Grammie's Macaroni Salad

This TOP SECRET family recipe has been handed down for three generations. If you've never tried it, you've never truly lived.
Look at it.
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Now, wipe the drool off your keyboard.

01 July 2011

Our First Roadtrip Pt. 5

On our trip to LAS VEGAS:

We saw THE LION KING.
[We forgot to take pictures, so I'll improvise.]

[it was beyond incredible]

We visited the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.

[my apologies for the horrible picture of a picture quality]

 We went to M&M World. 
 [our hand picked m&m's melted before we got to eat them- boo]

Our First Roadtrip Pt. 4

On our trip to CALIFORNIA:
We spent three glorious days at Lake Nacimiento.

[ <3 ]
[me, ayla, sara - cousins]
[j rock and his new found bestie, k milli]
[yeah. j is wearing my shorts]
[that's my man]
[until we meet again, naci]

Our First Roadtrip Pt. 3

On our trip to CALIFORNIA:
We visited some of my family.

[me, jordan, aunt jodi, sara, grampa and grammie]
[the two reasons i believe true love can last a lifetime:
my grampa and grammie]
 [jordan, fitting right in.]