Monday, December 29, 2008

Brazilian Idol...

I mentioned in a previous post that the girls got High School Musical swag for Christmas. Last night we were treated to a show, complete with music and costumes.
Emily is a natural with her shmarmy, Rat Pack-inspired audience acknowledgements.
Swiss raclette club...

Santa/Papai Noel/Weihnachtsmann got B a raclette grill for Christmas. I'm not sure if it's because it actually isn't well known in the States or if I just didn't get out much, but I wasn't introduced to the raclette style of eating until I was in my late thirties.
Raclette is a bit like fondue in that it is a communal dining experience with food being cooked at the table. In this case, meat (beef in my experience) and cheese are cooked on a multi-level raclette grill. Once the meat is ready and the cheese is melted, we serve it on backed potatoes with champignons, capers etc.
Each person gets a little skillet that they stick in a preformed cubby beneath the heated grill. I'm not sure why, but this ritual is mildly entertaining.
Apparently raclette got its start in Switzerland. I don't know if our approach is traditional, but when accompanied with the right wine and/or Hefeweizen (in copious amounts), it all goes down quite nicely. The kids had fun as well. I'm not sure if I can highly recommend investing in such a grill, but if you can get your hands on one, there are worse ways to spend an evening.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Headed to church...

There's a beautiful lighted church at the end (or beginning, depending on your perspective) of the Hauptstrasse in Walldorf. I've been threatening to take a long exposure of it at night since they erected a huge Christmas tree a few weeks back. On Christmas night, I finally decided to do it. My father-in-law, fool that he is, decided to tag along.
It's been rediculously cold here for the last few days. The wind that night made it feel about -200; it also didn't help capture a clean long exposure. Strangely enough, when I got home I had a cold beer. Draw your own conclusions about my Hefeweizen "issues".I've taken better pictures, be these weren't too bad. By the way, when my German neighbors asked me where I was going (at midnight), I tried to explain that I was going to take pictures of the church. All they understood was that I was going to church. They were quite impressed. I'm not sure what they must have thought when I showed up at home 15 minutes later!
Grand opening...

Christmas morning doesn't seem to have disappointed this year. I think Sophia's face does a pretty good job of summarizing their response.
She played with her Snow White play set all Christmas day.
Robert scored big in the comic book action figure category.
The girls looked fierce in their High School Musical wigs and dresses.
All three kids got MP3 players. The girls' were of the Barbie variety. Robert, clearly his father's son, hasn't taken his headphones off in 3 days.
If the picture below is any indication, Emily will be a breathtaking bride.
Lest there be any doubt, the Prickrils are down for Heidelberg.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Signs of the times...

A few years ago B decided she'd buy Christmas ornaments when we travel. Must admit I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but the tree is starting to reflect our numerous travels.
Although not obvious, this one is from Euro Disney.My favorite (of course) are the ones from Amsterdam. Who knew a Christmas ornament could be so bad a**?
My sweetie B is 33...

We celebrated with her parents and the kids at Zum Ritter in Schwetzingen. Feliz aniversário Baby! After dinner, Mari and the girls ice skated across the street.
Sophia did well for her first time (with the help of Marina and a penguin).
Emily continues to be a natural. Her athletic ability amazes me (it's obviously an atavistic).Snapped this shot of a decoration outside the rink. I thought it looked cool.

As is the tradition in Brazil, we had Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. In my family growing up, we always did it Christmas Day. In Brazil, dinner is usually served at midnight! That's where I drew the line: We were stuffing ourselves with ham and duck by 19:30.
One of my favorite innovations this year was the Hefe keg from Zum Ritter in Schwetzingen. If you read this blog much, you know how much I love this German beer. Zum Ritter's is the best I've ever had.
Opting for a full duck (as well as breast slices) turned out to be a mistake. Next time we'll skip this boney hassle.
Here are the grandparents with their favorite (and only!) grandchildren.
I love this picture of Mari and Sophia!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dressed to kill...

The grandparents from Brazil brought tons of gifts for the kids. As always, they liked the costumes the most. I'll shut up and let the pictures do the talking.