Friday, May 29, 2009

A warm reception for the Völkerings…

After the Wolverine wedding, we went back home and rested up for the reception a few hours later. We left the kids at home not realizing that the place they chose, Wimmers Landwirtshaft, was extremely kid friendly.IMG_5224 (2)It’s a really interesting restaurant with an enormous buffet and tables situated in tents. The weather was perfect to celebrate Wolverine’s nuptials.

IMG_5245 (2)IMG_5222 (2)We all had our share of wine, beer and multilingual communication (Portuguese, English and German).IMG_5213 (2)IMG_5383 (2)Gabriel minded his manners almost perfectly (and looked really cute doing it). IMG_5220 (2)  We stayed there until fairly late, enjoying the incredible buffet and good company. A most auspicious start for the Völkering family!IMG_5358 (2)We plan to go back with the kids and have lunch or dinner there (before it starts getting really hot). I’ve literally never seen a bigger buffet and the food was great. There’s also a huge play area for the kids.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Birthday Party Part Swei...
(I’m getting caught up on some posts I started but never published.)
As is the custom, we had a little get together at the house for the adult crowd to celebrate Sophia's birthday. It was pretty mellow. B made hotdogs Brazilian style served with Caiperinhas and cold Hefes. The day started out with Sophia opening her present. She got the Nintendo DS she's been asking for (or as she calls it "Intendo").
Robert and Emily got the normal consolation prize she always spoils the non-birthday kids with (this year it was watches).Emily still has a spokes model reflex that amuses and concerns me.sophia slide_4717B managed to make another good cake and, as tradition dictates, plenty of brigadeiro.
This year we set a record for singing Happy Birthday, singing it in five languages: English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian. A few of the guests were from B’s German course, so we had a few continents covered.sophia party_4732

Monday, May 25, 2009

 Speyer hydrant…

On Sunday we spent a glorious day in Speyer.IMG_5550 (683x1024)On the way back to the car, the kids found a fountain to play in. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking… emily fountain_5678 (683x1024)sophia fountain_5669 (683x1024)IMG_5685 (683x1024)sophia glasses bw 2 close_5697 (1024x683) That morning I took them to the forest (Wald) in Walldorf. I think they really enjoyed it so maybe next weekend we’ll do a picnic thereall three vald_5723 (682x1024)IMG_5730 Today B bought them a blowup water whale. Ain’t exactly the pool at the Copacabana Palace, but beats sweating in the backyard.IMG_5770 (1024x683)

Tying the Knoten...
Thomas (Wolverine) went off and got himself hitched. The civil ceremony was held last Friday within the hallowed walls of the Astor Haus right here in (sunny) Walldorf. The ceremony was dignified without being stuffy. Between the ceremony and the reception, yours truly shot about 1,000 pictures (of which 5% or so were really good).
Although it was Thomas's and Valeria's day, I must say the kids almost stole the show: All four of them behaved pretty well.
The Astor House is named after one of Walldorf”s most famous sons, John Jacob Astor, considered the first American multi-millionaire. Great place to hold a ceremony as far as I’m concerned.astor haus_4756IMG_4760 More on the reception on the way...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Totally gratuitous...

Took these pictures of the Sophster in front of the ranch just before the party. Maybe it's just because she's my little tulip, but ain't she the cutest thing ever?
Cinco en Mayo...

Although her birthday is tomorrow, we had the kiddy celebration of Sophia's fifth birthday yesterday at Happy Kids in Eppelheim. B wasn't taking any chances on a party at home with the crazy weather we've been having. Last thing either of us wanted was a house full of kids with cabin fever hopped up on icing. The day turned out to be beautiful, which had the unexpected bonus of leaving the place almost completely empty. It felt like we had rented out the whole joint.
This year B somehow averted the usual cake disaster: it was beautiful and quite tasty too! Emily enjoyed herself thoroughly (she’s laughing on the inside). Finally, I think all my talk about grilled chicken hearts has created a scarcity of this precious commodity in the Heidelberg area. Enter the turkey heart. They're about 5 times the size of chicken hearts and every bit as good. I'll spare you the photos as they seem to shock even hardcore chicken heart lovers. I can sense profound your disappointment...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Teeth are falling…

like rain at the Prickril compound; two in the last 2 days. It seems Sophia’s body is in a rush to grow up. B pulled the first one on Friday with thread at the request of Sophia, as it had become ridiculously loose and was bothering her. Once the tooth fairy remunerated her that night, I knew it wouldn’t take long for her to want the other one pulled. I was surprised however when she asked me to use the doorknob method. Unfortunately (for her), it was so loose it came out when I was trying to tie the string to it. Just when you think they can’t get any cuter, they do!



I think Sophia will somehow be even cuter when the top ones come out.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Zoo perfection...
Today we decided to go to the Heidelberg zoo. As I've said before in this blog, it's a whole different (and better) experience if you get there early. It opens at 9:00. We parked directly in front of the entrance at 9:45. I've always been impressed with the zoo's design: it gets you really close to the animals. Today was no exception. We went into the enclosed space that houses a lot of birds and were also treated to closeups of monkeys and even a sloth (who appeared to have been given on overdose of Redbull).


The kids were in top form for most of the trip. I attribute their good mood to the almost perfect weather (sunny and in the 70s).


The highlight was the seal show/feeding. Today it started at 11:00 and kept the kids spellbound.

Robert is beginning to show the same compulsive need to take pictures or video 24x7. Although I recognize it as a clear sign of genious, B’s not sure he can handle 2 shutter bugs under one roof.

robert filming_3630 (1024x683)