Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Various News, Personal Happenings And Otherwise

Neither my wife nor I have much family in the area, so for a few hours of Memorial Day, we went to a wine tasting at the Tarara Winery. Our company's summer picnic was held there last year, and it was a fun time, so she wanted to see it for herself. I'm not really a great judge of wine. In fact, I'm undoubtedly a pretty poor judge of wine, since I tend to simply like the sweeter types, but I am getting better at it, slowly. Chris is a very good judge of wine already. We brought a picnic lunch, and after we ate that we did a tasting. I thought it was mostly pretty decent, especially the dessert wines of course. Chris was less impressed, but still found a few that she liked. They were out of the "Vidal Blanc", the dessert wine I liked best and bought a bottle of from last year. We got something similar though that is good with chocolate. They actually give you a Hershey's Kiss when they pour that wine for tasting, so you can see how the wine complements it. Nice touch. Anyway, we bought four bottles of wine, including the "Wild River Red" dessert wine that I mentioned. They also had some jellies made of various wines too, which were definitely interesting to say the least, but not interesting enough to buy.

This Saturday, my sister (and only sibling), is getting married, near where she lives in Jensen Beach, Florida. I'll be flying down to West Palm Beach from Washington-Dulles Airport on Friday morning. I'm sure a good time will be had by all. Interestingly, she is 27, the same age I was when I got married. It will be nice to see everyone. I haven't seen my parents since Christmas, and I haven't seen my sister since Christmas 2002, about two and a half years! I was told by a co-worker that I should never let that happen again. She's right, and it won't. She's marrying a guy named Kristoffer, who goes by "Kris". He seems like a very good guy, though I will be meeting him in person for the first time this weekend. This means my parents will likely be permanently having to distinguish between my Chris and Katie's Kris when talking about our spouses. Lucky them.

The weekend after this one, my parents will be coming up to our house for a long weekend. We'll be seeing a baseball game on Friday night between the Washington Nationals and the Seattle Mariners. That should be fun! It will be only the second major league baseball game my wife and I have ever seen, and the first for my parents! I have always felt that my parents sacrificed a lot in order to raise my sister and I, so it's the least I can do to introduce them to some new experiences. They will leave from our house to Ithaca, New York, where my grampa Grow will be having his 90th birthday party at his house. It's definitely a big event, even though in my family people routinely live into their 80's. (I merely lived through the 80's so far.) My grampa has an older sister that is 95 now I believe, and still volunteers at a retirement home.

I finalized my European travel plans last week. Here they are:
August 27 - Overnight flight from Washington-Dulles to Munich, with a brief transfer at London-Heathrow.
August 28 - Arrive in Munich, Germany just after noon, sightseeing and sleeping
August 29 - All day in Munich
August 30 - Train from Munich to Salzburg, Austria, sightseeing in Salzburg
August 31 - Train from Salzburg to Vienna, sightseeing in Vienna
September 1 - All day in Vienna
September 2 - Train from Vienna to Hechingen, Germany (south of Stuttgart), to my cousin Jordan, his wife, and stepdaughter's house
September 3 - All day in Hechingen
September 4 - Train from Hechingen to Munich for the direct flight home taking off mid-afternoon and arriving back home the same day

Sound like a plan? This random person has some nice pics of what I will see in Hechingen.

Castle Hohenzollern

Hechingen Market Square


Devo said...

In my experience, Munich is this strange nexus of Twilight Zone proportions. I had been on a whirlwind European tour after studying in Ireland, when I arrived at about 5 AM in Munich. After a day of walking around the town, I headed to the Hofbrauhaus for one of their world-famous beers. This was at about 5 or 6 PM. By the time I'd left at 3 AM, I'd met up with two strangers from my hometown, three people I'd studied with in Ireland and a guy I went to high school with, and hadn't seen SINCE then (three years earlier, and in rural Pennsylvania). The Force is strong in Munich. Have a grand time. I enjoyed Vienna, too. Got to see a pretty rare travelling Dali exhibit there.

Take some pics, and give us a review post when ya get back!

Erik Grow said...

Sounds like a great time! Twilight zone, huh? Pictures? Absolutely! I took a TON of pics (about 150 plus a few short video clips, all on my digital camera), from my Switzerland and surrounding environs trip in September. There will be plenty of documentation!

AndiM said...

You'll have lots of fun, won't you ;)? It's a great city, althoug the people are sometimes a bit unfriendly.
Must Dos in Munich:
- Englischer Garten (big park with a lake and a great place to relax with a great restaurant and "Biergarten".
- Deutsches Museum (specialised on technology and such things. But you'll need at least half a day there ... depends on your other plans).
- One of the other great restaurants ... although they're really costing alot of money. But it's worth. Especially the "Ratsherrnkeller" at Marienplatz ... It's in the basement of the city hall.
Maybe I'll write something later on about Salzburg and Vienna.