Friday, April 19, 2013

German or Luxembourgish: You Make The Call

Okay, German and Luxembourgish speakers.  Which one is this?

James is learning Luxembourgish only, and he said he understood a lot of it.  But that just could be because the two languages are very similar.

Perhaps some native speakers could tell us.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Some Spring Visitors

Hi there!  

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging as much lately.  The primary reason is that I'm trying to spend less time at the computer.  Also, I'm attempting to ease off that mode of thinking you fall into when you blog a lot, in which every part of life becomes a potential blog post in your brain.  That frame of mind gets kinda annoying after awhile.  So, I plan to keep it up, but perhaps a bit less frequently.  We'll see.

The week before Easter, Pete's parents made their second visit to Luxembourg.  They were here from Saturday to Saturday.  

This is not nearly long enough.  But we'll take it.

It was snowing when they landed, and remained very cold (20s-30s Fahrenheit) the whole week.  The kids and I were beginning two weeks off our respective schools.  We eased into our week together by hanging out around town.   We all went to church on Sunday, and the first Monday of spring break, what did the kids want to do?  Go play at their school playground!
balancing together.  took a few tries to get this shot.  it's harder than it looks!
It wasn't long before the bitter cold and wind got the best of us, so we took refuge in the cafe at Merl Park near our apartment.

Unfortunately, above is the last known picture of Daphne before she became very ill.  So we canceled our planned outings and spent the better part of the week reading and resting in our living room with our sick little girl.

Grammy, James and I ventured out to IKEA to get out of the house!  We were happy to see the meatballs had returned after the great horse meat scandal.
Pete took Thursday and Friday off work.  We had booked a rental van for the second half of the week and planned to make an overnight visit to Maastricht (about 2 hours drive) in the Netherlands, but this plan came into question in light of Daphne's condition.  After much debate and indecision, we decided to first take Daphne to the children's clinic, as by midweek we suspected she might need some antibiotics.  

We promptly crashed our rental van into our building's garage door motor while trying to exit our tiny parking space, obliterating the van window and the door motor in one fell swoop.  

Oops.  (I won't say who did it!)

So we called a taxi to take us to the clinic, and took the rental van back.  Amazingly, they gave us another car.

(Just found out the bill for the door motor is 1500€.  Joy.)

And yep, Daphne had strep throat.  So with antibiotics and fever-reducers in hand, we made the decision to go through with the trip and take it easy while we were there.  In retrospect this might have been a risky and unwise choice.  Looking back now, I feel like a pretty bad parent for dragging her along, but I guess it worked out okay in the end.  We took a scenic route and stopped briefly to show Don and Connie Vianden Castle.

Luxville(A) - Vianden(B) - Maastricht(C)
Connie found a great little bed and breakfast in a village outside Maastricht for our stay, called Le Passe Partout. We'd highly recommend it for families, since a couple of the rooms had enough beds for 4 or 5 people, as long as your kids are old enough to manage loft/ladder-type stairs.  They even had toys to play with and a backyard trampoline and play area.

common kitchen
common dining/living room
Another selling point: the kitchen is self-serve anytime during your stay.  You can order the breakfast if you like, but you can make your own for less!  That's what we did.

Check out more photos of the rooms at their website.

We ventured out into Maastricht on Friday, but Daphne didn't last long before she was on Daddy's shoulders.

Connie in the square
close up of that red church tower
Because of the cold, and poor Daphne, we didn't see much, but it was okay.  One striking aspect to observe was how bike-friendly the city and villages were;  cyclers were out and about everywhere, even in the freezing cold, and bike lanes were clearly-marked and ubiquitous, even out on windy country roads.  

We did visit this famous-ish bookstore, converted from a church.

See this website for much better photos than mine.
We never knew Miffy (the bunny) is Dutch!  That explains why the books always seemed slightly "off," like they'd been translated.
It wasn't long before we took refuge in McDonalds.  It was a very nice McDonalds, though.
Pretty much sums it up.  (feeling like a bad parent again)
But by Saturday, we were back in Lux and Daphs was really on the mend, so we made it out to the Chocolate House by the Duke's palace. It's become our tradition with any visitors to Lux, and Don and Connie requested to go back on this visit too.

she's walking on her own again!
 hot choco-spoons! 
aw. much better now
(looking across the way at the palace and Lux flag)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

5 Years of Blogging!

I realized today that we've had this blog for just over 5 years.  My first post was March 27th, 2008.  Daphne was 2 and a quarterish years old, James was just 5 months!  (Now he's 5 years!).  In that post, I said I'd try to post at least once a month.  I just checked, and we've only missed 5 months since March of 2008.  318 posts in all, which is an average of about 5 posts per month.

So lots of 5s involved, I guess.

Anyway, it's a milestone.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We're Calling it Castle Park

Picnic lunch.  So what if it's 35 F and windy?
Luxembourg knows how to do parks.  They just upgraded this neighborhood playground that's walking distance from our place, so we stopped by on our way to the grocery store.  Just don't tell too many people about it.  It's going to be swarming with kids once we break 45 degrees someday.

must be Luxembourgish for prison?

more Luxembourgish? 
see-saw was the favorite 
proud to be a Luxembourgish castle.