Tag Archives: family photos

The newest photographer in the family

For Christmas, Rosebud got a new digital camera. It’s specifically for little kids because they can drop it and it won’t break. The camera also has a swiveling view finder so that they can take self portraits. I love the pictures she’s been taking so far. Take a look at a few of her shots:

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A lovely Easter weekend

This spring, we’ve had exceptionally nice weather. It’s been unusually warm for Bavaria in April, but I am not complaining. We had a four-day weekend for Easter and we profited from the gorgeous weather. One thing I’ve learned about living here is that if the weather is nice, you should jump at the chance to go outside because you can’t always know how long the weather will stay nice.

Saturday, the 23rd, was the nicest day of the entire weekend. For Bavarian standards, it felt like summer had arrived, as we had temperatures in the seventies and clear skies. We visited our friends Honi and Lilly in the town of Murnau am Staffelsee.

Along the path to Ähndl

The train from Oberammergau to Munich, via Murnau and Tutzing

Murnau is a picturesque town, which exemplifies upper Bavaria in my opinion.

View south from Murnau

We took a walk from Murnau to Ähndl Gastsätte and back:

A Gaststätte, by the way, is usually a restaurant that can have a Biergarten (or the Gastsätte might simply be a Biergarten) or it might be like a pub. I believe there are regulations in place for what constitutes a Gaststätte, but I’ll have to ask someone about that. After having had our luncheon at the Ähndl Gastsätte, I can highly recommend this locale for anyone who visits upper Bavaria. We found the prices to be very reasonable and the menu offered many typical dishes, expertly prepared. Not only that, the Gaststätte had a playground. As you can imagine, this made it ideal for us. Rosebud was too excited by the slide, swings and sand pit to eat anything.

Rosebud at the playground

It was a really lovely walk, and so nice to sit down in the middle of our walk and have a leisurely lunch while the girls played. And, of course, it was especially nice for Rosebud and Lilly to spend some time together.

The Alps and the Murnau moor

Lilly and Rosebud, visiting a tree

We went to an Easter breakfast and church on Sunday morning, which gave me the chance to dress Rosebud up in her Dirndl. She really loves getting dressed up in her Dirndl. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I’ll have to remember to take some photos of her in her Dirndl the next time she wears it.

On Sunday afternoon, I planned to do our Easter egg hunt with Rosebud, but instead we had the first thunderstorm of the season complete with pea-sized hail. We needed the rain, and the air smelled and felt so wonderful during the short-lived storm. Rosebud got to have her Easter egg hunt on Easter Monday, instead. Following her egg hunt, we went for a walk in the forest behind our house. It was cooler than Saturday, but still gorgeous weather and perfect for spending the day together as a family.

We hope everyone had an excellent weekend with their families, whether you were celebrating Easter, Passover or simply the springtime.

Rosebud's Easter egg hunt

Rosebud spots an egg

Mom, I have a blue egg!

Lilacs are blooming, at the end of April!

Daddy and Rosebud throw sticks into the stream

Superdude is happy to be out for a stroll

Springtime walk near our house

Another picture of the stream by our house

Rosebud in the woods

Parma, Italy

On one of our vacation days, we decided to drive to Parma, a smaller but important city in northern Italy.

Parma, Italy

A church in Parma

Door to a church in Parma

What’s the first thing you think about when you hear Parma? Did you say…parmesan cheese? Why yes, indeed! The cheese Parmigiano Reggiano is maybe the most well-known speciality from this town and its surrounding areas. Parma is also known for Prosciutto, which in German is referred to as Parma Schinken, or Parma ham. I didn’t buy any Parma ham while we were in Italy, but I did buy Parmigiano Reggiano, as well as a few other cheeses. We can certainly buy authentic Parmigiano Reggiano here in Germany, but the kilo block I bought in Italy was definitely the best parmesan cheese I have ever eaten in my life. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more.

Parma is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Oriago. I really enjoyed visiting Parma for the afternoon. It’s got such a different feel from Venice. For one thing, it’s a famous university town and we did notice many college students getting around on their bicycles.

And being such an important gastronomical capital of Italy, we made sure to take time for a leisurely lunch. We found an unassuming but fabulous trattoria off the high street. Rosebud thoroughly enjoyed her pizza Margherita, while I had a lovely roasted veal and potatoes entrée, plus a mixed salad and then lemon tart for dessert. Rosebud helped me eat the lemon tart, of course! I think that David had the best meal of all, an amazing ossobuco with Parmesan risotto.

We went to Parma partially on a whim in that it had been recommended to me by a friend, but we didn’t do much research before arriving there. As we walked down the high street, we kept following the signs for the tourist office but never found the tourist office. That didn’t really matter, however, because there are so many beautiful buildings and churches that we enjoyed simply sight-seeing.

This tower is the Baptistery of Parma, fashioned out of a beautiful pink marble.

Baptistery Tower of Parma

Carved Door to the Baptistery Tower

It’s next to the Parma Cathedral.

Duomo in Parma

Another view of the Duomo

This photo is especially for Professor Hildegard, a friend of ours who just received her PhD in Medieval Studies. I’ve long enjoyed looking at her photographs and close-up details of medieval architecture and was inspired by her to take this photo.

Detail - Baptistery Tower in Parma, next to the Duomo

I think that I’d like to go back to Parma. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there, and there is so much more to see and do. I didn’t realize, for example, that Giuseppe Verdi was from the region, born not far from Parma. One of my fondest college memories was performing Verdi’s Requiem at Lawrence University and it would have been great to see his birth house.

Another great of the music world born in Parma was the conductor Arturo Toscanini. Had I realized there was a museum where Toscanini was born, I would have liked to visit it.

I was amused by this street name:

Ciao, bella! Via Cardinal Ferrari, Parma, Italy


I just couldn’t help but imagine a cardinal zooming around Parma in his Ferrari, yelling “ciao!”

This is the Governor’s Palace:

The Governor's Palace, Parma, Italy

And finally, I love this picture of David and Rosebud, along the Parma River:

Daddy and Rosebud along the Parma River

Venezia, Part 2

The Bowman Family in Venice

For our first week in Venice, we purchased HelloVenezia travel cards and made excellent use of them, visiting many of the museums included in the cards, as well as traveling on the vaporetti water buses. As I wrote in my first post on Venice, we especially loved visiting the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and the Piazza San Marco:

Piazza San Marco - Basilica and Duke's Palace

and the Correr Museum. Although I posted our complete photo albums previously, here is a selection of photos from Venice that I thought I’d share here:

A view of the Venetian Laguna from the public gardens

Rialto Bridge, along the Grand Canal, Venice

Daddy and Rosebud on one of the many little bridges

A different view of the Rialto Bridge

Piazza San Marco

Daddy and Rosebud

Gondolas in Venice

Santa Maria del Salute

A Venetian villa along the Grand Canal

For our second week in Italy, we did return to Venice a few times, but took a slightly more leisurely pace.

Rosebud rearranging sugar packets in a Venetian café

One of my favorite mornings was spent near the Mercato, or open air market. Although the market was close to the Grand Canal, it seemed to attract more of the local population. The fish displays were especially impressive, and it was fun seeing what types of produce were being offered.

Delicious fresh fish

Fresh fruits and vegetables at the Mercato

A fish display at the Venetian Market

Mercato in Venice

One of my friends commented on my previous entry on Venice that he was surprised to come across a Disney Store in Venice, and he mused, “Who goes shopping at the Disney Store in Venice?” Who indeed? As I unintentionally discovered, one of the answers to that question is parents of toddlers who need some diversion! As I commented to my friend,

I can shed some light on the Disney store. Yes, I have got a story!

Because, you see, during one lunchtime, Miss Rosebud got particularly fussy and simply wanted to walk around (plus, she ate little of the cheese pizza I ordered her and instead stole my lasagna!). Rosebud was, overall, great in all the restaurants on our vacation, but by this point she was just tired of having to be on her best manners, I think, and ready to walk around some.

She started to throw a toddler tantrum, as they do, and it just so happened that we were close to the Disney store. I walked her there, and that did the trick. When we walked in, she was delighted to see the rack of Minnie Mouse dolls (her favorite Disney character). She wanted to touch each one, she instantly calmed down and was happy.

So, there you go! Parents of toddlers throwing a tantrum go to the Disney store in Venice.

As you can see from the images, Venice is a gorgeous place to visit, with a beautiful sight almost every direction you look. It’s also historically such an interesting city, because of how it developed and its commercial importance as a seaport. I’m grateful that my husband picked this destination for us and did all the fantastic planning. It’s a vacation that we won’t ever forget.

Photos (slideshow) of Venice

Part 1 of our photos from Venice (this link takes you to a slideshow on Kodak Gallery)

Part 2 of our photos from Venice (also a slideshow on Kodak Gallery)

Later this week I will write a little more about our wonderful vacation to Venice. Enjoy the pictures!