Tag Archives: photography

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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Our little friend Christofer had his first birthday party, and friends of his and ours hosted the party at their Bavarian home in Vogelherd. The property is both stunning and inspirational. We all had a wonderful time, especially our little girls. They liked playing in the sandpit and running through the field. Rosebud got quite soaked but didn’t seem to mind, and I am incredibly grateful to my friend Veronika who lent us plenty of extra clothing! Next time, I will be prepared. I packed extra shirts and jackets, but for some reason, forgot extra pants and socks.

After tea time for Christofer’s birthday, we later had a cook-out and simply enjoyed being with everyone. I’ve mentioned before that one of my pregnancy cravings has been sauerkraut; I was quite lucky that the lady of the house made a fabulous homemade sauerkraut. I ate lots, and then she was pleased to send some of the leftovers home with me. Yum, yum! I am hoping she’ll share her recipe with me.

Photos from our evening at Vogelherd:

View from Vogelherd; the Benediktenwand mountains are to the left, and the Herzogstand is in the center.

Here’s the birthday boy!

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.

Eating ice cream can be a dangerous activity

It was a gorgeous hot summer day today. Since the weather is highly unpredictable here in Bavaria, especially as close to the mountains as we are, I decided that today was a day for swimming. Rosebud and I caught the bus that goes from our neighborhood to the town of Benediktbeuern, because there’s a nice public outdoor swimming pool there.

Originally my plan was to take pictures of Rosebud at the pool; not only because of the cute baby factor, but because the backdrop is equally stunning. From the pool grounds, you can clearly see the mountains (possibly even the Zugspitze in Garmisch, the highest peak in Germany; it’s about a half hour to the southwest of Benediktbeuern). But as my friend Jane often says, “plans are made to be changed.”

Rosebud and I arrived in Benediktbeuern, outfitted with our typical baby gear and also our swimming gear. On the way to meet up with our friends who were going swimming with us, Rosebud and I stopped for ice cream.

Ice cream. It’s always good, on a hot summer day or even a bitterly cold winter day (trust me on this one – when I lived in Wisconsin, there was something thrilling about eating ice cream when the temperature outside dropped below zero). Here in Germany, many ice cream cafés offer Italian-style gelato. It’s creamy and flavorful, and I don’t think as sweet as most American-style ice creams. Some of my favorite flavors are Bacio (hazelnut), Straciatella (chocolate chip), Quark (like yogurt) and Amarena (cherry with a vanilla base).

At one of the main corners in Benediktbeuern, there is such an Italian ice cream café. I parked Rosebud in the shade, by a bench lined with a hedge. I stepped up to the window, and ordered a dish of yogurt ice cream for Rosebud (creamy and tangy, not too sweet) and a waffle cone of perfection for myself: one scoop of grapefruit and one scoop of fresh cherry. Those who know me well know that I am extremely fond of citrus, especially grapefruit. It was sublime. The cherry was delicious too, a sweeter compliment to the tart grapefruit ice cream.

cherry and grapefruit ice cream cone, and a dish of yogurt ice cream for Rosebud

cherry and grapefruit ice cream cone, and a dish of yogurt ice cream for Rosebud

Anyway, I sat down with Rosebud. She’s at that age where she wants to assert her independence; at the moment, this means controlling the spoon. Since she was in her stroller and since we were going swimming, I figured why not let her try to eat her ice cream all by herself? She had a marvelous time, pointing the spoon the wrong way round, glopping bits of ice cream on the ground (miraculously not getting her own clothes dirty) and more often than not, actually getting some ice cream in her mouth. It was too cute.

Mom, I can feed myself!

Mom, I can feed myself!

Want some?

Want some?

Then, she decided that the hedge needed some of her ice cream. She scooped some ice cream from her dish, and started to give it to the hedge. She did it again. And, at this point, I started laughing hysterically. She started laughing because I was laughing. I reached for my camera to get a picture of this moment.

And then.

Disaster struck!

Due to my frivolity, I dropped my camera which struck the brick pavement. When I heard the thud, I thought to myself, “Oh, that can’t be good.” I managed to snap one last picture, but there’s a shadow from the lens cover. And alas, the lens no longer retracts properly. This camera, a Nikon Coolpix, has been my trusty sidekick for awhile. I hope that we can find another camera that we like as well as we did this one.

The last picture

The last picture

We do have a wonderful video camera, which has the ability to take still images. I’ll be using that in the meantime, but in terms of taking photographs, it’s just not the same!