Christmas 2014

Having mom and dad Schmidt visit us for Christmas was heaven on earth. This was our first time NOT traveling to Utah to be with family for the holidays. We were so excited when Mom and Dad Schmidt decided to fly to us.

Being our first Christmas at our own home, we were a little caught off guard with what our own family traditions are. It was fun and good for us to put thought into it.

Justin was able to take leave and we traveled before and after celebrating Christmas.

We picked up mom and dad at the Frankfurt International Airport and took them to the Frankfurt temple and the Frankfurt Christmas market. We stayed the night in Frankfurt.

Sam thoroughly enjoyed the rides! He was young enough he could have ridden the same ride over and over and over again. We were constantly telling him this was his last ride, doing our best to avoid a melt down. He did fairly well considering.

Loved the trains



 There was a nativity scene, delicious mushrooms, the usual brauts on bread, crepes, and other fest foods. It was our first Christmas market.

 Public transportation to Old Town

The next day we took them home, but not for long. We headed to Paris via the ICE train!
 Yes we toured Paris on a bike, it has become our favorite way to get around the big cities of Europe.

 Sam enjoys it just as much as we do. It was quite cold, so we were all ready to warm up at the lunch break.

 The Eiffel Tower has quite a story, impressive as it is, the Parisians wanted it torn down in the beginning.
We took a boat tour at night - the Eiffel Tower is even more impressive at night.

 We were able to catch a free Christmas Concert in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. It was beautiful and great acoustics but we (mostly Sam) were done at intermission. But no worries, there were plenty of people ready to take our seats.

 Mom, Dad, and Justin found some tickets and made their way to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. I was glad to give Sam an opportunity to nap, not feeling like I was missing out on much.
Our tour guide was a comical Englishman who gave us a great tour. We stayed at a Best Western in central Paris. The hotel was in a great location and we thought had a great complimentary breakfast. Come to find out at check out, breakfast was 17 Euro per person. Four of us had breakfast three mornings, you can do the math. It doubled the price. A rookie mistake we had to pay big for.  That was enough Paris for us. Next, the ALPS! Oops, I mean Trier, C130J, Christmas and then the Alps!

We're only an hour from Trier, an old walled city from the time of Rome.

Porta Nigra - Black Gate

Mom found some beautiful tulips at the market in Trier. 
Germans almost always have fresh flowers at the tables. We had tulips for Christmas!
So far our favorite food in Germany is Doners, technically they are Turkish.
 Justin got to take us all out to his plane. Gave us a very informative tour.

 Colonel Turner

Merry Christmas!!

 Christmas wore Justin right out.

Now the Alps!! Justin had flown over the Alps several times. He was impressed and wanted to see them close up and wanted his family the same.

 The impressive journey to the top of Europe ended up being a white out and a treacherous drive. The weather was not cooperating. It ended up being a really expensive bus ride. :) Oh well, at least we are no longer intimidated with traveling in Switzerland. We stopped in Zurich and had lunch with Uncle Howard, Aunt Mary and cousins. So fun to be with them!

At the top we couldn't see much and Sam got altitude sickness resulting in vomit all over Justin. We did make it down safely and decided we like Switzerland and will definitely be back.


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