Grandpa Jess' visit

Out of the blue Grandpa Jess decided he wouldn't wait until the Rome Temple was done to come, he was going to come now! We were so excited. We were on the cruise right before and so didn't do a whole lot of planning ahead of time, but our quick planning turned out to be a pretty fun adventure anyway.

We first took him to Holland for the Tulip Festival. The tulip festival is unique to this time of year, and awesome! On the way there we stopped at one of our favorite overlooks of the Mosel River valley.

 Our first day in Amsterdam we walked through the rain in search of a tour. We found a boat tour and were in aw at how many people ride their bikes, rain and all.  We didn't come totally prepared, so Sam ended up with sweat pants on his head and Justin's jacket as a blanket.

 The boat tour was scenic, dry and warm. We really enjoyed Amsterdam.

 Grandpa kept us smiling/laughing a lot. You always know where you stand with him. He doesn't hesitate to say how he sees it. We sure love him!
 We tried to capture the amount of bikes that are EVERYWHERE! But this doesn't do it.

Can you see the endless bridges? 

Moveable bridge

People live in those house boats. Amsterdam ran out of land and space for homes, so they started building homes on the water. If we go back we better rent one of those for a night. 

 All kinds of neat architecture and buildings.

 The line was way too long to go inside, so we settled for a picture on the outside.

More bikes!
 Now for the festival! We did not go into the huge kukenhof park, for several reasons. It was super crowded, expensive, and the fields were amazing! Our friends who had just visited here, mentioned how the park was fun but the fields were awesome without the cost.

 Justin went back to work and Sam and I took Grandpa on day trips.
First one was to a US military cemetery 45 minutes away in France. We had not been to one before. It was moving. To see so many graves in one place, along with a map of what happened, and with it being so quiet and the grounds so well kept. I'm proud to be an American. Since being a part of the military myself ,I couldn't help but think about how each cross or star of David was one dad, husband, brother, uncle. The hurt and sacrifice of not only those that fought and died but also of their families. So much suffering.

Can't visit Europe without seeing a cathedral, or 2, or 3.

This will always be etched in my heart -- living far from family this just doesn't happen. :)
Justin took us out to tour the C130J.

Grandpa wanted a cruise on the Rhine. We didn't get to do that but we did see two great castles - Burg Eltz and Cochem
Burg Eltz -- the drive to it is beautiful!

Yes we did the tour on each of them.
Cochem Castle

Gorgeous views!

We were sad to see Grandpa Jess go home.


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