Canals, castles and barbecue.

It’s been a busy 9 days of touring. On the off chance you’re interested, here’s quick summary:

[Note: Photo’s coming, but our Paris Interweb connection is merde.]

DSCN3595_1152x864Sunday, July 5, Amsterdam – The requisite boat tour of Amsterdam’s canal followed by a quick trip across the harbor from Centraal Station to try and find a monthly mega-flea market. In about a five minute period, the weather went from steamy hot to a cold blowing rain. For whatever reason, the kids seem to get into hitting the grocery markets followed by a little Grandma/Grampa prepared home dinner. Chicken, rice and broccoli made the cut tonight.

Monday, July 6, Amsterdam – On Sunday we’d stopped by the Anne Frank Museum to check out the ticket queue. Deeming the wait too long, decision was made to return early the following morning. That seemed like a good and one that had obviously been embraced by about a zillion other visitors—queue was about 2x of that on Sunday. Two hours later we made it to the entrance of this AMS-must-do. Laurel and I have both been here “back in the day” when the museum was just the original house and entry was had by going to the front door and walking in. It is, though, still a very moving peek at just how horrific man’s inhumanity to man can be. The kids shopped—a seemingly favorite pastime—G&G had a nice lunch in an AMS park.

DSCN1466_cp1Tuesday, July 7, Amsterdam to Boppard, Germany — The plan was to try and hit a castle on the Rhine prior getting to Boppard, but tardy trains blew that opportunity. Boppard in on the west bank of the Rhine, but we drove south from Koblenz on the east thus allowing me to hear my fav self-recorded GPS direction; “In 200 meters, board ferry.” Great way to arrive in this idyllic little Rhineland village.

DSCN3608Wednesday, July 8, Boppard to Rüdesheim am Rhine – A little backtrack to the Mosel River and a visit to Eltz Castle, still owned by a branch of the same family that called it home in the 12th century. One more ferry ride across the Rhine brought us to our less than charming inn at Rüdesheim.

Thursday, July 9, Rüdesheim am Rhine to Kandel – The cable car ride over the verdant vineyards of Rüdesheim was gorgeous. Skipped that castle and headed for Kandel and the home of the Peter Meier family. Peter was an exchange student who lived with Delaney and Brett’s father’s family “back in the day.” Peter along with wife Martina and their two children, Hana and David hosted an incredible backyard BBQ for us. Many, many mahalos.

Friday, July 10 to Sunday, July 12 — Delaney and Brett took in a few days of fun in Kandel—spending a day at school with Hana, rock climbing, swimming, etc. Laurel and I headed east through Heidelberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Ulm, and Karlsruhe, Germany.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber was quite amazing; heavy duty tourist destination and for whatever reason, a big attraction for Japanese visitors. Eyes closed, listening to the chatter, it could have passed for Kalakaua Avenue.

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