So, the day after I arrived (Tuesday) we all piled into a very nice mini van and Bethany drove us down to Bavaria. We had booked an apartment to rent at a guesthouse for very cheap. The trip took all day since we took our time getting out of Neuss…we went to the bakery to get breakfast, spent a while packing up, and stopped 3 times on the drive down. Anyway, the place was great! 2 bedrooms…one with a full size bed and one with two singles, plus a big fold out couch in the living room where Zoe and I slept. The best part was the big balcony with views of the mountains. On Wednesday we drove around the area taking in some amazing sights: the Weiskirche, Schloss Linderhof, the town of Oberammergau, the Ettal cloister, and then we had a great German dinner in Garmisch. The weather was amazing; beautiful sunny skies with not a cloud temps in the high 60’s. The scenery is simply gorgeous. The trees are barely budding, and there is still snow in the shadow. On Thursday we returned to Garmisch with our winter coats for a trip up the Zugspitze! Germany’s highest mountain. We took a cog train up, though Dad, Zoe and I got off half way to take a very steep and scenic cable car straight to the top. The rest of the fam met us on the peak a bit later. The views were magnificent, and it was cold but not too bad. There were lots of people skiing as it was just a beautiful sunny day. We took lots of pictures and then took a small cable car down to the ski chalet where we got a wonderful hot lunch. Zoe loved the cable car and it is now a new favorite vocabulary word. She is also loving hanging out with her aunt Bethany and uncle Tyler and getting lots of attention from Nan and Grandpa Joe. After lunch we played in the snow a bit and returned to the warm valley on the train. We then stopped into a local military base for some groceries….SOOOOOO much cheaper than the local german food….and then went to a schwimbad! It seems to me the more I travel the more I realize America is just missing the mark when it comes to swimming pools and parks. This place was cheap, but amazing. It had 3 pools, a wave pool, some slides, and a great kiddy pool; all indoors! Anyway, we spent a few hours and realized we had been there 18 years previous on a trip when I was a kid. It was great and tiring. So, Friday we just chilled out. Most stores were closed since it’s Good Friday, so we went for a volksmarch of our own. There are so many nice walking paths around these German towns, and the weather was impeccable. Many people were out walking or mountain biking or riding horses. We took a route recommended to us by our guesthouse miester; up to the Jagerhouse he said. So we though this was a scenic walk to a historic sight. WRONG. It was a beautiful scenic walk to a beirgarten!!! We imbibed with the local German crowd, got lunch, and then returned via a different amazing trail. It was so nice. In the evening mom and I and Zoe went out for another walk up along a trail on the ridge behind our place for a beautiful sunset and a great rope swing. Later she watched Zoe while Dad, Tyler, Bethany, and I hit up the biergarten across the creek for a bit of a nightcap. It was great!! Now off to memory lane….