Well, this blog entry is a bit late in coming but we have been busy. Germany at Christmas cannot be matched. We flew into Bonn to visit the markets with Bethany and were not disappointed. On Saturday we woke early even after a late night arriving from the airport; this is an Avi trait. The local market areas of Boon opened at 10 and we were there soon after ready for snacks and shopping. The kids both surprised me with their interest in the shopping booths: we spent a long while looking at a metalwork shop, Zoe was fascinated by some coconut candles, and they both gazed long after my interest waned at those miniature town dioramas.
In the afternoon, Bethany’s choir sang at the old town gate for passersby. It was a fun pit stop; Zoe watched the whole thing while Avi got sleepy and took a power nap on my lap while I perched on a window ledge. It was a great break to people-watch. They were both a bit complainy at that point but we pushed them onward to the train station for a ride up to Dusseldorf. It was a perfect nap! Me included.
In Dusseldorf Avi was still groggy and Zoe a bit grumpy until we spent a long dinner at an Asian restaurant, warmed up, and had some not-snacks. From there, the evening was full of Christmas lights, people, carousel rides, shopping, and Gluhwein! The hot wine is not expensive, and comes in a mug that you can keep or return for a refund. So, I was picky and found a cute red one I liked, even Avi was excited to choose a snowman one. They do serve warm cider for kids. We stayed out late, visited a department store for an advent calendar, and ended up on the slow train home.
Sunday we DID sleep in! It was a bit rainy, but it didn’t stop our fun. We walked through Bonn to a large ice skating rink setup in and out of a large tent. Both Avi and Zoe did well using the little penguin balance walkers. Zoe was so confident by the end that she was skating on her own! Bethany and I enjoyed the skate-up bar for some more gluhwein.
From the skate rink we walked back downtown to enjoy a last ramble through the markets; there are whole sections we did not see on the first day. After some last purchases it was time for us to return to Bethany’s house, pack up, and take the bus to the airport. Our return flight was uneventful, but I was sleepy on the drive home. It was such a fun weekend!!