Monday, September 29, 2008

Another hobby!

A couple to three years ago I really got into crocheting, I know I am such an old lady in a young woman's body! But I love to make scarfs. I used to make scarves all of the time at the salon if I had a break between clients or just during the weekends when there was nothing to do. It is so relaxing and therapeutic just like making jewelry. Jon and I went out and about a couple of weeks ago and found a yarn store, I literally lost it with excitement! We grabbed some yarn so I could start crocheting again and here is what I made! My first homemade scarf of the year! Isn't Jon such a wonderful model!

Now I can keep up this hobby and have some fun accessories to wear for the winter! I am such a busy body I love having all sorts of hobbies, well maybe it's because I might be a little A.D.D. or something! I like to have little things to do around the house to keep me occupied! I get bored very easily. Anyway just wanted to share a picture of my new scarf with you guys!

P.S. I do owe my best friend Lisha a scarf that I promised her like two years ago! I'm sorry I will finish your scarf this year and when you visit in December I will have it for you!! I LOVE YOU! OH NO! And I just remembered Brian my bestest buddy I totally forgot I have a scarf for him too that I was supposed to finish for him last year! SO SORRY! I will have it for you when you come visit too lol! Sorry, I'm a sucky finisher of scarves! Maybe I have too many hobbies and need to stick to one thing at a time so I can actually finish something in a timely fashion!

Have a great week ;)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Festive Weekend

This weekend there were several festivals in Wiesbaden. It was the City Festival and also the Autumn Festival.

Friday Night

Jon, myself and several people from Jon's office went downtown to the market square to listen to the music festival. As you can see by the pictures, market square was packed. Not only with adults but lots of children, which we thought was pretty cool.

The band sang "We Are The Champions," by Queen, and this young boy climbed into a tree and was waving his arms back and forth while singing along. It was so cute.

After the music fest, we stopped by a bar to hang out.
Here is David, Tara, Myself, Jon, Shannon and Don

There were USA License plates on the ceiling.

Oklahoma Plates on the left

And again I found Oklahoma plates.


Jon and I drove to Mainz, about thirty minutes away from Wiesbaden. We wanted to get a feel for the surrounding cities and really just get a feel for driving in Germany. We actually got lost for about twenty minutes in a residential area. That was exciting! lol But we stopped in the town of Mainz and ate at a small cafe. It was such a nice day so we ate outside and took a couple of pictures.

On the way to Mainz, we stopped along the Rhine River and I had to take a picture of this. This is an old palace built in the early 1700's. It is called Schloss Biebrich.

A church at the end of a main street

Me stopping to swing

Jon being silly


Jon and I walked through the park where they were having the Autumn Festival. There were vendors selling seasonal fruits and vegetables like apples and pumpkins, and handmade products such as jam, sheep wool shoes, sweaters, jewelry, baskets, ceramics, etc. They were also selling bratwurst and wines. Here are some pictures from our walk.

The bales of hay had faces!

A huge pumpkin pile

I think these were ceramic pigs

Ceramic Sheep

A real baby lamb.

A live chorus singing "Oh Happy Day." It was great, everyone at the market was singing along and clapping their hands.

These children were making apple juice. The wooden object in the picture was an apple crusher. They were putting whole apples into the crusher/juicer and turned them into apple juice.

After walking through the festival, we grabbed our map of "Sights To See" in Wiesbaden and headed toward the first place on the map. The weather was perfect today so we couldn't miss out on this opportunity to enjoy it. We arrived at The Kockbrunnen (Hot Fountain.) This thermal spring was first mentioned in 1366, 15 different springs meet at this location. This spring is sodium-chloride water and is 66 degrees celcius.

Jon standing near the spring

You could see the steam in the air

Me tasting the water. It was actually very very hot and tasted really salty.

Another hot spring in the same area.

Two men riding silly bikes!

Next Jon and I walked to The Heidenmauer (Heathens' Wall.) This is Wiesbaden's oldest structure from Roman Times, dating back to AD 364-375. It was built to ward off attacks from German tribes.

A view from the other side of the structure.

A view from the top of the hill

We continued our walk downtown, to The Altes Rathaus, "The Old Town Hall." It was built in 1610 and is the oldest building in Wiesbaden.

Continuing downtown we came across a human statue. I couldn't believe how still he stood. I could never stand that still ever (Brian knows that for sure.) It was incredible so I had to take a picture of course. Jon and I gave him a tip because we were so impressed.

It was a little overwhelming downtown, due to the music festival and a car show, so we thought it would be neat to walk by our apartment we will be moving into in three days! When we got there we noticed workers inside painting and cleaning the apartment! Yeah we were so excited to see this! We will have fresh paint, the apartment will be super tidy and ready for us to move into. As we were standing on the other side of the street very obviously staring at the apartment I said to Jon "I wonder if they have our name on the door buzzer yet" so I ran across the street and was so happy to see our name on the buzzer! It's hard to see from the picture but we are the second name from the bottom! I guess that made it feel more real, that it was actually ours!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Qatar! Boots! And a relaxing weekend.

I forgot to post some of our pictures from Qatar. While Jon and I were in Doha, we shopped at a store called Zara that is really amazing! I found an awesome pair of boots that I just couldn't pass up, so we bought them. I love cowboy boots and these look kind of like cowboy boots, only they are a little shorter. I wear a lot of gray and black so I thought these would go well with these colors. They are a good neutral color so they will probably work with anything. I absolutely love wearing boots in the fall and winter time! LOVE IT! I pretty much base my wardrobe around my boots because I can't get enough of them lol. Here in Germany everyone wears boots. It was 60 degrees the other day and every woman I saw was wearing boots! It was so exciting to see this and I now know I won't have any problem fitting in over here. Other than the fact that I don't speak German..... yet!! Here are the boots!

While we were at the mall in Doha I really needed to tinkle, so I ran to the bathroom whilst Jon continued shopping. Needless to say, I decided not to use the restroom when I saw what the toilets were like. I had to take a picture so I could show everyone. Jon said I was just supposed to squat over the toilet. Yikes. I think not. There was no toilet seat; it was just a hole in the floor.

The last night we were in Qatar we went down to the beach and took a couple of pictures. Here are the last pictures of our trip. I didn't realize I had the camera on manual and the coloring was on Sepia, but the pictures actually turned out really neat.

Our trip to the Middle East was really great. I look forward to traveling there again. Jon will be going back in October and who knows, I might pop along with him.

This was a wonderfully relaxing weekend!

Friday, Jon and I got up early and went to the gym for a bit of a workout! I jogged on the treadmill for thirty minutes and Jon did weights! It was a great workout, although afterward I was completely worn out, due to the fact that I am completely out of shape. Later that day we went downtown to do some window shopping and enjoyed the weather. Right now it is cooling down in Wiesbaden, but the sun is still shining so it's not too bad. We walked by a shoe store and I saw another pair of boots I liked, so I had to get them. They are the perfect shade of brown that I can pretty much wear with any neutral color! I can't wait to wear them. (Well I'm wearing them right now around the house, but I can't wait to wear them out and about!)

After shopping we went to an antique store and saw some things that would look great in our new apartment. I can't wait to shop for neat things to put in our place. We ate dinner at Vapiano, an Italian restaurant. I had ravioli and Jon had fusili bolognese. We also had the house red wine which is actually very nice. It started getting chilly so we headed back to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, one of Jon's co-workers asked us to house sit and dog sit, while they went on a day trip. We were all about house sitting, just to get out of the hotel for the day was wonderful. We woke up at 6:00 a.m., got dressed, and walked to the market. We bought fresh eggs and continued on to Caroline's house. When we got there, we grabbed Bella and took her for a walk. Bella is a Wirehair Fox Terrier. I meant to take a picture of her, she is adorable, but I forgot. I found this picture on the internet of a Fox Terrier. But Bella is a lot cuter than this ;)

After our walk in the park with Bella we decided to hustle back to the house and start making breakfast! We made scrambled eggs with turkey and provolone cheese. MMMMMM it was so yummy. Jon loves the discovery channel and history channel. One of the shows we watched back in the states was Planet Earth, a documentary. Obviously by the title it is about the planet earth. Caroline had the entire dvd set of this documentary so of course we watched it. It was actually very interesting and amazing how they shot some of these videos. Sadly enough the full documentary was 11 hours and we watched the entire thing. Jon and I needed the R&R so we took full advantage of it. We stopped every once in a while only to take Bella for short walks and grab food and drinks. For dinner we made chicken cordon bleu and tortellini with veggies. What a treat it was to be able to cook for one whole day! It was the best Saturday I've had in a long time.

Sunday we slept in til 8:00; I know that's late! We had our morning coffee and watched My Blue Heaven (which is still one of my favorites). Afterward we headed to Jon's office, which was in desperate need of organizing. Again we decided to just take it easy so we went back to the hotel and made sandwiches while we watched Love Actually. This is such a great movie. I love the story behind it. At the beginning Hugh Grant says (in so many words) if you take a step back and look around you will see that love is actually everywhere. It also put me in the mood for Christmas even though it is several months from now. I just love the holidays and really look forward to them this year. I don't think we left the hotel for the rest of the day, wow we are lazy bums! We ordered pizza from the Italian restaurant downstairs called "Little Italy" and ate our weight in chicken, mushroom and garlic pizza, while watching Bridget Jones Diary! Yes two chick flicks in one day! My husband is awesome, he watches girly movies with me! Thanks Jonny ;) While we were watching Bridget Jones, I glanced out the window only to see this!!!!

It was so awesome, our first rainbow in Germany. This rainbow actually came before the rain. It was kind of weird, because normally in Oklahoma a rainbow comes after the rain. But it was nice to see this beautiful creation from God. I was having kind of a bad day, and when I saw this it made my day better. It was like God was telling me, Steph you're going to be ok!!

We have 8 more days until we move into our place, and I can't be more excited! I've already started packing some of our things into suit cases so we won't be packing at the last minute. Our vehicle arrived this weekend so we will be picking it up some time this week. That will help a lot just having a form of transportation other than bicycles. I'm so excited! As Jon always says, "Things are lookin' up Jon and Steph!"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Qatar, Day Two

Last night a couple of people from Jon's office, along with Jon and I, went to the Souk. It is a traditional old style market. There were so many vendors it would have taken several hours to stop by each one. When we first arrived the vendors were closed. During Ramadan they don't open until 8:00 p.m. So we had dinner at an Irani restaurant. The food was wonderful. Jon and I both ate from the buffet which had chicken, lamb, rice, vegetables, etc. The lamb was so yummy. Here are pictures from the restaurant.

This is the entrance of the restaurant.

The hallway leading to the restaurant. I loved the inside it was incredible. Every inch of the walls were covered with some sort of glass, decoration, sculpture or painting. It was the most colorful place I've ever seen.

Me standing in the hallway.

The chandeliers were so awesome as well. There was a fountain in the center of the restaurant as you can see in this pic.

Jon and I

The chandeliers again.

Myself, Sandy, and Jorge eating dinner.

After eating we walked around the market to de-stuff ourselves. It was so hard to get the full effect of the architecture at night but I still took several pictures. There were vendors who sold antiques, souvenirs, fabrics, pashminas, clothing worn by Qatari people, etc. Jon bought a t-shirt and I bought a couple of pashminas because they are so great for winter. We also bought some post cards and a couple of things for family back home.

While shopping a man stopped Jon and asked him if he wanted to try this head piece on! Jon was like "uh sure" so as not to be rude. I had to take a picture.

Falconry is big over here and throughout the Middle East. The nomads who lived here centuries ago used the falcons to hunt other birds, rabbits, and even gazelle. They still use them for hunting, and the season starts in October. They also have showing competitions, similar to dog shows. The most impressive and beautiful falcons can cost tens of thousands of dollars, with royal falcons worth even more. It looks kind of sad here in the pictures of the shops, but falcons are treated with such reverence that they are issued passports and even placed in first class on the airplanes while in route to hunting areas in other countries. While we were looking at the birds, a Qatari man started talking to us and showed Jon the way to hold them with the glove. We thought he worked at the shop, but he was just a friendly customer. He then took us to the other shops and showed us around.

They usually keep hoods over their heads so they don't get scared. They can see so far away that something down the street could startle them.

The Qatari man took the hood off the bird; they are so impressive looking!!

In another shop, the birds didn't have hoods and weren't as calm as the others. The hunting season starts soon, so thankfully the birds will soon be taken out to soar the skies as they were meant. The next time we are down here, we'll try to accompany a hunt to see these guys in action.