Sunday, April 24, 2011

Adventure Camp

Over spring break, I went to Belgium with Club Beyond, a ministry for middle school students here on post. We took 21 students from Schweinfurt and met up with 250 other students from Europe in Durbuy, Belgium. We had a fantastic time overcoming our fears. The camp was all about adventure!

Here are some of the amazing things we did...

High-Ropes Course

Rock Climbing


Laser Tag

Biking (or walking our bikes up hill)

Eating Belgium waffles dipped in Belgium chocolate! Getting these in town is what made the bike ride worth it!

Go Carts

Human Foosball


Zip line called the Death Ride
Jumping off the mountain...
 Gaining speed...
 Loving it!
 Got twisted around
 And finally back on the ground! (Almost)

I spent the week with these five great ladies! We made some great relationships, learning a lot about God and each other!

Country night with a bon fire and smores!

By the end of the week... my girlies were pretty tired out!

This is Crystal. She was our speaker for each evening Club talk! She was pretty amazing! We had some great grown-up talks throughout the week!

And the whole group!

Over all, I had a fabulous time! I definitely forced myself to do things I don't think I would normally do. Usually I need Jay to talk me into things. But knowing that the kids were looking up to me, I put on my game face and looked fear in the face!

After camp, we jumped back on the bus and rode home for 8 hours! It was definitely nice to be back in my own bed!

If you want to see more pictures, I have them up on picasa.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bull Fight

A few videos from the bullfight. Let me warn you though.... they aren't pretty! You will see blood! VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

Bull verse Toreros
The matador first confronts the bull with the capote, performing a series of passes and observing the behavior and quirks of the bull.

Three banderilleros each attempt to plant two banderillas, sharp barbed sticks into the bull's shoulders. These anger and invigorate, but further weaken, the bull.
The fight ends with a final series of passes in which the matador with a muleta (sword) attempts to maneuver the bull into a position to stab it between the shoulder blades and through the aorta or heart.

A bull flip, he just got going too fast!

Definitely an experience. It was neat to see such a unique Spanish tradition!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Madrid, Spain

Last weekend, Jay and I took a trip to Madrid. Jay had a four day weekend and I took two days off. Madrid was such a beautiful city.

The weather was absolutely wonderful. It probably got up into the 80’s each day. I was in shorts and a tank top each day. I’m sure glad I covered myself in sunscreen. On Sunday, it was evident where I missed. I forgot to put it on the tops of my feet and I missed a spot on the back of my shoulder, where I can’t reach! It has soaked in now to a tan. Notice my left shoulder, the inside didn't get covered!

All day Saturday we just walked around town, went into the King’s palace, and took lots of pictures. That evening we wanted to see flamenco dancing, but nothing started until 11:00. We stayed out that late, but still couldn’t find any place that had it, so went home. 11:00 isn't late in Spain. Their hours are definitely different than ours. They eat lunch between 2:00 and 3:00 at night and supper between 9:00 and 10:00 at night. Because the sun stays up so late and the town is so lively, you hardly notice that it's so late.

We found this restaurant on one of the main drags! How cool is that! We didn't eat there though as the menu didn't look too appetizing. And Jay even had his Iowa shirt on, so we had to take a picture!

On Sunday, we bought tickets to the bullfight in the morning. Then we had all day to mess around before actually going to the bull fight. We went and saw some more buildings, took hundreds more pictures, sat in a massive and very busy park for a little while, then went to the bull fight. This park was huge with a lake in the middle. The lake was full of paddle boats. Looked like fun on a hot day!

The bull fight was interesting. It was good to see once, but definitely never again. Thankfully we were prepared for it. We saw some pictures and video that a friend showed us, so we knew what to expect. If it wasn’t for that, I think I would have been totally turned off and wouldn’t have wanted to watch it. We have tons of pictures and video, so you can watch too if you care to see it!

On Monday, we took it slow. We didn’t leave the hotel until 10:00. We left our bags at the front desk because we had to check out, but didn’t fly until the evening. We saw the last few things we wanted to see. We weren’t in a rush, so took it slow, as slow as Jay allows!! We ate lunch at a tapas restaurant. Jay got a whole plate of things I wouldn’t touch!! It was all from the sea. I ordered a plate of fries! That’s all I could handle!

We thought for sure something bad was going to happen on this trip. We tried going to Madrid a couple years ago, but had to cancel because Jay’s commander cancelled the four day pass. The morning we were leaving last weekend, I got a call from my principal saying I couldn’t take Monday off because of the government shut down. They weren’t allowing any paid leave. We talked about it some more and then she said I could take it, but wouldn’t get paid. I said that was fine. So, we were still going. At this point, I was asking why God didn’t want us to go on this trip. He kept trying to keep us home! We drove to the airport and went to check in at the desk. She told us that we were late and wouldn’t be able to make the flight. Even though I looked at the tickets a million times, I switched the minutes for the boarding time and the flying time. I thought we were boarding at 1750, but really we were boarding at 1650 and flying at 1720. We tried anyway! Jay ran through security, where thankfully the line wasn’t long. There was one person ahead of us and Jay asked if he could go in front. They let both of us in front and helped us get through quickly. The gate was just around the corner. We were the last ones to get through the door and the stewardess followed me out to the plane! That was a close one!!! Made us question even more why we weren’t supposed to go on this trip! All went fine while there. We were super careful with our bags, making sure nothing got stolen. Our friend was pick pocketed twice and someone got into his bag while it was on his back. We made sure that didn't happen to us. We made it to the airport in plenty of time on the afternoon we were leaving Madrid to come back to Frankfurt. We had at least an hour to spare before we needed to board. We sat and played a game of cards. The whole time we were playing, they were constantly announcing things in Spanish over the intercom. Finally Jay looked at his watch and realized that we should be going. We assumed our gate had changed at this point since there was no line where our gate was originally suppose to be, so Jay went to go ask. Yup, it did. So we ran down the hallway to find a long line of people waiting to get on the plane. They hadn’t started boarding yet, so all was well! We figured we were going to die on the plane! Something bad had to happen and that’s the last thing that could! Once we landed in Frankfurt, Jay said he better drive home very carefully so he doesn’t get in an accident! Once we got home, we were sure glad God was watching over us! We were being protected the whole trip!!

It was a fantastic weekend overall. Madrid is definitely a great city! It was nice to have a break from real life and be able to relax for a bit!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fish Market

What do you see at fish markets....

Fish of course

And a big pirate ship in the middle of downtown! Just what you expected, right!
Last weekend, Schweinfurt had their big fish market. Another great thing about Germany, they make everything into a celebration! That means fantastic food and such a fun environment. We went down to the market after church last Sunday and hung out for a few hours. A few friends were brave and tried all different kinds of fish, including a head of an eel! Jay and I, on the other hand, we stuck with a bratwurst! We weren't quite ready to venture out into the world of fish!

One of the fun parts of the day was watching a guy on a truck fill fruit baskets. He had beautiful baskets that he was filling full of all sorts of fresh fruit and then would sell them for 10 euro each. Getting a basket was no easy task though. It took you getting to the front of the line, holding your hand on the basket to claim in, and then waiting for him to fill it, take your money, and then hand it down to you. Jay got our basket, but was trying to get another for another friend. The guy on the truck was defintiely not going to give him another basket. So I went up and tried my hand and securing a basket. An experience that would probably never happen in the states! Such great adventures around here!

Here's a picture of the empty fruit truck. I didn't have my camera with me the first time. So we walked back down later, but he was out of fruit.

We are off to Spain in a couple of hours! We are heading to Madrid to claim another city and maybe see a bull fight. We are a little nervous about the bull fight as we have heard they are pretty goary. We are hoping to buy really cheap tickets at the top of the arena and be able to leave when we want.

I had to make a decision whether or not I wanted to go to Madrid this morning. Jay's phone rang and it was my principal. Because of the government shut down, I will not be getting paid on Monday. I took the day off as a leave day, but would normally have gotten paid for it! I asked her if I could still take the day and she had to check on the sub. She had to make sure the sub would get paid, otherwise I would have to go in. They continued to read through their document and found that subs would get paid. So she told me I could take it unpaid if I still wanted to go to Spain. It would be a wash for pay. I lose $200 on plane tickets and hotel, or I lose $200 from not going to school. So, we're heading out in a few hours!

I'll be back with more pictures and hopefully fun stories in a few days! I hopefully won't have any bad stories of being pickpocketed to share. That happens a lot in Madrid!