“Ars” 2

June 26th, 2011 . by Melissa

We took Jack to see Cars 2 on Saturday. And because we are suckers we had to buy him a matching Cars shirt. I think my favorite part of the movie was Jack constantly pointing at the screen in his excited voice saying, “Ar! Ar!” (He can’t say the ka sound). He made it for the first hour and a half. Then Jase had to take him out. I filled them both in on the ending.

Lately Happenings

June 23rd, 2011 . by Melissa

Well life has returned to normal after our grand adventure in Europe. Last weekend we were able to travel down to Mount Vernon to visit with family and attend a wedding. Here are some pics!

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

June 20th, 2011 . by Melissa

The Gerth’s from Buhl

June 7th, 2011 . by Melissa

I’ve started to become more interested in family history (thanks to the small nudgings from Jason), so when I found out we were going to Europe and would be fairly close to Germany, I thought it would be neat to see where in Germany the Gerth’s are actually from. I was surprised to learn that my grandfather’s grandfather immigrated from Buhl, a small German city near the border of France, only 45 minutes from our planned pitstop in Strasbourg. We decided that Buhl would definitely be worth the 45 minute detour. We also learned while we were in Strasbourg that the same great, great grandfather married a lovely (I’m assuming!) alsatian woman from the Strasbourg area. Here are some photos:

I especially love this cut out of an alsatian woman. Since Jack and I both have alsatian ancestry we both posed.

When we were in Buhl we checked out every graveyard we could find, to see if there were any graves marked Gerth. Unfortunately most of the graveyards we found we fairly new, with most of the graves only dating back to the early 1900’s. I was pretty disapointed and started to seriously doubt that we were even in the right place, especially since the records had very little detail. We did some sightseeing at the city center and took a picture outside this beautiful, old church.

When we got home my sleuthy husband found out that my grandfather’s grandfather and his siblings were actually christened at this very same church. We were in the right place after all! It was very neat to stand where my ancestors from the early 1800’s once stood.

Paris: The Dining Experience

June 7th, 2011 . by Melissa

Parisian fare was just that…not great, not awful just fair.

Of course, there were a few exceptional exceptions.

A la Duchesse Anne: The best crepes I’ve ever had, period. They add orange zest to the batter and that was definitely the secret to it all. Unfortunately, the crepe lady thought she was Duchess Anne and only offered her superb crepe making services for limited hours each day. We only caught up with her once. She was about as zesty as her secret ingredient, but with her brilliant creping skills, I didn’t mind!

Le Paradis du Fruit: It’s all in the name. Eating here was paradisiacal after several torturous french feasts. We ordered the Paradise du Paradise platter, it was a sampler of their most popular dishes and I loved it all; except for the raw salmon and the hummus. I just don’t understand hummus, not in English and not in French. This tidbit is noteworthy, each waiter at this place had 15 or more tables. There we sprinting like madmen ,dancing around each other and the kitchen staff, it was very impressive. A fitness test is probably required upon hiring. http://www.leparadisdufruit.fr/

Le Cafe du Marche: At the suggestion of our good old friend, Rick Steve’s, we decided to walk the Rue Cler Market and ate the highly recommended Le Cafe du Marche. I ordered a roasted chicken with a potato pastry. The chicken was good. The potato noodle-dumpling-biscuit-thing was grand. Jason ordered the duck, I think he was pretty happy with choice, too. Since we were at a very traditional French restaurant, eating very traditional French cuisine, it seemed most appropriate to order creme brulee for dessert. I think I’ve had creme brulee once (on a cruise?) and I was left wondering what all of the fuss was about. The French version was worth a fuss. In fact, I wish we would’ve ordered three, one for each of us. Jack was a fan, too.

Amorino: If you want gelato, this is the place and luckily Amorino’s are all over Paris so you can eat gelato nonstop…and trust me, you’ll want to after one taste at Amorino’s. We tried: cherries and cream, strawberry, raspberry, mango, and banana. All, fantastic!

One thing I didn’t understand, why the French put an egg on everything…in the salads, on sandwiches, even on pizza…I mean pizza, really? In general, the pizza was great no matter where we got it (sans over-easy egg).

In Germany our traditional old Sachsenhausen meal was interesting, but definitely not good. It could have been much worse: I almost ordered liver noodles thanks to my horrible Deutsch. 3 years in high school and 2 years in college did not prepare for the infamous Lorsbacher Thal menu.