Friday, September 15, 2006

Vacation Report - Part V

Here we go again! Sorry to all of our readers - the hidden ones and the ones that comment ;-) I was not feeling to good the last days so I wasn't able to update - but here we go!

To answer Joris question - Oh yeah, even after that much hops picking you are able to smell the hops in a nice Russian River IPA!!!! Or maybe it was just the yellow stuff I had all over my hands and my nose - hahahahaha

After the gorgeous lunch with Jen, Carol and Joe we headed up north on Route 101. In Legitt we stopped at the Drive Thru Tree - better known as Chandelier Tree. Well, I gotta say I was quite janus-faced. After whinning how sad it is that those people in the 30's cut this big hole into the tree I had no problem to take several pictures of driving thru - TWICE! I'm still amazed that this tree is still alive.

The Chandelier Tree

He did it! - Drove through

We continued our journey off the Highway on the Avenue of the Giants. That was just incredible. You are driving through the Redwoods. Amazing. Those trees are really amazing.

Driving through the Redwoods

Redwood Forest

We stayed in Eureka in a nice Bed&Breakfast and had a sampler at the Loast Coast Brewery. We weren't to thrilled though - the food was greasy and plain and the beers were also not that exciting. Oh well. The little city itself was quite cute but also not to exciting.

The next day we drove down - again along the Avenue of the Giants and stopped at Founders Grove to hike a bit.

A real fairy tale forest
Founders Grove

One of the oldest and hugest trees the so called "Giant", fell down in 1992. It will take 400 years until the tree is decomposed.

The Giant

We drove through a terrible windy road through the mountains back to the coast down Route 1 - pictures from that part are following!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Vacation Report - Part IV

Hops picking - that was so much fun!!! Early in the morning we went to Brian's house. He is the owner and brewer of Moonlight Brewing Co. We around 15-20 people and picked Cascade and Chinook hops for Brian and Vinnie from Russian River Brewing Co. It was so much fun sitting around and picking it, having a nice talk.

Hops picking

Hops picking

Brian, Moonlight Brewery

Soren loved smelling and playing with the hops
Soren loves Hops

Hops is good for you!


Afterwork Relaxing at Russian River
After the Hops picking

Later- Relaxing on the vineyard
Tour towards the tent

Changing of the Grapes
Changing of the Grapes

Relaxing on the vineyard

Tuesday we went to Howarth Park with Soren - what fun. Soren had his little swim suit on and played in the waterpark
Waterpark - He did it!


Waterpark - Soren is checking the options

We hiked around the lake
Jim and Nat

Jen, Soren and Joe

Wednsday Jim went to his publisher in Santa Rosa in the morning for a meeting. We grilled for lunch and Carol came home so we could have another wonderful lunch with all of us before we headed north.

Jim grilling

Jen, Carol, Joe, Nat and Jim

Okidoki - more pictures tomorrow - if you are not tired seeing them!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Vacation Report - Part III

Here we go again ;-) Thursday evening we had a great time with JoeV, Brad, Karen, Bill, Jess and Dave at the Old Bay in New Brunswick. Steve, an old Highschool friend came by too - last time Jim saw him was about ten years ago. We had a blast. Unfortunatley I didn't take a photo of him - sorry!

Joe - thank you so much for the awesome old map of Hamburg - we are discussing where we wanna hang it and take a photo for you then!

JoeV and Brad - what are you guys thinking about?
Joe and Brad at the Old Bay
Dave and Jess
Dave and Jess at the Old Bay

The next day we went to the airport and flew to San Francisco - oh and by the way, security check at the airport was nothing - I don't get it, what's up? People were carrying in water and food and first class was a make up studio. it just us the Europeans that have to be checked...sorry, but that was really something that made me mad.

Anyways in San Fran we picked up the car, drove over Golden Gate to Joe and Jen (oh yeah we have a lot of J names around ;-) ).
Crossing Golden Gate Bridge

Joe and Jen live in Sonoma County the Wine County right next to Napa. They do live in an awesome house which is on a vineyard - BEAUTIFUL! It was soooo good to see you guys again- as the last time had been our wedding in NJ two years ago. Soren their little one is such a cutie. We totally adore him!
After some gorgeous Corn Cakes Jen made for us we explored the vineyard
Let's see the vineyard
Me tasting the grapes - which were just changing their colors
Nat at the vineyard
From the back of the vineyard towards the front
from the back of the vineyard

The grapes

Mies was happy to see me - it has been a long time - though he gave me this look "Hey Chicka - what's up? No German Chocolate this time????" Sorry Mies!
Mies asking where the chocolate is
It is totally amazing how good he is with Soren, he really really loves the little boy. And the little boy loves Mies - it is so cute to see both of them interact with each other.

After a gorgeous dinner, together with Carol - Jen's wonderful Mom - we did crash.

The next day we all went together for a Mini-Roadtrip. We went to Calistoga where we tasted beer at Napa Valley Brewing Co., drove through the Napa Valley- where we saw some of the places again we saw on our California trip together with Esther in 2000. We drove over the mountain on Oakville Road and had some gorgeous views. Unbelievable houses there in the mountains - geeee!!!! We also went to Russian River's Brewpub, where Natalie invited us to come hops picking on Monday. We rated some beers - all very good and after a great dinner and watching the stars on the porch at the double-J's house our first full day in CA was already over.


Jen and Nat
Driving through the Mountains Napa to Sonomo Valley

Rating Session at Russian River Brewing Co.
At Russian River

Joe and Jen
Jen and Joe

The next day we had a very relaxed morning altogether - that was really my favorite part - just hanging around with the 3 J's, Carol and Soren and Mies and talk and eat and relax. Later we went to Bear Republic for tasting (well we were there ...right? )
Tomorrow I will post photos from the hops picking - I know some people wait to see those ;-)
Have you all a great day!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Vacation Report - Part II

Monday evening we had a wonderful dinner with Mom and Dad and went later on to Bill, Karen and Barbara. They have an awesome new in ground pool. Swimming in there you can overlook the valley and I hope we can hop in next time we come.

Bill and Karen's new pool

At Bill and Karen's

Barbara gave us the most wonderful gift in the world. She made us a hand crocheted afghan. Such a master piece! It is truly beautiful and we will show later pictures how nicely it looks on our sofa. Thank you so much Barbara - we love you!

Tuesday we had a huge family dinner. We celebrated Janice's and Dave's birthdays as well as ours and Mom and Dad's anniversary. We went to Rosinas and for dessert we went back to Mom and Dad's house. Unfortunatley the pictures are not that good from that evening- it is hard to photograph a huge group in a way that everybody would be pleased to see the pictures here on the blog ;-)

Instead I show a photo from Buxia who was quite funny looking that evening - LOL!
Buxia - a bit pissed?

On wednsday we went "DOWN THE SHORE" (as the NJians say) with Bill and Karen. Oh boy, we had so much fun. It had been years since Highschool more or less that Jim, Bill and Karen went together to Point Pleasant and it was so much fun to see how excited they were.
As Jim played the Huckleberry Jim with his weird straw hat we all had to goof around with it too:
There is only one Huckleberry Jim

Huckleberry Karen

Huckleberry Bill

Huckleberry Nat

Jim and Bill were the most handsome guys on the beach ;-)
Yeah Man!

And Bill knows exactly how to cover bad hair day ;-)

We went mini golfing on the board walk and Jim and Bill ate the most disgusting things in the world -
Bill and Jim eating fried Oreos


This leads me to the question "What is wrong with American people?" Just kidding.

After skee ball and air hockey we had enough points to get for each of us a spider ring to which the boys had been looking most forward too.

With the image of an unbelievable huge and HISSING moth I leave you for today and post more from the trip tomorrow!

Monster Moth

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vacation Report - Part I

Hi you all - hope you are doing good. We are home again. We had 2 1/2 weeks exciting vacations. And we want to show you a lot of pictures - so we split the adventures in several posts ;-)

Dad picked us up at the airport. The flight was ok - besides two Zone-Bars which they took away - yep Cereal Bars can do serious harm - we had no other forbidden food or liquids with us.
Mom is doing quite good after the hip replacement which was a wonderful suprise.


Before the gorgoeus family dinner Jim and I went to our favorite beershop in Somerville - Supersaver - and stocked up on some good beers ;-)

First Day in NJ - Supersaver ;-)

After the dinner we went to Dave and Jess. They have a new kitten named Piri Piri - check out the photo and his leg- you will see a different picture in some of the next posts.

Piri Piri

The next day we spent some nice hours together with Janice, Joe, Jackie and Jason. I took some pictures with my new camera and think they turned out pretty good:

Jackie - isn't she a cutie?


Jan on their terrace



Jim at Jan's house

More pictures tomorrow ;-)