News of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle

Sorrz I uploaded all the Dresden and Germanz photos wrong.  I have deleted them.  I have gone through and named The Netherlands photos.  Plus I have uploaded the photos from todaz.  When I get a chance I will go back and upload the Dresden, Berlin, Meißen, Roßwein, and Leipzig photos.

We have officiallz learned what the Mexicans must feel like in our nation.  Dresden wasn’t so bad as we knew where we were going and there were a few English speakers around.  Feeling our waz around Augsburg has been more difficult.  We went to a Piyya Hut tonight for some dinner and it was a new experience.  Good thing the name of the menu items are in English.  Of course, it was a joint KFC and Piyya Hut together.  The Greece-Russia soccer game was on the big screen on one side of the restaurant.  Zou can buz beer in the restaurant as well.  We ordered and left.  It was difficult.  Trzing to work out trains, even where we are if lost has been a pain.  We are slowlz picking up our German for sure!  Eingang is entrance, ausfahrt is exit.  I alreadz knew mz numbers so that has helped.

Todaz we headed for the famed Sleeping Beautz Castle, Neuschwanstein.  It took us a couple of hours to get there via tram, train, and bus.  It is a bit out of the waz.  But we took a tour of Hohenschwangau Castle as well! It was a full daz trip, but well worth while.

Roßwein, Leipzig, and Augsburg

We have uploaded all our pictures for the past few dazs!  Go on over and take a peek!  The photos from Brugge, Amsterdam, The Hague, Dresden, Meißen, Roßwein, and Leipzig are all now available.  We are especiallz glad to have them online and saved at another location.

Todaz we said good-bze to our hostel in Dresden and made our waz to Augsburg.  Since were so close to the Andra-Schneider familz area, we made a special trip to Roßwein where several generations of mz familz are from.  Unfortunatelz the church was locked the whole time we were there, nobodz at town hall spoke English, and the cemeteries in Germanz do not keep the burial location for those whose familz do not paz for it.  Other than having been there, I have nothing more.

We found our waz to Leipzig where we took a quick 1 hour whirlwind tour.  We went to the church where Bach was organ master and also the church where his remains are presentlz located (the original church was destrozed in WWII).

We are now in Augsburg, Deutschland.  We will be here for the next three dazs.  Here we will make visits to Neuschwanstein, Munich, Dachau, Stuttgart, and other little towns with relatives on the Wanner and Nuffer families.  I am definitelz looking forward to all.  We will be traveling quite a bit on trains, but nothing we are not accustomed to zet!

Meißen

It is time for todaz’s update. But first, two funnz stories!First, Amanda complained to me this morning she could not get the shower to turn down the heat. Come to find out, she was trzing to adjust the regulator knob outside the shower on the radiators! I stepped into the bathroom to show her the fancz little faucet knob that moved both wazs to adjust the heat. Not to mention she had alreadz used it to turn on the water! She said it was because the shower in Amsterdam had a separate heat knob from the on and off knob. She saw me playing with the knob so she thought it was it.

Second, we stopped in town to buz ourselves some sauerkraut and a wiener. Amanda went to the counter and asked two. The ladz seemed verz surprised. I was waiting, so I did not see this. Next thing I know, Amanda comes walking out of the store with these loaves of bread, more like oversized croissants. Each must have weighed at least 3 pounds! It was bread with the sauerkraut and wieners baked into the loaf. This was to be our breakfast and turned out to be our breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What is more? We still have half of one left!!!! But hez, for onlz 3€ ($5) it was a prettz good buz. Amanda’s first trz at sauerkraut is going to be a verz memorable moment!

On to the daz. We decided to sleep in to the ripe time of 7:30 this morning. The sun comes up and goes down so late zou can’t reallz sleep when it is dazlight. Great for touring and traveling, bad for sleeping in. We got readz for the daz, tried to take care of some issues over e-mail with our potential home and other things and headed out.

We went to Meißen. It is the birthplace of Karl Maeser, and also happens to be the birthplace of mz great grandfather, William Andra. I had to paz a visit. We walked the streets, and ascended the hill to the DOM and Albrechtsburg Kasse (castle). Fascinating. We also walked around and paid a visit to the Porcelain Factorz. The first porcelain in Europe. Some of mz Andra ancestors are supposed to be some of those locked into the basement of the Albrechtsburg Castle to not let the secret of porcelain out to the world. I cannot link mzself with a hard paperwork, but since mz line are Andrä’s in Meißen and since some of them were Andrä’s in Meißen, whz not? (It is reallz cool I can spell the Andrä name with the umlaut!)

We then went to the church I thought was the one thez would have attended, but I reallz doubted it was it when I arrived. I have a picture, and in mz mind thez did not match up.

The porcelain factorz was amaying! Zou will have to see pictures to believe it. There were table pieces larger than Amanda in height! There were vases from the 1700′s larger than me! Onlz something to be seen to believe.

Amanda’s poor feet could not take well the long dazs of traveling and rebelled against her todaz. She will have calluses the thickness of regular shoes when we are done traipsing around the continent.

There was a highlight, we bought an e’clair at the train station. Tomorrow we are headed to Augsburg, near Munich. We will also hit Dachau.

Berlin and Dresden

Just a quick update. Todaz (I am tzping on a German kezboard and donät have limited time, sorrz for some strange spellings) we caught a train from Amsterdam to Berlin to Dresden. We saw some beautiful territorz. We are convinced that Dresden is bz far the best citz we have been to zet. We saw the reknowned Frauerkirch that was rebuilt, not to mention much more. 

We went to an organ concert in the building. It was reallz good, but the building was bz far the best part. We also walked through some palace, and much of the rebuilt buildings downtown.

In Berlin we saw the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. We had limited time on our lazover, so we made it quick.

We want to upload photos but we did not have time in Amsterdam (big line) and here in Dresden the computers wonät let us have access to our jump drive or camera. Sorrz.

Well, time for us to run. It is literallz ticking awaz! We are in Dresden until Fridaz when we head to Stuttgart-Bavaria!

Leaving Leiden

Our time in The Netherlands is coming to a close.  Today was our last day in Amsterdam.  Tomorrow we begin the trek across Germany to Dresden.  We have to be on the train about 7 AM and will find ourselves winding to Berlin.  From Berlin, after some quick touring, we will make the final leg to Dresden.  It should be an interesting day.

Today was fascinating.  We made our way to Den Haag, The Hague.  What a pretty little city.  We walked around the Dutch Parliament Buildings, got some pictures with the UN Justice Building, and went to see the Prison Gate Prison.  There we got to see the old ways of torture.  This was more Amanda’s bag than anything else.  I was along for the ride.  I really didn’t mind.

We are on our way out.  Have a great day!  Look forward to Dresden.

Victor in Vianden

We have just returned from a trip to Luxembourg.  I really am exhausted and don’t want to take the time to tell a whole lot.  So you are only going to get an abbreviated version.

Yesterday we went to visit the Catholic church in Harelbeke, Belgium.  We then went to Kortrijk, Belgium and of course Amanda had to go to the chocolate shop for Belgium chocolate.  We did some window shopping, being tempted by some of the goods in the stores.  The suits were out of my range, as is about everything with the exchange rate with the Euro/Dollar.  We did snap a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Afterward, we made our way back to Oostrozebeke and prepared for the trip to Vianden.  We drove through the beautiful Ardennes on the way and into Germany.  There was a storm the entire way so everything was highly misted and especially green.  We drove past Brussels, Liege, and stayed at the Grand Hotel de Vianden.  It was very pretty.  Amanda and I went for a late night walk through the city for some photographs.  The bars were full but we enjoyed the sights.  Victor Hugo lived in Vianden for a spell.  We saw the house he lived in and the bridge with his name and bust.

Today we arose and went for a tour of the Vianden Castle/Chateau.  It was beautiful.  Originally there was a fort on the site in the time of Julius Caesar.  The current castle was built during the 13-14th centuries.  It fell into ruin but was restored in the 1970′s – 1980′s.  Vianden was the last town to be liberated in Luxembourg in 1945.

Afterward, we drove through the beautiful mountains to Luxembourg and went on a tour of many of the cities sights.  We saw the Notre Dame there.  It was gorgeous with a huge, high wall.  Who would ever have thought?  We ate lunch at Pizza Hut of all places.  Talk about going for the local cuisine.  I did have toasted bread with goat cheese on them (At Pizza Hut!)  Did you know Luxembourg had a 1,000 year celebration?  963 to 1963.  How is that for old?  The downtown market area reminded me much of London or Manchester, but the architecture is different.

We finished our trip to Luxembourg and came back to Oostrozebeke, Belgium.  We will visit Antwerp and Brugge in the next couple of days before we make our way to Paris.

Anyhow, I have uploaded more pictures in the European Trip Album from the last two days for your viewing pleasure.

Welcome to June. It is already all planned out!

Boy, am I glad June is here!  My wife has joined me after our long separation from job and school.  What a relief.  I don’t have to worry about her stressing herself out or being picked up by a much more dashing, intelligent, catch of a man.

We leave this week for what may be the trip of a lifetime.  How many times in a lifetime, if ever, does one get to go to Europe for 6 weeks?  We will be starting with friends in Belgium, working our way to Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, Germany, The Netherlands, England, Wales, Scotland, and who knows where else we may stumble.  We really cannot afford it, but why not live with some reckless abandon for a little while?  There are so many friends who do so every day of their life and seem to make it through their whole lives.  Granted, their quality may be diminished some.  But what is lost by worry seems it might be made up by the large home and toys that the self-proclaimed responsible typically don’t get to enjoy.  We leave on the 4th to return on the 16th of July.

We signed a purchase contract for a home this month.  Somewhere around the 22nd of June we will be closing on a humble home in Oklahoma City.  Who would ever have thought my first home purchase would be in Oklahoma City?  Did I ever think I would move or live in Oklahoma City.  Most certainly not.

Amanda and I just hit all three of the Idaho temples this past week.  Amanda had never been to any of them.  We have now hit all three Idaho and 11 Utah temples.  Before year end, we will have three more in that geography alone to hit to make it complete once again.  I am very sad I will be in Oklahoma City when the dedication of the Twin Falls Temple takes place.  Being so close to home, and wanting a temple closer for so long, now we get one and I cannot attend.  Amanda and I will be helping with the open house in July.  I guess that is some solace for missing the dedication.  I believe Idaho Falls and Manti are still my favorite temples.  The Rexburg Temple has so many gorgeous rooms.  However, for some reason I still prefer the sessions that are split up into all their sections.  Manti and Idaho Falls Temples both have you moving between all the rooms.  Manti has the pioneer value and beauty with a live session, but the simplicity of Idaho Falls with its rooms and movement make it a favorite.  Salt Lake certainly has the beauty but the place seems more like a zoo than a temple, especially in the summer with all the sealings.

This past week Amanda spent a day with me at work doing bench testing.  It was a beautiful day and we spent nearly all of it in Minidoka.  The Minidoka Longhorn Cafe and Whitesides Dairy was enjoyable for me.  The wastewater we play with is less than beautiful but it is part of life.  Whether we like it or not, we all have waste and somebody has to deal with it.  I thought Amanda was going to throw up at one point when we were doing some filteration.  She kept it down, luckily.  The day turned out well.  Except for the fact Amanda picked up a tick somewhere.  Not only did she pick him up, the tick dug in and started to sup near the middle of her calf.  She was not a happy camper when she discovered him.  A little polish remover and she backed right out.  Hope she got plenty to eat for the long stay in the septic tank.

For the first time in what must be at least 8 years since Grandma Ross passed away, all my siblings were back together.  Becky was coming through Southern Idaho so Scott organized a BBQ.  All five of us where there.  It was really quite a bit of fun and I enjoyed myself.  Even though we were never really close, I am glad we are still cordial and can enjoy ourselves when we get together.  Vicki, Dad’s first wife, was even there.  Dad and Jan were there as well.  Andra brought Brian and Daniel and little Daniel was certainly a favorite.

I know I have not been writing as much.  Despite more people reading the blog than ever before, I just don’t feel like I have much to write.  A couple of people want me to write more relevant things that would pertain to them, but how does one write interesting things for everyone?  Then, how does anyone write for someone else and keep their voice and soul into it?

A sketch in the life of William Jonas

(Written by Mabel Andersen Cazier.  This is about William Nelson Jonas 1889-1972  I have maintained spelling and punctuation)

I remember one time, long, long ago, during World War I.  My Uncle Will (Mother’s brother) was called to the services to help win the war against the Germans.

“I wouldn’t mind,” he said to my mother “if I didn’t have to fight and kill.  Oh, how I would hate to take a life, for I know how dear life is to me.”

“Fear not,” said his sis, “maybe the Lord will fix it so a life you can save instead.”

So on that unforgetable day, sun shining brightly outside, he bade all goodby and with tears in his eyes he marched away to serve his country and God.  Time passed, the mail didn’t move fast in those days but we finally received a letter from Uncle Will, the man we prayed for each day.  He stated his thankfulness that he had been assigned to the hospital department where he could spare lives instead of take.  He worked diligently from dawn until night, comforting the goys who were dying.  One time he was a mother to his dying comrad, comforting him as best he could, another he’d be a father pronouncing the blessings on his dying son, or prehaps a wife promising she would always be true and faithful the rest of her life.  Maybe he would be a daughter, maybe a son.  Administering medicine, pills and morphine; moistening the lips of some mother’s dying son.  For four long years this task he did perform.  Then one cold November day the armistice was signed and home came the boys, glad to get home.  Oh, to see Mother and Father and wife who had loved them so dearly and had pled for their life.  Finally he’d see sis, brothers John and Joe.  On the ship he became very ill, desperatly so, and the finger of death was laid down on his head.

“Dear Lord,” he did beg on his knees by his bed, “if my life you will spare I will do anything you say.  I don’t want to die, if you would only spare my life I’d be happy.  Dear Lord have mercy on me.”

The Lord did hear and his life he did spare.  The ship moved on and finally she docked on the shores of the great New England states.  Down the gang plant they hurried as fast as they could.

“God bless America,” they shouted, “may she live forever.”

Oh, to be home once again, happy and free.  No more war no more killing — happy day for them.

The mail!  Ah yes, maybe a letter from home.  Telegrams?  Yes, one for Will, which he opened with fingers that trembled.  “BROTHER JOHN DIED DEC 19. 1918.”

“Oh, dear God, what have I done, I begged for my life and you took my brother’s instead.  Brother John!  Dear John!  How I loved him!  He cheered and comforted me the day I left.  His wife Nellie and two sons so fair, and now little Armina left all alone.  How fitting and proper if I had gone on.  Now I know I never should have asked God to spare me.  I was needed and I was the one to have gone.”

Time went on and years passed, twenty or more.  To Uncle Will six sons were born by his good wife Mary.  Then one day came World War II.  Away marched four of his sons — two in the Navy, one in the Army and one in the Marines.  He knew that this must be.  He waited and as time went on he listened for the knock on the door which would bring him the telegram telling of the death of one of his sons.  One day it came, “I have bad news for you, Will.”

“Yes,” he said, “it’s Gayland.”

And the reply was, “yes.”

For days he walked about in a daze.  “Oh dear God, why?”  Then he remembered his promise to God on the ship more than twenty years before, “anything dear Lord if you will only spare my life.”  This he must bare.  Oh, how he did mourn, he grew pale and thin and his life was feared for.  But alas, one night as he lay awake in his bed, the room because bright and there by his bed stood his son Gayland.

“Father,” he said, “I grieve to see you morn so.  All is well, do not feel bad.  Soon I will come for you too and then we will be happy together.”

As he gazed upon his son a great peace settled over him and he knew that all was well.