The first weekend in December we took a short, three day jaunt to the beautiful country of Germany to peruse their famous Christmas markets. As a lover of all things Christmas, I couldn't wait to kick off the season wandering through the charming Christmas stalls which sell everything from Gluwine (hot mulled wine-yummy, yummy!!!), spicy bratwursts, ornaments, scarfs, chestnuts roasting on an open fire :), and hand-made Christmas decorations. I couldn't resist picking up a nutcracker!
This was one of the most magical experiences! There was such a joyful and celebratory feeling in the air! I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true! I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning!
We flew into Frankurt and spent a few hours at their adorable market. At the first stall we stumbled across we enjoyed our first (of many!) bratwursts and were in heaven! So good!!! After a few hours we took a train to meet up with Rebecca, a friend of ours we met in Dublin. She lives in a tiny village in Germany right on the Rhine River. We had the privilege of staying at her Grandma, Gezela's house, who was a precious German woman who spoke absolutely no English! What a fun experience! We so desperately wanted to be able to communicate to her. Even with all the iPhone's help, the phrase we kept saying over and over again was "danke schoen"!!!
Bratwursts cooking on an open fire!
Ross' first taste of bratwurst delightfulness!
Ross' first taste of gluwine... classic face which says, "Oh my word, amazing!"
My smile has turned crazy I'm so excited!
Stalls filled with German sweets and cookies
Beautiful handcrafted wood decorations
Kaub and Rudesheim
The next morning we went to church with Rebecca. She translated the whole service for us, bless her heart! She is a super star! Then she drove us down to Rudesheim to visit their well known Christmas market. Rebecca had no idea what she was getting herself into! As die hard Christmas market browsers, by the end of the day she was exhausted! Sorry Rebecca! :) Some of our favorite treats from this town were the delicious eggnog candied almonds and Rudesheim coffee (a tasty drink where they set their town's local brewed brandy on fire and pour coffee and cream over it, lastly they top it with cream...delish!).
A town on the way to Rudesheim
Another cute town on the drive
Castles along the Rhine... and we all know how obsessed I am with castles!
Favorite street in Rudesheim
And from the other direction
At the top of the street
Fun with Rebecca!
Three silly elves... and of course Ross went straight to the one holding the book!
Simply love the buildings!
These illuminated star decorations filled the German windows
Nuts from Nub-Hutte :)
The twinkly lights at night
The next morning we said, "Aufedersein!" (Thanks to Project Runway's Heidi Klum, I remembered that one without a bother!) to Rebecca and Gezela and took the train to Mainz, another town farther down along the Rhine River. This Christmas market had gorgeous Christmas lights strung over all the stalls, which thankfully we were able to see lit right before we had to leave. After many glasses of gluwine, more bratwurts, a nutella banana crepe, and much more Christmas shopping we made our way to the airport.
The train station in Mainz... right, why is it that there would never be a train station this beautiful in the U.S.?!
At the entrance to the town square in Mainz
LOVE the architecture!
Mainz town square covered in twinkly lights
This one's for you Dagmar :)
The many, many ornament stalls
The yummy sweets stalls
mmmm... my chocolate, banana crepe!
He is so excited about his last bratwurst of the trip he doesn't even notice the ketchup running down his hand :)
Enjoying Gluwine in a cozy barrel
I met St. Nick!
Kiddies snuggled up for the cold
So glad the lights turned on before we left!
Saying our last good byes to the Christmas markets :(
Although it was a speedy trip, it was absolutely perfect! I just wish this could become an annual tradition! Unfortunately, flying from California to Germany for Christmas markets might be a bit of a stretch!