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Family Christmas

December 25, 2004

(written Feb. 26 - very delayed!!)


Dear Families and Friends,


For our family Christmas, Gabby and Jeremy and Brian, Jen, and Richard flew over from the States to join us in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Our drive down was somewhat quicker than their flights from California and Colorado and, even better for us, WE avoided the dreaded time-zone shifts. (Sorry, kids.)


Come and join us in our family picture album.


John and Marianne

Marianne and I arrived at our "Fereinwohnung" (vacation house) a couple days before the visitors. This gave us a chance to stock the kitchen.We were on the top of the five-story building (no elevators) and the small kitchen was stuck under the head-bashing eaves. The view was spectacular but the kitchen was ... limited.

On our first day, we searched out a Christmas tree. Sometimes it was hard concentrating on the tree when we were surrounded by the spectacular Alps. Back home, the tree fit perfectly and started turning our Fereinwohnung into our Christmas home.
The next day, we took an early train up to the Munich airport. Brian, Jen and two-year-old Richard arrived on-time and as-tired-as-expected. The train ride back gave the boys a chance to sleep.
January 23rd, and one more early-morning train, this time for Gabby and Jeremy. They arrived, snow boards and all, and we joined the German crowds on the train back to the Alpine ski resort.
Of course, Richard was the center of attention. "Uncle" Jeremy read to him and we had that new baby-sitting technology, his favorite DVD playing on the computer.
Christmas Eve was a party at "home". We munched and drank and opened presents. We ate more than we should have. Some of us even danced.

On Christmas morning, we all got together in pajamas and ate some more and watched Jeremy try to teach Richard how to juggle. It's a bit too soon for that.
While German tradition commands everyone to stay at home on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day is something else. Like many others, we enjoyed a very traditional restaurant meal.
All that eating was occasionally off set by leisurely walks on the snow-covered paths. It was all great fun.

Gabby and Jeremy managed to get in one day of snow boarding on the Zugspitze. It was a spectacular setting and the rest of us enjoyed the place, if not the sport.
Rich and his folks walked a bit in the deep snow, but I'm not sure he yet had the idea of snow-as-fun.

On the ride back, Richard seemed to be deep in thought - probably wondering why he was always awake when he should sleep and visa versa. (Hint: jet lag - incomprehensible to two-year-olds)

ps: One of my favorite photos ever.

Finally, all the family got on yet another early train for the trip to Munich Airport and then the flights to Denver and San Francisco.


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