Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lost in Translation

A note was sent home from Max's school with information about an upcoming "Spielabend" and a lower half to return for registering.  Rachel returned the rsvp for two, as Philip wanted to go with Max for father-son bonding.  So last night at 7, Philip and Max returned to Kindergarten St. Walburg for an evening of children's game playing.  Both Phil and Max were surprised to see ONLY parents sitting around kiddie tables, playing kiddie board games, rolling kiddie color coded dice and taking turns moving their tokens around the board.  The evening was intended for adults only, and it was packed with parents presumably getting babysitters and voluntarily going to their child's school for a big night out of "Schneckenspiel" (snail race).  But the evening had a happy ending, despite the misunderstanding, because after the 90 seconds total that Phil and Max were there, on their way home Max said, "That was FUN!"  Goal of bonding achieved.

More Austria Thanksgiving Pictures (And a Video at the Bottom)

Libby is getting tall enough to sautee

Stations of the Cross path

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep..."

Walking to the Asci's

All the children went to front of church to help bless the Advent wreath

Alpenhorn concert

"I can't put my arms down!"

dancing at the Thanksgiving ball

Lucy's interpretive dancing obstructing others

The dancing instructor teaching traditional Austrian Waltz

Monday, November 29, 2010

There and Back Again

It was a snowy (Austrian-American) Thanksgiving for the Harolds.  The German Harolds traveled to Gaming, Austria to visit the Austria Harolds.  Philip and Rachel enjoyed revisiting the campus after an 11 year hiatus.  Mom and Dad Harold are living in a comfortable apartment literally right next to the chapel.  They provided ALL the meals for our large family the entire time we stayed, also they secured a very comfortable apartment for us to occupy.  Many thanks to Mom and Dad Harold!

Also while in Gaming we got to reconnect with some old friends and meet new ones!  In particular we enjoyed meeting a British family with six kids, who very sportingly took Edy and Max sledding one afternoon while we were there.  Also of note was the wife of the Theology professor, who gracefully welcomed us for tea time into her beautiful home.  The Student Life Director and his wife directed us to the Stations of the Cross on the mountain side behind their home after serving us beer and homemade muffins!  The children really enjoyed playing with their two cutie-pie boys.  Max's favorite was the little sister of Rachel's former roommate, who is studying in Gaming this semester.  Max said, "Rosemary is my favorite woman.  I like her voice.  She is silly."

The highlight of our trip was by far the raucous Thanksgiving dinner in the Mensa.  Imagine, if you will, 170 college students, dressed in Bavarian garb, sitting shoulder to shoulder in the dark while a 30 pound roasted turkey is carried into the room, glowing from sparkling firecrackers, to the salute of everyone singing the U.S. National Anthem.  Patriotism rose high in the chest of all there.  After all the wine was finished there were groups of young men lingering who were moved to sing Christmas carols, one of which was directed by Dr. Jim Harold, accompanied by the direction of Max Harold.

Other Gaming experiences include many trips to "The Spar", the Adventmarkt, Edy and Katie bringing up the gifts together at Mass, and Rachel having "the usual" at the Johannastueberl (martini), and of course skyping with Rachel's family on Thanksgiving.

Edy's new boots