Monday, June 25, 2012

3 asians and a white guy

The Brandenburger Tor
Late in the month of April, Mariko's dad and sister were able to fly out and spend some time with us.  Of course as it was also their first time in Europe we wanted to show them as much as we could during that time. They were only going to be here for 10 days and travel restrictions were slightly limited, so we spent all of our time in Germany.

After touring with my dad I learned a bit about being a tour guide, thus making it easier to plan the whole trip. Firstly we didn't stay in Braunschweig as it was a long haul to get to anywhere else. Second, I didn't walk them around town for hours on end, we kept our walking simple and sweet.... and used public tranportation when
Midori after her first beer ever

available. And lastly, since we had visited nearly all the places already we had a good idea of what to see and how to get there.... without resorting to GoogleMap and they're fail time frames.

I've never actually traveled with Mariko's family prior to this trip, but everyone kept up and made things so easy. Even Dale let me lead and take charge of all the plans, and from what I hear that is saying something! Though to be honeset he did get us slightly lost in Dusseldorf during our 3 hr visit there.... but we made back to the train just fine.

The green beer was not a hit
Since Dale has recently started his craft brewing, he wanted to try as many different types and brands of beer as possible, so most of our planning for him revloved around beer. Personally I think sometimes he was just going with the flow waiting for us to get to the next beer point.

During their time here we traveled to the following places:
  • Berlin
  • Phaeno Science Museum in Wolfsburg
  • Potsdam (sadly we didn't get to see too much of this place because it was super crowded and hot)
  • Hannover
  • Bremen
  • Köln
  • Düsseldorf

Matsudas on a train
We weren't able to take them to any of the more mountainy locations since Midori used her wheelchair for most of the visit, but we still gave them a good balance about what Germany looks like. I know Midori certainly enjoyed watching the countryside during our train travels.... she barely slept on the trains, unlike the other Matsudas!

The biggest downpoint to the visit was that Gretchen wasn't able to join the family during the vacation. I'm sure it would have been a more complete visit had she been able to, but I know that seeing most of her family really helped Mariko get through the rest of our time here.

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