New Years Eve 2015

Big day!!  Up at dawn for Disneyland with the fam, then ringing in the new year at Greg’s!

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Is this really LA…?

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-S

Schloß Schönbrunn & Braunau

Visiting Schönbrunn Palace, our last stop in Vienna…

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Exploring the gardens!

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Walking up to the Gloriette on top of the hill…

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Austria is all about Mozart… even the café in the Gloriette has Mozart pastries…

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Enjoying our walk back down the hill…

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Driving back toward Germany!

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Stopping for the night in the very very retro (read: old) but nice Hotel Post in the town of Braunau, on the border of Austria and Germany.

Wikipedia fact:  Adolf Hitler, who later became the dictator of Nazi Germany, was born in Braunau in 1889.

**The more you know…**

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Grabbing a lovely dinner at a restaurant two doors down and one floor up…

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Tomorrow we go home!

-S

New Year’s Eve 2013!

Lazy day – settling into our rented apartment in Vienna :)

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Finally went outside and attempted to find a place for dinner on New Year’s Eve… managed to find some wine!

And WiFi, which—funny story—we don’t get in the apartment we rented specifically for WiFi…!

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Wandered back toward the apartment and stumbled across this lovely little place!

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Dark wood furniture is kind of my dream…

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Back at home watching the local fireworks out our window and popping open some champagne at midnight :)

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Participating in some sort of European new year tradition, where you melt down some lead, dump it in cold water, and read its shape as an indicator for your upcoming year!

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Happy new year everyone!

-S

Eguisheim & Schwarzwald

Leaving Switzerland for a late afternoon at the Christmas market in France…

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Love the countryside here…

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(I also love construction!)

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Did they intentionally paint their houses in ROYGBV order?!

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In Eguisheim!

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After saying goodbye to Chris and Jacqueline, driving back into Germany…
(from the blackness of France, according to our GPS)

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Found a really cute brewery-guesthouse in the Black Forest!

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Brauerei Rogg’s winter brew…
(served with cinnamon on top!)

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Also their blue flaming rum shot… :P

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And bright pink floral suite.  :)

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-S

Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone, from Switzerland!

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Making huevos rancheros… a Christmas morning “tradition” with the Roedel family!

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Lazing around… (also a tradition…)

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Our awesome tree!

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Gifts like these make me feel like a kid again.  :)

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Henning with his more adult “tour of Belgium” gift…  :)

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Henning eating a hen!

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-S

Liz & Etay’s Wedding

Perfect weather for a beautiful wedding in Portola Valley…

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View over Stanford and the Bay Area…

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Simple and fun!

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Rising moon…

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Sparklers!!

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-S

Holiday Decorations

I’m thankful for – Day #9 – The Holidays

Two great things about the holiday season—celebrating with friends and family (!!), and days off (so excited)!!!

Here are our “simple & sweet” holiday decorations for Apartment 703 this year…  our lamppost tree… and our updated seasons wreath in the hall.
Perhaps next year will be more elaborate.  :)

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-S

Lonavala (Day 1)

Woke up on the bus, to the family playing a version of song-title-charades.  Not knowing much Marathi, I couldn’t exactly partake, but it was still fun to watch.  :)

When we arrived at the hotel in Lonavala, the bride’s family was waiting to greet the groom’s family’s two buses with bright yellow flower petals.

We settled into our rooms at the hotel (which was pretty much rented out for the event), and then settled into the first of many, many snacks/meals.

After one of the many, many short siestas began one of the many, many rituals / ceremonies of the weekend.

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Not exactly sure what this first ritual was about.  To be honest, it was difficult sometimes to find someone who spoke enough English to explain!  In general, the traditional rituals seemed to involved one group of the wedding party blessing either the bride/groom or another part of the wedding party.  :)

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Females on groom’s side of family blessing the groom, and his nephew Aunish by touching their head, shoulders, hands and feet.

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Short intermission for food (in the big hall), and two of my roommates (Arpan and Kajol) practicing their dance for later that night.

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Saurabh in his garb for the afternoon.

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The drummers enter, and everyone starts dancing!

The bride arrives, in HER afternoon garb!

Saurabh’s mom.  I still think she’s so pretty!

Next ritual, which involves the groom’s side of the family (men in front).  I believe that gifts to the bride are involved (below).

The big hall re-decorated for the evening events.  Food tables (buffet style) line both sides of the hall.  Sooo good!

Hanging out with the kids (we are starving!!)

After everyone else joins and eats, Saurabh and Prachi arrive and are part of a short comedy routine before they take their seats in the loves swing (above).

Some sweet moments in there.  :)

I don’t have photos (only video) of the following, but the rest of the night involved a lot of dancing!  First, friends and family performed routines for Saurabh and Prachi (and the rest of the audience), before the wedding couple themselves got on stage to perform a cute number.  :)

Everything ended in a big dance party on the floor, followed by more food, and ANOTHER late-night dance party indoors!

-S