Published: October 4th 2010August 14th 2010
Ashley riding Sarah's horse in their backyard
After all that traveling around Greece and Switzerland we returned to Germany to visit more family. The visiting was preceded by a day of rest in Frankfurt where we relaxed and exerted ourselves only for a leisurely 3 hour walk. We celebrated our anniversary by going out for dinner at a Greek/Italian restaurant and it was delicious. However, it was also accompanied by a dog humping Ashley's arm. That's right! You may think "what was a dog doing in a restaurant?" but unlike Canada dogs are more welcome than children and this one seemed to belong to the owner or an employee. As soon as we entered the restaurant it took a liking to Ashley and of course she couldn't resist petting it which made him like her even more and he kept coming back for more petting. Then it turned ugly when he tried to hump her arm. This made Ashley very, very uncomfortable so she shooed the dog away as soon as possible.
Anyway, on to more important things. After Frankfurt we went to Bernsen which is near Hannover, to visit Dan's second cousin once removed (trust us, it took us a while to figure out what the
exact relation was), Oliver and his wife Sarah and son Paul. They live in a beautiful farmhouse in a tiny tiny town. They have 2 horses and their business upstairs. The first day Paul took an instant liking to Ashley and dragged her around everywhere. It was so cute but Ashley had a hard time understanding what he was talking about. However, Dan figured that talking to a 2 year old who speaks a different language is a great way to learn it. We learned tons from Paul and his books.
The 11th was a slow day. We went to Ikea (yay for foreign Ikea) and played with Paul some more. We went horseback riding which was fun. That night we played Rummy. Oliver and Sarah kicked our butts and kept introducing us to new rules. We went to bed early that night which was just fine with us. On the 12th we took a trip to the local amusement park, Heide Park. It was a long day but it was so much fun. We warmed up with some smaller rides first. Dan and Oliver got wet on the log ride first thing and we went on a tube
Look Ma, no hands
Dan and Oliver on the log ride
ride in rapids which was pretty fun. This park is home to the Guiness World Record holding Colossos, which holds the record for steepest wooden roller coaster in the world at 61º. Once we were in line Ashley began wondering what the heck she was about to do. Even as she was getting in the seat she wanted to bolt out the other side. However, it was too late by that point. She was stuck. And then the car started ascending the tracks and then over the tracks and down at 61º. Once over that initial hill Ashley was having a great time and realized it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. We went on several other rides too like the Swing and one where you stand up and the contraption spins. Eventually Ashley got a bit queasy and decided to take it easy from there on out. Dan went on one roller coast, solo, where the seat was hanging down
from the track. Dan waited the extra couple minutes to ride right at the front so that there was nothing between him and...well, nothing. Last but not least we went on a bobsled type ride. On
The BIG roller coaster.
this ride there were no track for the car to be attached to; it just rolls along a bobsled pipe. As a result, it lacks the herky-jerkyness of a typical roller coaster; it was a reeeeally smooth ride and one of Ashley's favourites. That night we ordered in Italian (food, not the language; I don't think any of us spoke Itallian) for dinner and went to bed early since we were all beat from a long day at the park. On the 13th, Oliver and Sarah drove us to Hannover so we could catch a train to Hamburg. There ends our visit with Oliver, Sarah and Paul in Bernsen.
There are more photos below