Is your mother a Rockstar?? Mine is.
My rockstar of a mother is 78 years old. She is funny, caring, silly and a lover of all things family. I was getting ready to celebrate a monumental birthday, when she came into some unexpected cash. Thinking for a few minutes about what she could do with her new found wealth, I decided to float an idea. I suggested that she visit my oldest brother and his girlfriend who live in Germany and she hadn’t seen in nearly three years. Now I truly had no ulterior motive when the idea was floated. Without thinking my mom said, “Will you come with me?” Well…being her only daughter, and not wanting my mom to travel that far alone, I said YES! (I feel a tiny bit bad that my brothers didn’t get to chime in….actually I really don’t feel bad at all!) And as we started to discuss our trip to Germany, my mother mentioned that she always wanted to visit Wales. My response, “Let’s go Wales!” Her next request was the Isle of Guernsey. So we added it to our growing list and ended it with her last request for Cornwall.
Within a day we had an itinerary outlined, plane tickets and ferry tickets purchased, a car rented, and ideas swirling in both of our heads. I was a tiny bit concerned about my mom trekking across Europe and being able to see everything she wanted to, but I never imagined that my mom would take Europe by storm:-) So from March 5th-19th we traveled here, there and everywhere!!
We landed in Dussledorf, Germany and were greeted with great big hugs from my brother George and his girlfriend, Anika. Over the next five days Anika and George would become the tour guides extraordinaire and my mother would start to see the beauty of Germany. I was fortunate to visit Germany a year ago and with this visit my admiration for her beauty and her people grew even deeper. One of the things I love most about my brother’s girlfriend, Anika, is her ability to be just a silly as I am. She is always up for an adventure and she is the consummate hostess. She and my brother both are just wonderful about making you feel comfortable, loved and welcomed. I love them both dearly for that.
We had stopped in Essen our first day and I asked to take a look inside a temple that I noticed while driving around. It was actual a temple which was converted into a cultural center. The Old Synagogue can be found in the center of Essen and was built in 1913 and consecrated the “New Synagogue”. Today it is a museum and cultural center for the city of Essen.
We traveled to Cologne on our first full day. While shopping for a more comfortable jacket for my mom..the weather was spectacular the entire time we were in Europe…I bought a Barbie doll. I had done a few fun senior shoots with Barbie dolls in the past and thought we would have a bit of fun with her in Cologne. I never imagined a $9 doll would bring so much joy to us and turn so many heads in the process:-)
Behind the Cathedral in Cologne is the Hohenzollernbrucke Bridge…better known as the Love Locks Bridge. The bridge is covered with locks from couples who have attached the locks to bridge and declared their love. George and Anika have a few on the bridge…they’re so cute!!
Have an admission. I may have had upwards of two lattes a day while in Europe:-) Soooo good!!
If only Americans used bicycles as a mode of transportation like the Germans do. So many bicycles….so much healthier.
Mom and Anika strolling the streets of Muenster.
The Castle at Conway was spectacular. The entire town is walled and the castle itself is the entrance to the city. Built in the late 13th century it is still a treasure. You can nearly walk the perimeter of the city on the top of the wall. Such breathtaking views as it’s perched on the north coast of Wales.
Fish and chips just don’t taste the same in the United States…so good:-)
Our ferry trip to Guernsey with Condor Ferries went without a hitch and we made our way to the Houge Du Prommier Hotel. Beautiful hotel and perfectly located right next to a bus stop which took us all around this gorgeous island.
My mom was in her glory walking the same streets as the cast of Doc Martin. Barbie made an appearance again:-)
The view from the local pub looking up at Doc Martin’s home….
One of my favorite images from the trip below. Our hotel is in the right foreground. Such an amazing place to spend a few days and I look forward to returning someday. For now the memories I have of Wales and Germany are wrapped in love. Memories of driving around Wales with my mom, laughing a ton as we got lost, enjoying fish and chips and soaking up all the history of Cornwall, Guernsey, Conwy, LLandudno, and Rhyl. Memories that I will cherish forever. Love you, Mommy!!