Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our Weekend Away in Itay

I know this is totally out of order, but before Matt and Kim visited us in Frankfurt Justin and I went to Italy for a long weekend. With some video editing and me getting sick it took a lot longer than I thought to get this video up and running. This trip was kind of on a whim, but my girl, Bird, was going to be in Bologna when we had a national holiday, a Thursday and Friday off. So Wednesday after work we hopped on a plane with our Frankfurt friends, Ryan and Katy, and went to Bologna for two days and then the beach for two days. This was an awesome trip for so many reasons from seeing one of my best friends in the world, to new travel buddies, enjoying more of Italy, and of course the sunshine. In total we visited four cities and two countries in four days, Bologna, Ravenna, Rimini and the land locked country of San Marino.


Ryan and Katy!!!

I put together a little video of the trip for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Weekend Away in Italy 2011 from Marisa Jackson on Vimeo.

I am trying out Vimeo instead of Youtube, what do you think?

My favorite part of this trip was not having an agenda. We just did what we wanted and didn't have anything we had to do or see. We had great conversations over amazing Italian food and wine.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Team ISF

Last week a group of our coworkers ran in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. I came to find out this race in Frankfurt is the biggest foot race in the world with almost 70,000 runners. The first race in Frankfurt was in 1993 with only 527 runners. With so many banks, car companies, and insurance companies Frankfurt has a lot of corporate representation. The race was fun and I am proud to say I ran the whole 5.6k. For someone who hasn't run in months this was a big accomplishment, but man was I hurting after that.

Check out mine and Justin's photo finishes!

JP Morgan Chase puts on races in cities all over the world. See if you company will put a team together.

Maybe I will do a little more training for next year's race. Go Team ISF!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nuernberg, Germany

Marisa and I journeyed down to Nuernberg (or Nuremberg in the wacky alternative English spelling) for the famous Christkindl Markt back in December 2009 (see previous post). At the time I really enjoyed the festival, the gluehwein, and the charming old town feel. I knew that I wanted to come back during the warmer months to tour the city properly. Last weekend I got the chance to do just that.

The beautiful city of Nuernberg on the Pegnitz River

I met up with my boy Matt Davis and his lady friend, Kim, to spend the day touring Nuernberg. Davis had previously studied about 30 minutes away in the town of Erlangen for two years, so he was very familiar with the terrain and the half-truth tour guide kind of information about the sites in town. To further legitimize the information, we met up with Davis' former language partner, Doris, who hails from a village outside of Nuernberg.

Davis and I on the bridge

We started with a nice stroll through town and ended up at the old fortress at the cities highest point.

View of Nuernberg from the fortress

Serious door with intimidating "double-headed choking eagle" emblem

Albrecht Duerer, the famous artist/engraver, hails from Nuernberg.

Davis turns the ring on the "Schoener Brunnen" (Beautiful Fountain) - it's either for good luck or for having children. They really should've cleared that up before we all gave the ring a spin.

After lunch we ventured a bit outside of town to the former Nazi rally grounds and Documentation Center. I had planned on visiting the grounds, but I wasn't ready for the thoroughness of the exhibit, covering the history of the Nazis from their rise to power until the Nuernberg Trials. It was incredibly informative...........I just wish I was mentally prepared for it. I definitely recommend a visit to this place for those that love history.

The aerial view of the master plan for the Nazi Rally Grounds at the Documentation Center. The highlighted portions were either never completed or destroyed during construction by Allied bombing. You can get a view of the Congress Hall (middle left) which resembles the Roman Colosseum.

The self-guided tour inside the Documentation Center walks you through the rise of the Nazi party including these pro-Nazi propaganda posters claiming "Our last hope...........Hitler."

Creepy wall photo-mural.

Nuernberg was to be a model city for the Third Reich, and was a popular gathering grounds for Nazi Rallies.

Die Grosse Strasse (Great Street) was constructed to link a couple of major buildings on this complex. They imagined mass parades of Nazi troops marching along this street. Now it's an over-sized driveway/parking lot for the convention center.

View of the Congress Hall from across the lake - you can see the Roman influence much more clearly from here. This houses the Documentation Center as well as the Nuernberg Symphony.

Photo of the former Zeppelin Tribune, where Hitler would give speeches to the Nazis.

Today, the very same stadium is practically useless, the parking lot is home to lots of roller-bladers and skaters, and the Zeppelin Field in the background is just soccer and baseball fields.

Overall it was a nice return trip to Nuernberg and it shouldn't be left off of your list of places to see in Germany.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Davis Returns to Deutschland!

When I was in the 8th grade the good Lord brought the Davis family to Paulding County, GA. Over the next three years Matt and I became super close friends before he was whisked off to Kansas to finish out high school. We've stayed in touch ever since and have always been the kind of friends that can pick right up where we left off - even if it's been a year or so.

Davis and Kim

One of the interesting things about Davis and I is that we've had a mutual interest in Germany over the past ten years. It started with Matt studying German in high school and college and going on a study abroad (circa 2003) while at Kansas University. I followed suit by studying German at Georgia Tech and studying abroad in Weimar, Germany in the summer of 2004. Davis then upped the ante by spending two consecutive years circa 2005-2006 bumming off of a work-study grant in Erlangen, Germany. Not wanting to be outdone, Marisa and I moved to Frankfurt in 2009-present to teach at an international school.

With all of this back-and-forth across the Pond, until this month we'd never actually been in Germany at the same time. Needless to say, the visit was much-anticipated. Davis decided to do a little traveling before finishing out his PhD and put together a reunion tour of some of his favorite places in Deutschland. Marisa and I were fortunate to host him and his lady friend, Kim, for their first stop in Frankfurt. We basically ran them through all of the typical Frankfurt sites and experiences which is standard for our guests.

The group celebrating the best schnitzel in Bornheim...........zur Sonnenuhr!!

It was nice catching up on life and getting them acclimated to Germany before meeting up with them later in Nuernberg.


Monday, June 13, 2011

My 28th Birthday!

This is a few weeks late, but here it is. For my birthday this year I wanted to get outdoors and invite all my friends. It was a great Saturday full of sunshine and we had a great turn out.

We grilled out!

Had some drinks!

Played some games!

Got a little crazy! (Not really there were kids present)

Richard brought some celebratory Applewine for everyone! Thanks!

Everyone seemed to have a good time.

My girl, Janice, made me an amazing birthday cake! Thanks girl!

And we stayed until the sun went down!

I really loved my birthday party this year. I got to bring together all my friends in Frankfurt from coworkers to small group friends and our first friends, Katy and Ryan. It was hard not to have a good time when the weather was perfect and there was plenty of food and drinks to go around. Thanks everyone for making my birthday so special and so fun.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lots of May birthdays

I don't know about you, but May is the most jammed packed month of birthdays for Justin and I. We have six just between our two families. It also turned out to be a big one for our coworkers. So before we get to my birthday I first want to share what we did for my friend and coworker, Janice. This was her big 3-0 and her boyfriend took the reins and totally surprised her. He organized the Applewine Express to be packed full of her friends and coworkers. We loaded on first and then made a loop to pick up Janice and Kyle and she totally surprised when the trolley pulled up. We had our party hats and party horns to go with the big celebration.

Getting ready for the big surprise

SURPRISE! I love her face in this picture. She had no idea until she saw all of us hanging out the windows singing happy birthday. 

She is so happy and Kyle is so happy he pulled it off

With her party hat on she is ready to go!

Just having a good time


Group shot and yes I told them to look excited

A shot of the Frankfurt skyline at dusk

This is when it started to get crazy! Classic picture though, look at everyones faces.

Now this is just too crazy

Man of the hour, Kyle, and the birthday girl, Janice

This was our second time on the Applewine Express and I love it. It is a great way to see the city of Frankfurt and have a good time. But most of all I love surprises and I am so glad I got to be a part of this one. Happy Birthday Janice!


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