Travel with Mom

Because I've done a good amount of traveling in the past two weeks, I'm not going to describe all of it here and now, but rather put together a separate link where each location can read about, with matching pictures to boot.

During study abroad, I would even agree that it's important to get around the area and see what you can see. Yes, I missed one day each of my classes, but we're allowed to miss two days before we're officially crossed off of the attendance list and are no longer able to get the Schein for the class. So I'm still good for time.

I also realized that while I explained the little local blue boxes for train tickets, I didn't do so for the computer touch-screen machines with the red tops that are, in my opinion, even more important than the blue machines. The red machine is basically a computer Counter Personnel, and you can get the same information from it as you can from a Counter Personnel. You can print out travel schedules, buy tickets, or just see how long it would take to get from Münich to Berlin. If you have extra time, these machines also make a great toy, and offer service in apprx. 8 languages. They're also handy if the line at the airport travel center is 30 people long and there is just one confused American (who quickly gives up trying to use the machine) at the red-topped ticket machine. I pick my battles wisely.

To sum up the two weeks, we saw: the Heidelberg Castle (not a first for me, but I hadn't visited the castle garden earlier, which is, by the way, FREE) and stayed in Heidelberg for two nights, took a hike in Baiersbronn, which is a city in the middle of the northern part of the Schwarzwald, stayed two nights in Füssen, a city that lies across the Forgensee from Castle Neuschwanstein. We were in Bonn for a few hours as well, and spent an okay amount of time in Landau, seeing the places I usually go to.

Spring has gotten to Landau, and it was unbelievably good weather the past few weeks. Today it's rainy in spring timeme-crappy way, so I opted out of riding the bike to the library. Speaking of bikes, my crappy bike, the one I never took a picture of (sorry to Dan, who I think requested a photo of the dilapidated wonder), was stolen who KNOWS how long ago from our apartment building basement. I'm not crying over it, but it's €35,- I'm never getting back. At least I had pre-rented a bike that works, and at least that wasn't the one stolen. It would have probably cost me more than the €20,- I paid to rent it.

I'll get into more details of the past two weeks for next time. Until then, Eurovision is another perk to being in Germany. I know we can watch it back in the US, too, but here it's more "real". And, as bejudgmentalntal is part of the fun of Eurovision, some comments on what I think of the contestants...:

-Albania's Luiz Ejlli should. do something more than smile at a girl and move his leg and arms in the video. Plus, the voice doesn't seem to be corresponding to him as an image of a person. I'm worried.
-Jennifer from Andorra is too 1980's. I just watched "Working Girl" for my American Dreams and American Nightmares course (we get such exciting course opportunities here -- the professor who taught my Vampire course last semester is teaching a Cyberpunk course this semester), so I find myself very sensitive to the 1980's.
-Andre from Armenia looks like an Armenian Carrot Top.
-Belarus' Polina Smolova is reminiscent of Russlana, because of the voice and because of indistinguishableable English. I can barely understand what the woman is singing.
-Kate Ryan from Belgium wants to be Britney Spears circa "I'm not a girl, but not yet a Woman".
-Bosnia and Herzogovnia's Hari Mata Hari looks like a more depressed Kevin Spacey, but has a nice voice and makes me wish I knew what he was singing about.
-Mariana Popova from Bulgaria. Good voice, interesting ethnic feel to it, and the lyrics are cheeky. Love love stuff, and then "the truth....LET'S SAY GOODBYE!" Oh, and there are acrobats and spinny ribbons in the video. I hope she brings them with her to Greece.
-Croatia's Severina... Too much lRuslanalana. And is Severina cross-eyed? Pretty dress, though.
-Annette Artani form Cyprus. 1)Good to see something GOOD come out of Cyprus. 2) Her voice is really good. Unfortunately, while I don't believe she'd win Eurovision, she would do a killer number on the sorry saps of American Idol if she ever decided to change citizenship and compete. But she doesn't need to, because she's already kind of famous. Right?
-Denmark. Crappy lyrics, but it has the standard Eurovision pep to it. Could get somewhere, unless the judges did what they did several years back to Mortenson, who had a GREAT song, and got shafted big time. What do you have against Denamark, world?
-Sandra Oxenryd from Estonia has my vote (so far) for AT LEAST top 5. Lyrics aren't too terrible, but the energy is there, and her voice is good. The video is crap, but I think she could get far. GO ESTONIA!
-Lordi from Finland. Oh. My. God. I hope they show up like that for the contest. Please please do. I want people to pee their pants from surprise. HARD ROCK HALLELUJAH! Zombie cheerleaders, anyone? And that's all I've got to say about that.
-Virginie Pouchin from France. Video like Goldenhorse's "Wake up, Brother" video. Copycat! Good voice, but won't do.
-F.Y.R. Macedonia: Elena Risteska. I was going to let the similaritiesRuslanalana slide, but then the girl had to go ahead and make reference to Shakira in her song text. That's going too far. OUT!
-What's with the sudden interest in country music!? Texas Lightning from Germany. At least she has good Englpronunciationtion.
-Anna Vissi from Greece. Good voice, sappy lyrics.
-Silvia Night from Iceland. Madona meets Aqua. Don't like it.
-Ireland's Brian Kennedy. No words. Is this a joke?
-Eddie Butler for Israel. The way he sings makes me *think* I can understand what he's singing when he's not singing in English. Very Gospely.
-Latvia's Cosmos. Oh boys. No matter how good you are (and they're good), Eurovision has never been place boy bandsands. Lithuaniaania. LT United...I can't tell if it's an act of desperation, or a call for war. There are six of them. There are six in Cosmos. And the song is in a very taunting tone. I like it. But I don't know... if they win, then it will be a "HAHA, TOLD YOU SO!" to the rest. Hahaha, these guys have guts. In the top 10.
-Fabrizio from Malta-- looks like the Karate Kid. Wax on, wax off, kiddo! Wow, he and his "ex" are practically twins. And I like that she used a rolly-suitcase to leave.
-Netherlands and Treble. Shakira much? People seem to be stickingRuslana'sna's nonsense-word usage to fill in space. At least they play instruments. They get points for that. And the energy.
-Ich Troje of Poland. Mixture between Ace of Base and Real McCoI don'ton't like that the one guy has red hair. Is it a wig?
-Portugal's entry, Nonstop. How come four singers need two backup singers? Shady.
-Romania's Mihai Traistariu reminds me of Deen and "In the Disco." Me no likey.
-Dima Bilan as Russia's contestant. He has a mullet. Lyrics are bad. Very bad. Maybe he should have chosen Russian. Enrique.
-Anzej Dezan of Slovenia. He likes scarves. He moves like a woman. He likes to dress up. He is a man of many hairdos. he could get somewhere. Also in the top 5, mostly because he's amusing.
-Sadly, Spain has chosen Las Ketchup as their entry.foreseersee something much like T.a.T.U. from several years back. Las Ketchup, although they don't necessarily have anything great to offer, will place high just because they are already huge famous.
-Sweden's Carola. Too much like Lena's "It hurts" from a few years back. Sorry.
-Switzerland's six4one = S-Club7minus one.
-Turkey. Gwen Steffani wannabe. No good. Can you tell I'm getting tired of judging?
-Tina Karol from the Ukraine scares me. Maybe it's the hair, maybe it's the hat, or maybe it's the shoullengthnght leather gloves. I don't know. Why is everyone in love with the 80's!?!?
-If you can't dance if you can't dance, if you can't dance if you can't dance, hire 20 other people who can. Booyah! I'm digging the all yellow bathroom. It's like... Vitamin C + len+...British rap.

I'm done.

I forgot Norway. Her hair maked her face look crooked. She has an interesting voice, though. Good for her!