"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


Zum Gerburtsag Viel Gluck

Or, as I prefer to say it, "Happy Brithday."

I had the pleasure of celebrating my 29th birthday with my mom in Heidelberg. She came all the way from Jakarta, Indonesia to celebrate with me. (Oh, and she came for Christmas and New Year's too).

'The father' gave me some local chocolate delicacies (you can never go wrong with chocolate!), and my mom brought me a nativity scene made from bamboo by a local artisan in Jakarta. (Like all people born close to Christmas, I tend to abhor mixing my birthday with Christmas, but I decided to let it slide this year because I immediately fell in love with this nativity scene.)

My favorite part is this animal. I think it is intended to be a lamb, but it resembles a wiener dog more than a sheep.

After opening presents we went for a walk along the Neckar River and enjoyed the newly fallen snow.

It was so cold (15 degrees F), that our feet were immediately numb and it even hurt to breath the frigid air. We tried our best to keep Penelope warm. If you look closely, you can almost see her beneath all the layers of clothes and blankets.

Trudge, trudge, shiver, shiver...

We then walked over to the Neuenheim Market. The stalls were covered in plastic to keep the produce from freezing. We bought some fruit and lettuce, but by the time we got home the lettuce was frozen solid.

Here we are 'kissing' under the mistletoe for sale.

After spending a few hours back at home defrosting our limbs, we ventured back into town for a Christmas carols sing-a-long concert at the Providenz Kirche (church). The words were in German of course, but we managed to follow along as best as we could from the song sheet and pretend like we knew what we were singing. We did at least get the chorus of "O Tannenbaum."

We snapped a few photos of the town all lit up for Christmas while walking to the church. Here is a view down the Hauptstrasse (main street/pedestrian walkway).

And the Christmas pyramid atop a Gluewein stand at the Christmas Market in the Marktplatz.

This was definitely the most unique and the coldest birthday I have celebrated yet.

(P.S. Thank you, Lindy, for the coat. I may look ridiculous, but it sure helps keep me warm!!!)

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