Let me finish my story

International J mentioned that she was getting worried that I had not updated my blog. Nothing to worry about. I've just been mentally lazy and haven't pulled the rest of the story out of my head.

Well tonight, I put on my glasses and left the TV off, so let me finish my story for you.

Actually, I need to look back and see where I left off.....

Oh yes, Karneval costumes. 

Let me tell you about the parade we went to for Karneval. If we were the partying type of people, we could have been celebrating Karneval all weekend. But we are not and we did not. BUT we did join in the festivities on Monday. It is a family tradition to visit their friend "A" and watch the parade that goes right in front of her house. 

{time - out}
Can I tell you that "A" and I are kindred-spirits? Our names are just one vowel sound different (mine is a long e sound, her's is a short e sound). We are both gluten-free and know how to sew. There could be more, but we speak different languages, so it will take me more time to learn them. I invited myself back to her house on my next trip.

This was not my first Karneval experience, but it was my first parade. International J tried to warn/tell me about the costumes and candy. But it was something that is not completely understood without seeing it.

The costume I had brought over for Karneval was not meant for outside, during freezing weather, so we moved on to Plan B.....because it was not an option to simply be "American."

I joined the Super Heros League for my inside costume.

And became a free-spirit messy painter for the parade. 

International J has her tradition of wearing a clown costume that fits over her winter coat. She is such a smart lady!

Next time I go for Karneval parade, I am going to make one of these types of costumes...
They are squares/rectangles of fabric layered and sewn onto jackets, pants, skirts, ect. They are only sewn on the top edge, so they have movement to them. They look so cool. I'm imagining it would A) take a good amount of time to make and B) take up a lot of space in my suitcase. 

In addition to the fact that EVERYONE is in some sort of costume, both in the parade and watching the parade, another special feature of Karneval parades is that the watchers yell "Camilla!!!" in order to encourage them to throw you candy or hand you gifts (like chocolate, flowers, or drinks.) It was very hard for me to NOT wave when I was yelling Camilla. But no one else was waving, so I tried to contain myself, but it was going against my midwest parade attending protocols. 

By the time the parade passed by us the first time, we had a lot of candy and flowers. But the tradition is that once it goes by the house, there is time to cut across town and watch it a second time. As I mentioned before, I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather, so Captain America saved the day and asked if we could stay back. So the two of us stayed at the house playing games (and I even took a power nap) while the serious parade attendees in our group watched on the other side of town.

When it was all said and done, we took home 5 grocery sacks full of candy and made 2 or 3 arrangements of flowers. 

I tried a variety of pretty looking packages of candy, but none of it came close to my Duplos or Schoko & Keks. 

E.H.B. and I worked on a sewing project that evening. We had started it the day before, but were burning the midnight oil to get it finished.

The finished product is the smiley face cell phone purse. I didn't take good photos of the rest of the details. E.H.B. designed it with a contrasting fabric trim and two pockets inside. It it also quilted to add a little cushion of protection for her phone. 


The last bit of the adventure actually happened on Sunday evening - the day before we went to the parade. We visited the Schloss Drachenburg castle for the annal HighLight event. Each winter, they "re-design" the castle and gardens with a creative light show. It was amazing.


There was a variety of technology used and ways to turn light into art. 
I was also super excited to get to see some of the inside of castle and climb up one of the towers. It also got added to my list to return to on my next visit....but in the daylight this time. 
We traveled up the mountain to the castle via the Drachenfels rack railway. The castle is only part-way up the mountain, so maybe next time we will also ride all the way to the top. 

It is the oldest rack railway on the Rhine and is still operated with a steam locomotive. The brochure says "Whether as a starting point for hiking through the Seven Mountains, or simply for a "coffee with a view" on the modernized Drachenfels Plateau." I'm game for either one. 

{P.S. Special thanks to K for picking up the brochures for me. There is no way I could have remembered the names without them.}

So as I finish up this long-over due blog post it comes to my mind one of the reasons I have been putting off writing it is because it makes me so lonesome for my dear friends. 

I think a batch of brownie bites will make me feel better. :)


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