I was pretty fortunately this year to meet Melanie. She is from Germany but has been living in the US. When she moved back to Germany for a bit I decided to take a vacation to not only visit her, but also to check out where she is from, you know, get the guided tour from someone who lives there. So I got a ticket and headed off to Germany.


My flight was great, direct from Denver to Frankfurt. I got off the plane and walked on through customs and waiting at the other side was Melanie. It was great to see her! We headed off to see the country she grew up in… Of course, we started by getting some coffee since I was kinda jet Lagged.

The first morning I woke up Melanie was making breakfast and asked me to go to the pet store to get some feeder crickets for her brothers frogs. We were taking care of his apartment and his pets while he was on vacation and in exchange we also got to use his car. I agreed but in a small village in Germany, English isn’t exactly easy to come by… How exactly would you ask for crickets if you don’t speak any German? Melanie wrote me a note and I headed down the street to see what I could do. I walked in the store and looked around. Every where I looked I didn’t see any crickets… So finally I resorted to the note. After a quick greeting a woman took my note and grabbed some crickets and I was on my way.

We headed out to the world and over the next two weeks we were able to see Heidelberg, Sinsheim, Mannheim, Grombach, Bad Rappenau, Bad Wimpfen, Speyer and several other places along the way. We were able to see the Porsche Museum, The Auto & Technic museum and the Hockenheim ring. Yes, I know I am a nerd with the car stuff, but Melanie was very patient with my Car addiction and may have even enjoyed some of the experiences.

Melanie was great at showing me the area, we rode bikes to her families orchard, we explored Churches, castles and borgs. We ate all the local delicacies and we met people and saw what the towns had to offer. It was a great trip, a relaxing trip as well! We took photos of everything so how about I let you just check out each of the photos rather than ramble on!

Bad Wimpfen Germany

Bad Wimpfen

Borg near Sinsheim

Melanie outside of the borg near sinsheim. You can see the Vineyards in the background

A view of the Vineyards at the Borg near Sinsheim. I will have to find out what the name of this place is again.

The sunset over the Borg

a panorama of the Hockenheim ring, Melanie is sitting in the seats on the right.

Hockenheim Ring
A audi racing at the Hockenheim ring

Hockenheim Ring
Melanie had told me that Germans really like to bring their own lunch wherever they go. These guys brought an entire spread, it was quite impressive and they may have had enough for us to join them, though we didn’t ask…

Hockenheim Ring
The Hockenheim Ring Museum

mannheim germany
Mannheim Wasserturm

mannheim germany

Speyer, Germany
Speyer Dom

Chris’s frogs that we were taking care of. Yes, I have a note that can get me crickets at a german zoo shop…just in case.

sinsheim auto und technik museum
Sinsheim Auto & Technik museum.

porsche museum, stuttgart
Porsche Museum in Stuttgart

Daimlers Workshop, Stuttgart
Daimlers first workshop, this is where the first car was created.

Melanies Grandmothers Barn and courtyard

heidelberg germany
Heidelberg Castle

heidelberg germany

heidelberg germany
The old bridge in Heidelberg

I will put up another post soon of my favorite photos from the trip. I guess this one is more of a quick tour through my trip to Germany.

I’ve been workin’ on the railroad…

I have at least been working on a train. In 2008 my soapbox team “Team Save Ferris” installed our first soapbox car in the Forney Museum of Transportation. Since then we put in our second car the Mach 5. Well, the Forney is a pretty cool place so some of us have done a little bit of volunteer work. I have to say that I haven’t done a whole lot there, but I got the bug the other day and headed down to the Forney to see what I could help them out with.

When I walked into the museum I talked to the Volunteer director and he went through a list of projects and asked me what I’d like to work on. Well, I figured I would work on whatever was most important to him so I left it up to him. Turns out I ended up working on a 104 year old train car. This train car is pretty beat up. The whole thing is wood (with the exception of the chassis and wheels) and all the wood is definitely in rough shape. If I had all the time and money in the world I’d say that pulling all the wood off, planing it and re installing only the good stuff would be the best plan, but for now they are replacing just the really bad parts. So I was provided with wood, a handheld jigsaw, some sandpaper, a hammer and a cordless drill. The initial project was to replace the outer boards around an oval shaped window.

I was able to replace the boards and get the shape pretty close on the window without butchering it to bad with the limited tools that were available. but I am going to go back and finish it up with a bit more sanding and some primer and paint.

I will take some better photographs when I get a little farther on the project. For now the iPhone pix will have to do!