Thursday, June 30, 2011

Germany - Day 10 - Jonas' Confirmation Ceremony

It is Jonas' big day and if he is nervous, it isn't showing.

I was able to put a nice full Windsor knot in my tie, but that was looking in the mirror. I failed miserably tying Jonas' tie as I faced him. How embarrassing after nearly 60 years of knots and not being able to get it right for Jonas. I eventually figured out what I was doing wrong, but it was too late......someone else got it done.

Dominik's confirmation was two years ago. Sigrid came over for that ceremony as well.


Jonas and Dominik with Aunt Sigrid.

Mom and Dad with Jonas.


The church just before the ceremony. No photos during the ceremony.

Lots of kids confirmed today.

After the service, Dad and Jonas.

Oma (Grandmother) Seitz, in the white jacket, congratulates Jonas.

Oma and Opa Seitz talk with Sigrid's brother, Eckhart.

Getting ready to toast back at the house.

The guys.

The whole family.

After toasting at home and visiting with friends and relatives, Opa Seitz treated two large tables of us to lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Of course, later in the afternoon, we had German deserts and coffee.

Day 11 will be a day of rest for all of us so we will pick up with Day 12 next.

Germany - Day 9 - Traveling to Bischofsheim

On the way to Sonja's house, Sigrid's sister, we stopped at Schloss Philipsruhe in Hanau. Georg and Gisela hadn't been there before. The 18th century castle is impressive as are the grounds surrounding it. The castle is now a public park, museum, library, etc.

There was a wedding party in the castle as we arrived.

A different bridal party was being photographed on the lawn outside the schloss.

The bride and groom emerge.

I am pretty sure it was a Russian wedding based on the band playing by the front door.

Here go the balloons.....up


And away.

Swans on the Main River.

The Main River also sees heavy barge and tour boat traffic during the warm months.

We took a nice walk through old Hanau.

After arriving at Sonja's home we had time to visit and eat the traditional German afternoon dessert and coffee. Sonja's husband, Klaus, is on the right side of the table. Their home is in Bischofsheim, a small town on the northeastern edge of Frankfurt.

Sonja is next to Klaus.

After eight great days, we had to say goodbye to Georg, Gisela, and Lars. We will spend the next few days with Sonja and family and attend Jonas' confirmation ceremony. Gisela and family are preparing for a 3 1/2 week trip to the US in just a few days so they have to go home and get ready. We will miss being with them, but plan to Skype often as they travel the Southwestern US in May.

Next up is the Confirmation on Day 10.

Germany - Day 8 Part II - Johann Tullius Family Winery

After leaving Rudesheim, we took the ferry across the Rhine and drove about 25 miles to Steinhardt where the Johann Tullius Weingut is located. This family owned and operated winery has been in business since 1690 and the 9th and 10th generation family have adapted the business to thrive in today's world. In addition to the wine operations, they also have a Bed & Breakfast and sizable convention/party facilities. As we arrived, they were preparing for a wedding party of over 100 people the next day.

The family name, Tullius, goes all the way back to the days when the Romans occupied this part of Germany. In case you didn't do the math, the winery is 321 years old and was around 86 years before our Declaration of Independence. The photos below are of the courtyard area.

Wine is ready for loading on the truck.

One of a number of rooms available for events.

As Sigrid would is very rustical.

The room where the buffet dinner will be served later in the evening.

Checking in.

Lars and Georg relaxing with a

Opa (Grandpa) Tullius (9th generation) greeted us, took us on a tour of the wine making plant, and hosted our private wine tasting before going to dinner. He has retired but still enjoys meeting the guests and talking about wine.

Here, we learn about all the different kinds of wine they produce.

Colorful vats.

They have shifted from using natural cork to seal the bottles to a synthetic cork that doesn't impart a taste to the wine and protects the wine from spoilage longer (more air and moisture tight). I believe that pretty much all wine makers are doing the same if not opting for screw off caps.

A grape press. Notice the electric motor and jack screw on the left end. The sides of the press are perforated to let the juice out. This assembly was inserted in a tank when in use. Being electric, it obviously wasn't ancient but still interesting.

The Tomb Room for small groups without claustrophobia.

All set for tomorrow's big wedding party.

Getting ready for wine tasting.

We had a great time and Opa Tullius never ran out of stories or wines.

On fairly empty stomachs, the wine eventually started taking its toll. At one time I though there were two Opa Tullius'.

After the tasting, we had a nice dinner and settled in for the night. The rooms were very comfortable and clean. After breakfast the next morning, Sigrid made friends with one of the locals dressed for the wedding party later that day.

We got a leisurely start to the drive to Sigrid's sister's house since it was only about 60 miles away. We will do a little sightseeing as we go on Day 9.