Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Sermon at Peter's Primacy

It was a glorious dawn the day we toured the Galilee area visiting places where Christ spent the majority of his ministry.  While the dramatic last events of Christ's life occur in Jerusalem, his everyday life, the calling of the apostles, the feeding the 5,000 and a multitude of miracles took place on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 

Our first stop was a small church on the north end of Galilee that commemorates Peter's Primacy--or calling as chief among the apostles and leader of the fledgling church.  The modern name of the village is Tabgha, a shortening of the Greek name Heptapegon which means 7 springs.  Warm springs running under the mountain empty into the northern end of Galilee attracting fish which accounts for why this area was so popular with fishermen--the job of several apostles.

Monday, January 26, 2015


If you've been reading my blog for a while you know we traveled to Greece two years ago and I wasn't super impressed with Athens.  I found it dirty and a bit disorganized (you can read about it here), but we gave it another try in November when my husband ran the marathon. Last week I reported on the race and shared with you a hotel recommendation.   Today I will share a FANTASTIC  gelateria and restaurant we discovered on our first trip that was still as good as we remembered.  

Address: 16 Mitropoleos
I loved this small boutique gelato cafe so much we stopped by each night.  The prices are a bit more and portions smaller, but the flavors are so powerful, I found the small to be just the right amount of ice-cream for me.  We tried a few different flavors, but I think my favorite was the chocolate orange--oh my, died and gone to heaven rich!  

My second recommendation is the restaurant we discovered on our first trip. 
Mitropoleos 69 Monastriaki Square
Athens, Greece
+39 210 324 4705
This restaurant was recommended by our tour guide; he said it was a local favorite and he must be right because it was packed both times we ate there.  Despite being in a central location for tourists the restaurant felt like it was full of locals, at least I didn't hear any other languages being spoken. They serve typical Greek food, but man, the meat was good and the garlic sauce and the bread and the salad; it was all tasty!

Since this was our second trip to Athens we didn't feel so inclined to revisit all the ruins, however I did make a trip up to the Acropolis while Bob was running his marathon.  I ended up meeting a 19 year old boy who was touring Europe all by himself.  He sort of attached himself to me for a couple of hours--so we walked around the city a bit and I shared with him what little I know about Greece, the architecture and history.  He stayed with me until Bob finished his race--it was nice to have the company and I hope he felt a little less lonely, at least for a couple of hours.  

Athens makes me a little crazy--they have an amazing heritage, but I feel like they don't take very good care of it.  Aside from the ruins, which you expect to be run down, the buildings are in general disrepair.  The main basilica for the Greek Orthodox branch of the church is in an atrocious state--There is scaffolding wrapped around the entire building, so it looks like they are making renovations, but truth be told I never saw any workers.  All this aside, Athens provides many many photographic opportunities and I swear they have the best shoe prices!  I came home with two pair this trip.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Silent Sunday

Honestly, I am a chocolate lover, but don't these treats look delicious?  
Taken at a bakery in Jerusalem.
OneDad3Girls Silent Sunday @ Nicer Than New
Unknown Mami

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sunrise Over Galilee

I count myself as blessed to have caught such a beautiful sunrise over the sea of Galilee.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Athens Marathon

 My husband is a marathon runner--he's not a winner, he's not the fastest jock on the block, but he is consistent and loves a challenge.  Many of our vacations in Europe have been built around that city's marathon; it's a formula that works for us.  The idea of running the "original" marathon was too tempting for Bob to pass up and so even though it is a predominately up hill course, he set his sights towards Athens.
It was a great trip--just the two of us with perfect fall weather and I have a really good hotel recommendation to share.  
Athens Diamond Plus
Address: Voulis 24 & Mitropoleos St.
Metro Station: Syntagma
Great location near the metro station and within walking distance of all major sites.
Bonus: Breakfast included and best bed I've slept in in Europe.  Clean, white decor made it seem like a bridal suite. Friendly staff helped us locate an English movie theater.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Munich Monday--Krampus Run

One thing I have loved about living in Germany is participating in unique traditions.  The Krampus tradition first came on my radar a few years ago when I read about theses "alternative" creatures of Christmas in National Geographic magazine.  When I stumbled upon an advertisement for a Krampus parade right in Munich I was ecstatic.  My children were a little bit leary and my husband (a parade hater) refused to go (party pooper), but I made the girls go with me and we LOVED IT!  

Let me back up and give a bit of history...the Krampus are sort of the antitheses of of St. Nicolaus.  They come to terrorize naughty children and deliver whippings.  They carry large bells which make loads of noise and wear frightful masks, but these scary creatures are really just out for a naughty good time.  This 500 year old tradition is largely found in Southern Bavaria and the Sud Tirol and their costumes are somewhat dictated by their region of origin.
Eden was a favorite with the Kramps--perhaps it is her angelic face, but several came her way to tousle her hair or pull her hat off.  The parade lasted only about 30 minutes beginning in Karlsplatz, ending in Marianplatz.  If you are going to be in Munich next December I would mark your calendar because this is a parade you should not miss.  Enjoy the photos!

I heart macro

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Silent Sunday

I absolutely love this photo!  I felt a little guilty photographing people as if they were an exhibit--and my 17 year old felt it was unquestionably WRONG.  She didn't even like that we were watching their holy rituals, but one of my favorite places in Jerusalem was the Western Wall.  I felt a very strong spirit holiness there and while the customs are not my own, I appreciated what they were doing. In this photograph these men are ritually washing (cleansing themselves before approaching God) before entering their holiest of spaces.  
OneDad3Girls Silent Sunday @ Nicer Than New
Unknown Mami