Thursday was our last full day in Missouri. Daddy and Carter went mountain biking one last time on the only trail they hadn’t biked yet (although they took a wrong turn so they weren’t able to do the full loop).
Raine and I hiked the loop with Tucker.
That afternoon we went swimming and started to pack so that we could leave the next morning.
Tuesday we started the day with a little mountain biking. Raine “hates” biking, so she offered to stay at the condo with Tucker while Daddy, Carter, and I set off to the state park to ride the trails.
Being the newbs that we are, we didn’t realize that each trail had a different difficulty level… or that we just happened to select the most difficult trail!!! Luckily, there was a cut-through in the middle so we only had to do half of the loop.
Carter’s goal for our trip was to find a salamander, so he stopped to check every creek we crossed.
All he found was this little crayfish.
After making it out of the expert course, we headed over to an easier loop that promised a waterfall… I think this was it.
All that biking was exhausting! Somebody needed a snack.
He was a lot better when he finished than when he started!
Friday, June 19 we loaded up our rented pick-up truck and drove 7 hours to the Westgate Branson Lakes Resort on Table Rock Lake, just outside Branson, Missouri. Grandma and Grandpa Anderson had a “bonus week” through their timeshare that we used to rent our condo for next to nothing.
Saturday we walked around Emerald Point and picked up some milk and eggs for breakfast from the marina store. The remainder of the day we spent kayaking and swimming in the lake. The water level was about 15 feet above normal and came up into the trees in front of the condo so we went down to the marina where the trees had been cleared.
We thought Tucker hated water, so we were shocked when he headed straight into the lake and plopped down. He swam non-stop.
By the time we got back to the condo, he was exhausted. Fortunately, we had a screened patio where he could dry off and nap.
Raine and Carter vegged at the condo while Daddy and I ran to the local grocery store to pick up food for the week so that we could socially distance as much as possible on our vacation. We were glad that we did when we heard about a COVID-19 breakout at a restaurant in Branson!
Sunday, January 5, we walked next door to attend church with the international (English speaking) ward. The church is near embassy row, where there is a large American embassy compound among those from other countries, so there were a lot of foreigners attending that ward.
We spent the morning, before church, at the zipline.
You can hear the church bells ringing in this video of Raine on the zipline.
Monday, January 6, we went to downtown Frankfurt again. Raine and I rode the ubahn down earlier than everyone else so that Raine could get in some thrift-store shopping before we left. After that, we walked over to the Städel Museum, where we met everyone else, to see the Van Gogh exhibit.
Self portrait 1887
There were so many beautiful paintings, ones you see in all of the art books, it was hard to decide which ones to take photos of.
Not everyone appreciated seeing some of the most famous paintings in the world.
We hurried through parts of the other exhibits because the kids were hungry, and bored. It would have taken a week to see all of it; every time you turned a corner there was another famous painting, like this Renoir.
We walked across the Main River to the Zeil where we had lunch and did a little more shopping.
On January 4, we stayed local and visited Römerkastell Saalburg und Archäologischer Park, a reconstructed Roman fort that was initially built in the first century AD, also part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The archaeological park out front had extensively-excavated ruins from the original village outside the fort. The system for heating the floors in the bath was fascinating and far more advanced technologically than what I think of during that time period. I was also surprised by all the glass windowpanes and tools in the museum.
I didn’t take many photos inside because there were simply too many really fascinating, ancient artifacts to decide which to photograph. This was a chest of ancient coins in the basement of one of the buildings.
Raine wanted me to take photos of her on the grounds.
After leaving the fort, we drove to the Frankfurt Temple.
The visitor’s center was just about to close when we arrived, so we didn’t stay long.