Monday, May 12, 2014

Stepping Back in Time in Rothenberg, Germany

Half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets...paths that lead outside the city walls and into the valley below. These are just a few of the things that make you feel as if you've stepped back in time in Rothenberg, Germany.




Founded in 1170 (the same year building began on the castle), Rothenberg's Medieval charm attracts tourists from around the world. There are plenty of stores to shop in, including Kathe Wohlfahrt for those who love Christmas, cuckoo clocks and other decor. Of course, good food can be found throughout town, but my favorite activity in Rothenberg was walking the path down into the valley or through the garden.





The peaceful countryside, the 800-year old walls and perhaps the knowledge of people walking those same paths and cobblestone streets for centuries before me beckoned me to explore further. It's easy to see how this small, romantic town leads visitors to fall in love with it time and again. One day was not enough, and I'm thankful to know that I will walk those same paths and streets again soon.

 
Today I'm Linking Up With:
 
Memories by the Mile Treasure Box Tuesday
Kathe with an E You're Gonna Love it Tuesday
VMG206 Brag About it Tuesday Link Party 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Finally Friday Link-a-Long: All Things Homemade & Handmade, May 9-12

Welcome, Friends, to another #LinkParty at the Go Crochet Crazy blog! The weekly theme is "All Things Homemande & Handmade". The first week of May has come and gone...I hope it's been a pleasant, creative week for you! Let's celebrate by showcasing some of our newest or most favorite handmade and homemade items from this month.

I've been so inspired by the creative projects shared in my Google+ group, Go Crochet Crazy "All Things Handmade". If you haven't joined the group, I invite you to do so. We're sharing anything handmade, not just crochet, but fiber arts, paper crafts, other crafts, food stuffs, DIY, etc.

Let's Get This Party Started!

Share your blogs, Pinterest pin, or linkable image of homemade/handmade items that fall under the categories of crochet or other yarn creations, crafts, home & gardening, DIY, cooking and decor. Please keep it family friendly, and by joining the link party you give me permission to share your additions through social media venues, such as Pinterest and Twitter. Of course, you will be credited for them.  


Last Week's Most Popular Links

Since I'm on the road, I'm afraid I don't have time to copy and paste pictures of the four most popular links from last week. However, I will announce them here and provide a link. My apologies, but that part of each week's link party usually takes an hour or so, which is time I don't have at the moment.

1. Nata's Nest -- Rainbow Mandala
2. Rose"s Crafts -- Pale Green Hanging Towels
3. Linda's Crafty Corner -- The Violet Meadow Blanket

Congratulations, and grab Your "I Was Featured at Go Crochet Crazy" Button to display on your blog! Everyone be sure to stop by and congratulate these folks on their beautiful creations!

I was featured at Go Crochet Crazy

Here's the code to copy and paste onto a blog widget so you can display your badge:
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.gocrochetcrazy.blogspot.com/" title="I Was Featured at Go Crochet Crazy"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hIiPUXdLibo/U0bmPEG3XYI/AAAAAAAAAzA/8-xl9O9hIQE/s1600/I+was+Featured.jpg" alt="I was featured at Go Crochet Crazy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
Before I get to the Finally Friday Link-a-Long Guidelines, if you have any doubts that participating in link parties is okay, please read my blog post here. It will put your concerns to rest.

Go Crochet Crazy Finally Friday Link-a-Long Guidelines

  1. Add links for up to three of your blog posts (not just your home page) using the ADD YOUR LINK button below.
  2. Leave a comment on two other blog posts or pins, letting them know you found them through the Go Crochet Crazy Spring Fling Link-a-Long. If you're one of the first two to the party, you can comment on the last one or two from this Link-a-Long from last week. Please feel free to comment on more, if you like. We all LOVE to get comments. 
  3. Share this post through Google+, Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook...that's more exposure for everyone joining the link-a-long. **This is easy to do after linking up by clicking on one of the social media icons before you return to the party.**
  4. Let your readers know you've joined the Go Crochet Crazy Friday Link-a-Long by linking to this post on your blog. You can text link to this URL:
    http://gocrochetcrazy.blogspot.com/2014/04/finally-friday-link-long-theme-friends.html 
I joined the fun at the Go Crochet Crazy Link-a-Long




To see who I'm linking up with this week, please check out the list on this post!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dinner at a Michelin Star Restaurant in Germany's Black Forest

Most anyone who's going on vacation knows that their normal, healthy eating practices are going to go out the window for a week or two so they can enjoy good food and local specialties. But when your job entails leading tour groups around different countries, you can't eat with a vacation mentality in mind. Doing so would result in carrying a lot of "extra baggage" home at the end of the season. And not the kind that resembles a suitcase.

Whenever I start a tour that's new to me, it's important to at least sample as much as possible so I can talk about the food and beverages to guests. On the one side, I'm thrilled to enjoy new tastes and dishes. On the other side, I remember how hard I've worked over the winter to stay in shape. And, trust me, two weeks of indulgent eating packs on more pounds than you can imagine. Multiply that by a tour season that lasts four to five months....well, you can just imagine.

But last night I had the opportunity to dine at a Michelin Star restaurant in the Black Forest region of Germany. I can describe my experience in three words: oh my god. 

It was a six or seven course meal consisting of one other-worldly delicious plate of food after another. I say six or seven courses because my eyes began to glaze over after the third course. Rather than going on and on, let me reveal the rest in pictures. It's not the same as tasting, I know. But the pictures are better than words. 

Vegetable compote w/horseradish creme

Liver pâté 

Lobster soup w/prawn-filled ravioli

Cheese-encrusted pork tenderloin w/couscous

Vacherin Mont Dor (cheese from France)

Passion fruit sponge cake, fresh fruit & mini piña colada

And from the evening before, but very worthy of being included...

Creme Brûlée 

As each course arrived, a chorus of "oohs", "aahs" and moans arose from the table. There was no way I'd be able to eat it all, but I did sample each course. I'm still drooling over the memory of the cheese (soft, pungent and a heavenly treat for cheese-lovers). 

Today's eating will be much more low-key, but the memory of last night's gourmet meal will evoke "mmmm's" and "oh my gosh's" for a long time. The Piece de Resistance for me was the Creme Brûlée -- one of my top three favorite desserts! 

Do you have find memories of a meal that surpassed all your food-related dreams and expectations? I'd love to hear all about it, and enjoy it vicariously through you. 

On a yarny note (because this is, after all, a crochet blog), I've had no recent yarn sightings or time to crochet. But my crochet bag is always in my sight and knows that I haven't forgotten it. :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Afternoon Along the Rhine River (and a Yarn Sighting!)

Springtime along the Rhine River area of Germany can be gorgeous when the clouds go away and the sun comes out. Today we were fortunate to have such a day as we traveled along the River to a charming little town called Rüdesheim. 


We strolled along the Drosselgasse...a narrow, cobblestone path flanked with shops and cafés. The Rüdesheimer Schloss was our first stop for their local specialty, Rüsesheimer coffee (it's got brandy in the bottom and cream on the top), and a bowl of in-season cream of asparagus soup.




As you can see, the coffee was so delicious that it was nearly empty by the time my soup arrived!

After a quick walk through town, a short gondola ride took us over vineyards to the Germania statue above and a breathtaking view of the Rhine River below.







Following the afternoon in the sun, exploring Rüdesheim, it was time to head back to Frankfurt -- my home base for one more night. 

Of course this wouldn't be a crochet blog without at least some mention of yarn. While walking around the Old Town area of Frankfurt, I came upon the sight in my next picture. At first I thought they were streamers but, upon closer look, realized they were streamers of yarn! A knitted sort of streamer. :)


I'd been on the lookout for something yarn-related, and there it was! Who knows what awaits in the next town!

Another Cath Kidston Colored Redheart Little Sweetie Dress

This past week I celebrated a crochet milestone -- the making of my first crochet dress! Because I've been busy and didn't have enough time to create my own design, I used Redheart's Little Sweetie Dress pattern for a Cath Kidston-colored dress, which you can learn more about here.

The first dress was for my oldest daughter's two month old and now I've finished a second dress for my second daughter's two month old. Two Cath Kidston-inspired dresses for two darling little babies.

And now, for the Big Reveal....

Redheart Little Sweetie Dress made by Go Crochet Crazy using Cath Kidston inspired colors
 
Redheart Little Sweetie Dress made by Go Crochet Crazy using Cath Kidston inspired colors
For Baby S
Redheart Little Sweetie Dress made by Go Crochet Crazy using Cath Kidston inspired colors
For Baby E
You'll find directions for the alterations I made to the pattern on the blog post linked at the end of the first paragraph. I've so enjoyed crocheting these dresses, especially with this pattern and these beautiful yarn colors. It's so much fun trying new things. What new creative pursuits and projects have you been trying?

Today I'm Linking Up With: Erika's Crafts Corner Link Yourself Monday
Memories by the Mile Treasure Box Tuesday
Kathe with an E You're Gonna Love it Tuesday
VMG206 Brag About it Tuesday Link Party 
Oombawka Design Weekly Link Party
Small Things Yarn Along Wednesday
Crochet Addict UK What Are You Doing Wednesday?
Easy Life Meal and Party Planning Four Seasons Blog Hop
Krafty Inspiration Thursday Link Party 
Crochet Addict UK "I've Made Friday"  
Create with Joy Friendship Friday 
The Stitchin' Mommy Get Creative Link Party 
Sincerely, Paula No Rules Weekend Blog Party  
Natasha in Oz Say G'Day Saturday
Beauty Observed Link Party 
Annemarie's Haakblog Link Party 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Finally Friday Link-a-Long: All Things Homemade & Handmade

Welcome, Friends, to another #LinkParty at the Go Crochet Crazy blog! The weekly theme is "All Things Homemande & Handmade". I can't believe another month has come to an end, and here it is the beginning of May! Time for me to hit the road again, starting tomorrow. Let's celebrate it by showcasing some of our newest or most favorite handmade and homemade items from this month.

I've been so inspired by the creative projects shared in my Google+ group, Go Crochet Crazy "All Things Handmade". If you haven't joined the group, I invite you to do so. We're sharing anything handmade, not just crochet, but fiber arts, paper crafts, other crafts, food stuffs, DIY, etc.

Let's Get This Party Started!

Share your blogs, Pinterest pin, or linkable image of homemade/handmade items that fall under the categories of crochet or other yarn creations, crafts, home & gardening, DIY, cooking and decor. Please keep it family friendly, and by joining the link party you give me permission to share your additions through social media venues, such as Pinterest and Twitter. Of course, you will be credited for them.  



Now, let's take a look at...

Last Week's Most Popular Links

See Creative Design by Sheila Zachariae Here!

See Polkadotted Rainbows Here!

Congratulations, and grab Your "I Was Featured at Go Crochet Crazy" Button to display on your blog! Everyone be sure to stop by and congratulate these folks on their beautiful creations!

I was featured at Go Crochet Crazy

Here's the code to copy and paste onto a blog widget so you can display your badge:


<div align="center"><a href="http://www.gocrochetcrazy.blogspot.com/" title="I Was Featured at Go Crochet Crazy"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hIiPUXdLibo/U0bmPEG3XYI/AAAAAAAAAzA/8-xl9O9hIQE/s1600/I+was+Featured.jpg" alt="I was featured at Go Crochet Crazy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Before I get to the Finally Friday Link-a-Long Guidelines, if you have any doubts that participating in link parties is okay, please read my blog post here. It will put your concerns to rest.

Go Crochet Crazy Finally Friday Link-a-Long Guidelines
  1. Add links for up to three of your blog posts (not just your home page) using the ADD YOUR LINK button below.
  2. Leave a comment on two other blog posts or pins, letting them know you found them through the Go Crochet Crazy Spring Fling Link-a-Long. If you're one of the first two to the party, you can comment on the last one or two from this Link-a-Long from last week. Please feel free to comment on more, if you like. We all LOVE to get comments.
  3. Share this post through Google+, Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook...that's more exposure for everyone joining the link-a-long. **This is easy to do after linking up by clicking on one of the social media icons before you return to the party.**
  4. Let your readers know you've joined the Go Crochet Crazy Friday Link-a-Long by linking to this post on your blog. You can text link to this URL:
    http://gocrochetcrazy.blogspot.com/2014/04/finally-friday-link-long-theme-friends.html

I joined the fun at the Go Crochet Crazy Link-a-Long



To see who I'm linking up with this week, please check out the list on this post!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Go Crochet Crazy Goes on the Road

It's that time of year once again, when vacationers from the US travel overseas to fulfill their dreams of experiencing parts of Europe. They have waited to ascend the Alps and look down into the valleys below. They delight in walking cobblestone streets trod upon by people from hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. They leave having learned more about the history than they ever expected, and they find out that travel is one of the best ways to learn about the world and about themselves.

In my work as a tour director from late spring through early autumn, I am lucky enough to help these people fulfill their travel dreams. This Saturday, I leave for my first tour and can hardly wait for the season to begin. Between now and the end of September, I will be fortunate enough to see and share my passion with guests for places like Munich, Germany and Neuschwanstein Castle. I'll lead older adults and families through the countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland (my favorite country), Italy and Lichtenstein. For someone who's been infected with wanderlust since she was a child, being able to do this is a dream come true.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany, the Bavarian Region
If you've been following the Go Crochet Crazy blog for a while now, you know my motto is "Have yarn, will travel". The thought of going a day without crocheting even a few stitches is, well, unthinkable. To me, crochet is like breathing. No matter how busy the day is, there's always five minutes to wrap the yarn around my fingers and, hook in hand, get lost in creativity.

For the month of May, I'll be tour directing through Germany, starting on the Central West border, making a U-shape down into Bavaria and coming back up to historical Berlin. My very patient, supportive boyfriend will keep the home front going until I return for a two-week break before heading out again.

During that time, I will continue to blog (you can't get rid of me that easily!) and hope you won't mind me interspersing a few travel photos in with my crochet bits. My trusty crochet bag will be coming along with me, filled with several skeins of cotton yarn. Since there won't be time or space in my suitcase for any large projects, I intend to spend the whatever time I have to crochet on making spa cloths or potholders for Christmas gifts.

My crochet bag





Having a bag full of yarn and WIPs nearby makes me happy.
Although there are times when I wish I could be at home, sleep in past 6am and be responsible for no one but me, I wouldn't trade the opportunity to be a tour director for any comforts or conveniences. Not only am I living a dream, but I have the honor of helping others realize their dreams. And that makes it all worth while.

So, it will soon be time to hit the road! I'd love to hear about some of your travels and travel dreams. What's your favorite place that you've visited? Where would you like to go that you haven't been yet? I'm sending good thoughts and wishes that you get there. :)