Sunday, February 29, 2004

We have had a super-snowy weekend, and the nice part is that we haven't had to shovel the first flake off our own driveway. The only white stuff remaining here in Mannheim is the little patch in the shade at the side of our house. But there's lots of other snow that's within easy visiting distance.

Yesterday we got up semi-early and headed off for the northern part of the Black Forest. We got off the highway at Baden Baden, which is about an hour south of here, and then traveled on back roads for another 30 minutes to a little town called Sand. There, we found a skiing and sledding area called Mehliskopf.

Mike and I spent the morning trying out our new snowboards on the lower area of the slope while Fred tried to turn Annabelle on to the sport of skiing. Unfortunately, her reaction to skiing was very similar to her mother's back in 1989, which is to say it involved a lot of crying and ultimately quitting. She has decided that sledding is her winter-sport of choice.

After lunch, we tried out the Rodelbahn, which is essentially a bobsled run on tracks. Here are Fred and Mike getting ready for their first ride:

While Annabelle and I were waiting for our turn, I took this picture of her showing off her new teeth. She is very excited to be getting them! She has waited a long time to be able to make a th sound.

Fred and Mike spent the rest of the afternoon riding the ski lifts and cruising back down the hill while Annabelle and I hung out in the sledding area. It was nice to have a mini ski vacation where it wasn't necessary to rob a bank to pay for lift tickets.

This morning we stayed closer to home but still got plenty of snow time. We returned with the Mitchells to our favorite sledding hill in the Odenwald. Mike and I took our snowboards, and while my big accomplishment is that I stood unassisted twice and went about 20 feet without killing myself, he is getting rather good. He even caught a little air going over the bumps on the sledding course. Here he is with his new board:

After a morning in the snow, it was nice to limp across the street and into the restaurant/hotel Zum Morgenstern for a hearty lunch. Even after all the various schnitzels, soups, and salads, we still had room for dessert. They make a cappucino torte that is to-die-for good, as well as an amazing lemon-flavored cream cake.

This evening I spent some time messing around on the computer and exploring some never-before-used software to create a panorama of the morning's sledding scene. If you click on the picture below, you can view an even bigger copy of the panorama.

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