Monthly Archives: June 2012

Europe 2012- Day 6, Busingen and Rhine Falls

Day 6 was another semi-lazy but very fun day. We started the day by getting to sleep in a little and then attended the church service on the European Nazarene College campus. The sermon was on John 5: 1-15. It was about Jesus healing the injured man  of 38 years after asking him if he wanted to be healed. The man is unappreciative and doesn’t believe, even after he is healed. Being fully healed doesn’t mean an easy or long life, but it does mean eternal life in Heaven through Jesus! 🙂 (The above pix is my brother checking out our view at our apartment on campus.)

After lunch we went on a walk while the students were having class. Fun fact of the day, the neighbor next to the campus owns camels! Not what I was expecting in Germany:

We walked by beautiful fields- the only downside was the swarming bugs. The view made up for that though:

More German cows! :

My parents- headed into the German forest: 🙂

Walking in the woods in Germany was so amazing. The world was just alive with color and sound and nature life. I could have stayed in there for hours! Click here to my YouTube channel to see my beautiful Momma in our walk in the woods:

View from the woods back toward campus. Further on the left you can see the church that we visited on Day 2 of our adventure:

Later in the afternoon we went to the Rhine Falls close to Schaffhausen. It was so amazing to just watch. The amount of water is incredible. Rhine Falls is the largest waterfall in all of Europe. Video from this angle :

I love the secondary waterfalls that were everywhere:

So much power! Check another video here: – and here’s another one with a close up of the water at the very base: (I was a little video happy here!):

Me messing around:

You’re a force of nature! Dad takes the srength test at the Rhine Falls: The sign says that the falls in summer have an average gross output of 138,000 kilowatts of power per second. This thing measures only 80!:

The water at the bottom of the waterfall was one big whirlpool- it was constantly swirling. Boats would go up toward the falls, turn off their engines and then go flying back. Must be a thrill for the tourists: 🙂

The boats also dropped people off at one of the rocks in the center to climb to the top. I would have loved to have been able to do that. (But maybe while wearing a poncho):

Me again!:

Someone’s private property was right next to the falls- and they own mountain goats! I don’t think we could have fed them if we wanted, they were very content finding their own food:

Where he was pointing is where we climbed back up- we started there and then made our way down past the falls to the cafe/gift shop (yes!) and watched the falls for awhile. The trek back up was a little more work than going down!:

Delicious dinner (takeout) at campus- here’s a video- – and yes, I’m crazy. I take way too many videos/pictures. But it was really good pizza!:

My gross-out picture, and I apologize. This is where the poison ivy saga started. I thought it was a bump from where I bonked my head on the low doorway at the Munot at first, but then it spread on my forehead so then later I thought it was something I got in the forest. Since finding out from my dermatologist that it is poison ivy I bet I got it the first day in Busingen when we walked by the Rhine after singing at the church. There were low hanging branches and that would explain ‘the first contact’ area- getting hit in the forehead first!:

So despite my poison ivy issues this was a great day and it ended restfully. While lots of people went off to watch a depressing movie I got some alone time that everyone needs on trips and was able to listen to Bach (since in Germany) and work on my sketches/scrapbook. 🙂


Europe 2012- Day 5, Dachau, Munich, Zurich and back to Busingen

The morning of day 5 we took a train and then a bus from Munich to the Dachau Concentration Camp in Dachau, Germany. According to the official website “On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a “school of violence” for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidary camps. 41.500 were murdered. On April 29 1945, American troops liberated the survivors.” The troops found approximately 32,000 prisoners squeezed into 20 barracks designed to hold 250 people each. Today it is a memorial site where we were able to tour much of the grounds and buildings using an audio guide.

It was not an easy day but it’s not meant to be. We all study about the concentration camps in school and think it’s awful but then the bell rings and we go on talking about cute boys and pimples. Actually standing where these atrocities were committed – where these individual men and women stood, lived and died, gives one a whole new perspective. It makes history alive.

We entered through the gate that the prisoners entered through. The words on the gate mean ‘Work makes/sets you free’. Not true- more like ‘We’ll work you to death.’

Off to the left of this sign was the Assembly Square. The prisoners were made to do roll call here twice a day. They all had to stay there until everyone was accounted for. Several times everyone was made to stand there in the elements overnight while the guards searched for a single missing prisoner:

The entrance:

“May the example of those who were exterminated here between 1933-1945 because they resisted Nazism help to unite the living for the defense of peace and freedom and in respect for their fellow men.”:

This memorial was designed by one of the ex-prisoners that was liberated from the camp:

The ashes of an unknown prisoner, and the words ‘Never Again’ which was meant as both a reminder and a condemnation:

The museum holds lots of information and a model of the camp. We were able to see basically everything in the large rectangle on the left and where it merges into the creamatorium on the left top. The building on the lower left of the rectangle is where we entered the camp:

“Delousing” sketch by Vlastimir Kopac, one of the prisoners. He sketched this while in the camp of prisoners arriving at the camp. They were issued rags and had to wait in whatever the weather happened to be:

From the title- Jewish women from Hungary with their babies in the Dachau concentration camp after liberation. ‘Some women were already pregnant when they were deported in 1944. The SS forced them to abort. Only in the final months did they allow women to give birth to their children”:

The gaurds used the camp as a way to test out the limits of human bodies. There are many instances, but this one is one of the less graphic. They used this cage for infecting people with malaria. The mosquitos would be kept in the cage and the cage would be attached to a prisoner’s arm or leg:

One of the guard towers:

These three pictures show how the beds changed over the years as the camp became more overcrowded:

A restroom:

The creamatorium:

The camp was fully functional with their gas chamber and the anti-rooms nessesary for the undressing and storing of bodies. There is no evidence of the ‘shower room’ ever being used for mass killing with gas however. It seems to be more of a test to see if it would work at other camps:

The creamatorium- this is where they burned bodies of those who had died or where killed, and also where many executions took place:

View of where the housing used to be from the creamatorium. The strip of grass was called no-man’s land and was where the guards would shoot at any prisoner there for no reason other than they were where they were not supposed to be. There are stories of the guards taking inmate’s hats and tossing them onto the strip of grass and making them collect it- both knowing full well that it would lead to the prisoner’s death:

View looking back at where the housing used to stand. They were all torn down in the 60’s- not sure exactly why. The foundations are still there though. The ones with the beds, etc. were rebuilt as examples:

In 1960 a Catholic memorial called the Church of the Mortal Agony of Christ was completed and dedicated at the end of the main camp row lined with poplar trees. Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, the Catholic Bishop of Munich, who was a “special prisoner” in the camp bunker suggested that a Jewish memorial and a Protestant memorial be added on each side of the Catholic church:

Construction began in September 1964 on the Jewish memorial and it was dedicated on May 7, 1967. Like the Catholic memorial it is open to the elements. I went down to see the interior of this memorial. There is a beautiful shaft of light that strikes right down into the heart of it:

The Protestant church, called the Church of Reconciliation was dedicated on April 30, 1967 at a ceremony at which a speech was made by the Rev. Martin Niemöller, one of the most famous prisoners in the Dachau camp. The Rev. Niemöller was one of the founders of the Confessional Church which defied Hitler’s orders that united all Protestant denominations into one church with himself (Hitler) as the head. Niemöller was put on trial and convicted of treason:

The Russian Orthodox church is the most recent memorial to be built at Dachau and was dedicated on April 29, 1995 in honor of the Soviet Prisoners of War who were imprisoned at Dachau. There were 3,900 Russian prisoners at Dachau when the camp was liberated, the second largest ethnic group in the camp:

It was interesting to see how instrumental some of the ex-prisoners were in helping out with the memorial. I’m sure it must mean a lot to them, and likely helped in the healing process. It was a sad morning, but I’m very glad we were able to go.

That afternoon we went back to Munich and had just an hour to grab lunch and explore what we could in their city center. It was a major culture shock after the concentration camp. This is the city hall building:

Mural on a building:

Searching for somewhere to eat we found a few German men with awesome hats:

Part of my cobbled together lunch. This pastry was so good:

We waited at 3pm to hear the bells chime and see the clock move. I found out from a very sweet local who spoke English that it only moves at 5pm. Darn.:

Dinner at the Zurich train station. It was a hotdog that they stuck in a piece of bread that he squirted ketchup into. Suprisingly tasty:

We checked up on the Volvo Art Session. We found an artist working on the car that made it look like a dinosaur or reptile in a jungle. I later found out that they regularly have these sessions and at this one were showcasing different Chinese artists, giving insight into the contemporary art of today in China:

This is a link to a very short video of the Volvo Art Session that I took right before my camera batteries died:

This is the video of the specific car we saw painted posted by Volvo. It shows the entire process the artist went through: You can see what other artists painted and their ‘opening event’ on their YouTube channel also. I highly recommend it, it’s very interesting!

For more info: Official Dachau Concentration Camp website: (You can also YouTube videos of the camp, but I would suggest that only for the ones who think that they can handle it. The videos are very sad and graphic.)

Europe 2012- Day 4, Zurich to Vienna to Munich

Long (but fun) day- started in Zurich aboard the night train (which I still count as day 4, seeing as there wasn’t much sleep involved- onto Vienna in the morning, and then an fast train into Munich that evening. The train travel thus begins! The above picture was taken in Zurich as we arrived for the night train. It was absolutely pouring and we had to wait a couple of hours for our train.

There was a little bit of entertainment though- Volvo was having an art show of some kind where they were painting a brand new car on the market. We’re wondering if they were shooting a commercial or shooting some kind of promotional material.

Finally after we boarded the train I and most of the others in our group spent a night of tossing and turning. I was seriously annoyed since the last night train I took in 2007 from Paris to Rome was a piece of cake. This one however was not fun. Maybe it was the fact that we had a 6 person bunk instead of a 4 person bunk and were therefore more squished with even more tossing/turning/snoring.

Good thing our breakfast was tasty, although I would have liked some milk or orange juice. I’m not a fan of tea or coffee. Water is a very strange morning drink when it’s been heated for tea. 🙂

Arriving in Vienna, the sight of St. Stephen’s Cathedral made everything better:

We were also able to tour the catacombs/crypt underneath the cathedral. There are remains of over 11,000 humans buried there. Many are from the outbreak of the bubonic plauge in 1735. There’s one area where you can even see the skulls!  The bishops of the cathedral are also buried there- the last being only 8 years ago. There is also a room with just internal organs from the Hapsburg family. The jars are labeled very well.

 05- A symbol of the resistance of the Nazi occupation of Austria:

Interior of St. Stephen’s- beautiful anyway and then they added the light show. I felt like I was at an underwater disco.

Guys dressed up to sell tickets to a Mozart concert that evening. I thought them all standing around with their briefcase, waterbottle and nice car was pretty funny:

Palace grounds- the rose garden:

Lazy lunch- by the way, a lemon in your coke actually tastes good!

True Viennese apple strudel- SO GOOD!!!:

Back at St. Stephen’s- me and some of the group climbed up the tower stairs to about where I’m pointing on the model. They didn’t have it open to climb up any further, but the height I went was far enough! In other news, I’m seriously considering joining a gym.

Hello! Totally worth the climb!:

Amazing view!:

More shots of our short day in Vienna, Austria:

Sooner than we liked we had to be off on the fast train from Vienna to Munich. I had probably the best pasta dish of the trip on the ride- another plus, I finally got Pepsi!! This was the first of only two meals where Pepsi was an option. What is with Europe’s obsession with Coca Cola??:

View from the train of Salzburg, Austria. I’ve decided I have to come back, it’s such a beautiful area. Seeing this of course led to renditions of ‘The Hills are Alive’ from the Sound of Music as these were the (of the same string of)mountains the VonTrapp family climbed in the movie:

View from our hotel room in Munich. We didn’t get an opportunity to do much of anything that evening, which was just as well. The area from the train station to our hotel was quite unsavory:

Despite all of the frantic traveling we had a great day- with time to recoup and for me to update my sketches/clips of whatever in my trip journal during the train ride from Vienna to Munich. Oh- and yes, that is rain/wet you see in the picture of Munich. Moist weather was following us everywhere!

Lunch and a concert… 1st June recipe test with Anna!

Anna and I had our first June recipe test this Saturday and they are keepers! We made a cream penne dish and a peach parcel dessert. I especially liked the dessert- it’s very tasty and is so cute.

The cast of characters for the pasta sauce:

Simmering ingredients:

Adding the tomato sauce:

Heavy whipping cream + parsley and basil:

Cast of characters for the peach parcels:

Peaches and mixture in the crepe parcel:

So easy!!:

Bon Appeit!



On to the concert at Starlight Theatre!

Andy Grammer:


Can’t say no to a good funnel cake!:

Too bad they are super messy!:

Colbie Caillat:

Gavin DeGraw:

Wish Red, White and Boom still did fireworks after the show, but it was still a great concert and a fun day!


Penne a la Betsy


  • 3/4 pounds Penne Pasta
  • 1 pound Shrimp
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Onion (small)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 cup White Wine, Or To Taste
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Fresh Parsley, to taste
  • Fresh Basil – To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside. (We didn’t add the shrimp, if you wanted you could sub in chicken)

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.
In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).

Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.

Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Quick-and-Easy Peach Parcels


  • 8 whole Storebought Crepes (I Used Melissa’s Brand)
  • 1 whole Ripe Peach, Pitted And Cut Into Chunks
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Peach Schnaaps (optional)
  • Freshly Whipped Cream
  • Special Equipment: Clothespins

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and peach schnaaps, if using.

Working one at a time, lay a crepe on a flat surface and place a couple of peach chunks in the middle. Spoon a little bit of the butter mixture on top of the peach chunks, then quickly gather the crepe into a “parcel.” Secure with a clothespin.

Repeat with remaining crepes. Keep in mind that the crepes dry out very quickly, so just work with them one at a time. Don’t worry if you experience a little crack or tear; they’ll still be yummy.

Bake at 350 degrees for only 3 to 5 minutes, watching to make sure they don’t burn. (Crepes burn very easily; keep an eye out!)

To serve, spoon whipped cream onto a plate. Set warm peach parcel in the middle of the whipped cream and garnish with little peach slices.

Very pretty/fancy…very little effort!

Europe 2012- Day 3, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

We spent our third day of our trip in the nearby town of Schaffhausen, Switzerland. It’s such a cute town, clearly dripping with history. It hails from the middle ages and still boasts many Renaissance buildings with their original frescos as well as a 16th century fortification called the Munot.

I got a plum tart at the Muller Beck cafe in town. I had asked for the apricot one, but I guess that’s one of those things that happens when you don’t speak the same language! It was a happy mistake though, it was delicious!:

House zum Ritter at Vordergasse 65, one of the listed houses:

City center in Schaffhausen:

Back to Busingen for lunch at the campus:

Then back in Schaffhausen for the afternoon. We had to get gelato first thing 🙂

We went to St. John’s church (beautiful!) and listened to someone play the pipe organ there:

Church portal of the All Saints Abbey:

We also went to the Munot, it and the view were beautiful!:

Dinner back at campus- we ordered doner kebabs for dinner:

A great day with a refreshing thunderstorm to top it off 🙂 Video of it taken from our kitchen window in the apartment on campus:

Europe 2012- Day 2, Busingen, Germany

I’ve found it’s best to adapt with the local time zone to beat jet lag and that’s just what we did. ‘Day’ 2 was a really loopy and tired extension of day 1. It was a nice rainy day in Busingen just settling into the 7 hour time difference and the new culture.

We had some time to settle into our apartments and freshen up- (no napping!) and then were welcomed with open arms at a tea in the campus cafeteria. I had time to sit there and sketch the building across the street- it’s over 1,000 years old!

After the tea we all walked through town and up the country lane to a local church- St. Michael’s. Click on this link to see one of the cows we met on our walk giving Kirsten’s hand a bath- he was a very friendly cow!

My first poppy up close! I love these flowers. Maybe it has something to do with being from Kansas- ‘Poppies will make them sleep!!” (Wizard of Oz joke) 🙂

Beautiful walk:

St. Michael’s is a beautiful church and it was really special to share a few songs there:

Back in town we explored a little. They have both a Swiss and German telephone right next to one another. 🙂

The local restaurant where they hold a bunch of weddings- I can see why, it was beautiful right there on the Rhine!

Finally time to get to bed a little early- it was a great first day on our European adventure!

Europe 2012- Day 1, Flight to Busingen, Germany

The countdown is over- the family trip to Europe is finally here! We are going with a group from the Mid-America Nazarene College in Olathe made up of students, alumni, friends, faculty (one of us) and family (the rest of us)- and are staying at the European Nazarene College as our ‘homebase’ in Busingen, Germany. Busingen is special because it is a German city that is entirely surrounded by Switzerland.

Kansas City to Atlanta was fine, but as expected the flight over the Atlantic was horribly long and uncomfortable- and I got next to no sleep. Too bad the in-flight movies weren’t interesting.

Good thing the view was amazing!

Arriving in Zurich, Switzerland

One of my favorite moments upon arriving at the Zurich, Switzerland airport was being transported in the metro-like system from our gate to the baggage area. They played a sterotypical Swiss Alps yodel that had you thinking of Ricola and then showed a bunch of pictures on the wall that as you sped by blurred together and showed a little Swiss girl in pig tails waiving. It was a funny but nice welcome especially as we were loopy from the lack of sleep. Ready for a great vacation!!