October 2nd - November 5th 2015, Natasha and Aiden visiting ...

Well, although being able to talk to Tash and Aiden every day (sometimes twice a day!!) via Skype, Cynthia hadn’t seen them in person for a year, so it was a wonderful moment for her when the time for their 5 week visit to Germany arrived!!!! After following their trajectory on the computer and Skyping in Hong Kong, it was finally time to get in the car to collect them from Frankfurt …

Ireland

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … so after a long flight from Melbourne to Frankfurt, Tash and Aiden finally arrived safely Friday morning … as they were able to sleep from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, they were well on the way to surviving their first day …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … first surprise awaiting Aiden, was his birthday present from granny and opa … his first Mercedes (of course!!), although his legs weren’t long enough, he had heaps of fun with it during his stay, as we all took turns pushing him around in it!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … getting to know Matilda (his fellow aussie in the house) was also on the cards … 
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … next stop was a trip to the farm, where Cynthia and Thomas buy their weekly fruit and vegetables … and meeting Emily the ‘ferocious guard-dog’ J …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … followed by a trip to Edeka, the local Supermarket, where Aiden enjoyed a ride on an elephant, compliments of the check-out lady …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Later that morning, Tash, Cynthia and Aiden walked into town (anything to help keep them awake) till the evening, where after dinner at Dapeppino, they fell into bed and had a good night’s sleep …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day, it was such a beautiful day that it was decided to walk to the Schlosspark (Castle garden) close to home, where Aiden enjoyed a wonderful run around …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … not to mention, having fun with mum …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … followed by a yummy snack, to help sustain the energy!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … later a walk to the lake with Opa, where Aiden could observe the ducks …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … during their 5-weeks in Germany, granny managed to enjoy some quiet time with Aiden, moments she will treasure for a long time … here Aiden and granny enjoying a book …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … and what became a daily routine, Aiden and opa together in the office, studying the garden and observing the birds and the occasional squirrel!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On day 4, we went to visit Ruth, who although not being in the best of health was very happy to get to know Aiden, after that we enjoyed a walk in the Schlosspark …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … and a coffee in town at Tafel Spitz, where Tash caught up with Benny and Caro, whom she once waitressed for …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … then it was onto Mannheim and the Irish Pub, to see her good friend Sharon, with whom she worked (and lived) in 2013 … while they had a lot to catch up on, Cynthia enjoyed running after Aiden, who seemed more interested in the traffic than the proceedings!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was also good for Tash to catch up with Frau Heckmann and her little granddaughter, Ria, with whom Aiden made friends, when we enjoyed a very nice coffee and cake at Frau Heckmann’s local Café, where they also have a little ‘mini zoo’!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was good for Frau Karrer catch up with Tash again. Frau Karrer is a lovely lady and a wonderful neighbor, who enjoyed showing her hospitality and meeting Aiden was definitely a highlight for her!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … and as is our tradition on a Tuesday, we went to Dapeppino, for dinner … here Tash and Aiden … the restaurant is a really nice friendly Italian place, where the waiter Bruno always makes us feel welcome and like family.  He certainly did the same for Tash and especially Aiden, whom he took under his wing whenever we visited!!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Of course, while in Germany a shopping trip to Stuttgart was a must … here Aiden on the way there, resting in preparation for the shopping marathon …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … here Tash in the Stuttgart city centre … and before we started out.  It was a successful day, in which Aiden got lot’s of new clothes and his first pair of ‘proper’ shoes ;) …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After our shopping expedition, it was time for lunch where Aiden experienced his first taste of Spätzle (Swabian pasta) and I think it’s safe to say, he thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … and here Aiden on the way back home …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … while here, we  enjoyed many a trip to the Schlosspark playground, where not only Cynthia and Aiden enjoyed playing …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … but Tash found a new and beneficial use for the benches ;) …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). And again enjoying another Da Peppino Tuesday …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … where on this particular night, Aiden was made an unofficial member of the waiting staff … thanks Bruno!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Tash also took the opportunity while in Germany to catch up with some friends she hadn’t seen for a long time, here with Stella, whom she knew from her Heidelberg school days …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was decided that it would be nice to have a little holiday within the holiday and go to Seefeld in Tyrol (in Austria), where Aiden celebrated his first birthday!!!! The Hotel arranged for the kitchen to make a Sachertorte for him …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … and here enjoying a slice … we think he liked it!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). While there on the second day and with the weather being so nice,  Tash, Aiden and Cynthia enjoyed a walk into the town centre, before …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … all of us, including Thomas and Carola, who was able to join us there for the weekend and meet Aiden,  took a gondola ride to the top of the Alps …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … where there was still some remnants of snow … and we were able to enjoy a wonderful (albeit cold!!!) lookout!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After the walk, it was time to rest for a while, before meeting up for pre-dinner drinks … here all of us at the Hotel Bar …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … we also enjoyed the swimming pool … and one has to say it was the first time we saw Aiden so quiet and happy to just be held without struggling to be on the go!!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Tash also managed to catch up with her friend Da-Soll, whom she knew from her Mannheim Club days and who is now also a mum to Lily … we met up at Mannheim Luisenpark, where we enjoyed a lovely walk through this really pretty park … here Aiden and Lily …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Another good friend Tash caught up with in Heidelberg was Lisa, with whom she went to school and also away to Mallorca with in (I believe) 2009!!! … here Lisa and Aiden (wearing the bear-coat she gave him for his birthday!!!)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … here a very rare moment indeed, Aiden actually still for 5 minutes (!!) and looking at a book … these moments don’t happen too often, so it’s good to have a record of them!!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Unfortunately, all too soon the five weeks were over and it was time for the last Da Peppino Tuesday L … here Aiden enjoying his last visit to a restaurant where he was very well liked and definitely welcomed!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … and after his last ride on his Mercedes (which he grew into in the 5 weeks since his arrival!!!) …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … it was time for our last dinner together, which we had at ‘Drei Birken’, a very nice gourmet  Restaurant not too far from home …
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). … and here a lovely photo of Tash and Aiden …

… who will be very sadly missed!!!  It was such a wonderful time for Cynthia to have them both here with her!!! She thoroughly enjoyed having them and seeing what a great job Tash is doing with Aiden, who is a most beautiful, friendly and active little boy!!! She hopes they enjoyed it as well and can’t wait till the next time she can hold them in her arms!!!