Friday, July 27, 2012

Going Barefoot

Readers may have noticed that we haven't posted in a very long time.  Our family members back home have smelled the stench of dreariness.....It's true.  After our cruise (which we still haven't posted about) it's been kinda down hill.  The weather in Germany this Summer has been especially awful.  In fact we talked to someone who said it hasn't been this bad since a Summer back in 1987 that he can remember. It has been rainy and cold.  Most days the high temps have been in the mid to upper 50's and the sun is hidden behind clouds with the drizzle of rain ever present.

I had a lot planned for our family.  I was going to try and make sure Samuel was able to go to preschool every other day.  With this schedule, I would be able to hang out with the big boy and do big boy stuff.  The key word here is ACTIVE big boy stuff.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get Samuel into his regularly scheduled "school" (which is another frustrating story all together) and, the weather hasn't been conducive to outdoor ACTIVE type stuff. I've been stuck with the kids most days inside.  Joshua has been reading or workbooking or gaming.

So, here's where a person might want to stop thinking about punching me in the face (ie:'You little twit, you're in Europe quit whining!') I'm turning my bitch-fest car around right now, I promise.  The sun came out finally!  The last 2 days, have reached the high 80's and we've been taking advantage.  I've been doing the minimum house work that I need to be doing and going outside.  We've been spending some time at Gartenschau.  I bought the family pass this year again and, going to the nearby Kindsbach lake is on the list as well.  I was able to get a last minute slot for Samuel at his school and Joshua and I took a "big boy" road trip to the bare foot park.

Just recently, I read an article on this park and it reminded me that I needed to go.  What a concept right?  A park that people pay money to walk around in bare foot?!  Despite my amazement, this place was crawling with people.  Joshua didn't know what to expect and I was anxious to see his reaction.  The park is basically a  trail that loops around to form about a 3 kilometer obstacle course for our feet. The beginning part was loud and boisterous.  People where chatting and laughing.  Then the second "course" came.  We walked through very squishy knee high mud.  Apparently this mud is very good for the skin.  The reactions from everyone were very fun to observe.  Some people laughed and squealed with delight, one preschooler screamed in terror and discontent. I didn't like it.  The beginning was okay but by the middle of it, I was more than ready to get out! Maybe it was the idea of not seeing what I was walking in that threw me for a loop.  I'm not sure.  For Josh, this was his favorite part.  He loved the soft, slimy, squishy feeling.  After the mud part of the course we went on to other textures.  The whole time, people actually started to get more quiet.  It seemed like most folks didn't want to divide their attention from the feeling on their feet.  I fell right in line with the crowd. 

Even though, I took my older son, I think with some assistance, preschool children can definitely participate in this fun.  The place was fairly easy to find with my GPS.  When I got to the center of town, I just had to be sure and keep and eye out for the signs.  If someone has a whole day, I'm sure there are several places to do some wine tasting out there and I believe there may be some baths or spas available as well.   One could really get lost in the Google world when it comes to the health benefits of going barefoot or, the barefoot concept.  However, below are several links to articles I found very helpful for this trip:

Bad Sobernheim: Kick off Your Shoes to Enjoy Barefoot Trail  (Click on the picture in the article for a slideshow.  This article also includes ticket prices and park schedule)
Bad Sobernheim City Webpage
Information on Barefoot Parks throughout Europe (This includes a listing of other parks throughout Europe and a free Design Guide for those garden architects out there!)
And, of course, a Wiki Link: Barfoot-Wikipedia

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