December 31, 2011

Christmas Jammies 2011

Here's our annual Christmas PJ photo.

Starting with Tomas, he got football themed jammies. However, the neat thing is that his pajamas are 3D. Of course, you have to wear the special glasses, but they are pretty darn cool looking.

I lucked out this year in finding Katie's PJs. I knew what stores she had been in looking for pajamas for Chloe, so I avoided those. The very first store I went into, JCPenny, and on the very first rack I looked on had these striped Liz Claiborne pajamas. They screamed Katie. And, she loved them. Chloe even thought I did a good job.

Liam knows practically every Chuck Norris joke there is. So when we saw these PJs with a countdown of the top 10 Chuck Norris facts, we knew we had to get them for him.

I got Snoopy PJs. The pants are made out of some of the softest fabric I've ever felt. If I could, I would wear them round the clock.

And finally, Chloe got cute plaid pajamas. Though she's not wearing it in the picture, she also got a BYU hoodie that matches the PJs.

And here is a photo of the Christmas morning aftermath. I think it's obvious from the mess, we had a wonderful Christmas.

December 29, 2011

Christmas Letter by Tomas

Ah...the annual Christmas letter. What a pain in the bum.

I really don't mind writing it (or helping Katie write it). But, we always procrastinate until it's almost too late to get them in the mail to make it by Christmas. And then, we always wait until we are so busy with work, kids' stuff, and other various church and holiday activities that finding a spare second to sit down and get it written is difficult.

This year, I had a brilliant idea (and those do not come along very often). I thought I'd ask our seven year-old Tomas to write the letter, and I'd even pay him. Let me tell you, he's a happy little worker, and he's dirt cheap. It was five bucks well spent.

I thought I'd post the letter here, so it will always be part of our family history. Enjoy reading! And, I hope you all had a merry Christmas! (click to enlarge)

December 28, 2011

What? I Like Brussels Sprouts?

Who would've thunk? And, I certainly did not know that they were named after the capital of Belgium, which would also explain why there is an "s" at the end of the word and why it is also capitalized. How did I discover that these little green cabbage thingys can be so tasty? Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (I love that quote. Gold star for you if you know where it's from.)

A tradition in our home is that Christmas Eve dinner is always made up of cuisine from another country. We've done German, Italian, Chinese, Indian, and more. This year, the choice was obvious. You may be thinking Austrian after our stint with the BYU Vienna Study Abroad. However, we actually went with the British Isles. Katie, Chloe and Liam absolutely fell in love with London on their little side trip this summer. Not a day goes by that London isn't mentioned in our home. We are trying to figure out how to get the family over there. Yes, I know—big dreams. But anyway, English fare it was.

A bunch of photos from Katie, Chloe and Liam's trip to Londo
Katie did a lot of internet research on what constituted a typical Christmas dinner in England. It looked like turkey and goose seem to be pretty standard. Well, we just had turkey for Thanksgiving, and although Katie does not shy away from trying new things in the kitchen, she didn't have a clue where to go to buy a goose. So, she found a recipe online for Somerset chicken. Maybe not Christmas-y but definitely British and a recipe that's been around since Elizabethan times.

The table set and we're ready to dig in. Notice Chloe's double-decker bus t-shirt, Katie's argyles, and Liam's Abbey Road t-shirt.
Katie discovered that Brussels Sprouts are an absolute must have dish for any British Christmas dinner. My first reaction was "yuck!" But Katie would not be dissuaded—we were trying them. Katie made a recipe that added in walnuts. I was very skeptical.

We all gave them a try and the results were mixed. Katie, of course, loved them. Chloe liked them. Tomas licked them but would go no further. Liam came dangerously close to throwing them up. And I, shockingly, thought they were fantastic.

Katie also made British food queen Nigella Lawson's recipe for lemon green beans. This may now be a new family favorite. Katie also made roasted potatoes done the British way where you boil the potatoes first. They were also a hit.

For dessert, Katie had planned to make a figgy pudding. However, I had already made a cake. We felt one dessert should suffice. Katie still plans to make the pudding before the holidays are over.

While in London, Katie and the kids discovered Mr. Kipling's Battenburg cake. Katie had heard them mentioned in various British movies and TV shows. She brought back some to Vienna for Tomas and I to try. And, OH. MY. GOOOODNESS! Those little things are heaven. I knew right then that when I got back to the States, I would have to learn to make a Battenburg cake.

I was a bit nervous since the recipe is a bit involved. But, I was more than happy with the results. The whole family agreed it was every bit as good as Mr. Kipling's. I will get the recipe posted soon on my food blog.

And finally, Katie made oatmeal scones with clotted cream for Christmas Eve morning to eat as we listened to the live presentation of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College on the radio. Clotted cream is another of Katie's discoveries. It's a super-duper thick cream you can get in England. Sadly, you can't find it here, but Katie found a recipe that she thinks is pretty darn close to the real thing. The scones were amazing. I'll post this recipe, too.

Clotted cream—a yummy way to clot the arteries.
British food usually seems to get a bum rap, but we loved everything we had. I just hope the entire family can someday make it across the Atlantic to sample it all in person.

Any suggestions for next year's country?

December 27, 2011

Hooray for Santy Claus

You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S.
Hooray for Santy Claus!

We made our annual trip out to the mall to visit Santa. We finally got it right this time and arrived just as the mall opened. There was no waiting at all.

Once again, we purchased a photo package. We've been buying these since way back in the day when Chloe was a baby and we didn't have a decent camera. I guess forking over a ridiculous amount of money for a photo I could now do myself is part of the tradition. This year, they didn't allow any personal photography at all, even if you paid for a package. Those people are making some serious bank.

This year's Santa was much better than last year's, who creeped the kids out a bit. I stood behind the girl who only knew how to press the button photographer and made strange faces and danced my goofy dance to get the kids to smile. I did get Santa to laugh. He appreciated my efforts so much he gave me an extra See's candy sucker.

I never did find out what Chloe and Liam asked Santa for Christmas, but I know that Tomas asked for an iPad. Fat chance fella! Nobody's getting an iPad around here before me, and I have serious doubts I'm getting one anytime soon.

Another family tradition is to watch our favorite Santa movie, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. It's now on Netflix. This is a carry over from my childhood that I have introduced my children to. And who cares if this movie has made almost every list of the worst movies ever made. We love it. We laughed, cried, and quoted lines throughout all 120 minutes. (Katie slept through most of it, but we made sure she was awake for the best parts.)

If you have never seen this movie, you can watch it on Youtube here.

If you don't have 120 minutes to waste, watch at least the end credits beginning at 1:16:54. You can sing along! That catchy tune is usually sung nonstop around here during the holidays.

Or, here's the trailer.

That Santa Claus. What a guy!

December 26, 2011

The Christmas Puppet Theater Presents

The tradition continues.*

You could feel the excitement in the theater. The audience sat in anticipation waiting to discover one of the most closely guarded secrets. What would this year's Christmas Eve puppet show be? A hush fell over the crowd as the lights lowered. Only three notes from the orchestra and everyone knew it was Dr. Seuss' Christmas tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Not only is this a classic Christmas story and cartoon, but this puppet version will be one for the ages.


Here's a closer look at the cast.

Once again, a fabulous performance. The reviews are in.
"Three thumbs up!"—Katie

"I laughed. I cried. It was better than Cats. And, it was certainly better than that Jim Carrey version"—Curtis
We can't wait for next year's production!

*Chloe thinks this was her final performance since she will be in college next year. (Yikes! Did I just write that?) Tomas is very excited to fill her shoes. However, I think we haven't seen the last of Chloe. It's tradition! Plus, I have very close ties to Santa Claus.


December 24, 2011

MVHS Choirs Christmas Concert

As you read in my earlier post, I forgot the memory card at home so I didn't get any video of Chloe's choir performing at Temple Square. I learned my lesson and made sure I had the memory card for the Christmas concert. I also borrowed a nicer video camera and made sure the battery was charged.

Mountain View has an extremely impressive choir program. In this first clip of the combined choirs, you can see how many kids are involved. I think its more than my entire graduating class.

This next clip is the Chamber Choir. It's tradition that every year the Chamber Choir ends its portion of the program with the song, "Fruitcake." Each section comes up with something to do during their featured part. Chloe along with the other sopranos was tired always being the boring section, so they came up with something very different. I think they win the "most creative" award.

The next clip is the A Cappella Choir. Chloe has been serving this year as the A Cappella Choir president. She's really enjoyed it, but she has also had to put in some long hours. The final song of this section, "Bethlemhu," is also tradition. I remember last year's group blowing me away. I wondered how this year's group would compare. Once again, blown away. The percussion section was really fun to watch.

There you have it. Congratulations MVHS Choirs on a job well done! I'm looking forward to the next concert.

December 23, 2011

Christmas at Temple Square

We went to Temple Square to watch Chloe and the MVHS choirs perform and see the lights. The choirs gave several performances throughout the afternoon and evening, but we were only able to catch the Chamber Choir performing in the North Visitors Center. I had planned to videotape them, but as I got the camera ready, I discovered I had left the memory card in the computer at home. Argh. So, I just got some stills.

The choir sounded beautiful, and looked fantastic in their new dresses and tuxes.

My favorite part came at the end of the Chamber Choir's performance when the director turned around and all the kids in the audience who are part of the other MVHS choirs joined in singing "Worship the King." It sent chills down my spine.

Here is the director. From all that I hear, she can really be a task master, but the kids love her, and results are amazing.

After the concert, we walked around looking at the Christmas lights. This red tree has been my favorite for many years. There has to be 100,000 lights on this tree alone.

I also really liked the blues lights which are more intense and a new addition since the last time I was here.

As we were leaving, we saw this guy playing the bagpipes. It was only 13°! I'm willing to bet he's not a "real Scotsman."

And no visit to Temple Square to see the lights would be complete without a stop at Crown Burger.

This was a great start to our Christmas season!

Drummer Boy

When Liam was just about three, he decided his name was no longer Liam but rather Li Li Boom Boom. He was very insistent that we call him this, and we did. It eventually shortened to just Boom Boom. Even now that Liam is 13, family members still occasionally call him by his nickname. My guess is he will probably insist we quit in the coming high school years, especially when girls enter the picture.

Katie and I were always wondering if this nickname would somehow prove prophetic. And, it has. Liam loves all things loud and explosive. Luckily this year, Liam has channeled this energy and interest into something artistic—learning percussion.

We attended his end-of-semester percussion concert. Katie and I really enjoyed it. I felt the kids did a great job for only having been at it a few months. Below is the video. The quality is terrible because I was using my little point and shoot camera.

Right now, Liam just practices at home with a drum pad and concert bells. I'm not sure how I feel about when the time comes that we have to buy him a full drum set. Our basement isn't that sound proof. Oh well, I'll just be thankful he's not blowing things up. 

December 04, 2011

Can I Have a Do-Over?

It's been a crazy busy fall with work, church, family activities, and various other miscellaneous things. This meant way too little sleep*. My body finally had had enough and gave out.

On Wednesday, we traveled up to Preston to spend Thanksgiving with Oma and Opa. On the way up, I felt I might be coming down with a cold, but shortly after stepping through the door, I knew it was going to be much worse. I got back in the van and went to the grocery store to pick up the largest bottles of Nyquil and Dayquil I could find. I took a giant dose of medicine, but it all went downhill from there. I was sick, sick, sick. I completely missed Thanksgiving and basically didn't get up until Saturday. The bottle of Nyquil was virtually empty.

Still achy and having little to no energy, I ventured out with the family to see the Preston Festival of Lights Christmas Parade. This festival and parade has kind of gone downhill in recent years, but it's still a fun tradition. Where else can you see a tractor decorated in Christmas lights?

Below is my favorite parade entry of the evening.

And, here's the family just after the parade. 

I did get to eat some Thanksgiving leftovers. But you know, it's just not really the same. All I can say is that I had darn well better not be sick for Christmas.

*Some of you may be wondering why Katie, who sleeps less than I do, doesn't get sick. We've decided she's a vampire. Really. In addition to not sleeping, she's pale (or as she says, "I have alabaster skin."), she loves very rare meat, and her special power is that she can find anything (Mom, where are my shoes?). Bella ain't got nothin' on her.

December 02, 2011

Back in Primary

In my humble opinion, when it comes to church callings, the Primary is where it's at.

After a long absence, Katie and I were called again to serve in the Primary to teach the 7 year-olds, and we love it. And speaking for myself, I wouldn't mind if I get left there for a good long time, too.

Below are a couple of pictures, the serious and the goofy, following the annual Primary Program. Each of our kids did such a great job. I'm always so amazed at how chaotic the practices can be, and yet the program runs without a hitch. 

Let me introduce the class to you.

Going from left to right, we begin with Jeffrey. Jeffrey cracks me up. He's smart and quick-witted. He has a great sense of humor.

Next comes Cedros. Cedros loves to sing and sing out loud. He has no fear of trying new things and loves to participate. Cedros also likes to be goofy and can get Chetna laughing better than anyone.

Chetna is in the middle. She has cerebral palsy and can only communicate with her eyes and her smile. Her favorite part of Primary is singing time. I hold her hand and help her conduct songs. She does her best to make noises and sing along. One of my favorite parts of our time in Primary is when I make a connection with Chetna where she understands me and I understand her.  The other children in class are very good with Chetna, and it's amazing what we learn from her.

Daisy is one of the happiest little girls I've met. She gets so excited about every single part of Primary.
Daisy is also very observant. She always notices what Katie is wearing and how Katie has matched and coordinated everything from her earrings to her shoes.

Even though Veronica is very quiet, she is extra sweet. She is a budding little artist. We love it when she brings us pictures she's done each week.

And finally, Karlee. She's our newest class member, so I don't know her as well. But, she's a good little girl.

Katie and I recently found out we are going to move up with this class and be their teachers next year. This makes us very happy. For me, it's like going to church each week and having a little party.

November 03, 2011

All Hallow's Eve 2011

This year for Halloween, Tomas was an Army man from Toy Story and Liam was a Pancho Villa/Zorro type figure. Katie taught her classes dressed as a scarecrow, and Chloe wore three costumes at different times during the day—Tomas the Tank Engine, a Jamba Juice employee where the smoothie went horribly wrong (fruit in the hair and everything), and finally, a zombie. I, on the other hand, was a fuddy-duddy. I had several meetings at work where a costume would not have been appreciated. I did, however, wear my bright orange socks with black bats on them.

Here's the gang just before trick-or-treat time. Utah weather has been known to be pretty horrible on Halloween, but this year, it couldn't have been more perfect. I think this was the reason we had more trick-or-treaters than usual and had to send Chloe out for more candy.

Sebi joined us for trick-or-treating. He was a punk rocker. Rob and Mary Ann did a fantastic job on his costume. I wish I had a close up of the patches on his jacket. They created patches for wild punk bands from the eighties and even made up a few. My personal favorite was The Living Pelt, which is a nickname Sebi's uncle gave him referencing his hair when he wakes up in the morning. Poor Sebi didn't have such a great day at school because none of the other second graders knew what a punk rocker even was. Luckily when he showed up at our house, several neighbors came by who knew immediately what he was and even recognized some of the band names. Tomas and Sebi had a great time going around the neighborhood together. Tomas especially liked giving Sebi the low down on which houses give the best candy.

True to the Isaak family tradition, we got our pumpkins finished seconds before the first trick-or-treaters rang the doorbell. Below you can see that Chloe did the Facebook "like" symbol. Liam created an angry bird pumpkin. Katie helped Tomas with his crazy face jack-o-lantern. After which, she quickly carved a basic jack-o-lantern face because she was running out of time. I did the Ampelmann figure. If you don't know what that is, it's the "walk" symbol on the traffic lights from former East Germany. Berlin has now adopted it and it's a beloved symbol from the city. I was surprised two parents who came by actually recognized it.

After Tomas and Sebi finished with our neighborhood. I took them along with Liam over to the Mc's neighborhood. I thought our neighborhood had a lot of trick-or-treaters out, but holy cow, you should have seen the Mc's neighborhood. They have neighbors who create a haunted forest in their back yard. There are also a couple of houses that hand out homemade donuts and scones. And my favorite was a home where the whole theme was Pirates of the Caribbean. I could write an entire blog post on just that house, but to give you an idea, they made it rain on their front porch, had a life size ship's wheel, and the dad made a very convincing Jack Sparrow. No wonder I saw carloads of kids being dropped off in the neighborhood. Honestly, I thought these houses were really cool, but they also made me feel tired. I just don't have the time and energy for something like that. But, I can't wait to see what the pirate house comes up with next year.

November 02, 2011


I survived Homecoming week. And, quite well actually.
  • The Brimhall Essay Contest was successful and produced a fantastic winner.
  • The Founders Luncheon went off without a hitch. And believe me, there were some hitches that could have gone off. I owe many thanks to great coworkers and students.
  • A record number of people participated in the Hike and Light the Y. I don't dare say how many were up on the Y because even though I don't know what the maximum capacity rule is, I'm pretty certain we surpassed it. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather though. Once again, the Student Alumni did an awesome job.
  • It looked a little dicey at first, but good weather prevailed for the parade. Chloe and I had a blast marching along with the Student Alumni.
When my events were done and I wasn't attending Alumni Board meetings, I tried to make myself useful helping out where needed.

Liam was also with us, but he and his friend practically ran all the way up because  he wanted to be one of the one's who got to screw in a light bulb.

Chloe marching along in the parade.
A couple of crazy parade watchers
THE highlight of the week was Homecoming Spectacular, a huge production in the Marriott Center showcasing many BYU performing groups. This year, they got Brian Stokes Mitchell to headline the show. Katie and I have been big fans of his ever since he starred on Broadway in Man of La Mancha, and we saw him perform some of the songs from the musical on TV. And then a couple of years back, we got to see him perform live with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir*. In Homecoming Spectacular, Brian Stokes Mitchell was A-MA-ZING. After the show, I sounded like Bartok, the bat from the movie Anastasia, when all I could say was, "Wow! I tell you what, wow!"
A nice perk of working for Alumni Relations was that Katie and I were invited to a reception with Brian Stokes Mitchell after the performance. I was in awe watching him make the most of the few moments he had with each person. He was so personable and gracious.

Here is a photo of us with Mr. Mitchell. He certainly makes us look good, doesn't he? We like the photo so much, we're thinking of using it for our Christmas card—forget about the kids. Well...maybe not.

I wonder who they'll get for next year's show. This will be a hard act to follow.
It was a busy week, but all in all, a good one. Oh, and BYU did win the football game.

*click here, here and watch some of my favorite Brian Stokes Mitchell numbers from his performance with the Motabs.

October 09, 2011

Best Seats in the House

I guess lightening can strike twice. Last year, the Student Alumni was invited to the President's Loge for a football game. I thought it was probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I seriously doubt I will ever make enough to be a major donor to the university. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. A couple weeks ago, we got another invite.

This time, Chloe joined me. Katie and the kids used tickets I got through work. Here are Chloe and I in the loge. As we rode the elevator up, Chloe stated that her college future was dependent upon this game. Whichever team won, that's where she was going.

Katie and Tomas had fantastic seats down on the front row at the 30 yard line. Liam and his friend, Tanner, were about as high in the stands as you could possibly go.

Up in the loge, they had a nice Mexican buffet. Chloe and I ate with the parents of one of Chloe's friends, whose dad is a vice president of the University. During the game, I snacked on kettle corn and blue and white M&Ms. I ate way too much, but I kept thinking this may only be a twice-in-a-lifetime thing, so I'd better take full advantage of it.

Here's the Student Alumni gang with their dates. Not only are they good lookin', but they are such a blast to work with.

In addition to President Samuelson and the President's Council, there were several Church and government leaders in attendance. I saw at least five members of the Quorum of the Seventy; there may have been more. I also one guy I was sure I knew from somewhere. I thought maybe I had seen him around campus. It wasn't until after halftime that I got a look at his name tag and found out it was our governor. So, no I didn't know him; I've just seen him on TV.

As I was heading back to my seat for the beginning of the second half, I saw all the students bunched around looking like they were waiting for something . I then noticed they were standing next to Sister Beck, General Relief Society president. I could tell they wanted to meet her, so I offered to get her attention and introduce them.

Sister Beck was very gracious and spent a few moments speaking with the students. I then asked if I could take a photo. I don't know what my problem was—nerves perhaps. But, I could not get the flash on my camera to work. It was like I had never touched the thing before. I took several photos anyway. As Sister Beck finished up talking with the students, I looked through the photos I had just taken. They were all blurry! Dang it.

At first, I thought, "Oh well. You can still tell who everyone is." But, then I thought, "This is an amazing opportunity, and the students will think I'm such and idiot." So, I embarrassingly told Sister Beck about the photos, and asked if we could try it just one more time. And although I felt like a dork, Sister Beck was once again so kind and agreed. This time I got it right.

After the photo, Sister Beck grabbed my elbow and said that we needed a photo with me in it, and here it is.
Sister Beck looks great, but what's up with me? That look on my face resembles a Muppet. Anyway, thank you Sister Beck!

So, how did the game go? Well, up through the end of the third quarter it looked like BYU was going to lose a second year in a row to Utah State. The score was 13-24. I was worried. Not because it meant Chloe would choose USU (She'll do great wherever she goes.), but I didn't want such a fun experience for the Chloe and the students to end on a down note.

A few minutes into the fourth quarter, I noticed people starting to leave the stands. Even the President's loge was half empty. But, with only minutes and then seconds remaining, BYU pulled off an amazing comeback. Two incredible plays happened right in front of where Katie and the boys were sitting. (Liam and Tanner had joined Katie and Tomas to sit in vacated seats.)

Here is Chloe cheering at the final BYU touchdown.

This is a photo of Chloe and me just after the end of  the game with the scoreboard in the background. What? You can't read the score? It's too small?

Here, let me help.
Ahhh...Looks like Chloe is going to be a cougar after all. Which, by the way, she proudly told quite a few people as we exited the loge. (Sorry, Oma and Opa.)

As Chloe and I walked back to the car, we ran into this crazy group who looked like they had the time of their lives. Might Katie become a football fan?

It was a fun evening, and I wouldn't be sad if lightening were to strike a third time.

September 29, 2011

MVHS Homecoming 2011

I'm done blogging about Berlin. I should move on to Salzburg, but it's that crazy busy time of year for work, school and family. And, I'm worn out. I think I'll take just a few minutes to slap up some photos I took last weekend.

This past Saturday was Mountain View's homecoming. Chloe was a finalist for Homecoming Queen. She didn't make it to the final three, which was just fine with her. It meant more party time with friends in the stands at the game. Plus, Chloe had a date to the big dance with a fine young gentleman named Skyler who treated her like a queen.

Chloe chose to wear a dress she borrowed from a neighbor, and it was even one she had worn before to a dance. I asked Katie if we should get her a new dress, but Katie insisted Chloe wanted to wear this dress again. (OK. Whatever. I'm just saying that I was in one of those moods to fork over big money even though we're still catching up financially from the Vienna trip.)

Anyway, she accessorized the dress differently with a scarf and new earrings, and she did her hair up in a retro style. She looked beautiful—like a starlet in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Chloe had a wonderful evening and excitedly told us all the details when she got home.

The only sad part of the evening was that Chloe realized this was her last high school homecoming dance. I think her senior year is already flying by for her rather quickly.
(Click to enlarge) The corsage Skyler gave her was made up of her favorite flowers, roses and lilies. If I had been given more than 30 seconds for the whole photo shoot, I would have taken a close up. And as you can see, the red Converse sneakers were back. Chloe is all about comfort when she's having fun. Plus, her date probably appreciated no heels.

September 19, 2011

Check That Off the List

When Tomas and I went to Berlin, there was only one thing that I was bound and determined to see. For the rest of the time, I was content to do whatever Rob and Maryann suggested.

Below is a photo I took in the Neues Museum. They allow photos throughout the entire museum except for in one room. Unfortunately, that room contained THE very object I came to see. I tried to covertly snap a photo from down the hall. I was on the other side of the "No photography!" signs, so I thought it was OK. Well, maybe.

However, a security guard kept giving me crusty looks. I'm sure he'd seen my kind before—pretending to look at another work of art while secretly snapping a picture in a split second over my shoulder. I was nervous. I didn't want my camera confiscated—or worse, to be thrown in jail in a foreign country. But, it was a risk I was willing to take.

I used my rapid fire shooting mode, and this was the best I got.*

The evil guard is the one in blue.

Do you see it? Do you recognize it? It's the gold thing to the right of the guard's head.

If you still don't know what it is, watch this. Pay close attention at 2:02.

When I was in elementary school, I was fascinated with all things ancient Egyptian. My mother gave me a to-scale ceramic copy of the Nefertiti bust that I then meticulously painted. My Nefertiti held a place of honor for many years in my bedroom holding up books. I have no idea what happened to her. I think she might have been sold in a garage sale while I was on my mission—along with my classic Fischer Price Little People toys. (sniff) I hope she fetched a good price.

I always assumed the real Nefertiti bust was somewhere in Egypt. I was so excited when I found out from Maryann she was in Berlin. Tomas, who also really likes Egyptian stuff, was almost just as excited as I to see the real Nefertiti. 

And was it worth it?

A most emphatic, YES!

The room they have her in is beautiful, and she is displayed perfectly. I was glad there weren't hoards of people wanting to get a look at her like the Mona Lisa. I was able to get up close and stay as long as I wanted. In person, you can see so many more details than what come across in a photo. She's so lifelike, unlike any of the other Egyptian stuff I've seen. I also learned something new. I found out that the bust was discovered in a artist's workshop and was most likely a sculptor's model. This way, she only had to pose once.

It was sure nice to check Nefertiti off my list. She did not disappoint.

Now, there is only one thing I can think of that I have left to see in Germany before I die. Will it ever happen? I hope so. If you want to contribute to my bucket list fund. Just let me know.

*I'm feeling a little guilty about taking that picture. There's probably a good reason why they have that rule. I'll repent and never try taking a photo of Nefertiti again.