The Lantern Festival in Buedesheim is an event we look forward to every year – as do our friends. Most of the 5 friends visiting us on Saturday have been at the fest for the last 3 years with us. Once they’d seen it for the first time, they were as hooked as we were. This was also Mackenzie’s first Lantern Festival outside of the womb and although she didn’t get to experience as much of it as we would have liked, we think she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

Mack contemplating

Normally Mack would be in bed at 9pm but we wanted her to see at least part of the parade so we let her stay up. She took a nice long nap in the afternoon to prepare herself but it wasn’t quite enough. The parade made it to our corner at about 9:45pm and by then Mack was starting to get pretty tired. A little more than half way through the parade she just laid her little head down and finally gave in. It was adorable. 😉

As you might imagine, this Southern-bred girl did her best to make sure everyone had to waddle home at the end of the day. We went to breakfast with Steffen & Steffi at one of our favorite local cafes, Cafe Bar Soler, and decided to just do munchies over the course of the afternoon. Snacks included pretzels that I spiced up and an item which is a staple at our parties – Ranch dip with veggies. We also had a rum party punch which went down like Kool-aid – but made us a whole lot more tipsy.

Dinner was set for 8pm which gave us plenty of time to eat and then grab our usual spot on the corner before the parade started at 9pm. For dinner we had smoked pork shoulder with smoked corn on the cob, baked sweet potatoes, baked beans and coleslaw. It seems like so little food when you write it out…appears differently when it’s sitting all around you. Recipes are on their way…

Lanternfest 2009 feast

Meet the friends: That's me with my hair up on the left, then Steffen, his fiance Steffi, Henni and her boyfriend Daniel and Jenny.

Few words were said about the food but I think everyone inhaling their meal instead of talking signified that they really enjoyed it. A couple of the dishes didn’t turn out as well as I’d hope but that’s how it goes. No one complained at least and plates were quite clean when we were done. Poor Ayla barely even got any table scraps the next morning. 😉 Mackenzie got to try a few things from the menu also but she was more intrigued by her little pink seahorse.

Mackenzie not so tasty

We cleared the table in a whirlwind of action (to keep the dog from helping herself to anything) and set off down the block to our usual corner where we view the parade. It’s literally only about 45 feet (15m) from our front gate, just barely far enough to warrent walking versus watching out the front windows.

Lanternfest 2009 waiting to start

We took Mack in her Baby Bjoern (getting all we can out of it before she outgrows it in the next couple months) but eventually just held her at the end as she got more and more tired. We were so busy preparing yumminess for the day that we forgot to charge the batteries in my camera…so the photos ended about here. But Stefan went down on Sunday to the parade to get photos which will be coming up next!

Lanternfest waiting girls

Jenny, Mack & I waiting for the parade to start - She'll be off to Australia for a couple months 🙁

After the parade we were going to have a banana split bar but everyone was still so stuffed that we just brought out the ice cream and feasted on that. I made two ice creams (oh yes folks, nothing store bought around here) and have discovered the best chocolate ice cream on earth. I also made a vanilla cherry ice cream which was good…but the chocolate was DIVINE! Yep, recipes for those coming up too!

As you can see I have a billion posts to write…and quickly before we go off to Steffen & Steffi’s wedding this weekend! I better get cracking!!