Friday, July 11, 2014

The Castle in the Clouds

First off, before I start writing my real post, I have to show you a picture Marc snuck of me on the drive to this special castle. I apparently missed all kinds of other castles and a great drive on the Autobaun that involved a Ferrari and a Sport Utility Vehicle... hey, it was a long drive...

 OK, now that we've had a good laugh...

moving on...

A castle in the clouds seems so fairytale-like, so imaginary, almost like Disney...

After seeing the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany on a rainy day I can totally understand why Walt Disney patterned his castle after this one, specifically the Sleeping Beauty Castle. (Have you seen the movie Maleficent? This photo seems to fit the storyline exactly...)

I felt like I was in a fairytale as I walked through the mist and the rain to see the towering turrets and gilded gates.

Because of the rain and mist, I felt like it was more when Belle finds the beast's castle when she is looking for her father or, as mentioned above Maleficent, none-the-less, I still loved it.

It was wet.

Really wet.

I couldn't use my camera too much because of the rain.

I loved it anyway!

I'm not sure that everyone loved it because some were not prepared for the trek in the rain. There were many tourists in sandals, shorts and tank tops... we were prepared and had our rain jackets, and were wearing good shoes and pants. I was a little taken back when I saw a few young, overly-plump ladies pouring themselves into the translucent "one size fits al"l rain ponchos they sold at all the shops there. Trust me, you must be desperate to stay a little dry if you're willing to wrap yourself in plastic wrap and stride up the hill to a castle... Can we say, "not fun."

Anyway it was a little bit of a walk to get to the castle, but it was fun and we had plenty of time to talk, laugh and giggle about the plastic-wrapped passersby. I know I shouldn't laugh, but no one should look like they are wrapped in plastic wrap... it's just ... ... ... anyway...

We were actually grateful that this was the first time during our entire vacation that it had rained. We did most of our driving that day, so it wasn't too bad to spend a couple of hours in the rain.

Once we got up to the castle, this was one place I definitely noticed the tourists. I couldn't get a shot without some one in there it seemed.

Ya, Marc's just so cool, he didn't need his hood on...

This picture holds some memories... not just because of Marc and the castle, but, because of that couple on the bottom right... the looks on their faces should have told me they were going to be a hoot! Here, I'll point them out to you.

OK, so here they are. The man was the photographer and the lady was the model... for their tourist shot.
Thomas, Marc and I watched on in giggling amazement as the woman tried to get into a position that, we think, may have been so that the castle and her were in a good view... not too sure... but she did this back-bend-stance-lean-thing that can only be described through a picture. I didn't dare take one of her, but we laughed quite a bit, for quite a while. Thomas kept joking about it, so when Marc said to pose for a picture, he took the photo stance we had previously witnessed...

I don't even think he quite got it, but it makes us laugh every time we see it.

Here's a few pictures I got that look a little more "normal."

Some views from the castle grounds:

We took a few pictures inside the castle gates but did not go inside because of our time restraints.

See those rain ponchos in the picture, front and center? Ya, those don't look good when they are too tight and on bodies that are wearing tanks and shorts... just sayin'... again.

Sometimes taking panoramic photos on your phone don't turn out the best...

... and of course, the selfie! Tradition it was!
...Thomas, you look a bit worried in this one...

Yes, I look a little oversized... I will tell you though, that I had my camera under my jacket most of the time.

Oh, here I am again... 

just FYI

After being inside the gates for a bit we came back out to get some final pics before our descent to the car.

Marc and I tried a selfie and it didn't turn out the way we wanted:

So we asked Thomas to take a picture:


OK, really Thomas take the picture:


There was another castle just across the way, we didn't go to it, so I just took some pictures from below.

After taking these pictures of the other castle you could see on the way down, Marc turned and noticed we had a great view of the Neuschwanstein from the bottom of the path. I didn't have a tripod, but they still turned out decent.

At the bottom I took some shots of the beautiful draft horses because I knew that Brother would love to see them.

 When we started going out of the parking lot we noticed a great view of the castle. I was so excited! I didn't think we'd get a good shot of the most of it because of our access, but these were pretty cool! I really wanted to take a picture of this castle to hang one up in Brother's room, he LOVES Sleeping Beauty, loves castles, and loves his mom's photography (smile).


Just to show you how grateful I am that I brought my camera on our trip, this is a zoomed-in shot from Marc's iPhone...

I recorded a little clip in the car after our tour at the castle, I hope it will make you laugh:

As far as my real castle in the clouds, my home in Utah, I need to really keep it in focus and remember it is my home where I raise my family and find refuse. Sometimes, as I look at these photos from months ago I start to see my home in the way the last picture looks... a little fuzzy, distorted and undesirable.

Real life, sometimes, is not a fairytale. It is hard and as the saying goes, "When it rains, it pours."

The day we walked to the Neuschwanstein castle it was pouring, but I had a great attitude because I knew what my goal was in the end.

The castle.

One of the most beautiful castles in the world, one of the most toured and desired and a place that inspired someone to make a place as close to it as possible in a whole other land.

It pours down a lot in Our Life.

I still deal with depression.

I still have children with mental impairments accompanied by Autistic characteristics—Fragile X Syndrome.

Sometimes I'm caught in the rain storm of Our Life without a rain jacket and good shoes.

Sometimes, I'm the ill-prepared one. The one in sandals when the water is running high. The one in shorts and a tank top when the winds begin to blow the rain sideways into my face.

But, I can't give up.

I just have to find that plastic wrap poncho, squeeze it on and face the rain head on, whether I look good or not!

I just hope that we all remember that our "castles" are worth the work. I just hope my castle in the clouds is waiting for me when I have lived a good life to the fullest and can say, "I may not look my best today, but I walked head on through the storms of life with my head held high."

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley: 
I found this image at

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