We started out on Saturday with a trip to Mt. Angel, a small town about 15 minutes from where we live. This is the same town where we go to celebrate Oktoberfest. I was excited to attend their first annual Hazelnut Festival at the Festhalle. Regular readers of my blog may remember that I am actually allergic to tree nuts, hazelnuts included, so I was quite cautious about eating anything there, but I was so looking forward to the Kristkindle Markt (basically a craft bazaar), as well as some German music and sausages, that I didn't let my aversion to tree nuts keep me away.
Mt. Angel is such a fun town, all sorts of German looking buildings, I always enjoy our visits. Here is the Festhalle where the Hazelnut Fest was located.
This is a really neat building, we enjoyed the look of it.
This is the stage you see when you walk in, I love the windows.
The inside of the hall looks like you are standing in front of a little row of houses, very fun looking!
There was a friendly accordionist, roaming about, and playing Christmas carols. He did a great job, everyone enjoyed the music.
Here are Sarah and Joseph, they had just finished the most beautiful and delicious cupcakes from a cupcake vendor, I should have snapped a picture, but they were so yummy they were gobbled right up! Since it was a Hazelnut Festival, Nutella and Fererro Rocher were giving away samples as well, which was pretty fun.
I was really impressed by this German baker's stand of beautiful rustic bread, very inspiring, now I want to get to baking and try making some homemade bread that looks like these.
My favorite little shop was the Monastery Mustard shop, they had a multitude of delicious mustard flavors, we settled on their Divinely Original flavor and Heavenly Honey. The proceeds of this mustard, which is made at the local monastery, goes to support the retired Sisters and maintain the monastery. I would encourage any mustard fans out there to check out there website www.monasterymustard.com , you can order some of the flavors on their website, very yummy!
We had a fun time at the Hazelnut Fest, and look forward to attending next year. You can check out the website here www.hazelnutfest.com.
We decided to eat lunch at The Glockenspiel Restaurant up the road, this is a very fun building, it has a large clock tower with a moving glockenspiel that represents the story of the town's history.
We were fortunate to arrive just before 1:00 pm, one of the four times each day that the glockenspiel plays. What a fun sight, the figures twirl around and each figure has its own bit of music.
The show finishes with these children swinging and singing Edelweiss, one of my personal favorites. What a treat it was!
There are fun sites to see all through town, like this metal pole with folk art right across from the tower.
By the time we got in the Glockenspiel Restaurant, we were ready for a good lunch, the windows were decorated with Nutcrackers, and had a really nice atmosphere.
Fondue was a must, we all love it so much, the apples and bread dipped into the cheese were delicious! We all agree that we need to buy our own fondue pot this December and learn to make our own, I will have to start looking for recipes! :)
I had the weinerschnitzel with spatzle, we all tried it and loved it.
The boys had delicious sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes that was also very tasty and filling.
Sarah had a very nicely made burger on a pretzel bun. Pretzel buns are delicious!
After a little rest, Joseph got dressed in his winter wear to go sing with his choir group, for our town's tree lighting ceremony, which was tonight. The rest of us bundled up as well, to go watch the tree lighting and hear the various singing groups. Santa arrived on his sleigh, all lit up, and ready for our annual canned food drive parade that goes through town for three nights collecting food.
After a word from the mayor and a prayer from a local pastor the tree was lit up.
We all had fun singing along to carols. There was a live nativity, with two very nervous but sweet goats, the goats were good sports about letting all the kids pet them, even though the crowd and loud noises were a bit much for them. :)
Here is Joe all ready to sing, I am really looking forward to hearing both him and Sarah sing this year in the Singing Christmas Tree too. The whole evening was wonderful.
After saying goodbye to friends, we headed home for a late small dinner and enjoyed a Christmas show. Our day was so enjoyable, the perfect way to kick off advent. I am really looking forward to this Christmas season!