Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Germany with friends

We had such a great trip to Germany. If you don't count Turkey (and I don't), this was our first trip outside the Middle East/US regions since 2010 when we spent a few hours in London. Before that, we spent a few hours in Vienna on a similar layover. Basically, this was our first substantive trip outside the Middle East/US since 2002 (when we were living in Russia and visited Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia).

And you know what? It felt so good to be somewhere NEW. Somewhere that wasn't familiar, but also wasn't different in the same old (Middle Eastern) way. Does that make sense? Aside from the experiences we had, the things we saw, the friends we spent time with, and the food we ate, this trip was good for our souls. Also, it was fun to speak German again, which is our personal language of love.

We loved staying with our friends the Lewises in a small German village in Bavaria. This is actually the third time they've hosted us, since we stayed with them in Nebraska on our way to Ithaca in 2009, and then on our way back in 2010. We first met them back in 2007 in Jordan.

And seriously, they live in a small. German. VILLAGE. Check it out.
So lovely, and such a needed change of pace.

Our kids and their kids got along swimmingly,
...especially when it came to hiking places called Ice Cream Mountain (I believe the fanciful name was made up by their kids but maybe it really is called that? I'm only suspicious because they called another prominent peak near town "Lollipop Mountain," and what are the odds?):

Did I mention, or can you see, how COLD it was? So very very cold. Lucky us, we had held on to most of our good quality cold gear from when we lived in Ithaca, which until this time has been sitting in a bin except for when we pull it out to go to Ski Dubai. It may not have been the best strategic packing decision three years ago, but it sure felt good to get some use out of our own stuff. (Except Magdalena, who got to borrow that adorable pink jacket, which she hardly ever took off.)

I think staying with friends is what really made this vacation a vacation. We had knowledgeable hosts who were fun to hang out with (even if we were lame and went to bed early every night due to the 3-hour UAE/Germany time difference), and who fed us delicious food and entertained our children. Plus, if I didn't mention it before, they live in a small German village. So basically, we could take it as easy or as fast-paced as we wanted. Some days we went out and saw a lot of stuff. Some days we spent on our own in Austria. Some days we went to church and then went home, took a nap, and called it a day. Bliss.

We had thought about going to Europe for a good chunk of this summer, but it just wasn't working out. Then Spring Break presented itself as a viable option, and we went with it. I'm so glad we did. It was a fantastic trip...even if years from now all that our kids will remember is being cold cold cold.

1 comment:

Kathy Haynie said...

What fun to see your kids and Anna's kids in the same photo. I'm so glad your families were able to spend the vacation time together.


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