Well, my apologies for not updating this sooner. One, I am not a very good writer, and secondly I don’t know how much I really want to share with the world nowadays with the insanity of the internet.
That being said…here is a an update for those interested. THIS post will be followed up by the first month in Israel. This is our trip to Germany, in route.
We got to spend our last evening in America with wonderful friends and their son. They were also so very kind to take us to the airport at 10:30pm! We packed pretty light, we each had one large bag, one carry on and a backpack. We did the great “hurry up, to wait” We were flying AMC (Air Mobility Command) this is a overseas flight to Germany that has all military on it, either they are PCSing or they are vacationing. I got the run down from our friends and David that this may be a very uncomfortable flight, as it could be a very old jet, with uncomfortable seats and absolutely no service (slightly worried since I had hyped up the experience to the kids about the snacks, dinner and movies on the planes) Well, we didn’t have to board until 2am, yes, 2 am and we were at the airport at 10:30, we found a space, semi quiet, off in the corner by the windows to try and get some zzz’s. I plugged my phone in and turned on my white noise app on full blast and place it between the kids’ heads and said “lay here and try to sleep” Well, this is the most wonderful things about being a kid, you can pretty much sleep anywhere and be ok. As for David and I, not so much. I had brought Joyceyln’s “lovey” blanket, a light zip hoodie for myself, both kids has their light warm up jackets, and a beach towel I happened to pack in our carry on rolling suit case to pad my camera and other expensive gadgets. So, we set up camp, laid down with the kids and 20 mins after I feel asleep I woke up in a deep freeze. The AC was blowing SO cold onto us, so we wrapped the kids (UGH, what we do for our kids sometimes, well more often than not, becomes a huge sacrifice for us, haha) in what we had to spare and David and I ran laps and jumping jacks in the hall to stay warm and stay awake. We were desperate, so much so that we both contemplated stealing a whole roll of paper towels from the bathroom to use as a blanket. Don’t worry, we didn’t, we shivered and dozed off, and shivered and dozed off, and woke up with purple lips. But the good news is, the kids got to sleep for a solid 3 hours!
It was time to carry 2 very tired kids to the gate. We looked out the window and found that our jet was a United 747 jet. My heart leapt for joy!! I was at the point that I didn’t care about the movie, dinners or anything, I just wanted a comfortable seat with a blanket. We finally got on the jet, set in our seat at about 3am. Lots of long naps, games, books, coloring, and at the end of the last 2 hours Joycelyn just roamed around the aisle back and forth bored. And about 9 hours later…We landed in Germany at about 5p.m. in that time zone.
We left the good old USA at the very beginning of June and got to spend a few days inprocessing in Germany. We rented a car and did what we needed to do on base and then went full force exploring! Germany is AMAZING!! There is so much you can do and so many beautiful cities & towns to see, there is no way we could do it in a few days, therefore…will someday hope to go back!
Our hotel alone was simply the cutest place! The kids got to sleep in their own little room (with our rooms adjoining by a small hallway) but they thought this was the coolest thing ever. It sat in the middle of a mountain and at the foot of a castle! You don’t get to do something like that in America!!
We took a drive to Trier, Germany first. This city is the oldest continuous city in Germany and was founded by the Romans in the late 1st century BC. I urge you to just read a little about this city here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trier because I can’t even describe to you the history here. We walk a lot this day and made a pit stop to bribe the kids to keep going with fancy hot fudge sundaes. We don’t usually bribe (what parent has ever said they have never bribed, if they have told you they don’t, they lie) so, we don’t USUALLY bribe, but when it comes to a 9 and 6 year old and making them walk miles and miles and teaching them about the history and the sites, it can get very exhausting. Pit stops at random parks and candy and ice cream here and there works when you have been site seeing for 6 hours!
I am absolutely in love with my wide angle lens, but sometimes there is a time or two that I would like my 35 or even zoom, but my there is no way I could have gotten some amazing pictures of these places if it wasn’t for my wide angle. The inside of the church’s we visited was too dark for my lens and of course, my batteries died in my external flash.
Our car ride back lead to more cat naps for the kids (and me) which doesn’t make for good jet lag, but the long car rides are boring, and when you are exhausted its very hard to stay awake! I have an amazing husband who always lets me and the kids sleep on all of our car trips!! He powered through like champ!
We went to dinner with some of our wonderful friends from Pensacola and their 4 kids. It was such a special evening getting to catch up with them and also finding out that we got to also toast to a promotion!! The AF life has brought some amazing people in our lives and we are so very thankful that God has placed such special people in our paths!! I also had Jagerschnitzel every single evening while in Germany, but it’s ok, Israel has Schnitzel everywhere too!!
Our next day adventures we went to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. So awesome that it gets to be it OWN country!! Yes, this I never knew. I married a history and geographic buff, me…not so much, and I am learning more and more everyday!!
Anyway… A Roman Era city, that was again, once fortified. Read about it here
This day I was feeling my worst with my allergies (once I stepped off the plane in Germany I started sneezing) but this day was bad. This land is so beautiful and lush with gorgeous tree and flowers, but I am allergic to it all, apparently. One of the coolest things about this area was walking INSIDE the fortified wall, called the Casemates. Then when you step outside and walk around and back up to the top, you see the grandeur of it!! Just spectacular and absolutely stunning!
Once we left Luxembourg we decided to do the 35 min drive north to see the Vianden Castle. I know I am pasting all kinds of Wikipedia pages, but I didn’t know if any of you would like to learn something new today 🙂 and this castle and the fortified old city that surrounded it were breathtaking…Highly recommend this!
What a sight this castle was!! The kids were about DONE, you know it because they just don’t have that fire in their shoes like they have the last 6 hours. So we made the castle exploring fun by pretending to live there and Joycelyn was the princess while David and Devin had to fight for her.
Our last day was meant for Frankfurt where our flight left the next day. Our plans were to do some sightseeing and Devin really wanted to visit some Ann Frank museums (He is also a history buff like his dad) but by the time we cabbed it to our hotel and discovered the location (next to the Frankfurt Zoo) the kids begged us to do the zoo. Well, that was slightly short lived, it was nothing like what they have been used to in Omaha (because NOTHING can compare to Omaha Zoo!) and it happened to be a VERY hot day in Germany. Actually we were very blessed with beautiful weather our 3 days there, NO rain and it was in the high 70’s. But the day of the zoo happened to be almost 90. We were all very hot and tired from still jet lagging (remember those naps, they are actually horrible for your body when you jet jag)
So after the zoo David just had to try an authentic Bierhaus, so we ventured out with our paper map (no phones for google maps) and 2 exhausted hungry kids. Not a good combination, but we made it (after about a mile walk) and it wasn’t as it was advertised, a little let down, but good food overall! Afterwards found a place to get the kids MORE Kinder eggs, to cheer them up! More bribery, slightly…
Got to the hotel, showered up and headed to bed knowing our cab was picking us up to take us to the airport at 0630. Well, our hotel room had 1 king bed, which isn’t bad. We have done that before, they did leave us a pack and play for Joycelyn, who seriously wanted to sleep in it! And Devin got the cot, well, as I said before, it was a very hot day that day, and the AC in the hotel was only allowed to go to 28 degrees C (about 82 degrees F) and the unit would shut off after an hour!!! Well, if you know my husband AND my kids they are always HOT. So every hour we would strip off more clothes and either David or myself would get up (EVERY hour!) to turn the AC back on. We eventually all slept as much as we could in our undies and I found David on the floor, desperate for cooler air. And yes, I called the front desk to try and get a fan, they had no idea what I was asking for and even tried to describe what a fan does (you know blows air, electric, etc) to no avail. NO Fan..
This made for a good laugh now, but man, at the time we were all ready for the morning to pack out and just head to Israel!!