Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dream Trip to Germany

I blogged every day while Mitch was in Ukraine. Once he went to Germany, I didn't blog at all. I knew I would regret He has a lot of stories and memories, and there's no way I can share it all. He was welcomed by Kathi and her family, then by Patrick and his family. Both families were amazing hosts and he had an amazing trip. I will share a small part of it. (This doesn't include any of Kathi's or Patrick's pictures, nor any of the great videos Mitch has to share.)

 {Kathi and Mitch, and a castle way in the background. Castles are so very cool.}

 {German streets are very cool too.}

 {Moni, Kathi, and Micha...Kathi's parents}

 {Yummm...fresh bread for breakfast!}

 {Doesn't this look amazing? I know we have butcher shops here in America, but it's still just not the same. I have always bought my meat at the grocery store. I love this picture.}

 {A little souvenir for me from Kathi's mom}

{A view from the top of a very tall tower in Bielefeld}


Kathi's family took Mitch along on a road trip down to Freidburg in Southern Germany. It is located in part of the Black Forest, near the border of France and Switzerland. Amazing views.

 They toured a 400-year old home. Let that sink in for a moment. When this house was built, Jamestown had just been settled. The Pilgrims were getting ready to head to the New World. 

 They also visited Aldi South. 

I visited Aldi USA. It probably isn't as cool, but I bought myself some chocolate imported from Germany, and I've been drinking German coffee too. ;) 

 Cool doors everywhere

And he visited a cathedral or two...or three

And he met a German bee keeper!!

On the way to Russelsheim, they made a stop in Worms. One of Mitch's grandmother's maiden name was Worm. :) This is also the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. So there was a bit of decoration for that.

 {Don't miss the photobomber up in the balcony...hehe}

 {Like the picture from the butcher shop above, this one is of a bread shop. Patrick and Mitch walked over to buy fresh bread for their breakfast. I'm feeling even more jealous. BUT Kathi's mom sent me some bread mixes. So I will make my own. And Mitch did bring us some rye bread too.}

 {Breakfast with Patrick's family}

{We were blessed to meet Patrick's parents and sisters 6 years ago when they came to visit us. It was so sweet to see them again, even if I could only join via video call.}

 {The remains of a Roman boat}

{Vineyards along the Rhine River}

 {Stopping for dessert}

{Patrick, Sabrina, and her horse Nobody, who is over 25 years old!}

Again I will apologize for a post that is so sorely lacking in details. It doesn't do the trip justice. Mitch was so well-loved and so blessed by our two families in Germany.

We had a little drama on the return flight. He had a layover in Amsterdam and just as he was boarding the flight, they told him the flight was overbooked and he was bumped. He sat down and texted that to me. Then the flight attendants, who had already closed the gate, called him back up and rushed him onto the plane. They were so fast that he didn't have time to send me another message. He spent half of his 8-hour flight looking for anyone who had T-Mobile because they could get free in-flight WiFi and he wanted to send me another message. He was never able to find anyone. A flight attendant assured him that I could login online and see that he boarded the plane (I tried, all I got was an error message). At home, I woke up expecting him to be in-flight, but instead received just one message that he was bumped. Then nothing after that. It was strange. My mind flitted across all the possibilities--of course one of the possibilities was that he was in flight after all and couldn't message me. But it was difficult to discern. I had planned to leave a few hours early for the airport and take the kids to a massive playground that is nearby. Instead I was worried about making the long trip to find that he wasn't on the flight, then have to make the trip again at a different time--or be stuck in the cities with a van load of tired, hungry, hot children. So I waited at home. Just before 3 p.m. I got a phone call from Mitch--whose phone was mysteriously not working--and he was in Minneapolis. Yay! I loaded up the kids as quickly as possible, and keyed in Google maps to direct me the fastest route. We did really well even when we hit rush-hour traffic in the city. That is, until I realized I was no longer hearing directions from my phone. The battery died!! I quickly found an exit, found a charger, and tried for several frantic minutes to get my phone booted up. Then Google navigated me some really strange not-direct, super-slow-route, literally through a the airport. It took an extra hour. I was miserable and white-knuckled. At one point, while we were in this park, I was confused by the directions Google was giving me (but hopelessly lost), and Genna woke up and was shouting mercilessly, "I need to go potty!" I went through a round-about 3 times trying to figure out which way Google wanted me to go. "Make a u-turn" Google says. I pulled into a parking lot--and miraculously there was a porta potty in the parking lot. No kidding. It felt like a miracle. We all piled out and peeing never felt so good. It turns out that we were about a mile from the airport and we did get there quickly. Mitch was waiting at the curb, so we didn't even park but drove through and picked him up. After that, the trip went off with no problems. Mitch even suggested we still go to the super-cool park and I'm glad we did.

{Hyland Park Play Area...aka Chutes and Ladders Park}

{The next morning, Mitch made us a German breakfast. It has been so amazing to hear about his trip and to have this small taste of what it was like!}

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