1. Well, we’ve been back in the U.S. since just after lunch on Wednesday. The flight home went pretty well. We were able to score an extra seat so we had a whole row to ourselves with plenty of leg room.
Lance fell asleep in my arms in Berlin before we even took off and slept for the first several hours of the flight. He woke up happy and enjoyed getting fed while sitting in the bassinet.
For the remainder of the flight we entertained him with a steady stream of books, toys, media, and several walks up and down the aisle.
At one point I was pretty sure he would fall asleep a second time, but no such luck.
So he occupied himself by stepping in and out of my running shoes at least 150 times…
Read the Bruder truck catalogue front to back (at least 150 times)…
I watched the progress of our flight, checking the screen (at least 150 times) as the minutes passed, and did an inner celebratory dance when we had less than an hour to go.
Lance watched and waited in anticipation as the ground (eventually) got closer and closer and closer….
All in all the flight went smoothly. Sure we got tired, and at times really had to dig deep for that extra ounce of patience and energy, but I am beginning to think traveling overseas with a toddler is a lot like giving birth. As time passes it doesn’t seem so bad, and inevitably, you end up doing it again.
2. I have oodles of content and pictures from my last several weeks in Germany that I am still trying to weed through, but it is going to take me quite some time to sit down, sort, edit, write, and blog about some of the details. For now, I want to show some pictures of a few more family and close friends we were able to see, as well as a few of the major highlights. Then when I have the time and my life eventually slows down I will have a chance to write more in-depth.
3. The Family…
4. The Friends…
I love, love, love getting together with Jan’s childhood friend Thomas and his family when we visit.
Nora is also a writer and I could sit and talk with her for hours. We keep in touch via FB, but I know if we lived in the same town (same country would even do) we would spend time together.
Edgar is five and so cute. He made castles in the sand and Lance kept coming along and destroying his work. He tolerated it at first, but eventually had to relocate to new spots. Lance, oblivious, just followed him around in wonder.
5. The Highlights…
Lance got a major fat lip after a tough fall in the dining room. His teeth definitely went through his upper lip causing much blood, swelling, tears, and Mommy heartache. Fortunately, it’s already healed, but it definitely was not pretty at the time.
We love spending time outside in Oma and Opa’s garden. And we’re not just talking about the fruits and veggies kind of garden, although of course there is an area for this. Oma and Opa’s garden consists of so much more. Places to eat, play, look at fish, swim (in a baby pool for Lance), bike, pitch tents, spray the hose, compost, barbecue, play soccer, hang laundry, sit by a fire, relax, and enjoy.
For Oma and Opa’s 40th year wedding celebration the whole family went to The Bastei in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains of Germany. We had an amazing day of beautiful views, topped off with a delicious meal in a panorama restaurant followed by a musical in an outdoor amphitheater!
Back in Geierswalde, Opa and Jan cut down grape vines to feed to nearby sheep in a pasture because they knew Lance would enjoy this activity. Opa’s done this with all of his grandchildren, and I knew he couldn’t let Lance leave before taking part.
On our last day in Geierswalde we went to the beach… one last time… until next time.
6. Although it is so hard to say goodbye… so, so unbelievably hard… it is always nice to be home. Since I have been back I have enjoyed reconnecting with my MAC, driving again, seeing a few of my friends, eating peanut butter and cereal & milk, which are not so popular in Germany. I miss my in-laws and Joerg & Peggy and the kids dearly, but I treasure the time we have when we are together. The time is special beyond measure because our time together is so limited. I truly soaked it all up – the moments must carry me until we all see each other again. Oma & Opa will come in the spring after baby #2 arrives, but until then we make do with frequent video chats and phone calls.
7. Belive it or not, we are on the road again. This time only 115 miles down the road in Blacksburg. We came up yesterday for Mary Helen & Jason’s wedding.
We love a trip to Blacksburg…
Heading home this afternoon, and I am looking forward to a slower pace to write, relax, go through my pictures, spend time with my friends, focus on my pregnancy,nest (I can feel it coming on already), and resume some sort of exercise routine. No more trips planned for me for a while (famous last words).
And that makes seven!
The Banter Lady