I thought I'd try to post some of our adventures in Europe since we're lucky enough to be in a place with internet access and football and we're waiting for the BYU game to start. Yep it's midnight, but it's dell's birthday and we've got some laundry running so why not stay up all night. Oh yeah, right, we've got kids and they're sleeping right now so they'll be up in the morning. Oh well, football comes first and mountain dew should carry us through the day tomorrow, or er today.
Anyway, here's some of Dell's daily log and some pictures. Enjoy. Most is written by Dell though I comment at times.
Germany September 2009
Sunday Sep 13 0944—Leave officially started and signed up for Baltimore to Germany Space-Available flight.
Monday Sep 14 1230—Depart for airport. Southwest flight to Baltimore was good, Lizzy was a tray baby (sitting on the tray with her back against the seat in front…optimal position to elicit smiles from passerby).
1800 Arrive in B’more, go to Space A desk to check in. Roll call starts at 2030 so we wait in the USO with free snacks. We’re pretty confident at this point we’ll get on the flight. Roll call, 45 seats available, we’re not in the first 5 called…or then second…getting nervous…or the third…more nervous…thinking about ways to get over to Dover to take the flight from there the next day…not in the 4th group called…very nervous…finally second to last called…big whew! Pay $60 for our 4 seats. Load up with all the soldiers going to Iraq. Henry and Lizzy asleep by takeoff. Lizzy wakes up to feed once, Henry wakes up 8 hours later when we’re getting off the plane. Awesome. Kids look adorable as they sleep. Henry has a ski hat pulled over his eyes to keep out the light/sun coming in from the windows. Lizzy has a pink sweater over her green pjs and a blissful expression as she sleeps. All passerbys comment on their cuteness.
Since Dell and I can’t really sleep (hazard of being on last row—can’t recline seats) we find other ways to pass the time. Dell watches in flight movies while I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yep, real title of book. It’s Pride and Prejudice with Zombies. Quite entertaining really, Jane Austen’s actual words mixed with oriental style zombie fighting. Buffy meets the Bennets.
Tuesday Sep 15 Ramstein Germany 1230—Get bags, customs, I take base shuttle to the Rental car place and return for Anna and kids. Stop by the commissary for reasonably priced (dollar denominated) car food and we’re off.
1700—Heidelburg—Starting to figure out our GPS, stick-shift driving, remembering how crazy fast some Germans drive on the Autobahn. We’re clipping along at the posted 130km/h (75mph) and every few miles someone comes flying by us going 90-100mph. We finally got the GPS taking us to the right Heidelburg Castle which was a really cool partially ruined partially restored castle all made of this warm red rock with great views overlooking the town and river. We especially liked the large old houses in the hillside neighborhood we walked through to get to the castle…you could see the inspiration for a lot of the design elements we would see in the nicer older houses in Milwaukee. As an extra bonus, we just happened to park next to this little hillside park with the coolest slide that the lawyers would never allow in America. This was particularly important because Henry now likes Europe (he wasn’t thrilled after the long flight.) Henry did love the castle though. He ran from place to place and would make up stories about the things we see. “this fountain was where the good guys would get drinks with their cups just like Jesus did.” (I think there was some confusion with the woman at the well story from the new testament.) Castles are great places for 4 year olds. He just ran and ran about. What’s here, what’s here, that sort of thing. Oh and you should have seen the stairs we navigated—lugging strollers and children. I am going to be sore tomorrow.
Once we figured out how to get out of Heidelberg we drove to an army base near Stuttgart where we checked into an army hotel. Henry got free hot chocolate from the automatic coffee machine in the lobby (“It’s a robot!!” in amazement) and he also enjoyed the park behind the hotel. Once we got to the room Henry noticed the mini-fridge had a freezer and before we knew it he had three cups of water in there to turn into ice, it’s a cute but sometimes messy hobby of his. I like the fact that the pack in play comes with cute teddy bear sheets and matching blanket. Plus the old guy at the desk takes the time to show us around. I love travelling among the military. So many nice people. As we left the airport a nice man in uniform gives us a hand with the stroller and one car seat. (you should have seen us. Stroller laden with bags and one car seat perched on top. Me carrying Lizzy, Dell carrying another car seat, military duffle bag and rolling our one suitcase. We looked laden.)
After settling down nicely in the hotel and heading to sleep at 9:30 it’s now almost 2 am and Dell and Lizzy are splashing in the bathtub while Henry sleeps soundly and I type on the computer. Dang jetlag. Henry is unphased, but Lizzy….. She knows it’s just 7 pm and will head to bed in a bit. I think we may have to stop by the commissary for some unisome or Tylenol pm for Dell and do some sunlight therapy with lizzy tomorrow to help her reset her clock. She’s sure cute about it though. Cooing and laughing in the dark. Luckily Henry is sleeping through it grandly. We will work on getting her to be as great a traveler as her brother.
Henry in Heidelburg
view from the castle
Awesome hillside slide