...and other misconceptions I made 10-03-20
2010 Mar 20

Archive for posts tagged 'travel'

July 3rd 2011
Back home

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What a wonderful trip – but all good things have to end, I guess.

When we left my sister’s house Saturday morning the girls were crying. S2 was just a puddle of tears, sobbing that she missed Ben and Nico and H1 and Marcus and Oma and everyone. They wanted to know when we see them all again. Well, Birgit, J1 and Ben will visit us in August. And Nico will come and stay with us for more than seven months, starting November. And the rest of his family will be here next year Easter. But all this clearly wasn’t enough (and not soon enough) to calm her down.

The girls decided to stay in Germany. We overruled.

The bad news about the travel was that H2 had started to run a fever Friday afternoon. And it didn’t get better on Saturday, either. We had medication but even with that her temperature was higher than what we were happy with. Fears of strep infection or meningitis were bothering us – especially when H2 complained about neck pains and difficulty moving her neck.

Given all that the flight to Chicago went amazingly well. Having two iPads and lots of movies, games and TV shows might have something to do with that. The girls did not sleep at all on the plane, just as we were on our final approach, S2 dozed off. Great timing, child.

Immigration took longer than usual (tons of people ahead of us), still we were in the domestic terminal with lots of time. At this point both girls fell asleep in the waiting area. K2 and I tried to prevent the same from happening to us by having our first Starbucks in two weeks.

We woke the girls to board the flight to Portland. S2 was barely able to stand, H2 was doing really well. On the four hour flight S2 slept for most of it, H2 stayed awake and watched more videos. As we arrived we headed straight home and put the girls to bed – it was about 8:30pm, about 30 minutes later than their normal bed time before the trip. Except that at this point we had been up for 24 hours (K2 and I without sleep, but especially S2 had done some napping).

Of course K2 and I expected a short night. We had a glass of wine to unwind and went to bed early. And then the girls slept till about 6am and stayed in their room till I checked them around 6:15 (I heard them talk).

For the record, that means they did better than their parents as we woke up around 4:45. Unexpected. But wonderful.

H2 still has a slight fever – and it’s a holiday weekend in the US. Our family doctor offered to come by this evening – the fever is low enough that I think we’ll wait for that instead of dealing with an ER…

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June 30th 2011
Volksfest

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tired?tired!

The girls have a tradition of telling us “I’m not tired”. But lately we have convinced them to actually ‘fess up and tell us when they need to nap. Or to just demonstrate the skill.

Clearly the last ten days in Germany have taken their toll. Even after a good and sufficiently long night’s sleep last night they still weren’t feeling too fresh today. But nothing that a bit of napping couldn’t fix. And after all, they needed to be at their personal best as we are visiting Oma and Opa again and went to the Volksfest (the German version of a “city fair” or something).

enjoying some ridesenjoying culinary highlights

After another delicious lunch at Oma’s house (the girls helped cooking and were soooo excited to do so) the four of us and Oma went to the traditional Schweinfurter Volksfest. The girls enjoyed a bunch of rides. And were exposed to some of the more exciting culinary traditions – like Steckerl-Fisch. Imagine a largish fresh water fish, put on a stick and then grilled over an open fire. Interesting. But not necessarily recommended for human consumption.

And of course there were the horse back rides. The girls were in heaven.

H2 is happyS2 is happy, too

One of the interesting things that happened was that we ran into two couples that are friends of Oma and Opa. And the girls were absolutely perfect, as you expect German grandchildren to be. They shook hands. They said hello and good bye. And patiently waited for the conversations to end. I was so proud of them…

flying highOma, Opa, S2, H2

When we were back at Oma’s house I got everyone to go outside and pose for a family picture. This is something that I note in my picture taking – I don’t do a lot of the “posed family pictures” that many other people seem to prefer. And while I usually much rather have situational pictures, I also sometimes want to just have a picture of Oma, Opa and the girls!

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June 29th 2011
Another trip to Playmobil FunPark

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We’ve been here a couple of times before. And the girls always seem to like it. It’s a small park, it’s geared towards little kids, it can get very crowded but somehow it always delivers. Today was no exception.

We arrived fairly early – and since this week school is back in session in Bavaria the park wasn’t crowded at all. The girls went straight to one of their favorite parts, the water play area. Of course I had to continue the tradition and take a waterfall picture…

2011: big big girls in the waterfall2010: big girls braving the waterfallbraving the waterfall in 2007

Of course they wanted to play with horses again. As expected at Playmobil, the horses weren’t quite real, but that didn’t diminish their enthusiasm…

playing with the horsesriding a horse

And of course they had to be cute. On their own, and with the “silly man” (as they often call JR)…

adorableeven more adorable with the silly man

We had a blast. Now it’s too hot for us – or actually too humid; and of course no one has A/C. But fear not, the next cold / rain spell is coming tomorrow and we’ll be longing for the heat…

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June 28th 2011
A surprise at the Munich Zoo

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bronze rhinoThe zoo in Munich hadn’t been on our list of places we planned to go to, but a comment on this blog a couple of days ago made us change plans…

The girls of course were oblivious to all that and we had no intention of spoiling the surprise. So we just told them we’re going to the zoo and that there would be a surprise. It almost killed them. I lost count how many times they asked…

The zoo is actually very nice, we loved the habitats and really enjoyed our time. There are bronze statues matching the animals on display almost everywhere. The girls loved climbing on them.

riding on Haflinger horses One of the highlights of course was riding on the Haflinger horses. They are really beautiful and very well natured animals – much nicer than ponies.

tux? what are you doing there...Lot’s of fun animals to see – for example the emperor penguins that often are used as mascot for Linux.

alligatorsThe next set of animals I’m showing here I found far less cuddly – it was a bunch of alligators and we all were glad that they were behind a thick layer of glass.

Throughout the day the girls were just very well behaved, extremely hungry (huge surprise) and a lot of fun to hang out with.

TubaDadAnd then in the late afternoon the surprise showed up. TubaDad was in Munich for business and managed to end the day early and join us at the zoo and later for dinner.

The girls were thrilled. They of course immediately asked if Ro and Ree were there as well, but they were happy with “just” Rod.

We had a very nice day in Munich.

During dinner the girls already showed signs of tiredness and when we finally arrived at “home” they were ready to tip over. Vacations are a lot of work if you are six.

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