turkey in Germany

We didn’t have Thanksgiving Day off, of course (and what with all the moving and all, we needed to save our remaining vacation days to have a decent amount of time to travel for Christmas) but we decided to drive about 5 hours into Germany to spend the weekend with Ted’s cousins Greg and Kris who are currently living there. Well, we thought it would be about 5 hours; between the snow and road construction on the way there, and an unplanned detour into Stuttgart on the way home it took longer than that.

But aside from a few tense moments in the driving, it was a great trip. We hadn’t seen these cousins for eight years, and their kids now range from 7 to 15, so we were very curious to see how much they’ve changed. The answer is, quite a lot and not much at all. The baby who wasn’t walking yet in Korea now likes a lot of the same books I do; the pre-schooler and kindergartner are gorgeous teen-agers, and the one who wasn’t even conceived yet kept us amused the whole time. The parents are still very comfortable for us to talk to and hang out with. And they’re still remarkably good at being parents – I don’t know if luck as well as good parenting is involved, but all four are some of the nicest kids we know.

I’m a little jealous, though: my Girl Scout troop didn’t get to travel to London or Ireland, or to try cool stuff like paragliding! I’ve had to make up for lost time since then.

I’m not sure if the kids enjoyed the stories from Ted’s and Greg’s childhood, but they definitely liked the chocolate letters we’d brought – it’s a Dutch Sinterklaas tradition, to give out chocolate letters in the initial of your name. The younger two definitely enjoyed playing with our electronics – we’d brought the iPad to show them some of our photos, both from the Africa trip (the youngest started giving all the animals names 🙂 ) and of themselves when little.

We got to have a nice American Thanksgiving dinner, slightly belated, and also got to walk around the old town of Rothenburg, all decked out for the holidays. Rothenburg had its Weihnachtmarkt (Christmas Market) open, with stalls selling glühwein and bratwurst everywhere. There’s also an enormous year-round Christmas store, with a three-story pyramid (those Christmas decorations with the candles whose heat spins a propeller on top – and by three-story I don’t mean that it had three layers but that it’s as tall as a three-story building). And now I have a pretzel Christmas ornament, not to mention some real soft pretzels that we munched on the way home. They don’t have those in the Netherlands, so I make an effort to get some whenever I’m in Germany.

We left Sunday morning (after a waffle breakfast, yum) and immediately proceeded to miss our road, getting disastrously lost in Stuttgart thanks to a combination of maps that didn’t show the area we needed and a GPS that refused to act as a map and kept just telling us to make U-turns. We should have used my iPhone, because it would totally be worth paying the out-of-country roaming fee, but unfortunately we didn’t think of that until afterward. Oops. High-tech electronics only work when you use them. But once we found our way back to the highway, it was an easier drive home, without the falling snow on mountain passes we went through on the way up.

Other than those portions of the drive, it was a fun and relaxing weekend, with a lot of laughter. I’ll try to post a few pictures later. And now, we have only two days until Chanukah and three weeks until our Christmas trip home. And I do really mean “home” – not only to our home country but to our very own house there.

One Response to “turkey in Germany”

  1. marsha Says:

    As always, your pictures are superb! I’m glad you were able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family, and enjoyed yourselves so much. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah!

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