This HUNK of a post should probably be split into several different posts, but I think I'm just going to cram it into one tonight. So, like I mentioned previously, we had an amazing time in Germany!
Here are the last of the highlights (that got documented):
1. Just frolicking outside at the different parks, fields, and vineyards in my parent's village. On the very first day we were there, Isabella and I went for a walk to find a nearby playground that my mom said was new and not too far away. Before long, I noticed that a little German boy was following us on his bike and seemed very interested in who we were and where we were going. When we didn't find the park right away, I decided, what the heck, I'll break out my German and ask this kid where it is. Believe it or not he understood my very rusty German and wanted to know which park we wanted to go to... the big one or small one? I didn't know the answer, plus it started to rain and I was exhausted, so we just decided to head home. Later on I heard Isabella tell my mom about our little adventure, and we all got a good laugh when she said something like, "And then my mom started speaking Spanish to the little boy!"
Yep, my Deutsch is that good.
2. Italian Eis! We made countless trips to get ice cream. My kids got really hooked on a blue flavor, and still talk about the amazing ice cream we had there. Ever since we got back, one of their favorite things to say to me is, "Mom! We want "eis!" thinking they'll fool me into saying, "Sure, have some ice!" I think I fell for it the first time, but now I tell them, "Me too!" Then they'll talk proudly amongst each other about how "Eis" is ice cream in German. Such cuties and such fun memories we made.
3. Basketball with Uncle B! For awhile now, Liam has been really into basketball. I wish we could buy him a basketball hoop, but we live on a busy corner, and I would worry myself to death about him getting hit by a car if we had one. So anyway, he was thrilled when Grandma and Grandpa had a hoop in their front yard, and he even sunk his first shot while we were there. Isabella did too. They spent many hours playing basketball and loved it. It was also fun to watch Juliette set up camp on a blanket on the cement to watch them. I love seeing my kids learn new things, and am so thankful to Uncle Bryant for playing with them so much.
4. Going to see the ballet "Swan Lake" in Karlsruhe! Originally the plan had been for us girls (and maybe my Dad?) to go to the ballet together, but Lissie and my parents weren't able to go at the last minute, and since the tickets were already bought, we decided to make it a family affair and give our children the tickets. I was a little nervous about how they would do, but we had a great adult to child ratio since Bryant was nice enough to come along.
It was also fun that the ballet took place in Karlsruhe because that was a city in Will's mission. So, we arrived to the city early and were able to walk around a bit. We had gyros (a big favorite of ours) for dinner, and then headed to the ballet.
Well, unfortunately Juliette was miss wiggly worm! So much so that we were getting "special" looks from people seated around us. So, during the first intermission, Will and Bryant decided to take Liam and Juliette to walk around the city some more while Isabella and I finished the ballet. She and I loved, loved it. Isabella was very cute and kept dancing around during each intermission. It ended up being a super fun mommy/daughter date!
The ballet was one of countless outings my parents treated us too. They got us tickets to go to so many things... the ballet, BYU ballroom dancers, the closing dinner ceremony for the Heidelberg military base... etc. We were quite spoiled and enjoyed it all very much! But I only have a few pictures of Bryant and the kids waiting for our gyros in Karlsruhe to show for it. Oh, well.
5. Discovering that one of my very best friends from high school (who I haven't seen in about 13 years!) was living in Germany. I had completely lost touch with her and happened to find her on Facebook one night while in Germany. I immediately messaged her and we were able to meet up. I can't tell you how much I love this girl! She has a very special place in my heart. Nobody in the world has ever been able to make me laugh as much as her, and it just felt incredibly good to be in contact again, let alone get to meet up for a day at our old stomping grounds! It was blazing hot, and we did a lot of walking with my three kiddos in tow, but she was so sweet about it all and even snapped some family photos of us. I sure hope we don't let another decade pass without seeing each other again! Love you, Priscilla!
6. Shopping with Aunt Lissie!! There's no doubt she is my sister because we managed to get a little lost trying to take the bus and train to get downtown Heidelberg for some shopping. But eventually we made it and immediately hit up H&M and ate at Gino's, my favorite place to get gyros. I LOVE sister time, and definitely soaked it up with Lissie. She is the best!
7. Last but not least, it was just being with my family that made this trip for us. I also loved not having to cook or clean much, and having so many adults (Will included) around 24/7 to help me with the kids. I've never been on a vacation that felt so much like a vacation! It was so wonderful and I'm sad that it's over. And I haven't even gotten to the part where Lissie, Bryant, Will and I took a little excursion to the Canary Islands for about 5 days while my parents took care of the kids for us! That's a post in and of itself, but I'll say farewell to Germany in this post. Until next time! For there will always be a next time as far as I'm concerned. :)
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