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Germany: Days 31-32 On the Big Family European Expedition

    Day 31 – Germany Again!

    We drove to my sister’s house.  We were so happy to see her and the kids LOVED seeing their cousin again! We caught up, walked through her town, and stopped for dinner at the yummiest place I’ve eaten at for quite a while! And watched the kids playing together in the fountain.

    More observations:

    • Our van was equipped with all of the latest safety advances and showed them to us as needed in German! It was hilarious though as if Scott got too close to a car in front it automatically slowed him down. The best one though was if Scott crossed the center line too many times for whatever reason (here it was because the roads are very narrow and were driving a tank!) a light flashed and chimes rang telling him he needed to stop, get a coffee and refocus!
    • Every last town looks and reminds me of Disneyland (I might have already written that but seriously every single town!)
    • The entire village my sister lives in has quiet time from 1-3 every day and after 10 every night – could you imagine?

    Day 32- Trip Wind Down with Family

    We spent the day enjoying my sister and her family, playing at the dinosaur park that is my nephews favorite!!

    Our youngest son bought a Bugatti (the boys have loved seeing all the supercars this trip!!) so why not buy one?

    We ate and played in the fountains again. 

    Toured the town and dyed our hair.

    We took “European” and ran with it. Both girls went to the store with me a month ago when we first got here. They found purple hair dye. I couldn’t let them do it before we left for our travels (I know it’s just hair… but still). So they pleaded with me all month and my sister told them she could do it. So on the last day of the trip, we did it!!

    Day 33 – Heading Home

    We flew back home again on Icelandair so we had a brief layover this time in Iceland.

    The kids were planning for us to go to all of our favorite restaurants and the grocery store as soon as we got home. I wanted something to drink with LOTS of ice in it!!!

    Greenland is gorgeous!!! Looks cold… but check out the glaciers and icebergs and that blue!!

    So …. about security. I tried to be super diligent about carry-ons as we checked 8 bags on the way home so much could go in there. However, not only did I forget a bottle of children’s liquid Tylenol at the bottom of my carry on but apparently bringing a 10-pound bag of rocks on board is not super smart!

    So I was searched AND they took my entire carry-on bag and emptied it (not me / security) to find the liquid and the bag of rocks. Then they questioned me on both – and I had to try to explain heart rocks as souvenirs to a German airport security agent.

    They must have felt sorry for me with my gaggle of kids watching as they let me through and let me keep them.

    My last vacation thoughts after visiting 9 countries in 32 days:
    We were discussing our trip and the differences living here vs there. Ok, I know we didn’t live there but for a month we stayed in real apartments (not hotels) and we grocery shopped and “lived” so I’m going with it.  🙂

    • Most people were bilingual (at the very least)
    • Villages/towns had quiet times – could you imagine that in the US?  Especially the middle of the day quiet times??
    • Aside from one home rental,  there was no A/C or even HVAC
    • The toilets (everywhere) were green – one button to flush for one reason and another button to push for the other
    • Many vehicles ran on diesel (3 choices at all stations plus the 3 gas choices)
    • 5 waste options (glass, plastic, paper, compost and actual garbage)
    • Homes had solar panels (for the water tank at the least)
    • Many businesses including grocery stores to our chagrin were only open limited hours and not at all on Sundays
    • In Germany (at least, maybe more) people are not allowed to use pesticides on their lawn or wash their cars in their driveway (suds and chemicals not allowed into the water supply)
    • Every home had exterior roll down shades – fully room darkening and green
    • Limited prepared foods in many of the grocers – limited preservatives
    • Many homes and businesses were beautiful – with flowers in the windows and gardens in the yard
    • Every single town reminded me of Disney – so pretty and colorful
    • So many churches/buildings that were hundreds of years old!
    • No free refills at dinner
    • The restaurants were never in a hurry to get rid of people – dinner was a process lasting hours-

    Many of these were mentioned throughout our month – but as we are back and reflecting, I was wondering why most of these things aren’t done here? Why aren’t we greener? Why do we eat like we do? Why do we have such a fast-paced lifestyle?

    And this was Europe!! Can’t even imagine what a month in Asia or Africa would look like!

    Thanks so much to Scott’s mom and her husband for encouraging us to live our dreams!

    Terri L

    Terri L

    Terri has been married to her best friend, Scott, for 20 years and together they have 5 children. She has been blessed to be able to be a SAHM since her first was born over 14 years ago. In addition to finding new and creative ways to entertain 5 children, she enjoys date nights with her husband, photography, reading, and traveling with her crew.