17 Jul

One July evening, 2011

I realize my updates have been lacking…and for about a week now, and so for that,  I appologize! (especially to you, Grandpa! Will some banana bread make up for it?) But, I have been traveling and touring. Italy, Germany, Austria! As a consequence, I have had less time to blog.  I have, however, written everything down. Details are coming to a website near you!

Tank You

17 Jul

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.    – C.S. Lewis

Germany – Day 20

11 Jul

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I slept in until almost 9:00am today when Donna woke me up. She had an appointment at the hospital and I wanted to tag along to do some shopping and run errands with her. So I got ready and we left for Landstuhl. I sat in the waiting room and tried to read my book but watched the CNN news  instead, but there was nothing of good report.  Only a little while and she was out of there so we left for Ramstein where we had planned to meet Don for lunch at Rocker’s, his favorite spot on base. He had a meeting that was suppose to end at 12:00, the time we were suppose to meet him, but it ran a little long. We didn’t see him until ten to 1:00 and so we just ordered and waited for him. I had a very yummy philly cheese steak wrap. VERY yummy.

When we were all done, we walked together over to the medical center to pick up some prescriptions and then Donna and I walked to the post office to get the mail, which there was none of today. So we walked back to the car and went to find the Customs Office to pick up a customs form for me. We did a bit of souvenir shopping and dropped by the video rental store to pick up a movie for tonight. Then we went to the BX. Don needed aftershave.  After all that we left Ramstein for Vogelwey. We needed to stop at the gas station there for fuel and protein bars and also we needed to get groceries at the Commissary.. 28 Happy Hippos 🙂    It was a straight shot home from there and by then it was already almost 5:00pm.

We beat Don home only by a little while. The time passed quickly from then on. We spent our ritual time out on the circle and Pat showed up to chat with us across the fence. We had chicken and special chicken flavored rice tonight with red peppers and peas.. very good, just like everything we eat here. Don went to bed early again but Donna and I stayed up to finish watching the movie, End of the Spear. It is the awe inspiring, true story, of a missionary, Nate Saint, the father of my grade school teacher, who gives everything to reach people that nobody else cares to deal with. If you want to be inspired by a real life love story, it is a great movie to see.

Tomorrow, Donna and I leave for Garmish. A very long drive from here, but I am looking forward to it with excitement 🙂 I cannot wait to see more 🙂

Luxembourg – Day 19

11 Jul

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

I woke up to the sunshine and the sound of traffic outside our balcony.  The 8:15am alarm hadn’t gone off yet, so we already had a head start to our day. I packed, showered (they had a window in their shower!), and then we went down for a French breakfast of toasted French bread and an assortment of spreads. I never thought chocolate on bread would be good until today.  It was delicious 🙂 We just packed up after that and went down to have the sweet lady check us out of the hotel. Then we zipped off  to downtown Luxembourg City again. No shopping today though. All shops close on Sundays.  So we found a parking garage and started off. The tiny map we grabbed in a brochure wasn’t helping us out much.. But we stumbled upon a double Decker city tour bus. So we got our ticket and hopped on top! We were glad we did the tour, because we had no clue where to go. It was interesting to hear some of the history that is in Luxembourg. The tour was a little less that an hour long and after we got back, we slowly made our way back to the parking garage. Although..when we stopped at some public restrooms next to a playground, I seemed to have a little trouble with the lock on the way out…Then a nice man rescued me 🙂

Turns out these underground parking garages take you all the way to the bottom in order to get out on top. So we went down 5 levels before we began going up again. The lights in the lower levels were out and there were no other vehicles around and it. was. scary. We locked our doors and made it out of there as fast as we could!

We found our way out of the city after that and shortly after we found ourselves having to detour through the French countryside. We saw some absolutely beautiful little towns on the way. One is never quite the same as another. We eventually stopped right outside one of the villages where we found a picnic table  next to a pasture of cows and some wheat fields and sat down to have a lunch of protein bars and water. It was the perfect day for a picnic anyways and the scenery was as always, nothing short of beautiful. I fell asleep not long after being in the car again and slept until we were almost home. I talked to Mom and Dad for a while before they went to church and right afterward we had our circle time. Leftover soup for supper tonight and it was still just as good as before 🙂 Tonight’s feature – The Man in the Iron Mask. Claps for Leo.

Luxembourg – Day 18

11 Jul

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

The plan was to be up and ready to leave for Luxembourg at 8:00am this morning . Then, on account that neither of us really felt that motivated, we decided that 9:00am was a more appealing plan of action. However, when we woke up this morning, we ditched the plan all together and just decided to get there when we get there.  It was only a short while after 9:00am that we left anyways and probably would have left sooner if we had not taken the time to put together a “care package” for Don. He has been feeling so tired and miserable lately that he could not make the trip with us. He felt bad, and we felt bad, so we gathered some Craisins, Chicken Soup, Anchovies, and of course, Happy Hippos 🙂 (most of which came out of the kitchen cupboard) and picked out a card at the Praktiker store where we bought some light bulbs yesterday. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite make out the German on the card selection they had, so we just figured that seashells and an Albert Einstein quote (that was in German) looked like the closest thing to a sympathy/get well card.

Zum Geburtstag die besten Wünsche

“Das Schönste,

was wir erleben konnen,

ist das Geheimnisvolle.”      – Albert Einstein

When we got home, however, with the help of my German dictionary and Google Translate, we deciphered the mystery card!

Best Birthday Wishes

“The most beautiful thing,

we can experience,

is the mysterious.”           – Albert Einstein

Not quite what we had hoped for, but it got the job done. However, the mysterious infection on Don’s tummy did not turn out to be the most beautiful thing he has experienced as we found out later today that it is Lyme Disease. 😦 Please continue to keep him in your prayers as he is very tired and very sore.

It took us around 2 hours to find Esch/Alzette in Luxembourg. The village where our volksmarch was to be held. This was one like we had never been to before. It was held at what could be comparable to one of our state hospitals. They were having a festival! They were selling things and there was plenty to eat and for some, to drink. There was a tent with live music some of them danced to. We left for our walk right away  though and hoped to get back while the festival was still going on. This walk had to be one of my favorites yet. It was meadow, not field, and some forest, but it was still so very different from anything else I’ve walked. Turns out, part of it was hit by a meteor shower. It was wonderful! It’s landscape reminded me of Colorado and Sibley State Park.. 🙂

We finished in plenty of time to enjoy some more of the festival. We got our cards stamped and then sat down in the shade before getting some food when a cross-dresser started playing the horn. He played so well that people stopped to watch him! I think Donna got him on video. 🙂 We got the classic brat and fries and some kind of meat with a bone in it on bread. All in all it was pretty darn good. We sat shaded in the tent and listened to the horn playing cross-dresser serenade some more of the people while we ate. When we finished, we walked down to the car and pulled out some Happy Hippos 🙂 However, Happy Hippos don’t do well in heat, and so my Happy Hippo happied all over my hand…Luckily, Donna had wet wipes 🙂

We started for our hotel in Howald, Luxembourg. Very close to Luxembourg City. In fact I’d say they were pretty much connected. I suppose you could just call it a suburb then.. Although, Nancy, our not so reliable guide would not show us where to go. We almost gave her the boot and called Don when she relented and the little highlighted road appeared. It was not such a long drive from where we were. Our hotel was charming. As was the young man working there. 🙂  It was a family run hotel with only 10 rooms, all very different and homely. Our room happened to have a balcony.  It was worn, but it was perfect. 🙂 We got checked in and met the owner, the nicest lady we could have possibly asked for, she was just the sweetest thing. We brought our bags up to our room and then we started walking to downtown Luxembourg City.

We walked downtown through the shopping streets and spent a few hours in and out of stores before we returned to the hotel for supper. The hotel had a restaurant downstairs. Just a small dining area but it was also charming. The menu was all in French but the waitress, also the owner, sweet as she is, translated for us. So I had the best piece of beef covered in mushrooms with little tiny potato things and cooked vegetables.. One of my favorite meals here so far. When we made it back up to our room again we spent some time just chatting, then reading, and then off to bed! It has been the most wonderful day! Excited to see some more tomorrow 🙂

Germany – Day 17

11 Jul

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Yup. Another one of those days that doesn’t allow much to say. We ran some errands after lunch today. I had a package to mail back home, then we stopped at Donna’s quilting gab which is just as it sounds. A quilting group that really does more talking than anything else. I got to meet some of the women there which was fun 🙂 and see some of the things they were working on which were impressive to say the least.  We waited in line to pump gas after that and then headed over to the Commissary for some groceries. OH! We DID find Happy Hippos there which totally made my day 🙂 So we bought a bunch of them 🙂 🙂 🙂 Then we drove to Praktiker to get some light bulbs and something else that we couldn’t find.

Unfortunately, Don is feeling so bad that he can’t go with us tomorrow 😦 so I picked out a card that looked sympathetic. I couldn’t read it, but it had seashells and sand and it looked like someone might write “Feel Better” on it. After that it was home again to do a lot of nothing before our 6 o’clock drinks on the circle. We had the most awesome soup today that I picked out at the grocery store. Originally we had planned to make Zuppa Toscana because it is my favorite, but I got lazy and found a good looking potato soup that we just added Italian sausage to and Wah-La! It was WoNdErFuL. 🙂

We watched an episode of Due South and then scattered and made our way to bed. Tomorrow, Donna and I are off to the mother country!

8 Jul

God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.    – C.S. Lewis

Thank God for Grace..