Monday, August 1, 2016

Germany Road Trip

We had an amazing time in Germany! The best part by far was getting to meet up with our friends from Norway, the Kolesar family, and spend a week seeing different parts of Germany (and collecting Starbucks mugs of course!) and watching the kids have a blast.

We all flew in to Frankfurt and met up that evening at our shared house in Darmstadt. The next morning we drove down to Heidelberg to visit Märchenparadies, a small amusement park for kids under 10. It was perfect for our gang (ages 3-5). They could ride all of the rides and had a blast playing there all day!

The next day called for rain in the forecast so we headed north to Mainz for an indoor play area. We spent about half of the day there and everyone had a good time running around.

We had lots of fun, naps in the car, and a side trip to Mannheim for dinner (and a mug of course) one afternoon.

On Friday we headed to a nearby castle, Frankenstein Castle (the inspiration for the book), before making our longest drive over to the Cologne/Dusseldorf area.

Unfortunately we couldn't find a place to fit all nine of us so we had to stay in separate places. Our crew went to the zoo Saturday morning and we met up with the Kolesar family for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and a quick viewing of the Cologne Cathedral.

Jason also picked up a rental car Saturday to drive himself down to Nurburg so that he could spend the day driving on the Nurburgring - something he has wanted to do since we moved to Europe. He had a great time driving on the track and you can see his video here.

While Jason was away, I managed to get all the girls loaded up and head to meet Kara and the boys at the Wild Park in Dusseldorf. We couldn't find any stores open, but fortunately Kara had some pears and the kids had so much fun feeding the deer. One portion of the park they were roaming free and the kids had four or five surrounding them wanting pieces of pear. Afterwards the kids played at the playground.

The top left photo is probably my favorite from the trip! These kids are amazing and Madi loved spending time with Caleb and Ty!

That evening we grabbed dinner close to our apartment in Cologne and went to a park nearby. Madi had no fear on the rope swing and the girls enjoyed crawling around!

Monday morning we met up at Nordpark in Dusseldorf. Kara and I walked around the park for a bit with the babies and Jason played with the olders. The park was beautiful and we enjoyed a relaxing morning.

That afternoon we pushed our girls and visited Legoland and SeaLife Center since Madi had been asking for Legos and fishes. We learned that Olivia loves watching the fish as she screamed every time we tried to move her - HA!

We met back up with Kara and her boys for dinner and a very sad goodbye. After Caleb started crying, Kara and I were goners, and shortly after Madi seemed to understand what was happening and started crying and saying she wanted her boys back. Being blunt - it sucked. There are so many wonderful things to being an expat, but making friends across the world and then having to see them infrequently and say goodbye is tough. I'm so thankful for the time that we had together and for great friends like Kara, who also have a Starbucks mug obsession and plan road trips around collecting them. ;-)

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