Thursday, June 20, 2013

Humidity, nettles and thunderstorms

Today was *much* cooler, albeit with astounding levels of humidity. Probably about 80%. The breezes made it much more pleasant than yesterday. Still, we got hot and tired.

My brother-in-law Trevor and his lady friend Katie arrived today. They did pretty well with the jet-lag.

The 8 of us walked to Koningstrasse, the main downtown shopping area of Stuttgart. We wandered, saw the Schloss of the Kings of W├╝rttemberg, had drinks, took a ton of photos, etc.

After a nap all around, we gathered back at Bloomie & Fatma's for BBQ.(The walk over included a very brief encounter with a stinging nettle. Ow.) Chicken, pork, and sausage with bread and potato salad. With beer and a yummy, gooey dessert by Rita, Bloomie's mom.

Just as we were serving dessert, about 9:30pm, the wind picked up. We all ran for indoors. The heavens opened, and rain came pelting down. Thunder rumbled, the Wee Lassies had a freak-out.

By this time, Katie & Trevor were cooked and it was time to say goodnight. We walked back to our apartment in a rain-washed night.

Tomorrow: pick up rental cars for the trip to Austria and a visit with my husband's elementary school buddy, Greg Larson.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The ancestral homeland of sweat, or; Mein Gott, I miss my ceiling fan!

It's been very hot here in Stuttgart. Really, really, really hot. Most houses don't have AC, or fans of any kind. I'm dying!

Two days ago, we walked down to the town center. It was a long walk, 3 hours in the hottest part of the day. When we got back to our apartment I took a shower, and didn't want to put any clothing on. But I did, as the whole gang was going to a beirgarten for dinner. I mooched a ride with Fatma and the boys, tho. Everyone else walked.

Yesterday, I didn't leave our apartment. I was just so worn out. I laid on the bed, read my military science fiction and napped. That's it. We also met our hosts. Lovely people. They have an 11 year old son, Janis, who is in 6th grade. Andrea brought out snacks and wine to the front garden while we soaked our feet in a cool pool. It was lovely.

Today, we took a cable car up the hill to a graveyard nestled in the forest. Some beautiful gravestones. Lots of war dead. We walked over to a nearby beirgarten for a cold drink before we hoofed it down the hill. By the time we got back to our apartment, I was dripping with sweat, rather queasy and an alarming shade of red. I started stripping as soon as I hit the door and dove immediately into a tepid shower. My loving husband brought me a liter of cold water, some of which I poured over my head.

Supposedly, it will be much cooler tomorrow. Boy, I hope so.

Addendum: We hung out with Andrea & Ingo this evening. Andrea's English is better than her man's. We covered background, and social customs. We decided Janis will come to the USA as an exchange student. A pleasant evening.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Arrived in Stuttgart!

After travelling about 26 hours, we made in to Stuttgart. We made it losing only one bag (Cameron's) and only mostly exhausted and grimy. Pam & Terry were there to greet us, which was a good thing, 'cause Aeron was *done*. Poor kid had passed out on the way from the airport in Frankfurt. When she woke up, about 15 minutes before we arrived at the Blums, she was sniveling, disoriented and miserable. Boo was cuddled by Gra-Maw and passed right back out. Claire climbed next to Pam and did same. Cameron, who hadn't slept at all on our travels, also found a horizontal surface and collapsed. Kayla, Miles and I kissed and hugged everyone, gave gifts, had coffee, champagne and a beautiful, tasty cake in honor of Pam & Terry's 50th wedding anniversary. By this time, I was getting bed spins and my head was buzzing from fatigue, so I also crashed for a nap.

After some down time, we walked over to an outdoor restaurant for some dinner. Claire, Aeron, Anton and the ridiculously cute Emil played at a small park adjacent to our cobblestone dining room while the grownups chatted and drank beer. We noshed, we shmoozed; it was great!


We have been in Stuttgart for 4 days now. Jet lag still strikes at moments. I had a 3 hour nap, then had lunch at 4pm. Brot, with ham and Gouda. Mustard, of course. My love for a ham & cheese sandwich is clearly genetic. I sat in our tiny garden with my sandwich, some sliced apple and a glass of pinot grigio. Ahhh.... Oh, and some military SciFi. It's been miserably hot; many sweating Clarks. But we've discovered gelato makes it better!!!

Many photos of this once in a lifetime trip over at Kayla's blog;

We miss all our friends!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

T minus 2 days.

Packing is about half completed. There are baskets of clean laundry all over the house. There is folded laundry in the family room. There are empty Target shopping bags all scattered everywhere. Partially filled suitcases line the floor in the Boudoir.

We're eating frozen chow from Trader Joe's, 'cause I'm too busy to make a proper meal. No one is complaining. ;-}

The neighbor's cat bit me yesterday (my own fault!) so I spent the afternoon seeing the doctor and getting meds and tending my wounds. I'm on two kinds of antibiotics, plus got a tetanus shot. Sigh....

Everything is coming together. No one is freaking out. Yet.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Yoikes and Away!

Today, we starting PACKING!

Actually getting out suitcases and putting stuff into them.

I've got lists. I bought all kinds of stuffs for the trip; travel hair brushes, bags of new socks, colored pencils, etc. Time to do this thing!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Get ready.....

And so we begin the most difficult part of any vacation.

The packing.

  • I have 3 people to pack for, plus 1 to supervise. Right now, the problem I'm having is my desire to be prepared for any and all eventualities. My list gets longer every day, it seems. At what point to you say, "Enough!"?  

  •  I want to include a first aid kit. Bandaids, Neosporin, cortizone cream, travel-sickness meds, Motrin, Benedryl. When you write it all out, it seems excessive. But my kids are lively, fall down a lot, get motion sick, etc. Do I hope for the best? Pray the plane is equipped with  bandages? Hope nobody gets barfy?

  •  How do I keep the Wee Lassies from climbing the walls during our 10 hour-plus plane ride? Pack lots of stuff for them to do, I guess. 

  • I  have gifts to take. Some of them are heavy. Some are breakable. Do I put them in carry-on or checked luggage? 

  • I want the kids to look decent while we're across the Pond. Don’t want to embarrass the grandparents. How on earth am I gonna get the Boy to pack a respectable shirt or two? (Have a stash in my bag, that's how!) 

  •  Ack! We all need sturdy walking shoes. Must go shopping....

  •  Plus, I have to set up the house for an extended absence. Gotta suck up to the neighbours, who will water my roses and feed the kitties. Also, I'd like to come home to a clean house. We'll be exhausted when we return and I want to be able to fall into a clean bed. But that means cleaning it whilst tearing around getting packed. Oy. 

So, you see how this is going. 

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Grand Tour!

The Fab Adventure is going walk-about!

Our family will soon embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe. I will be posting photos and highlights here.

Stay tuned for our adventures in Germany, Austria and Italy!