Last Wednesday Lukas and I traveled to Western Germany to visit his parents and friends. We both had a holiday on Thursday (gotta love Austria with all these Catholic holidays!) and then he took Friday off as well so we could spend a fun and relaxing 4 days in Germany. We got in around midnight on Wednesday night and stayed up for a bit talking to his parents after that.
On Thursday we saw his grandmother who is 93 for a bit and then in the afternoon we took a trip across the French border as it is only 30 minutes away. They make a special kind of pottery in Alsace (bordering area between France and Germany, used to belong to Germany but is now French territory) and it can only be made there due to the special kind of soil-clay they have. It was fun looking in the little shops and hearing Lukas speak French... super sexy I must add, hehehe. Afterwards we went to a gigantic super market (seriously atleast twice the size of any Super-Walmart, etc. in the states!) and got some wonderful French bread, cheese, etc. I have not had "Chevre" (French goat cheese) in YEARS and wow it was soooooooooo good :-) Best dinner in a long time, that is for sure, yum!
On Friday Lukas' grandmother came over in the afternoon and we hung out in the yard with her enjoying the sun and talking to her and his mother. It was really nice to see her so happy and talkative, as she seemed a bit down around Christmas time when we saw her. Luke's parents said she usually just has a winter-depression and is always much better in the summer... which was nice as she was much more talkative this visit. It is super funny tho because she has a tendency to repeat things over and over because she forgets that she has already said them.... probably gets pretty old for those who see her daily but it was fairly amusing for Lukas and I. I am always glad when we can spend some time with his grandmother as she is 93 and who knows how much longer we will have that opportunity, espec. as we are moving back to the USA soon. We decided to spend the day with his family instead of going to see friends that evening and it ended up being a good idea as his grandmother was over for a while and then his dad came back in the evening after work and we all played cards together until 1am. It was a nice relaxing day and nice for me to spend more time with my in-laws and get to know them a bit better.
On Saturday morning we headed to the LDS temple in Frankfurt, Germany and did a session there with his parents which was nice. Well ok... oddly enough they got pulled out of our session and put in the one that started right after it because there was some "organizational problem" at the time.... which is strange in the temple but whatever, germans will be germans, haha. Regardless, it was wonderful being in the temple again espec. as we had not had the opportunity to go since we were visiting at Christmas-time.
Afterwards we went to our friends in Darmstadt and then 2 other couples came over and the 8 of us had a nice bbq and hung out and talked all afternoon-evening. Jana and Daniel are pregnant, she is due in about a week, and it was so cute seeing tiny little Jana with her big pregnant belly. Sarah and Ralph have a 1.5 year old boy and Ingo and Amalia have a 6 month old boy so it was basically "mommy-talk" between the girls but that is ok.... I didnt feel left out, more grateful that I am NOT pregnant and do NOT have any kids yet, hehehe. Jana loved playing with the kids tho, she is going to be a great mother... I stayed away from them mostly because as you all know... KIDS SCARE ME! lol
REALLY cool experience tho.... Jana said that the baby was moving around and let me feel her belly and I could feel their little girl moving around... so amazing that there is a little person in there just waiting to be born into a loving family :)
Lukas and I stayed a while after everyone else had left so that we could spend more time with Daniel and Jana. Unfortunately no time is ever enough time when you only see your friends twice a year... but regardless it was nice to hang out with them for a bit. Fortunately in 5 weeks we will be back at his parents' house for 5 days before we fly back to the USA and will hopefully be able to get a little "going-away party" organized and will get to spend some more time with everyone before we go to the states. I have to say that I am sad we cannot take Daniel and Jana with us... Lukas is best friends with both of them and I have to say they are by far my favorite from his group... I already feel like I have known Jana forever and love being able to talk so openly with her and always have a great time when the 4 of us get together. It is sad to have such good friends in so many places as it makes seeing them all much more difficult but I guess that is what happens when you are a traveling-nomad like me :-p
On Sunday we went to church and Lukas' sister and brother in law where there which was nice to see them as our plans to see them on Thursday did not work out. Afterwards we headed to the train station to head back home. It was truly a wonderful and relaxing vacation for us and we are very grateful to his parents for funding our travel so we could come visit.
Funny story from the train however... at the next stop a large drunken marching band group (so not joking!) got on the train with all of their instruments and of course, being as drunk and load and crazy as they were, started playing and singing on the train. It was soooo funny to hear a marching band on a train... and of course we got some pictures :-D In Heidelberg where we had to switch trains, they switched as well and were playing at the station which was pretty funny too. O the crazy things that go on in European trains :)