More camps

This week, Meg is in an outdoorsy camp about building shelter in trees and hiking around Würselen. Spencer is in a soccer camp. We went out for ice cream as a family on Monday to celebrate the kids growing independence. This week was the first time they went to separate camps, and they both are doing quite well.
{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

Sunday funday: swimming on Rur obersee

Sunday we headed south of town to a park region generally called the Eifel. There is a big national park in what used to be a training camp for Nazi youth designated as future leaders. We will explore the museums, hikes and other treasures as time allows. This weekend we went swimming at a developed spot that captures river water into pools of natural, fresh water. Rob and the kids went paddle boating. We all enjoyed swimming, despite the brisk temperature of the water.
We also stopped in the town (Einruhr) to get a few post cards and check out and drink from their natural mineral water fountain.
{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

Summer break with the kids

This week is (I believe) the only week all summer that we are in our regular apartment and we don’t have something major to accomplish or something bad will happen (like we won’t have a place to live or won’t get our visa or something). The kids are enjoying each other (when they aren’t fighting), settling into their rooms and the apartment, screen time, and walking to the local pool. Aquana is pretty awesome, with a water slides, including one with jets that shoot you back up, and a wave pool. We got a summer vacation pass so we can go more often over the next month.
We walked to the pool. Most of the directions had us on a walking/ bike path, but one short section had us cut through a public right of way of a local farm. It’s still kind of funny to me to take a foot bridge over a busy street and step out onto a farm. But having plants integrated throughout the suburbs clearly has positive implications of the wildlife. Bird sing in the morning and there are several different types of local bees busy pollinating flowers.
{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

Sunday fun

Rob put together our bed today, so no more mattresses on the floor for us! Yes, even beds here are different. Wooden slats instead of box springs, different sheets, etc. Here he is testing it out. Spoiler alert: we like it.
We also went to a trodelmarket, which is basically a flea market. Since all the stores are closed, it’s a great time to set up vendor tents in parking lots.
Not pictured: we played Seidler von Catan. Rob won the inaugural game we finished, which is appropriate because it was his fathers day gift.
{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

Cochem castle after camp

We went to pick up the kids from their German camp. While in town, we toured the castle. The detail was amazing and Meg took a zillion pictures, which I hope means she liked it. Some of the furniture was from the 16th century.
We are happy to have the kids home. They seem tired and happy.
{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

Dropping the kids off at German camp

Today we dropped the kids off at a week long German immersion camp in Cochem, a picturesque town on the Mosul river about 2 hours from here. They will have structured lessons and language projects in the morning and normal camp activities in the afternoon where they are supposed to practice speaking and understanding German. They were nervous leading up to arrival, but didn’t want to leave their new friends to say goodbye to us before we left after the half hour parent orientation. We hope they have a good week and learn a lot!
{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}

{CAPTION}