As I write this, I am about to board the plane to Germany. We plan to stay for 2-3 years. We spent the last 5 days packing up the house, working from sunrise to sunset most days. It was grueling, and at times, I didn’t think we would make it, but we did. We finished the house at 11:53 p.m. last night. This morning we slept in a bit, had waffles for breakfast, and finished packing up our suitcases. We even had a little time to relax. Spencer, Dave, and I went to Skate City for an hour or so while Meg, Clare, and Ellen packed a bit more and relaxed. Then we went out to Tequilenos for our last meal in Colorado for quite some time.
Thanks to all the people who have helped us prepare for this epic journey, especially Clare’s parents Dave and Ellen and Clare’s friends Sarah and Liz. I don’t know if we could have done it otherwise.
We each brought 1 big suitcase, 1 sportman’s trunk, a carry-on suitcase, and a backpack. We filled up a 10×10 shed at Dave and Ellen’s, and a 9×11 climate controlled storage unit. Talk about downsizing.
This is the first field day we have had since we have lived in Colorado which had nice weather on the scheduled day, and didn’t have to be rescheduled. It was a beautiful day. I was only able to come for a little bit because I was busy at work and Clare was hosting an event at Boulder startup week. The kids had a good time. I think one of the favorite new events this year was the oreo challenge, in which you try to get an oreo from your forehead into your mouth without using your hands.
Spencer has been playing alto saxophone for 19 weeks now. Yesterday he performed at an open Mic night at our church. He played ain’t misbehavin and fly me to the moon. He sounded great. Take a listen for yourself.
This year we stayed home at Christmas but traveled to Michigan over New Year’s to visit Grandma and Grandpa Felty. We had a great time seeing them, as well as Aunt Erika and cousin Sadie. We also found time to see the van Kampens, the Moores, and the Sanchez’s.
In addition to enjoying the pool at the Hampton Inn and hanging out at the grandparents playing Clue and Hell, we also found time to visit the Henry Ford museum and the Detroit Institute of the Arts.
This week the kids spent their days at our church, for their Art of Peace day camp. In spite of Spencer telling us all summer long that he was not going to go, both kids had a great time. Spencer got really into making origami. Meg really enjoyed working with beads. And they both had a great time doing yoga, singing songs, tie-dying shirts, painting stepping stones, and playing capture the flag. Thursday night there was a potluck, where they sang some songs for us, and we got to learn more about what they were doing. We feel very fortunate to have found this sort of community.
Meg requested that I take some videos of them singing at the potluck
Tuesday, we journeyed to the south of Germany to visit the castle that inspired Walt Disney when he was making Cinderella’s castle for Disney World. King Ludwig designed and oversaw its construction from his nearby childhood summer castle, Hohenschwangau, which we also toured.
When we toured Hohenschwangau, we arrived expecting an automated audio tour. They guy handing out handsets told us there was a live guided tour in English starting in 10 minutes, if we would like to wait. We said yes. He said that we could step behind this rope and wait in those chairs over there. The rope marked off some old wooden chair covered in velvet in front of a royal chapel that was part of the castle. We weren’t allowed to photograph inside the castle or else I would have taken a picture. I didn’t want to get kicked out of my 10 minutes of waiting in that setting. It was pretty special to sit in those chairs with no barrier between us and the castle an imagine all the others who might have passed that way before us.
Then we toured the newer castle that was never finished and has been a tourist attraction since 60 days after King Ludwig’s unfortunate demise. The Austrian Alps in the background and the winding forest patches were all pretty idyllic.
The kids are tired and still not quite adjusted to Germany time, but the castles were magical enough to win them over. However, the kids may remember today as the day I let them have McDonalds for lunch AND dinner. In my defense, they had a touch screen menu where I could order and pay in English.
We celebrated Meg’s birthday at home yesterday, with a painting activity put on by Sarah, the mother of Meg’s friend Natalie, a chocolate fountain, and a pinata. Thanks to everyone who came, and especially to Sarah, who did an awesome job leading the girls in painting.
Today we celebrated Spencer’s eighth birthday at the local roller skating rink, Skate City. As part of the birthday package deal, he got a new pair of roller blades, which he has been looking forward to for several months. Spencer wanted ice cream cake this year, so we made two of them, and we kept them cold in a cooler with dry ice. They were very tasty.
In attendance were Timothy, Cadence, Dax, Dallen, Jori, Ainsley, Ryan, Christian, Sawyer, A.J., Tyler, and of course Meg, Clare, Rob, and Grandma and Grandpa Dibble. Thanks to all who attended.