Friday, October 23, 2009

Germany, Day 13

I cannot believe our vacation is almost over. The thought of returning to the real world is tough for both of us. Nate will return to his life as a single parent, alone on the prairies of western Texas, and I will return to the demands of "herding cats" on the plains of Afghanistan. One thing in Nate's favor—he missed an episode of upset tummy with our youngest. Fortunately, Grammy was there to save the day. Unfortunately, the timing is just about right for our oldest to be stricken when he arrives home.

We highly recommend the hotel we have stayed in the last two weeks. Edelweiss Lodge and Resort caters to military families and is an incredible experience. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, the food good and the rooms spacious. They had an amazing "R&R" rate that provided us a room and food for the entire 14 days, and that is what sealed the deal. We have enjoyed tours organized by the resort, rented bikes, set off on staff-recomended trails and have never been disappointed. How is that for an unsolicited recommendation?!

Of course, I expect to be asked: "What was your favorite part?" I honestly don't know that I could name a favorite. I really enjoyed the trip to Dachau. (Is it OK to admit enjoying a tour of a concentration camp?) It was really well done and I could have spent another two or three hours in the museum alone. In Germany, a visit to a concentration camp is a requirement for high school students, so it was interesting to see so many young people touring the grounds as well.

Then there was just being outside, hiking all over the mountains and breathing the fresh air provided a much-needed escape for both of us. With its detailed maps and signs and often a "hutte" as a destination, the trail system here is one of the best we have ever seen. Who doesn't mind hiking in the snow/rain when there is a cold beer awaiting you at the turn-around?

All in all, the trip has been a success, and we will treasure the memories forever. We couldn't have managed this without the support of my mom and dad, who toiled away at home with the little ones! THANK YOU!!! More to come as I make my way back to Afghanistan and the pending chaos as we gear up for a repeat of the Afghan elections. And, if the trip back to Kuwait is as bizarre as the trip out, it will definitely provide some blog fodder.

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