I meant to send the below out on several mediums a few weeks ago. Business in my life obviously kept it in my draft file and it never was posted. Perhaps you may think the timing is poor, if so apologies are extended to you.Several years ago on a trip to Germany my son-in-law and I had the opportunity to visit the Dachau Concentration camp.
Dachau (/ˈdɑːxaʊ/) was the first concentration camp built by Nazi Germany, opening on 22 March 1933. The camp was initially intended to intern Hitler’s political opponents which consisted of: communists, social democrats, and other dissidents. It is located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory northeast of the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. After its opening by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labor, and, eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, Romani, German and Austrian criminals, and, finally, foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded. The Dachau camp system grew to include nearly 100 sub-camps, which were mostly work camps or Arbeitskommandos, and were located throughout southern Germany and Austria. The main camp was liberated by U.S. forces on 29 April 1945.
Prisoners lived in constant fear of brutal treatment and terror detention including standing cells, floggings, the so-called tree or pole hanging, and standing at attention for extremely long periods. There were 32,000 documented deaths at the camp, and thousands that are undocumented. Approximately 10,000 of the 30,000 prisoners were sick at the time of liberation.
In the postwar years, the Dachau facility served to hold SS soldiers awaiting trial. After 1948, it held ethnic Germans who had been expelled from eastern Europe and were awaiting resettlement, and also was used for a time as a United States military base during the occupation. It was finally closed in 1960. (Reprinted from Wikipedia)
Now it is clear why the media hardly mentioned Pearl Harbor this year.When I was a kid, I couldn’t understand why Eisenhower was so popular. Maybe this will explain why General Eisenhower Warned Us. It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied
Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead. He did this because he said in words to this effect: ‘Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses – because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.
This week, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from it school curriculum because it ‘offends’ the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it. It is now more than 70 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the, six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests Who were ‘murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated’ while many in the world looked the other way! Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center ‘NEVER HAPPENED’, because it offends some Muslims?Do not just delete this message; it will take only a minute to pass this along. Remember when all classrooms had an American flag in them? Do they even teach our children about the World Trade Center attacks in 1993 and 2001, or did it go the way of Pearl Harbor and Veterans Day? Don’t even mention Christmas or Hanukkah or prayers in school. Many schools no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance and many children do not know the words to our National Anthem, or that we even have one!
On a more joyous note I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
The days are getting longer. Yesterday, 06/22/21 it was 78F at 0500, today at the same time it was 56F, go figure. I checked the weather prediction map, NOAA’,s site, a prediction map showed all weather staying west of the Chesapeake Bay and generally speaking following a track North via I-95. Since we had a lunch date with Mary Agnes’ sister in-law at noon, outside dining was in order. On this day we would dine at Tall Tales Brewing Company in Parsonsburg, MD.
We met Barbara, entered, and were seated undercover on the fringe of outside. All the doors were open, and a delightful breeze was blowing. The windows are floor-to-ceiling fold back doors: ice tea, no sugar for me, A wine for my princess, and a Lager for Barb. We ordered Chicken Salads for the ladies and a Mahi Mahi Taco for me. Unfortunately, when our food arrived, so did the weather, in the form of Rain. Although we were fine as we were undercover, several other tables had to reposition back a bit.
All in all, it was an excellent get together, we caught up on the goings-on of both sides of the family. I call Barb’s side of the family, the Polish side. Barb is the Matriarch at this point in time for her side. She beats me in age by three months by the way. My wife, of Irish descent, is the Matriarch on her side of the family. So thus we have, the two sides as I identify them.
As far as weather predictions, they, NOAA in this case, blew it! Don’t you love the ten-day predictions you get from various WX sites or the five-day predictions? On this day, we couldn’t even get a 3-hour forecast that was worthy. So what the hell are they smoking in those weather shops?
This is what I’ve come to call a Sami-izem: You know your kid learned to speak outside of the US when she says “Mom look at that! It’s like 10 meters tall!”
Life remains good on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. God is good, and thanks to him, so are we. Our chickens continue to give us eggs. Greggory Peck is in Talon Hill. ( Remember Boot Hill?) Our Garden is growing nicely and were using a lot of fresh Parsley at the moment.
So, for this day, these photos and my writing I bid you all Ah plue tahr
Be safe, if you haven’t already, get a flu shot and make sure you check on the elderly.
So, am I in one, I ask. I finally got plants and seeds into my Pot Garden, that was a month ago. Many thanks to my son-in-law Greg for the pots and potting soil. Gotta give credits where credits are do. I may need soil again next year.
I’ve not written a post for over a month. We’ve been in quarantine since 19 March. I’ve only gained 5 pounds. We have not contracted any virus. Well, there’s something to be thankful for. “O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” (William Shakespeare)
Stephen King had a great saying – “Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.” Seventy Seven years on this earth, thank you, thank you, thank you, I say!
We have a grandson in NY City, young, single, works for Viacom and has been by himself in a 600 square foot, 4’th story walk up eating Deli food since this all started. I’m guessing he spends his spare time cleaning. Never have I seen a single, twenty something guy, as neat as this. David, you’re amazing!
Granddaughter Samantha, Capt. USAF, stationed in Germany, living in the Netherlands says: COVID-19 has changed a lot, but it was sure nice to have half occupancy in the amusement park near our house. Valkenier is a very family oriented park and all kids are now old enough to ride. Mia counts as an adult and is able to partner up with Ana until she grows a few more centimeters.
Daughter Kathryn and son in-law Jeff are in the process of moving back to this side of the river. If all goes well with the VA and Bank they will be one mile away from us. Settlement is supposed to take place on 7/8/20.
Jeff has been working from home during this Pandemic thing. Kathryn has remained quite busy coordinating Population Health issues for PRMC. Jeff was out with Abby and Antwaine fishing recently and displays a nice Cat fish below.
Son Matt and daughter in-law Beth were to go to England to celebrate their 25’th wedding Anniversary. No, they didn’t make it, but they did celebrate.
Daughter Sarah and husband Greg took a few days off and ventured to the family Ski Lodge at Elk Mountain, Pennsylvania. Below is their wake-up and sunset views the past two days.
As for the Rooster and wife, we’re still crowing and cackling. We’re a bit more confined, aren’t we all. We did get out to dine at a local Brew Pub,Evolution Craft Brewing’s, Public house. It was outside dining at the time, but most enjoyable. The Mrs had the Johnny Burger and the Rooster had the Fish Tacos. All was consumed and washed down with a glass of Chardonnay for the Mrs and a Lot 3 for the Rooster. The good Lord graced us with blue skys and a gentle Eatern Shore Breeze. It doesn.t get much better than that. https://www.evolutioncraftbrewing.com/
We are hoping he may be on his way home. With the rapidly growing Corona virus and Pandemic fears, we wonder, will he arrive home on the date scheduled. Jeff has been away the entire month. He’s made stops in Sydney, Australia, Wellington, New Zealand, and, most recently, the Republic of Palau. He’s had the opportunity to do a little fishing and send some photos. Thanks Jeff, I attach a few of them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palau
Another hop across the Ocean.
The wife and daughter Kathryn flew the Atlantic to help Sam, Captain, USAF get through a rough week with the flu, Masters level paper due, Husband away on a deployment, and four wee ones, seven and under.
Thanks to the winds of Storm Dennis, my two ladies made what is usually a six-hour flight in under five hours. In contrast, those traveling in the opposite direction took as long as eight hours. Their description of what was a harrowing landing in Ireland, sounded like something I’m glad I didn’t have to experience. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_Dennis
Both Sam and her USAF Captain husband Zed are graduates of the USAFA. Sam is a Support Services officer, and Zed is a pilot. They are presently stationed at a NATO base in Germany and live a few miles away in the Netherlands.
The ladies survived their child care experience and arrived back home safely a week ago. The girls did get to spend twenty-four hours in Dublin, Ireland during a layover. Even in the heavy rain and wind at the time, they got to walk about the Temple district among the inversely pointing umbrellas. Rumor has it they also indulged in something called a Guinness, whatever that is. https://www.dublintown.ie/temple-bar/
On their return the girls arrived on time in Philadelphia, where I met them. Kathryn retrieved her car from the parking lot and headed south towards home. She would be at work erly on Monday morning. The wife and I headed north towards Staten Island, NY. We had a family Funeral Mass to attend the next morning for a deceased Brother in-law, Rest in Peace Mike. To say the little lady was a bit disoriented from the jet-lag, and sudden obligation, is an understatement. One week later, I think she’s back in the necessary time zone. When all is normal, she’s back quilting, that she has resumed.
We had just returned from this same flight route on New Year’s Eve. Six of us spent the holidays with Sam and Family in Garmish Partenkierchen, Germany. During that trip we touched feet or tires in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Lichtenstein and England. What goes around, and goes around, and goes around.
Next up for the little lady is a house sitting stent in Connecticut next month. The few, the proud, the Marines, have nothing over this lady and her endurance. Me and the dog will keep the home fires burning.
Sleep well my friends, the elections are coming up, vote early, vote often.
As most of you know, granddaughter Samantha, Captain, USAF, currently lives in The Netherlands and works for NATO in Germany. It’s kind of like living in South Jersey and working in Philly, you just don’t need to cross the Ben Franklin bridge to get there. Sam’s husband, also a Captain, USAF and a pilot is stationed there with her. To maintain their family unit, their four children are there for the European experience as well.
Once again the lazy writer in me is using a recent post of Sam’s to share with you. I’m attempting to get a blog out every Sunday or Monday. Thanks Sam for making that possible this week. I’ll gather up an occasional picture or two and some links along the way. I’ve got to contribute something to the blog, right?
A Weekend Away
Zed and I had the amazing opportunity to spend a few days together in Europe. His parents were out visiting to help with the kids as I was away with work. Zed was gracious enough to drive me down and take the scenic route. In total we visited 8 countries in under 48hrs.
Our journey began in the Netherlands, as that’s where we live. We quickly entered Belgium where we passed through Liege, Bastogne, and Arlon. I love living in a place that holds so much history. When we first moved here we watched Band of Brothers to give us a brief history lesson. Then it was a quick stop through Luxembourg, which is smaller than Rhode Island.
France is where things became new. As soon as we crossed the border we saw the Maginot line, which I got no pictures of because my phone was away.
From that point on I always had it within easy reach and turned the auto camera function on. We were also greeted into France by seeing nuclear power plants. Their water towers are also some of the most unique I’ve seen (a funnel, a castle turret, and a mushroom). By this time we need some food. We like to visit the local McDonald’s to see what interesting things they have on their menu. We were let down, no unique menu items. Moments away from our next country we came to a border checkpoint. When they asked us if we had anything to declare I held up the McDonald’s bag and Zed said just fast food. I’d like to think we livened up the officer’s shift.
Switzerland was up and is a country of tunnels. In 2hrs we journeyed through a minimum of 20. I lost count. So far it has been the country Zed and I both agree we’d like to ex-pat to, if we were rich enough to do so. Their homes are unique and there are ranches everywhere.
The homes have huge roofs (guessing to manage the snow), numerous
windows, and carefully decorated gables. They even decorate the under
side of the roofs.
While in Switzerland we were also able to participate in a Latter Day
Saint Temple Session. The Bern Temple was the first built in Europe.
Liechtenstein was a surprise for me. It was also our first passport
stamp since being here, we did a few euros to get it. Our goal was to
see Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein (from the movie A Knight’s Tale),
instead we walked into their Carnival parade.
Now it was time for Austria. We ventured through a 8.5mi long tunnel
that allowed us to bypass a mountain pass. One of the most interesting
things we saw was a car from Swaziland. How it got there we’re still
wondering. There were also wooden huts scattered throughout and we never
could research a good answer as to what they were.
Germany brought us to the end of our journey. We stayed at the base of Neuschwanstein Castle and Zed dropped me off at my work location the next morning (another blog post will be coming on that). We were able to see the Zugspitze (the tallest point of Germany) and a few avalanches.
The trip was amazing. A great time to spend together and see new things. We were blessed with safety and clear roads both in weather and traffic. Enjoy the few pictures I took and stay tuned for more adventures. -S
NATO 101 with Sam and Zed
I had the opportunity to go to a course in Southern Germany to learn more about NATO and it’s interactions with different nations. I learned a ton, but the best part was having a class made up of 26 nations, and not all were NATO members. To learn how Ukraine views current world issues versus Denmark is just one example. Throw in my US mindset and a Dutch opinion and dinner conversation was never dull.
Part of the course allowed the opportunity to independent study. I used the opportunity to sight see.
My trip to the Disney castle was worth it. Unfortunately pictures inside are not allowed. It is worth the ticket price. Interesting note, the castle has been a museum since 6wks after King Ludwig’s mysterious death.
I also visited Kolfel mountain in Oberammergau, Germany where the story of Hansel and Gretel comes from. The story goes that a witch lives in the mountain and there are numerous documentations of kids going out to play and never coming back.
is a unique village situated in a valley. When the village was hit with
the Plague the town promised God that if it would stop spreading and
spare lives they would always do a Passion play. The Plague ceased and
the people have put on the Passion play every 10yrs following. This is
the longest running Passion play in the world. It has become so largely
attended that only those born in Oberammergau or those who have lived
there for a minimum of 20yrs are allowed to be actors.
The opportunity to learn more about my job, but also other nations perspectives is one I am so grateful to have gotten. Not bad to get it, and see Neuschwanstein either. -S
In order to put more information out in the Electronic Hemisphere, I’ve adapted to sharing loved one’s posts from the Netherlands. Thanks to granddaughter Samantha who gets to live there for a few years with husband Zed, ( I call him Sir Zedsalot), and their 4 Children, she provides me with ammunition of the written word to use. Sam has provided some great travel info and photos in this post, enjoy. Happy New Year all! theRooster
Though the title only really applies to one lunch Zed and I have
had over the past 2 weeks it also explains our holiday break pretty
well. We tried a little of a lot and saw some new things. Enjoy the
long, but fun post to follow.
We spent an entire day in Maastricht, NL while the kids were at
daycare. If you’ve been to Georgetown, MD imagine a European version and
that’s Maastricht. Their Christmas market was still going, but
everything was on sale! We rode the Ferris Wheel, walked the shopping
district and ate at a small burger place named FAB
(Famous American Bistro). Sharing 5 sliders and some deep fried Mac
& Cheese we felt a little piece of home, except for the glass
The church on the left has been restored from the 1700s to its
original painted color and structure. The church on the right is from
View of Maastricht from the top of the Ferris Wheel.
Another view from the Ferris Wheel of the two really old churches.
This book store has taken up residence in an old church. The vast
cathedral houses three stories of books in a multitude of languages.
Zed and Ana went shopping at Rammstein, aka as American as you can
get in Europe. They saw Mary Poppins, bought discounted Christmas
decorations, and visited Bastogne.
New Year’s Eve Day, we stayed local as I had about 5hours to play in
between my shifts. Heerlen is where our ward building is located, but
also a really neat town close to home. We enjoyed the site, shopping,
and some yummy sushi before I headed back in to work.
These bricks are found in the sidewalk outside of buildings Jews
lived in. They say the name, the birth year, when they were deported,
when they died, and the camp they were sent to.
During the winter a sledding hill and ice rink are set up in the square.
Pock marks from bullet holes can be seen in the bell tower left over from WWII.
New Year’s Eve was quiet inside our home, but the Dutch sure know how
to celebrate. The firework display was a 360 degree show that lasted
from 11pm to 3am. This display was put on by everyone, but us. We were
not aware that to live in the Netherlands you are obligated to set off
fireworks on New Years…we have learned for next year. The fireworks set
off also are not able to be purchased in the US. The rockets are large
and fuses short.
Jan 2nd brought another date day where we got to test out our new
GoPro at the indoor ski slopes. Completing 12 runs in two hours, we were
pretty tired and ready for some lunch. Back to Maastricht we went to
enjoy some Fish and Chips at Jack White’s.
Here is where the title of this post comes in. We enjoyed gourmet fish
with a tray of five different sauces to choose from. Zed ordered the cod
battered in the traditional seasoning. I got Mackerel battered in
various herbs. Our tarter sauces consisted of traditional tarter, curry
lime, spicy beetroot, mango, and garlic. The mango was our favorite and
the garlic made an amazing dip for the chips. It was at this restaurant
we learned the best way (cheapest) to drink out is to order the largest
water they have and split it. We also stopped in a costume shop to begin
our Carnival costume planning. Here’s what Zed is considering.
The 3rd, on a whim we went to Trier. This is the oldest town in all
of Germany with many Roman ruins still present. We ate in a historic
cellar that displayed numerous crests from the region. Unfortunately
both of our phones were unusable halfway through the day so we didn’t
get pictures of everything…guess we’ll just have to go back. We intend
to bring family as they come to visit because we enjoyed the town so
One of the many churches in the town. I am standing at the opposite
side of the square in order to capture the full height…at least 12
Better lighting and side view of the same cathedral.
Inside the Constantine Basilica. The most interesting thing to me
here was the history of the church. In the history it explains how many
times the church was rebuilt (at least 5) due to different ownerships.
The most recent reconstruction of the Basilica was due to “the necessary
consequences from the Nazi era”. The altar is the place of the previous
Roman Emperor’s throne. It was the plainest church we saw in Trier, but
according to the guide “it has been divested of its former pomp and
splendor. Marble and treasures have no place in it.” The guide made us
wonder who was responsible for writing it due to the blunt nature of the
Ironically, this is connected to the back side of the Basilica.
Covered in pink paint, gold leafs, and Roman statues the electoral
college had ownership of the building at one time. This opens up into
what I can imagine is a gorgeous garden in the spring and summer time
complete with fountains and reflection pools.
Porta Nigra. The one remaining port entry gate from the Romans, there
were a total of 4. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My first
ever to visit.
After this picture my phone died. We also saw the amphitheater which
felt much life a Division 1 football stadium and the main bath house.
Oh, and we did some shopping of course.
We put some miles on our shoes, checked a few stops off the bucket
list, and enjoyed some quality time as a couple. Because of these small
trips, Zed and I have realized we need to make a list of places to visit
based on driving distance so as we have a random day or long weekend
off we can hop in the car and go.
I’ll be sure to have a phone charger in the car and the GoPro always
prepared from here on out so you don’t miss any of our travels.
I love when Sam writes a post and I get to share it with my readership. It certainly makes my Blogging easy. 2017 saw Zed deployed to the Gulf and Sam and the children nestled down in Allen, MD with Pappy & G. (That would be Jeff & Kathryn) Today you get to see the family from a distance 3896.60 miles away. When we spoke with Sam yesterday she said it was a balmy 60 degrees. Enjoy our distant Grands and Greats
Merry Christmas from Germany…well the Netherlands. Live in one country and work in another, pretty cool concept.
We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This was our first year recording the chaos thanks to an early gift,
1.5hr of opening gifts and a full day of lounging and playing with them.
I tried to upload the pictures in progression of the events.
As many of you know we have Grands and Greats. The Greats live in Brunssum, Netherlands with our granddaughter Samantha & husband Zed. Both the kids, as we still call them are USAFA grads and Captains in the USAF. Presently they are stationed at a NATO base in Geilenkirchen, Germany, which is part of the Allied Joint Forces Command, it lies at the Tri-border of Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.
Zed is a pilot and Sam is a support services officer.
This young couple have four (4) children, ages five (5) and under. Mia, Ana, Dax and, Zoe. Since we are the Greats from Maryland in their lives, they are of course, beautiful, smart and wonderful children. Some would say a grand bag of chips.
They woke up today, Sunday, 16 December, 2018 to snow. Samantha posted on FB the following outbursts from the kids.
Until this morning I always thought one of the best things was to
wake up to a snow scene. Now the best thing is to listen to my kids wake
up to a snow scene.
Mia- oh my goodness, guys you’re never going to believe this Ana – Oh my hay Dax – who brought the snow Zoe – woah Mia – this is so butiful Ana – I want to make a snow angel Dax – how did this get here Zoe – snow
The Kids back in October:
The father of Samantha is also a world traveler and is also in Europe at this moment. You know the man if you follow the Rooster regularly. “Where in the world is Jeff Berthiaume”? Well, he’s departed a recent stay in Sofia, Bulgaria and is now in Bucharest, Romania and has sent these photos along.
Jeff will hopefully return to the states later this week and get to enjoy the holidays at home. When he’s away I’m in charge of taking care of Attack Dog Lady Liberty. Like the military, she keeps things safe and secure. Not a K-9 you’d like to sneak up on in the dark, if you know what eye (dang, did it again) mean.
Yesterday Jeff & Kathryn invited us to join them at Ruth’s Chris Stak House for dinner, with family and a few friends, we would celebrate Abby’s Birthday. If you’ve never been to one of these dining venues, you must try it once. Mary Agnes and I would each have a steak of different description. Fabulous sides complemented a meal over several hours of great conversation to celebrate the growth of a fine young lady.
“Hmm, how do we attack this”.
We gather to gether to ask the Lord’s Blessing and to wish Abby a very Happy Birthday.
From the fingers of Captain Samantha Davies, USAF
Once again Samantha has made things easy for me to put out a Blog, thanks Sam. Enjoy Sam’s first week in Germany as she continues to share her adventure.
It also brought learning the base and getting some initial inprocessing completed. Tuesday was a house hunting day and we picked up our Saturn from the processing center. We also got German cell phone numbers! Wednesday was Ana’s first day of school at AFNORTH and my first interaction with my fellow branch heads and wing commander. Thursday was a failed attempt at school lunch by Mia. She did a great job standing up and ordering it, but did not like their version of Mac n cheese and hotdogs. We also toured 4 homes. Friday was spent with my family while Zed did more inprocessing. I was able to learn the city center of Geilenkirchen, parking rules, and where the biggest grocery store is. Saturday (today) we slept in, only about an hour, and Zed set out with two kiddos on a continued house hunt.
All in all the week went smoothly. Thankfully my mom and grandmother were around. They made dinner each night and helped with bath time. I was in no condition to maintain survival of the kids or myself and Zed was about the same. So grateful for the help.
We’re still learning the time change and it’s been a little difficult to match up with those back in the States. We do have What’s App and that’s the best way to get in touch with us. Marco Polo is another fun one and more video messages rather than text messages. Keep following and I’ll keep posting.
Yesterday I drove the 126 miles from Salisbury to Philadelphia to pick up my daughter and wife on their return from Germany. After a ten day trip to help ease the transition for the Davies Crazys in their new home for the next four years, I have my partner of 53 years back. Thank you Lord for their safe passage and return.
I Now share with you a Blog Sam authored yesterday, enjoy.
Well, we made it. If you’re looking for all the amazing sites we’ve seen already and a true feel that we’re living in Germany, head on over to my grandfather’s blog and check out what my mom and grandmother experienced the past 10 days. Zed and I are still in survival mode and the kids aren’t quite sure what’s going on, but they’re doing amazing.
We ordered a taxi to get us from our lodging on base in Alabama to the airport because we could not fit our bags in with our persons. As we arrived to the check-in counter we were greeted with “You’re the Davies Family. We’ve been expecting your arrival as you head to Germany.” 11 checked bags, 6 passport scans, and 3 Delta workers later we were checked in. Thank goodness for Rachael, our nanny the past 7 weeks. She watched the kids as the chaos began and no one was lost.
We headed for security where half way through getting our family of 6 through our names are called to report back to the check in counter. Zed heads off and you would have thought he was never coming back according to Dax and Zoe. The TSA agents did an amazing job accommodating our family and I appreciate everyone in line behind us being patient. Why did we have to go back to the check in counter? Dax left his Spider-Man book bag that housed his cow blanket. It would have been a long day without that.
We found out our flight was delayed and were thankful to see a playscape for the kids. As the time neared to board the first leg of our journey we said our goodbyes to the amazing Ray Ray. Delta allows families to board first, I think this is a benefit not only for the families but for all other passengers too.
The flight to Atlanta was quick and uneventful. Due to our delay in Montgomery our layover went from 5 hours to about 3.5 hours. We easily walked to our terminal and found everyone some lunch. We were stopped numerous times and asked where we were headed and how impressed people were with our bravery/positive attitudes/children’s behaviors. Thank you kids for being good on this specific day. We then found an unused gate and let the kids stretch out while we waited. We also got some euros…for future knowledge DO NOT get euros in the airport. You have to pay to exchange money.
We boarded the flight to Dusseldorf, again ahead of others thankfully. We sat 3 behind the other 3, Dax – Mia – Zed, Zoe – Ana – Sam. All kids were tired and hungry at this point and we learned we could have requested kids meals 24hr prior to our flight. Good to know for next time. Dax fell asleep before dinner was served and Zoe fell asleep quickly after filling her belly. Ana watched a movie and then fell asleep and Dax was now awake. Ana now slept in Dax’s car seat and Mia came and fell asleep for an hour or so with me. Dax and Zed were troopers and stayed awake the rest of the flight. Breakfast came and the landing was smooth.
Customs was simple, showed our passports and PCS orders and walked on through. We purchased 3 luggage carts for our stuff and a kind Polizei helped push one of the carts to our waiting taxi driver. We loaded the trailer of the taxi and enjoyed the brisk air.
In the hour drive to our guest house, thank you Karin’s, we saw a brown coal mine, drove on the autobahn, and found an indoor ski resort. Upon arrival to our guesthouse the kids enjoyed running around and playing with the toys provided. Our first visitors were our sponsors. A family who has helped us out the past few months ensuring the transition here was as seamless as possible. This is the third time we’ve been stationed with this family. My mom and grandmother then came over and helped us settle in and get the kids fed and bathed, both of which were much needed.
The German homes are fitted with shutters used to block out the light since it stays light late here. We closed the shutters about 6:30pm and enjoyed a long nights sleep, with a few interruptions from the kids.
I’ll be sure to constantly update the blog to keep everyone informed as much as possible. We’re excited for this new adventure and I hope you enjoyed following along in our travels.
Thanks for stopping by as theRooster crows once again.