I know I am woefully behind on keeping the blog updated. I can barely keep up with life, never mind finding the time to document said life. And if I can be frank, the life that we are living right now vacillates between the mundane, difficult life of making our home in a foreign country to an unreal life with crazy opportunities and experiences that are out of a dream. We knock on wood until we get splinters in our knuckles, and we occasionally have minor panic attacks over the absolute unbelievable fortune we have had so far. It’s a crazy life. It’s an amazing life. It’s a beautiful life. Sometimes we just shake our head and wonder what we ever did to let us get here. We are eternally grateful and hashtag blessed. That said, let’s give updating the blog a go.
Where I last left off was the end of June, so I’ll pick things up there. The kids got out of school on July 1. We left that evening to drive west to the Rhineland area of Germany, about four hours from where we now live. It was out there that Larry and I first met and where we took a big gamble on an early love. We literally walked down our collective memory lane, locating the house I used to live in, the house he used to live in, the places where we stayed and played, and laughed and loved. We stayed in downtown Kaiserslautern, visited Ramstein and its surrounding areas, then headed to Idar Oberstein for some regional sight seeing. Back to Kaiserslautern where we were quite literally in the middle of an Old Town Street Festival with great food, drink, music, and access to watch the Euro cup. The end of the weekend had us heading home via Heidelberg and Bad Durkheim where we scored some regional wines and got to wander through a Delorian Car gathering after driving through some of the most picturesque little villages we’ve ever seen. [aside: I keep meaning to write a blog post about the car culture that we are witnessing here in Germany, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.]
The following week we enjoyed the company of our neighbors, the progressing Euro Cup, and the summer weather. The kids enjoyed a week of relative freedom for waking/sleeping/screen time. Larry and I really enjoyed joining in on Munich’s Radlstadtnacht, 10,000 people cycling through 12km of closed streets and tunnels of Munich. Then, the next day, the kids and I left for Paris.
Our dear family friends Max and Cassie (really more like a sister than a friend. If I could choose a sister, I’d choose Cassie) were in Paris with their niece and graciously offered to let us join in on their vacation for a few days. We arrived the day of the Euro Cup final (France versus Portugal, played in Paris) and left the day before Bastille Day. In between we managed to do an incredible amount of relaxing and sight seeing. We slept in but still somehow hit all the highlights. It was a fantastic visit and an excellent introduction for the kids.
The day after we arrived home in Munich, my dearest BFF in Virginia arrived with her family. Everyone has been over the moon with happiness catching up. Our kids are inseparable and I am seriously thinking of stealing Tracy’s passport so she can’t leave. We are already half way through their visit and I wish it could go on for twice as long. So far, we’ve done a tour at the BMW Welt and played and explored at Olympiapark. We throughly indulged in a Bavarian dinner and then played in a great little playground in a charming local park. Yesterday we all headed down to the Alps and hiked up through the charming village of Garmish. It was nothing short of glorious.
Tracy and her family are here until Thursday, and then we Underhills fly back home to Salem and New Hampshire on Friday. On the way back to Germany we are going for a quick visit to Ireland. After we return to Munich we are beyond thrilled to have our great friends from Massachusetts come visit, and then our BFFs from Maine — friends we first met in Germany *way* back when in Ramstein — will come and stay for a week. Then we will be into the fall, with school, PTO, holidays, and the next cycle of visiting friends. Like I said, hashtag blessed. Let’s see if I can narrow down a few photos for the blog. The rest I will try to post in a Facebook Album.