For the February break, we opted for a divide and conquer approach. Larry needed to work for most of the week, and both Elliot and Larry wanted to learn to ski. Merrie had no desire to try the slopes, and both she and I wanted some sun and warmth. It had also been too long since I had seen (in person) my mom and dad. So the boys headed to the Alps and Merrie and I headed to Florida.
The Florida vacation in summary: We had a little stress before the flight, afraid we might get bumped. But instead we were upgraded to Comfort Class and in turn had one of our best flights ever. When we landed in Atlanta we were overwhelmed with kindness and customer service and English.
We had a lovely, relaxed visit with mom and dad. We got to see family and friends. We got to laze in the sun by the pool. We got to have our delayed Christmas which included exchanging presents, building a gingerbread house, and the traditional dance and dinner for daddy and daughter. We got to play cards and make jewelry. We got to feed giraffes and kayak through a zoo. We got to eat foods that we miss so much (seafood, Mexican, mom’s special treats). We got to drive in the convertible. We got to take naps. We did a lot of shopping.
We arrived early to the airport for our trip home. The president was visiting Orlando that day and we wanted to avoid the crowds and the craziness. We were fortunate enough to catch an earlier flight to Atlanta. After we did some amazing weight redistribution for our checked luggage (both bags weighed exactly 50 lbs) we boarded and headed back to Germany.
And from Larry, a snapshot of the boys’ vacation (taken from his FB page).
Scene: In the Alps. A lovely, light snow is falling. Elliot and I are taking our first group ski lesson together. I am standing next to our ski instructor. The past several hours have been a barrage of German/English (Denglish). I’m trying to balance the intellectual demands of the language against the physical demands of learning how to stay upright on these fiendishly slippery planks that want to hurl me down this mountain to my certain death.
I’ve been randomly clarifying different German phrases and picking up new vocabulary (my favorite today was fake snow = Künstlicher schnee. I knew that “schnee” was snow, but the first word I heard as “Künstler” which I knew was “artist” I was thinking, “oh, lah dee dah aren’t we _fancy_ up here in the Bavarian Alps… Artist Snow, indeed. Probably made in small batches by hipsters.”)
I’m doing this just because I need to keep improving my pitiful language abilities. I didn’t know that this might be confusing for the ski instructor – she is just trying to communicate the concepts. Is her English not clear enough? Maybe I’m the shy one with my English? So she leans in an inquires…
“But your English is very good! Where do you come from anyway, Iceland?”
I kind of look at her agog, but finally manage to squeeze out, “Englisch ist meine Muttersprache. Aber, ich komme aus Tennnessee. Wir sprechen schönes Englisch – wirklich!”
So there you go, fellow Southerners. Don’t be shy with your English abilities! Random Bavarians already think you speak it beautifully.
Well, as good as an Icelandic Viking anyway.