Monday, February 20, 2012

Germany Wrap Up

Celle, Germany

WHEW! Finally home and sort of on a regular sleep schedule! We returned on Wednesday after 11 days in Germany. It was an absolutely fantastic trip and I already miss it so much. For the first half of the trip we stayed in Celle, as husband's company has an office there and he had to attend a training class. As I said in a previous post, my parents came along and I'm so grateful for that. It was as if the moment the plane landed, my grasp of the German language went out the window. But it wasn't long until it all came back to me, and even after just less than 2 weeks, it's improved dramatically. Anyway, Celle is a lovely little city with a very old history. It's definitely a walking/biking city, as so many in Germany are, and I can't help but feel a bit jealous. Houston is so huge that attempting to walk anywhere is futile, especially if you live in the 'burbs. Because it's been several years since I've been to Europe, I completely forgot just how different the personalities and mindsets and customs of the people are there. You aren't rushed out of restaurants (because servers are paid a real wage and don't rely on tips). Tax is included, so when something costs 10 euro, it's 10 euro. But then there are the ridiculous traffic laws and everyone's incessant need to be precise about everything, and that can drive ya nuts. I guess what I'm saying is that I adore America AND Germany. Both places feel like home, and that's really lucky.

Parking for women only. THIS I can definitely support coming to America.

Back to the trip. After husband's class, we went up to Berlin and while we didn't get to spend a lot of time on sites (but did see Brandenburg Gate, which is the most important of course), we did get to see so many family and friends, which was truly magical. People drove from around the country to this amazing Italian restaurant where a close family friend set up a dinner. My parents were truly stunned by how many people showed up to see them. Definitely the best day of the trip.

But what does Star Wars have to do with Berlin? :)

We did some shopping, and we did a LOT of eating, but as I get older, the most important thing about traveling are the things you can't put in your suitcase, like laughing with my parents about any and everything, romantic dinners with husband at this little Czech restaurant, and gossiping with my cousin Eva as if it had been merely a week since we saw each other last, and not 6 years. I'm already planning a trip to Berlin for my sister and I next summer. THAT will be the shopping trip :)