The moment Steve had been looking forward to with equal doses of excitement and dread (would it be nice, non-smoking, too big/too small) was finally here- the pick-up. All went great initially, but setting up a household takes time--i say a little more than the hour or so i was allotted at the German version of Sam's Club and the sorta familiar Ikea. Sorta familiar because first you've got to figure out what the product is in German, then Swedish and i'm here to say lots get lost in translation, this why I ended up with 2 crib sheets! Then try figuring out what's what for cleaning products and foods you kind of recognize, but don't--needless to say it was mind boggling and exhausting. So we were already behind on the first day and we hadn't even made it to our first site and that is another story in itself that I will not bore you with:). 

Suffice it to say the first 3 days were pretty challenging. Clear communication was a luxury of the past, I was given the task of navigating to places we didn't even know we wanted to go to. As we drove the Rhine and Mosel Rivers (absolutely stunning) Steve kept referring to his fishing knowledge and saying we're going UP or DOWN river which apparently gives the direction the river runs, but how that helps me with north/south I don't know! I finally put my foot down and made Steve buy a GPS. I would like to state for the record that the kids were much better behaved during this time than the adults--kudos to my little sweetums. 

The coup d'etat was when we thought we had found nirvana--trusting our new GPS to guide us along we ended up on a bucolic country road (see pic below) that was of another world. We thought--now this is what we've been looking for! The facade lasted even as we drove thru check-in past the centuries old building and came to a screeching halt when we heard techno pop blasting from the bathrooms and we slowly drove slack jawed thru row after row of semi-permanent mobile homes. Oh well, at least we had a place to camp!

 The next day I either hit a life high point or low point--I will let you determine based on what you know about me. I not only allowed my children to enter what I called "the CessPool", but I too swam in the swampy waters. I do not have words to describe the scene at this pool (but I do have a pic, see below), but want you to know it was hot and the pool was the only relief in sight. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Belgians of every shape and size and age frolicking  in the water--truly! some were making out, most were just splashing and accosting their friends. I can only compare the mass of humanity to what we see on our annual sojourn to the LA County Fair--yes it was that bad! We left soon after this misguided dip in the waters. 
Anwar Family
8/9/2010 01:38:09 pm

Steve, Teri, Vince and Adele - We've been enjoying your pictures and blogs. The pictures are amazing. The kids are amazed about what you've been able to see. Unfortunately, it triggers lots of questions about the sites you are seeing and I haven't been able to answer any of them. Derek's comments: Germany is very beautiful and we miss you. The blue room is kind of like the red room because it has art tables. It doesn't have a tv so we have to go back to the red room. A lot of our friends are back in the blue room. Matias came back from China. I wish you were there with me. We made dragons and shields at camp. Love Derek.

We miss you!

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