I owe you a fun recap of my trip home in March, but I’ve decided to break it up in travel chunks, rather than trying to do one big blog post about all of it. ‘Cause honestly? It’s too overwhelming and I wouldn’t even know where to start. So a little structure seems like the way to go. You’re good with that? Great.
The first 5 days of my trip (not including travel days), I spent in my hometown at my parents’ house. I love going back home and staying with my parents. They’ve lived in this house since I was 10 and it’s my childhood home that I love coming home to.
My first travel day was Friday (March, 11). I took a quick flight down to LAX and then boarded my international flight to FRA, Germany. You guys, I flew on an Airbus 380. You know, one of these massively large (the world’s largest!) double-decker passenger airliners which seats 525 people. As I said, massive. When I looked at it from the terminal window before boarding, all I could think was how huge it was. How does something this huge stay in the air?
I let myself not be concerned about the physics of this (because I honestly wouldn’t get it anyway), but all I can say is: this was the smoothest airplane ride I’ve ever been on, including start and landing. I hardly felt the acceleration before we took off and we were in the air before I even realized it. Super-stable, smooth ride.
I got into Frankfurt the next morning and then hopped on an ICE-train which took me to Cologne in an hour and where my uncle (who happens to live in Cologne) awaited me on the train platform. What a nice welcome! We had time for a quick coffee before I caught the regional train to my hometown where my whole family awaited me. It was so, so good to hug everybody again.
Sunday was our big birthday party at my sister’s house. She (and my Mom) did a great job planning and organizing everything. I helped a little bit with the invitation we sent out, but that was about all I could do from afar. I practically just “flew in” to attend my own party. And pssst, just between us: that’s totally the way to do it. (Ha, no. Honestly, I wish I could have done more to help.)
My family was there, three of my very dearest friends made their way to Grevenbroich to attend (none of them lives close by) and it just made me incredibly happy to be able to have them around me for my birthday (which is usually never the case anymore). And you can count on my bff to show up with huge birthday balloons and ridiculous, sparkly “40”-glasses to appropriately celebrate the occasion. Ha.
Of course, the hours just disappeared way to quickly and I wish I could have had more one-on-one time with everyone (I also wish we had taken more pictures), but we were definitely making the best of it.
During the remaining four days in my hometown, I attended my nephew’s birthday kaffeeklatsch, took a trip to Cologne, ran some errands around town (like passport renewal and courthouse visit), had a family dinner, visited my niece Greta at her elementary school, and was excited about a reunion with an old family friend. I tried to keep the days as lightly planned as possible, but you guessed it: it’s never easy.
Luckily, the second part of my trip was really going to be a ‘vacation’ for me, not just a visit home (which usually is always packed with tons of plans and appointments). Stay tuned for a couple more recaps.