Our Final Days in Germany & Life Lately in the US
We made it.
The past week consisted have a huge mix of emotions- excitement about seeing old friends, spending time with family and our pending trip to Southeast Asia but a lot of sadness too. We made a little world for ourselves in Heidelberg that, at times, felt impossible to leave. Perhaps saying goodbye was even more difficult because our final destination is still so unknown (here’s why)? So the week was full of lasts – last walk to the castle, last apple strudel, last glass of wine at our favorite bar, last run through the forest, and eventually our last prost. It wasn’t fun.
Eventful until the end, the movers arrived on Wednesday but were set back almost immediately when a lamp fell on a movers’ head (and shattered to the ground) and an hour later a bee stung the same guy on the face. Poor thing! Since he had to go to the doctor they resolved to return on Thursday and eventually packed our lives up into a shipping container that was double-parked on our tiny street.
On Friday night our friends had a little farewell party for us with homemade pizzas and wine. By the end I couldn’t help myself and tearfully thanked all of them for their dear friendship. Our friends were ultimately the closet thing we had to family and I’m confident that our two years in Germany would not have been so special and fun without them.
Our alarm was set for 5:45AM on Saturday and neither of us said much as we quietly rolled our bags to the taxi outside our hotel. We couldn’t believe that the far away day of ‘August 1, 2015’ had finally dawned on us (literally). After finagling 8 pieces of luggage through the airport to the SAS counter, we checked into our one-way flight and flew out of Frankfurt for the last time. After a layover in Copenhagen (the airport was notably full of adorable tow-headed children) we landed in DC on the same day at 3PM.
When I left in June 2014 I never thought 14 months would pass until I’d be home again. Then, in a flash, there we were driving down the toll road in a rental car en route to Dan’s parents house.
Upon arrival we had our longggg awaited reunion with Stuart followed by a ton of much-needed catch-up and an amazing American feast.
Stuart had been staying with my parents since March and appears to have eaten a healthy share of treats the past few months. He’s now quite the chubster and waddles a little when he walks. It’s hysterical and makes up coo over him even more. Upon our request, Dan’s Mom and sister made us BBQ chicken, baked mac and cheese, flank steak, salad, three different kinds of chips, salsa, guacamole and about a gallon of Chik Fil A sweet tea. To cap off the dinner we ate brownies and funfetti cupcakes, neither of which have European comparables (that we could find). It was wonderful and just as delicious as we had remembered.
The past few days have consisted of a lot of visiting, hamburger eating and seeing DC with fresh eyes. I’m surprised and delighted to find that things here are different yet very much the same. With my girlfriends it’s like we haven’t missed a beat and are already plotting out brunches, Nats games, dinners and spin classes for the next few weeks. DC itself is just as endearing as I remember, too. I’ve already got in a run on my old route – Georgetown waterfront, along the Potomac, around the Lincoln Memorial, up the Reflecting Pool and around the White House. It’s so scenic and beautiful, especially in the late evening once the heat has passed.
I had been so scared about culture shock and repatriation, but ya know what? Life is good. We’re with our loved ones, we have a waddling puppy, and we’re so grateful for whatever this stage is.
Hooray for home!