I still owe you the post about the last few days of our trip to Germany. I edited the pictures so I might as well post them.
On our last couple of days in Germany I saw two of my girlfriends and their four boys, so L and I were busy having fun with them. Landon is old enough now that I can start to sit back and let him play with the other boys and actually get to enjoy an adult conversation with my girlfriends, which was so lovely.
Landon surprised me with understanding almost all the German during our visit. I have been really bad about speaking in German to him in the last year, since he started talking more himself. My first reaction is to answer him in English, not in German, since English is my first, preferred language now — even though I spoke German for 23 years before moving to the U.S. I wrote about how hard I find it to raise him bilingually in this article: Cool, He’s Going to be Bilingual! Well, Maybe Not.
Landon did just fine, he figure out what was being said to him from the context, and he hardly ever turned to me to ask me for a translation. It was so interesting to see him play with all the kids, six boys, of my girlfriends — Landon talked in English, the boys talked in German, and they didn’t even mind and just had a fun time playing. Kids are amazing.
I always make a point to bring back a lot of my favorite Haribo and Katjes candy and chocolate from Germany, so my mom and L and I made a trip to the local supermarket before the end of the trip.
Oh, yeah, we went crazy. This supermarket had four aisles of candy alone! It’s a good thing that I always bring a lot of gifts for everyone to Germany or I wouldn’t have the space to bring back all these goodies.
I love how easy it is to recycle in Germany: you are allowed — and encouraged — to leave any packaging you don’t want at the store, and the store is responsible for the resulting trash. This means that stores pressure companies to make the packaging of their products as small as possible.
I bemoan the trick packaging U.S. companies make and get away with all the time because it should be exactly the opposite — there should be incentives for the least amount of packaging and resources used. I can’t stand buying a cream that comes in an oversized package to trick people into thinking they are getting more for their money — it’s so wasteful.
Because the plane leaves so early from Hamburg, we always drive to Hamburg the night before and stay at a hotel near the airport with my mom. It gives my mom and I a nice chance to have one-on-one time during dinner, and L loves the adventure of sleeping in a hotel. This is my mom with L during dinner. I love that picture.
L did so well again on the 9-hour flight back — I was very proud of my little travel companion. Having the little DVD player was the key again to him being happy and occupied, that worked out so well. He slept for about three hours, but I didn’t get much sleep and could not wait to make it through customs to see Don, who picked us up.
As always, our yearly trip to Germany was a bit exhausting but filled with wonderful memories. I hope L will remember some of it — if he doesn’t, he will have my blog posts to look at. I hope he will enjoy them when he’s all grown up.
My dad is going to turn 85 next year, so we are planning for Don to come with us next year. Since it is so much easier to travel with two adults and one child, we are considering flying into Amsterdam and driving to Germany for a little bit of road trip fun. I love road trips, so I can’t wait.