The husband has been at NCOA, a school for non-commissioned officers, for the last two weeks. Combine that with the other TDYs and hockey tournament, and we have barely seen him. Since NCOA is only a four hour drive west of us, the girls and I drove to see him this weekend. I did my research and found out that there is a multitude of places to see and things to do around the area where he is staying, so I planned a full weekend while we visited him.
My title includes many numbers – curious as to why? Our initial trip was five hours long. My plan was to get up early, let the girls miss school, and drive to Trier first. We would sightsee, then head to see Andy. However, we had a late start due to many different things (almost all my fault), and I decide to head to Saarbrücken instead. Five hours later, we arrived in this busy city and were overwhelmed. The entire city has beautiful architecture and gorgeous bridges over the river. This is very much a “city,” with shopping, sights, and traffic! We did not stay long here because the girls were tired. I also did not really get any pictures because I was watching three girls very carefully! So sorry about that. However, it is a wonderful city.
We then headed to Kaiserslautern to see Andy. My mother-in-law informed me that this city is the sister city for Davenport, Iowa. This is where Andy and I are from! We stayed on the military base where Andy is in school, so we enjoyed the comforts of American food and convenience.
The next day, we all went to Trier. This is reputed to be the oldest city in Germany. This city is modern but also full of history, with many Roman ruins and an excellent Dom within the town center. There is also great shopping there, in case you were wondering. 🙂
We spent the rest of the weekend with the husband. As a military family, we always predicted that at least one of our kids would hate having their dad gone so much. We figured out which one that is – Lorelei. She admitted to being angry that Daddy was gone so much, and she cried the night before and the day that we left. She is always the one who is slowest to warm up to Andy when he returns from being away, and she is the typical middle child. It kills Andy to have one of his girls be so upset or angry at his job. He spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday morning trying to make Lorelei happy. By the time we left, all three of us had cried at least once. I always cry upon leaving, even if I know it is only for a little while. But to see Lorelei and Andy cry? Horrible!
I also drove the husband’s new and fancy BMW back from Kaiserslautern. Why, you ask? On the way back from Trier, Martina the minivan made a weird shudder, decelerated, then showed a flashing “Check Engine” light. Not good. We could not take the van in right away, but I was very worried about driving it four hours back to our house. So, I took the BMW back home, and Andy is taking the van in to a repair shop on his lunch break. He thinks this is a treat for me since his car is VERY nice and modern. However, listening to three girls complain about being cramped and touching each other for more than four hours is not my idea of treat. For the next month, I have to endure this. Keep your fingers crossed that the van needs minimal repairs (although from what I researched online, it is not looking good).
Despite the crying and the car troubles, it was a fabulous weekend. We managed to see Kaiserslautern, Saarbrücken, Trier, and Heilbronn within three days. We spent time with Andy, whom we all miss a lot. Driving around the western part of Germany only cemented my love for the region, as I drove past castles, monuments, and the Weinstraße. Now if only Martina would cooperate on the next road trip…