March and April brought us visitors! After a long, hard winter, March flew by as we anxiously awaited the arrival of Chad’s mom, Deanna, at the end of the month. The weather couldn’t have been any more gorgeous and above all, it was so wonderful to have her here. The kids loved having Grandma dote on them and I always so enjoy her company. I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful lady for a mother-in-law! I couldn’t wait to show her around. We braved taking the train into Stuttgart to visit the Wilhelma Zoo on a gorgeous, warm day. The language barrier was a little intimidating at first, but there was a group of students that spoke English quite well and were so eager to help us. They were so wonderful, helping us purchase our tickets, guiding us where to go, and most of all, helped carry the stroller up and down the stairs as we had to change trains at the Böblingen station and then again at the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (main station). What classy, wonderful kids they were. Overall, it was fun and pretty easy too. I won't be so nervous to do it the next time!The zoo was so fun and I can’t wait to get back. Lucy squealed in delight most of the time and Kane loved exploring and all the fun animals. I loved the beautiful architecture and the botanical gardens that featured countless magnolia trees in full bloom. It smelled so sweet and heavenly!
We also made it to a neat town in the Black Forest called Triberg. It’s “the” place to go to purchase a cuckoo clock and also in the region that is known for creating black forest cake. We got a bit of a late start, so we couldn’t stay as long as we would’ve liked, but it was wonderful. Deanna found a cuckoo clock she wanted to take home to the family and also purchased a small one for Kane as well. He was fascinated and loved the clocks and really wanted one to “wake up my family”. He took a lot of care in picking one that was just right :)
We had hoped to do more, but unfortunately Kane became quite ill with a cold. Regardless, it was a wonderful visit and one we all will treasure. We so look forward to her coming back, and hopefully she’ll bring Chad’s dad too!
In April, my uncle Mike happened to be fairly nearby on business. He messaged me one Saturday and said he was headed our way and wanted to meet up. We’d hoped to meet up at the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart, but it just didn’t pan out with us only having one car at the time and the kids needing their naps. Luckily he was able to stop by the house for a short while and meet Lucy for the first time and he spoke some German with Kane. It was great visit and I hope next time we can see him for awhile longer!
Toward the end of April, my aunt Bonnie came to visit on her way back home after a nearly 3 week-long business trip to India. She was so glad to see the lush green land of Germany, have cooler weather, and good food! :) We had a wonderful visit while she was here! She stayed at a hotel near Panzer, where Chad works so I picked her up every morning after dropping him off. One of the first days she was here we visited Lichtenstein Castle, which is a lot smaller than Hohenzollern, but a lot more character. It was beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour of the interior. It was just us and another couple so the guide was kind enough to translate things for us. It was quite cold that day, but beautiful!
Another day we had decided to go to Ulm…home of the Ulmer Münster, a cathedral with the world’s tallest steeple and hometown of Albert Einstein. The cathedral was easy to spot from miles away and as we neared it, I couldn’t wait to get a closer look. It was one of the most impressive, awe-striking things I have ever seen. It was so intricate and beautiful, I just couldn’t take my eyes off of it. The interior of the church was overwhelming as well. I wish I could’ve spent more time, but centuries-old Gothic churches aren’t very exciting for children, haha! We walked and walked and enjoyed the urban-meets-old vibe in the bustling city of Ulm. Again, didn’t get to spend as much time, but we had to get back to avoid the nasty traffic on the A8! I hope to get back again soon and maybe hit up the Einstein museum next time!
On her last day here, we roamed around in the town where we live, Sindelfingen. I’d never actually been in the city center before. So we found a yarn shop nearby where Bonnie bought a few skeins of lovely yarn and walked into the square in search of döner kebaps (by far my most favorite thing I’ve had living here) and the historic St. Martin’s church, which was built in 1083 and is one of the oldest churches in the Stuttgart area. We also found a lovely fountain that Kane couldn’t get enough of, as well as an awesome farmer’s market. It was a great day and overall, we had such a lovely visit with her! We hope she is able to make it out for another visit. Kane just cried and cried when we took her to the train station. He enjoyed all of our family visits! It has been rough on he and I both, being so far from family, but we get each other through and focus on the cool things we’ve already gotten to see!
Next up... a visit from my mom and Grandma in July! Can't wait!!!