Day 32: Road Trip + Rain = Crazy Kids, Crazy Parents

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All I can say, is I can’t wait for our mini van to be delivered to us. Who would have thought I’d ever, ever say that?  I don’t even like minivans and used to pretend mine wasn’t one!  And having a car at all is a HUGE treat, but having a rental sedan with 3 big kids sitting side by side and touching each other and crossing legs over one another and being confined in such a small space with so much noise and interaction on a normal day, not to mention a multiple  hour road trip is enough to drive someone crazy!  Yes, I’m feeling a bit crazed today. Whatever. This too, shall pass and tomorrow they go back to school. I love Mondays!  😉

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We drove to Oosterbrook today to the Airborne Museum near the Rhine River. Jeff used to be in the 1st Airborne Division (now I hope I get all these facts right, since my knowledge of military history and history in general is lets say, maybe not my strongest or favorite subject.) CORRECTION: I made a big mistake – Jeff is a graduate of the US Army Airborne school, but served in Armored Calvalry – NOT the 1st Airborne Division!!  Doah— insert foot, stop writing about history?? Nahh…

But I am thankful for his love of history and that he chooses to share this with our family, especially since we are here where so much happened. We celebrate Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day in the states by visiting memorial sites or museums, so this is quite normal for us. And to hear the kids making connections to the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall we saw in Cupertino and Pearl Harbor that we visited a couple months ago, and what we saw today, made me very happy and reminds me that all the arguing and bickering and noise in the car was all worth it. I’m thankful that my kids are appreciating a bit of history and are understanding how others didn’t get to live with the same freedoms that we do. We liked the art work outside the museum, the diorama in the basement of the museum that made us feel like we were part of the war time experience, the peaceful nature that surrounded the museum, seeing the pictures of the local families being evacuated from their homes and protected by the joint allied troops and the red poppy memorials that we also saw in Cupertino. All of these things connected us to the past and we could relate a bit more today. I’m starting to like history… who knew?

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After we spent some time at the Airborne Museum, we drove over the John Frost Bridge crossing the Rhine River, through Nijmegin, and then into Germany.  We drove through the towns of Kleve and Emmerich, but we didn’t get out of the car as there was storm after storm, both outside and inside the car!  I did manage to snap a few photos of the beautiful scenery. Also, lots of places were closed since it was Sunday. The towns roll up on Sundays and not even (most) of the grocery stores are open!

We drove back home, and really – it sounds like we went for hours and hours – but everything is very close by car and we were probably home within an hour and a half from our furthest destination in Germany. The kids loved when Jeff drove 150 km/hour on the German autobahn and was still passed by a Swedish car on our left!  Coming back into Holland, the speed limit was drastically reduced to 80 km/hour and you have to obey the speed limit, otherwise they will take a photo of your car and send you a gift in the mail – it’s already happened to one of my new friends!  No tickets please.

The day ended at home with a nice, traditional Dutch dinner – meat, potatoes and a vegetable. I had prepared food before we left and when we got home, we were able to warm things up and sit down for a more relaxing, more enjoyable shared family time.   Ahhh… hope you have a great, family Sunday and relax and get ready for the new week ahead.

Namaste.