Sunday, September 21, 2003

We've had a wonderful weekend, and it's not over yet! It's that lovely time of year where Fred has to USE or LOSE his excess leave before the start of the next fiscal year. This year he has 8 extra days, which he is burning in 2 consecutive 4-day weekends. (Sneaky, isn't he, taking 8 days of leave for an extra 4 days off? Well, that's Fred for you.)

On Friday we went to the bazaar at Ramstein AFB. There was so much to see (tons of Polish pottery, Norwegian sweaters, Steiff bears, etc.), but I was mostly in a looking frame of mind. I have lots of future purchases planned though for when Heidelberg does their big bazaar next month. Annabelle bought a few Beanie Babies, and Fred did a little Christmas shopping. I enjoyed the wine-tasting tables and wound up splurging on a $30 bottle of Eiswein, a super-sweet dessert wine made from grapes that have frozen on the vine.

On our way home, we stopped off at the base exchanges at Ramstein and Vogelweh. I just love visiting the Air Force! It's like visiting rich relatives. Sure they're part of the family, but they just seem to inhabit a different world. I'm fairly satisfied with the PX here (which carries 2 out of the 3 ink cartridges my printer uses!), but it's always nice to see how the other half lives.

At the Power Zone at Vogelweh, we scored a multisystem TV and a home theater system with surround sound. The theater system was to replace my poor stereo speakers from 1987 that got a bit banged up in the move. The TV--well, here's where I prove my prowess at rationalizing anything, anytime, anywhere. The TV is an educational expense. We couldn't get German TV with our old American set, you see, and watching German TV is going to be an integral part of our foreign language curriculum. Besides, I needed something to watch while I drink my wine.

I'm afraid we didn't get the new TV hooked up in time for the AFN premiere of Survivor on Friday night, so we had to watch the castaways on our old set. Next week though we will be able to enjoy the sniping and backbiting with surround sound.

Yesterday and today were fairly laid back. I planted more heather in the front yard, and we took care of general housekeeping tasks. Mike had a new friend sleep over last night, and they spent a lot of time at the skatepark. Annabelle lost a tooth tonight that she has been working on for quite some time. We are all eager to see if the German toothfairy leaves Euros.

Tomorrow we're planning a trip to someplace closeby--perhaps Darmstadt so Fred can show the kids where he lived way back when.

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