Thursday, May 20, 2004

I'm happy to report that Fred made it to Kuwait last night, safe and sound. He hung out there today and will be moving on to Iraq tomorrow.

I got several emails from him during the morning, which was especially nice. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was just at the office.

I took the kids out for Thai food at lunch today, which is quite the treat around here. While we ate, we made plans for cool stuff we want to do to keep busy while he's gone.

We're taking a few days to lay low and lick our wounds. But then my friend Gretchyn arrives on Sunday. She's only here until Wednesday, but we have lots of plans. We're hoping to make it to Strasbourg, France, and down into Switzerland.

I was going to buy our rail tickets today, but instead I participated in that longstanding tradition of getting caught unawares by a German holiday. (Hey, happy Christi Himmelfahrt, by the way! Sorry I didn't get the cards out. And your present is under the tree.) When a German holiday pops out of nowhere, life as we know it shuts down. Today it meant not being able to buy my train tix because SATO was closed. Back when I was a college student over here though, it meant living on ice cream from the Shell station for days on end because the grocery stores were closed. No commissary to rely on way back then!

After Gretchyn leaves, we'll have just 3 and a half weeks to get through until my dad arrives to escort us to Scotland for a week and then to just hang around with us in Germany for another 3 weeks. Now I'm working on getting my mom over here later in the summer as well. Plans are shaping up quite nicely.

I made the mistake at lunch of mentioning a really cool deal I found on a package trip to Mallorca (round-trip airfare from Frankfurt; 6 nights in a hotel; plus breakfast and supper every day for only 700 euro total). I mentioned it just as an example of some of the really cool, unconventional opportunities we have available to us, and now Mike says he knows where he wants to have his birthday: Mallorca. Yeah, right, like that'll happen, kid. Who would have thought I'd ever be nostalgic for the days when he wanted to celebrate at Discovery Zone?

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