LPP has wanted to study abroad for many moons.
She also has a plan to graduate with her teaching credential in fours years.
That latter plan requires a strict, straightforward, no nonsense set of courses.
Deviating can cause an extra semester in order to get the required units.
When we moved her in to school for her freshman year, she was already meeting with her advisor and together they worked through a plan that would allow her to study abroad and only need one summer school class....we think.
Regardless, her plan of studying abroad took form and became a reality in August.
And then my wander lusting spirit came forward in my mind.
She was to begin and end her semester in Northern Ireland.
I had grand plans of spending a week there when her semester was over...but that would be the week before Christmas.
It's COLD there in December.
It was going to be a tough sell to my hubby with those facts, anyway.
Nothing seemed to make sense, so I put my thoughts on the back burner.
THEN, dear friends who love to travel as much as I do, were talking to my hubby one day and shared that when their son was studying abroad, they flew over for a quick trip during his free weekend.
Hmmm....wonder when LPP's free weekend was and where would she be?
It was then that the plans began to fall effortlessly into place.
It was really kind of great.
She had 4 days free when she was in Berlin.
Berlin is only a few hours drive to Munich.
Flights to Munich were less expensive than to Dublin.
Munich is less than 2 hours from our castle.
The castle where the madness that we call our life began.
In short order, I put my travel agent skills back to work and got airline quotes.
Chris decided that he would like to join us.
I made plans to put SPF on Independent Study at school.
And like that, we had a trip to Germany set and ready to go.
We would be returning to our castle with all of our kidnicks.
We were to fly out of Los Angeles on Election Night arriving in Munich on Wednesday.
LPP would fly from Berlin to Munich on Thursday morning and we would go, go, go.
So, we dropped our ballots off at the polling place Tuesday morning and drove to the southland.
We parked our car and checked in painlessly.
We then spent $10.00 on SPF's first macaroon and a bottle of water.
Flying on Lufthansa was a treat.
The food was quite good, the service wonderful and the live news shows on election night...especially THIS election night helped pass the time flying pass quickly.
It would have been nice had we been able to catch the plane as it flew over our house rather than driving to LAX, though.
We managed purchasing train tickets from the kiosk at the airport with the detailed help from Rick Steves.
I will never travel to a new city without one of his books in my purse.
We had been told by our hotel that the property was located straight down the Schillerstrasse 500 meters. Easy Peasy.
Well, it would have been easy peasy had we exited the correct station door and asked which of the strasses was the correct strasse.
We trudged up and down the strasses lugging our bags looking like the typical tourist.
It was also here that we discovered, quite abruptly, that there are bike lanes on the sidewalks.
Theoretically, if you are in one of these bike lanes, pulling a suitcase, you will hear a bell behind you JUST prior to jumping (jumping is a term used very loosely) out of the way.
Or so I am told.
Munich also has pigeons with either a killer instinct or a wicked sense of humor.
As we were trudging along, following Hubby and Chris,
...who had his GPS map thingy on his phone guiding us...
a large bird flew FROM the storefront side, straight at Chris' face.
As he batted it away, his phone flew from his hands to the ground.
People on the street laughed and I laughed until I cried.
It was just the relief we needed at that moment.
We finally arrived at our hotel and while we unpacked,
Hubby scoped out the neighborhood and found a wonderful Italian restaurant for dinner.
Pipas served the one of the best lasagnas Hubby has ever had.
We ended up eating there the following night as well and more than one lasagna was ordered.
After umpteen hours awake, we all hit the sack early and then had a nice conversation together in the dark at 2:00am.
Jet lag is no joke!
After breakfast at the hotel Thursday morning, we walked the very short and straight shot to the train station back to the airport.
To meet LPP's flight.
Now our vacation truly began!