God brought us a long way (figuratively and literally) this year from our comfortable, steady lives in Dallas, to a nomadic life often not sure where we’ll be spending the night. We are learning more and more everyday to trust Christ in everything, He is the answer.
From wherever we are to wherever you are,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Its feels really cold to us here, but we’re told it’s actually very unseasonably warm for Christmas time in Germany. Usually there’s snow on the ground, but since it’s in the high 30’s-40’s its just drizzle. But they’re reporting that we’re about to get some really cold weather – starting the 26th temperatures drop and there’s supposed to be heavy snow.
I’ve also gotten to cook while we’ve been here at Song’s – YEA!! I really did miss cooking, and Rick says he missed my cooking (although may be he’s just tired of eating Asian street food?). What was the first meal he requested? Chili of course! So I made a big pot of chili and Rick has eaten just about all of it already.
We are going to a friend of Song’s for Christmas Day. They are also Americans in the military stationed here. I’ve been emailing with Mel (our host) and she is going ALL OUT for the Christmas meal. And I’m excited to get to make some favorites to bring – mashed potatoes, lil smokie crescent roll wraps and a kale salad. It’s funny to look at that list of things and think I’m excited and proud to make them, since I’m usually trying to do something much more interesting, fancy, unique. But I think Rick and I are both craving some of the basics from home.
Speaking of which, we got to go to the BX and Commissary on the air force base, and it was awesome! It’s like a full American grocery store, Walmart and Macy’s all wrapped into one. It’s the first time we’ve seen products we’re used to in months! Plus being able to say I went shopping at the Commissary is just really cool. We have our official military IDs now too!
It has been so incredibly nice to have a “home” to be in for the last few days. We’ve been staying pretty close to “home”, plus there are cool castles and markets to see right around here.
But after Christmas I think we’re going head out a bit further. I’m hoping we can either go to France or go skiing for my birthday. And Song has made plans for us to spend New Years in Brussels! I don’t know anything about Brussels, but we’re excited!
Since we hadn’t really planned to come to Europe, we don’t have any idea what to do or see in France or Belgium. (Germany has been easier since Song knows it really well). Any one have any suggestions for France or Belgium?
We originally planned to be somewhere in Southeast Asia for Christmas, before heading to Africa. But while in Thailand we started missing the usual surroundings of Christmas season – the cold weather, the decorations, people getting into the holiday spirit. We also wanted to be around friends, people we knew at Christmas, not just strangers.
So we kinda went rogue! We started thinking about where we would be Christmas-y and where we knew people. And places that were somewhat on the way from Asia to Africa. Our friend Song came to mind. We had met him while trekking the Annapurna Circuit in September. It was a total shot in the dark, but we emailed and asked if by any chance he would be around and up for a couple of house guests. To our delight, he said “Come on!” So we booked our tickets for Christmas in Germany.
It’s been so much fun to hang out with Song and meet his friends. And Germany is the capital of Christmas Markets! We took an outing to a couple of Christmas markets. The first one was in Bernkastel-Kues, an adorable valley with vineyards all around, the drive was beautiful. It was a small market, but the town itself was so cute and festive. We had our first Gluehwein (pronounced Glue-vine), which is hot spiced wine. Thank goodness for it because the weather was COLD!! Maybe it’s coming from the beaches that makes it feel so cold to us, or maybe it’s that it’s damp and windy and there’s no sun. Either way, I was very happy to have hot wine!
The next day Song took us to the Heidelberg Christmas Market. We got to see the lights up at the market and enjoy more gluehwein and some bratwurst. It was so much fun.
There were beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere! Yesterday we were on our own since Song had to work. We planned to drive to Baden-Baden, but when were about halfway there we stopped for a coffee in this small town and the sweet owner of the shop told us there was a really nice old city we should see just ten minutes away, Wissembourg. We thought “sure, why not?” and reset the destination in the GPS. About ten minutes later we realized Wissembourg is actually in France! Its so crazy to us to be able to just drive over to another country.
The old town was beautiful and we decided to forget about Baden-Baden and just wander around Wissembourg.
And since it was our first time in France, we couldn’t leave without getting some cheese and wine.
We headed back to meet up with Song for dinner, and enjoyed a really pretty drive through the German forests and hills. The countryside here is beautiful!