We road trip. We pack up and we control our own destiny. In the safety of our car, I know who is in charge and I know who thinks he is. The kids have their seats and they know what to expect regardless of the destination. It is the way our family has seen the world so far with the exception of a few trips to Mexico, Hawaii and one to Costa Rica. It’s not to say we haven’t wanted to spread our wings and explore but the timing has just never been right. Until now. . .
Today we are flying half way across the world. The lack of control is ok with me but as I board the large 747, I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by the long flight ahead of us and question the people behind the controls. We are taking off in a snowstorm, not a strange or unsettling occurrence. But, after one blown APU and sudden complete darkness, one lecture from my husband on how the APU does not have anything to do with the planes safety in flight, three de-icings and two inspections by Lufthansa personnel, I can’t help but feel slightly unsettled. As we wait on the plane for four and a half hours, I pick up some extra baggage, namely nerves and dark thoughts. My nerves are not my best quality, in fact, they are something I stuff down into my dark archives and try not to access, especially in front of my kids. Thank goodness my kids were in the row in front of us or they would have seen me in full panic mid flight as we bumped and dropped through the air. At one point I was quite certain my friends and family would be packing up my belongings as I made my new home in Europe to avoid the flight home. A day later and a night of good sleep makes me stuff those nerves back in their rightful home, in my file of avoidance!
The delay did allow for camaraderie on the flight, everyone has their own stories; a man and his mother traveling back to India to collect the last of her belongings, a family traveling to see their son who has been studying abroad, a single woman making her way to Tel Aviv. Our story is simple, we just want to see the world with our kids before they are too old, too busy and/or too cool to hang with us.
We arrive at our first destination safe and sound despite the interesting and , as Harry would say, odd start. The kids have never been to Europe, I have never been to Germany and David has never been to Berlin so we are all experiencing something new upon arriving. A cold beer for us and banana juice for the boys (who knew there was banana juice?) coupled with a rich German meal makes for a perfect first night! The kids are quickly adaptable and sleep like logs for 10 straight hours before we head out to the Reichstag building. It is the perfect beginning, a city view with an audio tour explaining the lay of the Berlin land. We traveling around Berlin on foot for the first day trying to see as much as we can but we soon learn our feet will thank us if we use the trains and underground! We spend three short days understanding the history of Berlin; why the wall went up and why it finally came down, how Berlin was central in WWII, all the beauty on museum island and how those in Berlin live and eat! I have to hit on the eating part, here is our rundown: curry wurst, donor kabob, pickled herring, traditional German sauerbraten, Wienerschnitzel, liver, beef roumalaude, eiswein and fish kabobs!
It is hard to imagine our first leg of this trip is behind us as we board the train to Prague. Today, we celebrate Will and Shep. Will turns 14 and Shep turns 9 under the cloudy German sky. I could go on and on about how it feels to sit across from them on this train right now wondering where the time went and how I can capture each moment and lock it away for safe keeping as they continue to grow despite my protestations. I could reminisce about the days they were born and all the joy I felt at each milestone so far and how I continue to love them more each day ,but it would still never capture the intensity with which these memories live within me. I think this is just the story of being a mom and I love being a mom.
Travel shoes: shoes that support your journey with excitement, courage and wonder. Shoes that carry you through your journey of newness.