Thursday, October 22, 2015


After a summer of travels, we have relocated to the states. We are on the East Coast, driving through townships and boroughs, on turnpikes and expressways and trying to remember that you can turn right on a red light here! The move has not been smooth but then again that was probably wishful thinking with one teenager and two preteens in tow. But we are getting there!
The kids had a great summer full of friends and independence. All kids began taking the sbahn, the local train, by themselves around Munich and had a few afternoons of doing things sans parents. But the biggest independence came via summer camp. Two weeks away at an international adventure camp. During the camp, they each did a 70 kilometer hike, slept out under the stars and ran out of water and food and had to beg for supplies from townspeople…in German of course. Camp pick up was indicative of each kid’s independence levels. Royce was waiting for me at the camp gate. Adam saw me, waved and kept talking to his counselor. Tori and friends saw me and walked in the opposite direction, unwilling to say goodbye to each other.
 We packed out of our home in Gauting, stayed in an apartment at a nearby lake, the hard to pronounce Schliersee, near the Chiemsee and Salzburg. Despite a European heat wave, we made it into Salzburg for the Fraulin Maria bike tour. We pedaled through European streets and out into the beautiful countryside and tried to say goodbye. Saying goodbye was hard but after a few more days of close to 40C and no air conditioning, it became a little easier.
We landed in the states, the kids giddy and excited. We immediately loved the air conditioning in our hotel, the breakfast buffet and all the English language! After cooling down, we have now become the anti air conditioning people. We take sweaters everywhere. The kids have even been complaining about drafts! Our initial impressions and comparisons:  we’ve got a lot less recycling here and a lot more food! Tori and I went to get breakfast cereal. We walked down the cereal aisle, staring at all the types of Cheerios: Honey Nut, Protein, Chocolate. Needless to say, there is one type of Cheerios in Germany. In a small voice, Tori asked “what happened while we were gone?”
We took the train from our town into New York City. We all found it hard to read on the train due to the English conversation all around. We heard so little English on the trains in Germany that when you did, you stopped and listened. Once we emerged on to the city streets, the kids were excited to see skyscrapers again, saying how they had not seen them since Hong Kong days. In the fashion district, we took Royce to the fabric store Mood, featured in a design show she watches. She wandered around and soon spied a man from the show. Inspired she bought not only fabric but a zipper! We are all looking around and seeing what we can make work. Exciting, overwhelming and messy but definitely lots of potential! A work in progress.


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