I have been meaning to give an update on our trip (Jan 27-Feb 9 in Germany). I wanted to give the run down on a day-to-day basis, but... the day-to-day has been pretty slow getting going. Let me just give a quick overview:
Day 0: We flew all day Saturday (arrived on Sunday because of the time change). Kids were... not necessarily better than expected but definitely not as horrible as we feared. :) Parents didn't sleep too well, but man, those airplane seats are just not that comfy!
Day 1: We managed to get off the plane, load up the mounds of luggage, and get the rental car without incident. Having never really had to do most of that stuff before, I was of little or no help there. The challenge was getting out of Frankfurt and getting to Heidelberg. When I lived here, I never had to drive and I always knew where the train/subway/bus would let me off. We made it to the hotel in Heidelberg but not without a little nick on the car which was a combination of jetlag and crazy European streets/curbs. We loaded into the hotel and went to sleep as soon as possible. We slept until late in the day and then went searching for food (we were not about to spend money at the restaurant at the hotel - yikes expensive!) After getting lost, driving around and around, looking for parking, trying to track down a working Geldautomat (ATM) und so weiter, we gave up and went to McDonalds... I told myself I just had to ease the hubby in to the German cuisine :)
Day 2: Think the jetlag is gone? Ha! We spent the better part of the night up with the kids and the better part of the day sleeping. We fell asleep watching German cartoons early on and didn't wake up until almost 3pm (7am MST - makes sense) and so it was out and about late in the evening once again. We had a lot of energy at this point and found parking and roamed the city. We mostly just checked stuff out and ate dinner (German pizza and stuff from the Supermarkt - hits the spot!). It is very cold and gloomy here (which I remember from living here - it gets gloomy in November and basically the sun doesn't come out until late March) which was not helping the time change problem. We wanted the kids to start sleeping at night and staying awake in the day, but when it's always dark how can they tell? They listen to their internal clocks... Since we were still awake, we checked out the hotel pool.
Day 3: Another night up with the kids. Daddy had to be at the hospital at 9am, so I tried to entertain them all night quietly in a very small hotel room. Lots of TV and DVDs :) After he left, we slept - until 3pm again! So much for seeing Germany! We went out again to eat and found a playground on our way back for the kids.
Day 4: Today! Not too shabby! The kids were up again in the night, but it wasn't so bad. We slept until 10am and then got up and going. I took them to the playground and the Stadtbücherei (library) and it was nice. The Bubbs automatically started speaking in English to the little boy at the playground and was confused as to why he was speaking German to her! She's okay with the adults speaking German for some reason (probably because she doesn't listen much to us anyway) but the little boy was a mystery... Hopefully she can figure it out enough to enjoy it before we leave. I had the Simster in the stroller so the Bubbs had to walk back to the hotel. I forgot how long a 20 minute walk is for a two-year-old in need of a nap! I ended up carrying her most the way back and have very sore arms to prove it. We had a real German (well - Turkish) dinner of Döner and came back to the hotel. Whew. Tomorrow is our last full day in Heidelberg and I hope we can see more of it before we go! There's a beautiful castle I don't want to miss. I think we should have more time and the kids actually went to sleep at 11pm tonight (cross your fingers)! :)
I hope to do an update in a couple more days (depending on how much the internet costs and how well it works, of course). As for now, we're enjoying it as much as we can and hope to really get going now that the kids are finally adjusting! Picture is pretty much the only one we've taken - fittingly, the view of the Neckar from the hotel window! :)