The flight from London to Frankfurt was really fast and fun, for me at least because I wasn't freaking out about my lost wallet, because I got to speak German to the flight attendants. So we get to Frankfurt and I get to see my husband who had an earlier flight, and my sister and brother in law. We went to get our car and all they had with an automatic was a VW Passat. I own a VW Beetle (which is one of the worst cars in the universe mechanics wise if you buy one past the year 2000 - DO NOT BUY ONE!) and I hate it, so I told the guy I'd be damned if I flew halfway around the world to drive another VW. So he gave us a manual 320i Beamer. Then we were told that our $500 quote from the US was actually $900. I have never had a good rental car experience, so at that point I went and laid in one of the chairs and had my husband deal with it. Turns out, taxes were an additional $176 and then after that, the difference was insurance. So we just had our insurance from the US put on it for free. Then we hopped in it and hauled ass down the Autobahn in the pitch black dark of night. Dude, I have never had such a fun computerized car in my life The GPS in this thing was amazing. As long as I have a tank of gas and a GPS, I could be anywhere in the world and not be worried about getting lost.My parents had a Mercedes there already, so they were in that and at my sister's house with them before us. We got there, saw the puppies, and I passed out. My husband went out and partied with my sister and her husband and I really wanted to, but I couldn't stand up after laying on their comfy couch.
The next day, we went to Garmisch and stayed at a place called Edelweiss, a resort for active military and their families. And let me tell you, the security there is tight as all get out. Crazy stuff. We were right in the Alps on the edge of Austria. The town was super cool and we went on a tour through the Neuschwanstein Castle (see above) as well as some churches and other cool stuff. The mountains and buildings alone were amazing. We don't have anything like that in Minnesota. After two days in Garmisch, we drove to Munich (for like, three hours). Funny thing I learned in Munich, cars in Germany, possibly all of Europe, save emissions by kind of killing the engine. If you have an automatic, you tap the gas and it comes back on and if you have a manual, you shift. Well, you'd think the rental agency MAY have mentioned that to us, but instead, we got to learn it on the city streets of Munich in the middle of construction, which was crazy. From there, we drove to Dachau, which was a big deal for me. Those of you who have been buddies with me online know about my whole thing with World War Two, the Holocaust, and Adolf Hitler. Big thing with me, I have done research on it since I found out who Hitler was at seven years old. I have to say, the gas chamber was one of the worst places I have ever been in my entire life. You could practically feel the death and just overall sadness in there. It was awful. My husband was freaking out over the fact that Dachau is actually a town, saying he wouldn't want to live next to the camp at night.
Next day was Thanksgiving. We went to my brother in law's Thanksgiving football Army game on base. That was cool. All the wives and families were selling homemade food for charity, so we got all this awesome food. Then we did our Thanksgiving meal, which was huge and SO yummy. The only downside to that whole day was that we watched the damn Packer game that night via some package my sister has, so she can watch the games from America. I don't mind football, but my father and my sister are like those angry guys at the bar that do nothing but scream and swear at the game and basically take all the fun out of it. And both of them are the type of stubborn people where no matter what you say, they're right, so it kind of killed that night for me.
We went to Bitche, France the next day for brunch. Okay, I always thought I would love France. Like, since I was a little girl. SO not the case. And this isn't to insult the French. I'm not one of those evil Americans who dislikes the French (I still don't get why so many do). I think the language is beyond sexy and some of the people that come out of that country, my god...but anyhow, it just didn't sit right with me. Don't know why. So we go to this cafe and they didn't speak any English, which was automatically real tough on me because the whole time I had been in Europe, I had been able to communicate, whether it was in English or German. And I do know SOME French, but my sister and my dad wouldn't really let me get a word in edgewise, so it was rough. And strangely, for living directly on the border of Germany, no one spoke any German either. Yet, we somehow ended up with these AMAZING ham and cheese bagettes with French fries. My dad said we couldn't order fries because we didn't know the words and we had already confused them beyond belief and I was like, "It's Pommes Frites! The Germans share that word with them. Go with it!"
Overall, it was an awesome trip. Could have done without that whole huge argument, but what's a little holiday family get together without some drama? The last day was a little nuts. We got up super early to drive to the airport and when we got there, the airport was on super high security alert. We didn't know why until we went through and we saw this extremely large group of Yemenis behind us. Now, I'm the one who could give a shit less about anyone's religion. I'm Catholic for crying out loud. I've taken my fair share of abuse. However, I have never seen that deal where the women wear the entire thing that covers everything except their eyes. That kind of scared me a bit, especially since they were all dressed in solid black too. I've just, NEVER seen it. So, we get into security and all I had was my husband's photo bag. Literally, all that was in it was his camera equipment. He had my stuff cuz he was used to security and could unpack everything fast. Camera stuff just gets the X-ray and that's it. Yeah, not this time. I got a royal tongue lashing from a security guard who said I lied to him when I said the bag was mine because I couldn't tell him what the flash was and said it was my husband's stuff. He was like, "You said it was yours!" And I'm like, "Well, I paid for about ten thousand dollars worth of the stuff and he is standing in the other line with my bag. I didn't know it was a big deal." So they hauled my husband (and if you want an example of perhaps the person who is least likely to ever be profiled, my husband is a pale blond blue eyed Norweigen) into the back room and searched him and tested all the camera equipment for explosives. After that, I was like, um, what are the Yemenis getting if we got that?
The kicker, they were all on the plane with us. And, I got bumped up to economy coach with my husband because we weren't originally seated together. Awesome. All the leg room and only two seats. My poor parents were stuck in the back with a screaming baby and a bunch of stinky people for eight hours. No good. The flight from Detroit to Minneapolis was awful though. This family in front of us had ten children (no joke) and the one in front of me would not stop moving. To the point where I couldn't put my drink down because it kept falling over. And I can't blame the kid cuz he was little. His dumbass mother wouldn't do anything about it. Luckily it was only an hour. Oh yeah, and Dad's wallet turned up. It had fallen out at the Minneapolis gate. Someone turned it in with everything in it, including all the cash.