Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christmas in Maryland

Oh boy, it's taken a while to get back to the blog since our holiday in Maryland with my family.  After being there for 3 weeks (and taking nearly a week to get re-adjusted to the timezone in Germany), it's about time something was put up regarding our trip there.  

Here's a brief re-cap in pictures:

We took Dylan to Homestead Gardens to check out the train garden.  He was bonkers about trains (and still is) for the rest of the trip.

Lots of fun (and some arguments) happened around the ping-pong table.  Even Dylan wanted to get in on the action.

Although he preferred being spun around in Dad's office chair.

After being there for so many days Dylan tried to be "just like Oma" and insisted on standing like her, eating like her and imitating her.

Bryan and I snuck out and took the train to DC where was saw Jersey Boys from the front row in the National Theater.  

Uncle Dan is always good for a laugh.  Dylan is particularly impressed with his shenanigans. 

One of Dylan's favorite Christmas presents came from Uncle Dan and Aunt Robyn - a fireman's costume!  He walked around the house pretending to put out fires.

Santa gave all the ladies the same sunglasses.

We brought Dylan to the Baltimore Train Museum which had - you guessed it - more trains!  We even took a train ride with Frosty the Snowman through what appeared to be the area of town that is the basis for the TV show The Wire.  It was an odd train ride listening to happy holiday songs and seeing Frosty meet and greet with little kids, then to look out the window and see burnt out shells of buildings, crack houses and a dump slowly passing us by. 

We managed to bring Dylan to a sports bar (God bless the iPad for keeping him occupied) so we could watch some college football bowl games.

My parents live on a golf course, so when the weather was nice enough - which was most days - Bryan would take Dylan out there to swing the club around .
Our good travel fortune had run out, however, when we headed back home to Germany because we incurred one of the worst and longest travel days I've ever experienced.  It started out all right and Dylan even fell asleep on the airplane, which is in itself a small miracle.  About 45 minutes before landing in Amsterdam the flight became really turbulent and by the time we landed at least three small children around us (thankfully not Dylan) were barfing their brains out in the loudest most grotesque way possible.

After getting off the plane we learned that all flights to Germany were cancelled due to high winds and we were instructed to pick up our luggage and retrieve train tickets for the rest of our journey.  3 hours later, we finally got our luggage and train tickets but proceeded to get on the wrong train.  This, in my opinion, was not entirely our fault since pretty much everyone else from our flight who needed to get to Düsseldorf did the same thing.  The Schipol train station had scheduled two trains to leave from the same gate 2 minutes apart going to the same destination, except one was faster than the other.  There was no indication which was which, so we got on the first one to arrive ... which happened to be the slow one.  It dropped us off in Utrecht 25 minutes after our train to Düsseldorf left, leaving us stuck there for 1.5 hours until the next train departed.  Finally on that train, we got off in Oberhausen, then switched to Essen, then got on the train to Borken.  Finally at the Borken train station we tossed all our luggage (3 large suitcases, 3 backpacks, 1 carry-on roller bag, 1 diaper bag, and 1 stroller) into a taxi and finally got home after about 27 hours of traveling.  Dylan was a champion traveler until the very end and he pretty much screamed from pure exhaustion (voicing what Bryan and I were feeling) for the taxi ride and went right to bed when we got home. 

It's no wonder it's taken us a full week to recover and get back on the right time schedule.  Glad to be back in Germany and back to our  normal routine.  Stay tuned for new posts coming up soon!

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