There's been a whole lot of travel posts going on around here these past few weeks. So much so, that I'm starting to bore myself. I can only imagine the boredom you all have suffered. My apologies. I do have a life beyond travel, believe it or not. A pretty good one, too. Although I'm not sure it's any less boredom inducing than my travel posts, but I figured it's worth chatting about. Truth is, I just didn't feel like editing photos this morning. You got me. Carpal tunnel is a real and painful thing. It's also so flippin' hot in our flat right now that I'm sure you could fry an egg on my coffee table...making getting any kind of work done, blogging or otherwise, virtually unbearable. Which brings me to my first note about life lately....
--German heat wave. It's literally only been two days of 97° weather (and it's supposed to be back down to the 70's tomorrow), but I'm already so over it. Germany is a country full of extremes. It's either cold and rainy, or hot and sunny. Usually more of the cold and rainy than the hot and sunny most days, but there's rarely any happy-medium where weather is concerned. We pretty much skipped right over a sunny, luke-warm spring and went right to the Sahara Desert. Normally, I wouldn't complain (because I guess I'd rather have the sun? Maybe???), but when you live in the land of no central air conditioning, on sweltering days like today, it's like you're living in a hot box of torture. Osculating fans are basically your only reprieve from the heat. And those I hardly consider a reprieve at all. They just blow around the hot air, ya know? Another option is to run down to your car and blast the A/C for a little while. Only problem there is the 3 minute rule. Germany has this unwritten courtesy rule of only idling your car for 3 minutes or less. I think there is even some kind of German idling law, but I don't know the details of it. Suffice it to say, they're energy and environmentally conscience to a fault sometimes. Today, I say screw the environment. Global warming is already kicking my butt with this heat, so off to the car I go. You can take the girl out of America, but you can't take the America out of the girl!
--D has been playing softball for the squadron's team...and he's actually quite good! Which totally surprised me. I've never really considered D an athletic fella. He can run, do all kinds of crazy things at PT (AF mandatory weekly physical training sessions), and loves to workout, but playing organized sports isn't something I've seen him do much of (even in the 13 whole years we've been together). The few times I have seen him play ultimate frisbee, or this strange AF game called ICARUS, he's been awesome. So, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised he's doing so well with softball, huh? Funny how you can still learn things about your spouse after all these years together. I'm so proud of him when he plays, I could almost burst. He's the team pitcher (a position he's never played before) and he's been so naturally good at it, like he's played all his life (which makes me only a little bit jealous...how lucky some people are!). And I get to be the crazy wife cheering her head off in the stands. D's totally eating it up, too. I almost skipped out on his game last night because it was so hot outside, but I'm glad I didn't! They basically wiped the ball field clean with the other team. Mercy rule even had to go into effect! Impressive, right? They're currently undefeated after 2 games...fingers crossed they keep this winning streak going! I have to admit, it's been so nice to be back out sitting on the bleachers of the ball field. My dad used to play softball for his company team while I was growing up. My mom, sister, and I used to love going to watch him play (and buying bubble gum from the bubble gum lady). Dad was wicked good, too. Ahhh, softball. A little piece of home right here in Germany. Makes me happy. :)
--Confession: we booked yet ANOTHER cruise. I know, we're kind of crazy, but we found a deal we absolutely couldn't pass up! Originally, we'd planned a trip to Croatia over Labor Day weekend and a trip to Barcelona over Columbus Day weekend. After searching for flights to Croatia, we realized we were going to be paying way too much money just to get there...not to mention the money we'd be spending once we got to Croatia. So, we got the bright idea to look for a cruise that hit some places we still had left to see from our bucket list. Lo and behold, we found a 9-day sailing from Barcelona that hits ports in Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, and MOROCCO! The best part? I'm going to get to trade in my donkey riding hat for a camel riding one!! Eeek! Well, that and the fact that this impromptu cruise is going to cost us almost $500 less than what we would have spent on those two vacations combined. It was a total no brainer. We're planning a big Adriatic Sea cruise as our last "hurrah" next May, so we will hit Croatia then. Only sad part is...we won't be sailing on Celebrity. They had nothing fitting the criteria we needed this time around, so we went with Norwegian Cruise line. We like to think we're becoming well-rounded cruisers trying out so many different cruise lines. But we will be booking with Celebrity for our last European sailing. You can bet your bottom dollar on it!
--While still on the subject of cruising, we've got our Baltic cruise coming up in a matter of days now! We're no where near being packed up and ready to go, but all excursions are booked and most logistics planned out...now we're just playing the waiting game. Here's hoping the weather up there is warm (but not too warm!) and that Russia is all we expect it to be. AMAZING.
--We just got back from a great weekend roaming around the Netherlands and visiting a few breweries for a friend's birthday. We made stops in Westmalle, Belgium (to eat dinner at the Trappist brewery cafe of Westmalle), Utretch, Netherlands (a home base for visiting De Molen Brewery in Bodegraven & Utrecht Castle), and Tilburg (for a tour of the famous monk-run La Trappe Brewery, Cafe, & Abbey). Expect a few blog posts to come!
--Lastly...we've been thinking a lot about home lately. We're coming up on our 2 year anniversary of moving to Germany as well as our last year here in this beautiful country. We've found ourselves already saying things like..."this is the last time we'll be at this festival, make sure you do all the things you've wanted to do!" So bittersweet...yet we're still year away from moving. But that doesn't keep us from planning, praying, and dreaming of what our next chapter holds. For those of you wondering--no, we've got no clue where the Air Force will be sending us next. And we probably won't know anything concrete until next spring (which is quite annoying). But such is the life of a military family. Until then, we're just going to continue to enjoy the time we've got left in Europe...soaking up every last second with trips, festivals, and submerging ourselves in the German culture. There will also be a fair amount of house lusting via the internet as we imagine what life will be like back stateside. Fingers crossed for a location on the East coast, close to family, and near the sea!! A Southern girl can dream, right?
So, there you go. Just a little look into life lately for Team Coté. And I couldn't even go 3 bullet points without talking about traveling again. I mean, honestly. It's like word vomit. Is there Traveler's Anonymous? I need it.