Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Germany - Girl Trip

    After some internal debate and no small amount of guilt (it was during a stressful hospital inspection for hubs) I recently escaped to Germany for a week with Delaney. We almost didn't make it on the plane due to a problem with our residency permits and passports and a very um.. excitable Turkish Passport Police official.
    When I signed us up for Space Available Air Travel at the terminal the week before I had explained to both the US and the Turkish officials there that my Turkish residency permits were about to expire so I had turned them in for renewal along with my brand-new official government passports. Therefore I would be traveling with a photocopy of my residency permit and my tourist passport. There were assurances all around that it would all be tamaam (okay).  At worst, I would have to pay $20 for an entrance Visa when we returned. No big deal. Well, cometh the hour and cometh the angry Turkish man and it was not tamaam.
     This was one situation where I was glad I didn't understand Turkish because there was a lot of yelling intense discussion going on. But everyone except the Passport Police kept assuring me that they would work it out so I didn't stress. It was actually kind of amusing. In the end I had to leave the terminal, drive to the Wing building and collect my expired Residency Permits and my official Passports from the Pass and ID. Luckily they were still all there and not at the consulate yet.
    In the end, we made it on the plane squished in between a bunch of Navy guys coming uprange and flew to Ramstein. Once we landed we were very glad we had packed hats, gloves, scarves and coats as spring had not yet arrived in Germany.
    Our purpose for going was to visit and help out a friend of ours, Jayne. Due to a contract problem with a Turkish Obstretrician, you can't have a baby in Turkey right now. So all the preggos have to go to Germany 4 weeks before their due date and stay 2 weeks post baby, or until the new passport shows up. They call this madness Storknesting. So Jayne had been in Germany with her two rambunctious toddlers and her well-meaning father for a month without a car, in snowy weather and very very pregnant. Not the most ideal situation for keeping one's sanity intact.
   Since Delaney is a frequent babysitter of said toddlers and sits with them every week in church and I am their Primary leader for the last half of church, they are pretty familiar with us and were over-joyed to see us. We took them to the park and on stroller drives through the large BX complex and put them down for naps and sent Jayne and her dad out to the movies and such.
Here are the cuties! Did I mention we also fed them sugary snacks and put them in silly hats? Aren't we helpful?
The BX there is amazing. Easily 10 times the size of our BX. Delaney had lots of fun shopping. She was sorely disappointed though when she couldn't find new boots. And maybe even more so when mom did find a great pair of shoes for herself.
Love the picture! She needs to make it her new fb profile pic.
Here is Jayne with her cute preggo belly.  No, you can't rub it. 
     I really like Jayne. And I like her kids, who have personality and spunk coming out their ears. I even like her dad, who was a bit of a character and capable of turning every conversational topic into a discussion of the sad state of American politics and the plight of the small business owner.
    She reminds me so much of myself when I spent my days chasing after two little curtain climbers.  Just like I did she worries about her kids' crazy and sometimes naughty behavior. Together we roll our eyes at mothers of quiet calm little girls who glare disapprovingly at the highly unstable ball of kinetic energy that makes up her four year old son.  She doesn't believe me, but back in the day my oldest had hers beat for parental exhaustion hands down.  It's hard to see my calm 17, fairly responsible son as a child who could inspire his mother to smash plates on the back porch from sheer frustration. (In my defense, I only did this at night after he was in bed and I always swept up the shards. It's surprisingly satisfying to break something on purpose after a long day of restraining yourself and over-taxing your patience.)
   And Delaney likes Jayne, who is her Young Women leader and does a fantastic job. In a place where like minded friends are a bit harder to come by, she manages to be mentor, leader, and friend to my daughter.  They share books, watch entire seasons of Warehouse 13 together and sometimes just hang out.
    So spending a week with her, even in the midst of Storknesting difficulties, was great fun. Since we didn't have to shovel it or drive in it, we enjoyed the occasional snowfall. We did get off base a few times. Once to church in a regular size ward (congregation) which was wonderful but kind of strange at the same time after attending our tiny branch for 7 months. Jayne and I also did a USO tour on Saturday. Delaney was supposed to come too but she got sick in the middle of Friday night and opted to stay home. She decided this was providence as Grandpa ended up needing some help babysitting. Then on our last day we were able to spend some time with our Uncle Frank and Aunt Crystal, the same family we had visited on our October Germany trip. But as this post is getting a little long, I'll save the details of those two excursions for next time. Stay tuned!

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