That’s what the Army officially calls marriage retreats. Matt leads these training sessions frequently and our family loves to tag along. In December we were excited to take our first trip to Willingen, staying at the Sauerland Stern Hotel.
Here are a few of the fun things we did:
- Matt’s training sessions. There was child care for all the children. It was like a vacation.
- Home management training. Okay, this was just for me. During one of Matt’s sessions I stayed in the room, sending the boys to child care so I could read this book and begin planning our new schedule. It was heavenly, especially as my view from the room was spectacular! And I am thrilled that we homeschool on days like this. Were the boys in school we might get to go with Matt once a year but because of homeschooling we can go almost every time.
- Pools and water parks. Seriously, my kids are fish and love the water. We enjoyed going to the park with another family and watching their kids experience everything.
- Snow. Not the dustings that NC typically gets but a real-live, get-the-snow-plows-out now. I really love snow.
- Card games. One night we wanted to play cards so Matt and Carson bundled up in their warmest gear and walked all over town coming back empty handed. When the gift shop opened up the next morning we bought a pack so that evening we would be prepared with cards. We have decided to leave a deck or two in the car from now on. No more hunting for cards!
- I loved the food, but mostly for the bread. Oh, the bread. I think, had we been new here, the food might have been a bit less appealing, but once you’ve adapted to European meals, you learn to eat new foods. I wouldn’t want the meals they serve to be my only food experience, but for a few days at a time, I can do it. Plus, I really can live on bread alone.
- One afternoon while in our room we heard really loud instrumental music coming from outside. I went out on our balcony, almost busting, as the patio had iced over. When I got my balance and looked over the edge I saw a small orchestra playing very festive music as a large bus unloaded. Some important people had arrived and were being welcomed in style. (The group was friends of the local bob-sled team or something.) That evening the people got all decked out in their traditional outfits and they partied hard!
- We saw the tallest Santa on earth. No. Really. I can assure you that there is no taller Santa. I looked it up.
I look forward to our next marriage “training” trip. It’s a nice way to break up the normal; a change from our every-day-life (which I actually happen to really love).