Welcome back to my series on our massive Italy trip. Hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoyed writing them, reliving the moments we spent there.
“Really people, why are we awake this early!?!?”
My sweet Parker is such a sleeper and to be removed from his nice, warm bed at 5:30 in the morning was not his idea of a great start. But we needed to get on the road as we had to get to ITALY!
The car was loaded the night before so all we had to do was start the coffee, put the boys in the car, grab all iPods, and turn the GPS on. The orange box between Carson and Bailey was filled with new-to-them books and other toys. I loaded Parker’s Thomas bag with some of his favorite toys, and we were off.
Of course we didn’t pull away from our house without praying for safety and for the van to work properly. Almost two hours into our journey we were able to see the results of those prayers. I don’t recall the exact circumstances but we were nearly in an accident at 7:45 in the morning. My legs were numb for a long time afterward.
Around 11:30 am the passenger wiper blade flew off. That was interesting, to say the least! We were incredibly thankful it was that one and not the driver’s side blade!
And shortly after we lost the wiper blade the rain turned to SNOW! Pretty much the whole time we were driving through Switzerland it was snowing. This, if I’m not mistaken, is the entrance to the ten-mile tunnel.
We arrived by 6:00 that evening and found our cabin. We were itching for dinner and found a FRG function going on and asked directions to a nearby family-friendly restaurant. We drove there, only to find that they didn’t even open until 7:00, which is normal for Italy. However, that was not going to work for our tired and hungry crew. We went back to our default and ate at the Camp Darby Bowling Alley. Not to be mean, but it was the worst meal we ate on our entire trip.
We decided to sit outside because we just needed the fresh air. As we sat and waited for our meal, we had the most spectacular view:
The rainbow is God’s promise to mankind that He will never destroy the earth by flood again. We started our morning praying for safety. We were protected through an almost-wreck, losing a wiper blade, driving in snow, and crazy drivers. We honestly had a fantastic drive down with four perfectly behaved boys. It took us right at 12 hours. (And since we were on a American Military installation Matt was able to find the right wiper blade and replace it before we did any further driving.)
What I think we’re doing today:
Today happens to be Christy’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTY!! I have this really awesome friend who makes fantastic cakes. Maybe I could get her to… oh… wait. Nevermind.
This morning we had our final out, turning the keys back over to housing. We had one or two damaged spots on the floor that we had to pay for, one was created only about two weeks ago. Other than that, and one damaged Army mattress, we got out without too much heartache. I will miss this house so much. A few days ago I asked Parker if he was excited to see Nana and Papa and Grammy and he said, “mmm-hmmm.” I then asked if he was excited to get on a plane to ride in the air to go see them. First he asked if the plane was going to be red, and I said I wasn’t sure. Then he told me, “Pah-kah not wanna ride on a plane. Pah-kah wanna stay in Pah-kah’s house.” Bless.
Tonight we will have dinner with some friends from chapel that we have been trying to connect with for some time, as long as the snow doesn’t interfere. Nothing like the last minute, huh?!?
And then tonight we will stay at the hotel. Originally we were going to be staying at the Jones B&B again but we found out Wednesday that once you clear housing you are authorized extra nights in housing. (We were originally told, multiple times actually, that we were only authorized three nights. I wish they had told us beforehand that once you clear housing you can request extra hotel nights.) Regardless, we are very VERY excited that we are staying in the new hotel rather than the one we stayed in upon arriving. It was less than comfortable and a bit dingy… this one is much nicer and opened while we’ve been here, though sadly, without the benefit of the Joneses.
It seems our steps are paved for us each step of the way. I called this morning and asked if there was any way we could check in early. They told us our room was already ready, and that was at 7:45! We literally left our house for the last time after we turned over our keys and went directly to the hotel. We are sitting here letting the kids watch cartoons and eat cereal. I originally thought we’d be driving around Wiesbaden, chilling at the bowling alley, food court, or gym until check in. I’m VERY thankful we are at our “home away from home” instead of the alternative!