Jeff and Sydney are really fun traveling partners and we have crashed at their place on numerous occasions. We were finally able to return their hospitality when they came up to our town for a visit. They brought along the newest member of their family, Milo, who is absolutely adorable and a HUGE puppy. He is only 4 months old and already weighs 50 pounds! He is going to be gigantic. We took them on a hike through the vineyards and enjoyed some beverages at our town park. Then we had a fancy dinner and a fancy homemade breakfast. It was really fun catching up with them and we sure are going to miss them once we move. I hope our paths will cross again in the future.
The next weekend we went to Belgium to see our friends Pieter, Liesbeth their daughter Isolde and meet the newest member of their family, Ron. Ethan greeted Ron with a sweet little sniff. Ron was so good with him and gentle. Isolde and I had a great time teaching each other the colors in Dutch and English. For the first day she thought something was wrong with us and we couldn't speak properly because she kept correcting our terrible Dutch accents. By the second day she realized we were speaking a different language and it was adorable to hear her repeating the colors I labeled in English. She would make a great speech therapist because she never ran out of enthusiasm modeling and correcting my pronunciation of all words Dutch. She is a trip and a super fun little girl. As always, catching up with Pieter and Liesbeth was a blast. They took us to an incredible park near their house that has a dozen play grounds, swimming lakes, water playgrounds and a climbing wall where kids can learn to do via ferrata. These Europeans have it figured out. They teach the kids at a very young age to learn safe climbing practices. We enjoyed getting to meet more of their friends and our visits with them always seem too short. I hope they can make the trip out to America to visit us in the future.
It was really exciting to have the first visit from another family member. Morgan is Quinn's second cousin and we've been pestering her for years to come for a visit. Now that she is all grown and employed, she was able to catch us before we leave Germany. The first night she arrived we didn't waste any time and threw her in the car and swept her off to Trier. It was fun to see the city through the eyes of a new visitor because it makes you appreciate all of the amazing places and things that you start to take for granted or normal.
On Saturday, we went on a bike ride to the Mosel river and enjoyed some time sipping drinks at a cute little cafe along the river. It was such a beautiful day and I was happy Morgan got an opportunity to enjoy some beautiful weather and scenery. We also were able to tour around the city of Bernkastel-Kues and enjoyed some modern German cuisine. It was a fantastic day.
On Sunday, we went Luxembourg and saw a whole bunch of new places we had never seen before. I don't know how in the world we are still able to see new places in Luxembourg but it is such a unique city. There are nooks and crannies with parks and cafes. There are few things better than Luxembourg on a sunny day.
It was a real treat for me (Kristen) to have some one on one time with Morgan and to get to know her better. Quinn was super excited to have the "younger generation" of cousins come to visit.