Red-Eye flight....

As President Obama and Michelle wished us well on heading back to Germany, I gave the term "Red-Eye Flight" a new meaning.

According to Wiki, "A red-eye flight is any flight departing late at night and arriving early the next morning. The term red-eye derives from the fatigue symptom of having red eyes, which can be caused or aggravated by late-night travel." 

Well, I have red eyes alright and it isn't from crying for an hour after the last hugs were given, nor was it because my feelings were hurt from Michelle clapping as we were leaving (see picture), and it wasn't from flying alone on a red-eye with two young children in which only one slept.

Shortly after landing back in Germany, my German translator (Jason) and I headed to Unterturkheim to see an eye Specialist.  Turns out I met a Virus in the U.S. that wanted to travel back to Germany with me and hang out for a couple of weeks.  Needless to say, my new friend is a big pain in the Ar-sh not to mention the eyeballs and seems to be immune to all the antibiotics the ER in DC fed him.  Because I always attach the "good" pictures of me and friends,  I felt it would be discriminating not to attach  an "ugly" picture of me and my new friend. 

I have to remind myself that life is not always easy on either side of the ocean, but I do have a choice about the attitude I take when dealing with 'not so easy or fun'.  So my choice last night while Jason and I were walking around looking(me with half an eye) for the klinik für Augenheilkunde, discovered a cute area of Unterturkheim.  My new friend got a great eyeballs view and also thought it would be worth coming back to 'see' one day...
My "new friends, V" and I!



Trip to DC

Some trips aren't always about touring.  There are so many thoughts that have gone thru the kids and my head this past week during our visit to my niece and her family's house in the good ole US and touring didn't always seem to be the first thought.  

For the kids those thoughts seem to be centered around wanting to tour Target rather than the Washington Monument.  Or thoughts of cramming as many "real"(as they call it) tortilla chips, waffles, bagels, and pop tarts in their little mouths. Yes- I am letting them cram as much junk in as they want similar to a squirrel stocking up for winter. 

For me, this trip back has felt emotional- I miss the ease of living here but more so I miss the ease of living close to my family. (after a week of us- they are probably ready for us took ease on back to Germany) I  have also crammed all kinds of junk in my mouth- I forgot how good taco bell, chili fries and nachos tastes but I have also tried to cram every minute with my family that was possible! (I learned with my dad, Loretta and my brother, Mike one day is a tease) 

Hello DC Emergency Room-Free tour
We did tour some of Washington's sites- The National Mall, Chinatown, National Air and Space Museum and of course we are the Hoffs, so we had to tour at least one Emergency Room. This time the tour was thanks to my eyeball.  All the night tours were special just spending family time together (and especially the night that Matthew, my niece's husband, spent quality time with all 4 kids while Cristy took me to "tour" a Eddie Money benefit concert. 

As always, it is hard to say goodbye....so "Until Next Time" we tour together....
Eddie Money-Blast from Past tour

Real Tour

Food tour
Natl' Air and Space Museum

Natl' Air and Space Museum

Natl' Air and Space Museum

Natl' Air and Space Museum

We will miss you tour



You know that sound....it comes across your phone when you get that text message on your phone from a friend telling you how much they love you or maybe you hear the sound coming from the television as you're watching "Rocky" when the bell signifying the start of the fight dings.  The latter was the "dingle..dingle" I heard on Thursday.  
The kids and I were in the store buying the last of our Chocolate gifts to take to all of our family in the U.S. (just like cheese and bread-Chocolate Truffles are dangerous in Germany and must be shared) As I was paying, the dingle signified that my fight was starting; The fight against the snow/ice AND "The air traffic controllers union striking at the Frankfurt airport".  Yep, that dingle came in the form of three texts saying our Lufthansa flights were cancelled.  But what my phone didn't know; when the bell signigies the start of a fight, I am determined to win.  AND THAT'S what we did. 

After much convincing and insisting on a different flight to DC (because there were Matthew's Eggs Benedict, champagne, family and a Baptism waiting for us) we were finally issued new tickets.  Next round, delays due to snow/ice.  But that turned out to be one our better fights... because nothing could stop me and the kids from running like bandits in the Munich airport and sighing with relief when the door brushed our butts as it was closed behind us.

good bye snow
Many of my friends commented that I was crazy flying across the ocean alone with the kids.  What they don't know is that after experiencing the unexpected death of my brother a few weeks prior, the fight inside of me is even stronger to be with my family when I hear that dingle...dingle..dingle.  

Hello DC sunshine
With a great victory under our belts, we stepped off our plane and are now in sunny Washington, DC where we are spending some much needed family time together.  


Matthew's breakfast-AKA-bribery
Uncle Mike



glasses for "near"
I am not sure if the Augenärztin (Ophthalmologist) was checking my eyesight or my German language proficiency.  I am pretty sure I failed at both.  I will chalk up my bad German during the exam to a frozen brain but have nothing to chalk up my lack of far and near eyesight to, but was thrilled that the "in between"sight seemed to be just fine. 
glasses for "far"

The good news...I can continue to study my German, and I live in a country where "Brille" is not only stylish but the "Optik" on about every corner seem to be as common as a nail salon in New York City.  So my choices were as overwhelming as my spoken German was to the girl helping me decide on my TWO pair of glasses. 

But once I slipped them on, I discovered a brilliant 'Rose colored' world.  It is amazing how some things in life can become so clear with just a little help! 

A few of the Optiks.....

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My fingers have finally thawed a bit so that I can write a blog.  I thought it was just me the past two weeks that was having a hard time getting motivated to do anything that wasn't within 5 inches of the fireplace.  That was until German class where the first 20 minutes was a frigid conversation about the cold weather.  I am pretty sure I understood the conversation enough to understand that everyone else was feeling "Butt Cold".  So there----it is not my southern blood.  (I will admit that the others in my class are from warm parts of the world like Brazil and India) 

I have never lived somewhere that SIDEWALKS are plowed

It is challenging living in a place where I have to be out in the cold; walking to and from grocery store, walking to the train station and attempting to shovel a frozen sidewalk.  Even with my new extra warm Bogner coat Jason gave me for my birthday, I feel like the ducks I see on the frozen ponds around here that are sitting completely still.  (I had never heard of the brand Bogner but now strongly recommend it to anyone that likes to feel like they are wrapped in an electric blanket without feeling like the Pillsbury dough boy)

Cooper has also learned that the cold weather isn't a joke once he stuck his tongue on the light pole as he had seen in a cartoon.  The kids school also didn't think the cold was a joking matter...they sent out emails about the health hazards of not being dressed properly and decided to close one of the playgrounds because it was frozen. 

I sit in my warm den finishing my blog post as my crazy husband and dog come in from their 10 degree run with icesickles hanging like santa's beard.  I think I am the smart one around here and laugh as I think,
"This too shall pass thaw"

It is cold waiting for the train!


Stuttgart Strassenbahn Museum

Jason (a.k.a-Dad) was home for a few days before heading back out of the country and we found the perfect Museum to visit.   Since he is traveling so much these days, what would be better than checking out a museum about transportation?  Off we headed to the Stuttgart Strassenbahn Museum. Strassenbahn Museum website

I think we were all just excited about our means of transportation to and from the SSM.  On the weekends, they run some of the old trams and buses at special times to and from the site.  I must say, my butt quickly recognized the improvements they have made in the past 100 plus years!  However, these old trams and buses were much warmer than our final walk thru the forest home!

I'm a stud

"I bet this horse was tired"
"Why is underneath so dirty??"

Ding-Ding goes the trolley!

old bus was a fun ride!
Cold walk the rest of the way home

About Me

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We are living as non-military expats for a second time in Stuttgart Germany. The first time, we moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010 for three years and now are back after six years.. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.