A day with good friends

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Where I stayed
Rima's Parent's House

Flag of Germany  , North Rhine-Westphalia,
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

After not much sleep on the plane, and another late night last night (up talking), together with jet lag, I wandered downstairs at 11.30am!!   Thought it was about 8 oclock - couldn't believe it!   I raced back upstairs and woke up the rest of the whanau.

Settled down to coffee and catch up with Inga, another friend of ours (and former aupair), who had set the whole day aside to come and visit us.   (It was so good to see her, as she lives in another town and we didn't expect to be able to catch up.)  

After coffee and chats, Inga and I headed into town by ourselves.  Just driving in there was such a neat feeling ...... to be finally in Europe, it's so different.  Different than New Zealand, different than America. Seeing all the beautiful old buildings filled with character reminded me of all the reasons we chose to live on this side of the world.   In between a bit of shopping, we  caught up with her mum (who'd been and stayed with us in NZ), so again another unexpected bonus.

By the time we got home, Rima was there waiting for us, and the house was filled with the smell of dinner cooking - I'm gettting used to this.  We all sat down for a 'reunion' dinner and it was very special.  The kids put on a little bit of show with Harrison doing his own version of the Haka, Trent doing his hip-hop dance and Greta and Brad doing some solos.  It was lots of fun. 

After that, we all piled into the cars and went back into town for the Christmas market.   I don't know if I can explain it very well, but try and picture cobblestone courtyards, swiss style chalet huts selling trinkets and toys, fairy lights, with an old church that's clock chimed, with the atmosphere of a carnival.  Lots of people eating, drinking and just generally socialising.  We enjoyed hot nuts, strawberries covered in chocolate, and warm, strong wine that we drank out of mugs (non-alcoholic version for the children). 

It really was everything you fantasize a winter Christmas in Germany to be.   

The two days with Rima, (her Mum) and Inga was absolutely magical, and I really believe our 2 day delay was meant to be. The last time we were together was at our place in New Zealand 3 years ago, enjoying a bbq by our pool.  Who would've thought ......   
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