|German clocks like this remind me |
of my grandparents.
We will spend almost two weeks in Munich and Berlin, visiting the places I lived for a few years as a child, seeing some friends, learning about history, new foods, trying out our very few German words and spending lots of time together.
I'm so excited to show my kids things they've only seen in books and also increasing my knowledge of modern Germany. My mom and dad are both mostly German heritage, and so am I, but I don't know a lot about everyday German life. I've started a tiny bit of research into my family history and can't wait to learn more.
|Photos of my time in Berlin|
|We can ask for milch und wasser.|
|My secret packing weapon!|
Traveling with young children can be difficult - but we don't let it scare us. The secret is to keep your expectations low to moderate, relax and be flexible. We've traveled to Ireland with children twice so we aren't complete novices. I used these enormous bags last summer and it did help keep 3 sets of clothes organized. As we pack, I ask each boy to pick out their 5 favorite t-shirts, 5 favorite shorts, 2 favorite PJs, etc. and then I pack them into 1 big bag for each boy. Knowing their clothes are in 1 bag helps them get themselves ready in the mornings. That makes my life so much easier. We bring an extra bag for laundry - because we ALWAYS have laundry.
|I save some surprises for the long flight home.|
I also have a tried and true assortment of activities planned. I don't like to rely completely on iPhones and iPads to entertain my children but I'm not unrealistic, I know they will be used. But we're also bringing playing cards and art supplies, some small Lego Mini-Figures, new books to read and new snacks to try. As the kids get older, it does get easier, in many ways, to entertain them. Gone are the play phones and teethers but we are moving into an age of Hangman, Tic-tac-toe, 20 Questions and more. I actually find those kinds of games fun and love when my kids can stump me or defeat me. They love it, too, of course.
We've asked each boy what they want to see in Germany. Our middle son wants to see castles, our oldest wants to see the football (soccer) stadiums, and our youngest is willing to see Germany fire trucks. In Munich, we will of course visit The Glockenspiel and the Hofbrauhaus. I am eagerly anticipating the Viktualienmarkt and enjoying some downtime in the English Garden. In Berlin we'll see the apartment building where I lived, the remnants of the Berlin Wall, and possibly a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic! I wanted to try and find a lauf (a run) but nothing nearby fits into our schedule conveniently, so I'll have to make a trip back to Germany!