Sunday, November 30, 2008

Back Home

The fun didn't end in Salt Lake. Soon after we got home, Seth reported his mission and we had a small gathering afterwards at the house. YEAH!!! Dalynn brought the girls over and stayed for a couple of days.

Dad cooked sausages on the grill. Paunie, Larry, Jolene and Dave were all there. Doesn't Paunie look like Granma Thomas?

Kari and her family were with us.

Mark Larsen came over and we loaded up our plates, took a seat and ate our dinners.

But, Seth was obviously focused on playing with his nieces.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008 ~ Frankfurt to Salt Lake City

Back at the airport in Frankfurt, while Dad and Seth returned the van, the rest of us changed clothes and repacked our bags for the trip home.
When everyone was ready we went through the check-in process and headed for our gates. It turned out that Elizabeth and James were listed on the flight to Atlanta and then on to Hawaii just as planned, but the rest of us had been rerouted through Cincinnati rather than Atlanta because the Atlanta flight was oversold. We wouldn’t be seeing Luke and Jenn’s family that way but it was better than staying another night in Germany without a place to stay or a car to get around in, so we proceeded home that way.
We said good bye to Elizabeth and James as they boarded their flight at 7:00. We waited at our gate another two hours but were all on before we took off at 9:45. We transferred flights and luggage as we went through customs in Cincinnati and boarded our flight to Salt Lake. Dad and I were able to fly each leg of the trip home on the same flights as Seth and Alisha were on.
By the time we landed in Salt Lake I was more than ready to stand up again. I think I can wait awhile before another long flight again.
One of the best times of the trip was when we descended on the escalator to the luggage claims area in the Salt Lake Airport. There before us was Granma Harmon, Tessha, Kristi, Haini, Sitani, Marley, Mark, Laura, Jace and Gracie waiting for us. They had a huge banner and balloons to welcome Seth home. It was the best sight of all!!! We took our luggage to the hotel and then headed out to eat. By 11:00 we were all full and ready for a good night sleep so we said our goodbyes and each headed home or to the hotel. We have the best family ever and we have Seth home!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008 ~ Worms & Heidelberg

This was our last day at Landal so James and Elizabeth went for one last swim in the pool this morning. They had packed their packs last night and were already to go. The rest of us ate breakfast, packed our bags and cleaned the condo up. Pretty soon we were in the van again headed for Seth’s first area, Worms. It’s pronounced “Verms”. When we were talking about naming children after cities, Alisha asked if anyone wanted to name one of their children “Worms”.
Worms is where Martin Luther was tried as a traitor to the Catholic Church. He had written 3 documents stating his concerns with the Church. The Church was angry with him and told him to recant his work. He refused to do so and was tried as a heretic. The local church authorities wanted him tried in Germany rather than in Rome, thinking he would have a fairer hearing outside of Rome. Although the Church condemned his work, he was not put to death. He was confined to prison and where he lived until a war with the church at which time he was released.
We took a package of food to the missionary’s apartment but they were not home so we just left it for them. So, we went walking through the city center. We stopped at a bakery and each picked out a treat for ourselves and then we walked and ate. I had bought a piece of chocolate cake with cream filling and topped with raspberries and glaze. Since I didn’t have a fork to eat it with I told the others to go ahead. I had spotted a Subway Sandwich shop and I knew they would have forks. I headed towards the shop and that’s when I saw the Elders walking towards me. I stopped them to visit and then called the others back so they could see Seth again. They all had a good visit before we continued on through the city center.

Like so many other cities, Worms was beautiful. There were flowers and fountains everywhere we looked. I was enthralled by the history and the age of so many buildings. I guess I had never really thought about things so old. Just to be somewhere that existed thousands of years ago was awesome. We visited the cathedral and spent some time taking pictures inside and out. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. After a while we all loaded up the van again and headed towards Heidelberg. Seth had promised us that this would a real treat for all of us. We stopped first at the Church building there. Seth had hoped to meet up with Brother and Sister Hansen. They are a couple missionary who are serving there in an “Outreach” program for the youth of the city from 18-30 years old. However, they were at a Conference with the Mission President and wouldn’t be back till around 7:00 or so. We left thinking that we’d come back and visit them later that night. Then we headed up to the Heidelberg Castle. The homes along the Rhine were astounding. People were out rowing on the river, children running on the grass and people everywhere out along the river. It reminded me of movies of the upper class from the past living the “good life.” It was like watching the past come to life and it was all so beautiful. We parked in an underground car garage and walked up a stairway to the streets of Heidelberg. It was amazing! There were the most beautiful buildings, cobblestone streets full of people shopping at little shops along the walks. There were outside cafĂ©’s with chairs and tables everywhere. People were outside enjoying the sun and the scenery.
We walked through many of the shops that lined the central church building. There were so many things to see and enjoy. We finally picked out a few souvenirs and made our purchases. We bought a cuckoo clock, a stein that will sit in our china cabinet and a large pencil that Alisha had found. With those things safely stowed away, Dan and Alisha returned to wait in the van while Elizabeth, James, Seth and I hiked up to see the castle and gardens.

It was a nice hike and the castle was fantastic. There were parts of the original building intact and other areas that had been renovated and still under renovation. Even with the construction projects, on the whole it was an incredibly amazing place. Again, it took me back in time to the stories I’d read and the movies I’d watched of history. I do wish I really knew the history of such places. I’ve commented that I wish I could watch the video of earth. I would love to know what has happened throughout history and how it has all tied together.
We walked around the castle and the grounds just as the sun was setting and took pictures until it was time for us to go. But, before returning to the van we went back to the shops and bought some dinners for everyone to eat in the car. It was going to be a long night.
We drove back towards Frankfurt, filled the van with gas and found a rest area along the freeway where we could pull over and sleep until we had to be at the airport in the morning. We spread out on the seats and the floors. Although it wasn’t the most comfortable sleep we’d had, we all managed to get some shut-eye. It was a rather short night anyway since we headed for the airport around 5:00 AM.