These last few months have been very busy for us. It already feels like we have been back in the States for a long time but when I tell people it's been (almost) 3 months, they think it's short. And really, it still kind of is. But there was such a change that our life in Germany seems like a long time ago already. Even this time last year seems like a very long time ago as I feel like just in the last year we lived enough for three years of our lives. Someone asked recently if we could believe we'd been married as long as we had and I said yes, easily. Most people would be surprised, but as I said, our lives have been so full it seems like even longer, but in a good way :-)
Our last few weeks in Germany were a whirlwind. I was working on my classes, we were taking our final trips and we were trying to handle all of the last little loose ends for our exit. It was hard for me to believe that we were just going to get up on a Saturday morning and just leave our whole life. The move there had been more gradual; weeks of packing followed by some time staying with my parents. It didn't seem so abrupt.
We did the "handover" of the apartment with the landlords Friday night since we were leaving at 6 in the morning. They didn't speak any English, but they had been so friendly and kind to us so we had a nice time and took pictures together. The agent said she'd never seen tenants and landlords who liked each other so much and had never taken pictures of them together! After the handover we walked across the street for a final dinner at the Greek biergarten. I got my favorite teufels (hot) sauce on gyros and had one last radler. This is a big meal and I wasn't able to take any home this time. (I'd been able to hand off some of our food earlier in the week to my friend and co-worker when she invited me over for one last lunch!)
We got up extremely early and everything went fairly smoothly. I kept saying to my husband how it was actually less stressful than our other trips because I didn't feel like I was forgetting anything since we were taking everything. We got a little concerned when our ride was a few minutes late, but he arrived and we made it to the airport in plenty of time. When we got near the gate we stopped to sit down. I was sitting thinking about the couple of people we knew we were leaving and I looked up, and there was one of them! A woman we had met early on and almost rented an apartment from was standing nearby with her daughter. I went up to her and we were both very surprised to see each other. She'd had to make emergency flight arrangments due to her mother suddenly passing away. She came and sat with us for a few minutes while she waited for her husband who was parking the car. They were concerned about being late for the flight, but it turned out our boarding was delayed. Even still when we boarded the flight was delayed around 2 more hours with a fuel problem. But no one minded because the plane was the best place to be--comfortable (once they got the AC fixed), and entertaining with all the movies. They brought us drinks and snacks too. Our friends turned out to be sitting just a few rows away. The flight wasn't as amazing as the one over (the brunch was a little odd compared to our really good dinners the last time) but we were excited to be gett back to the US.
Both sets of parents met us at the baggage carousel and my parents took a couple of bags with them. We met back at my in-laws' before all going to Bojangles'--our most missed food while we were gone and one we wouldn't have in our new home. None of our parents had ever even been to Bojangles' before and my in-laws actually had salads (did you know they even make salads?). It was satisfying to have our favorite treat again, but we were beat and headed to bed right after.
Sunday morning we went to church with my parents and saw some familiar faces once again before heading home. Brice stayed at his parents' and made plans with a friend and I went over to my parents' for a little while to gather up some things we'd left there. By Monday morning we were on the road again.