Second Adventure: Edelweiss

28 Jul

You wisely choose the marriage retreat option, and not only is the trip to Germany is almost completely paid for, but since it is sponsored by the Army your unit even gives you a pass for the Monday you are gone.  So essentially you are getting paid to go on vacation!

You leave early Saturday morning on July 16, all ready for a quick 4-hour trip to the lodge nestled in the beautiful Alps, two countries away.  Apparently, however, every other Italian traveler is all set to drive this weekend also, so the four hours immediately turn into six hours.  But you have a nice late lunch at a rest stop in Austria that overlooks the valley and has toilets with self-cleaning, rotating seats, so it doesn’t seem so bad at all.  When you arrive, the summer air is brisk but not too cold, and the slightly warm temperature is a refreshing change from the high 90°s that you are still not adjusted to.  The resort is great – very retro ski-cabinesque – with an inviting sitting room, comfortable hotel rooms, and a very standard conference area.  Your late arrival allows you just enough time to set down your bags before it’s time for dinner.  But never fear: you are Justin, and this is a buffet, so it doesn’t matter at all that you only ate a few hours before.  You, Nicole, and the boys enjoy a delicious meal before the kids go to a daycare center while you attend your first class session.  The class consists of watching an entertaining video (Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage) and getting to know your tablemates.  You meet some nice new people and have an enjoyable evening.  Then you pick up the kids and go to sleep.  Somehow sitting all day has really exhausted your whole family.

The next day after a tasty breakfast buffet, your boys go to the daycare for basically the entire day.  You have the second class where you watch another video in the series and take a personality quiz (you’re a Purple, Nicole’s an Orange) and learn about your love languages (yours to receive is Quality Time, Nicole’s is Acts of Service).  Then instead of picking up the children…you don’t do that.  Isn’t that amazing?  You get nice Quality Time together – without the boys for once.  (You take a moment to remind your friends how precious free babysitting from grandparents is.)  You eat a yummy lunch.  You take a nice walk outside to admire the clear, rushing mountain river; and the extraordinary mountain peaks still sprinkled with snow.  And you buy the boys lederhosen and the little shirts and hats that go with them, of course.  Because it’s astounding they’ve made it so far in life without lederhosen.  At dinner time you pick the boys up to take them to the buffet (dressed in their finest lederhosen), but you and Nicole don’t eat at the buffet.  No siree.  Get this – you drop the boys back off and then you have dinner alone together!  A real date.  For real.  You choose to eat at the steak house and it costs you a whopping $17 since the incredible chaplain’s office covers the rest.  And you order (and eat entirely) The Best Steaks Ever.  And you have A Meaningful Conversation.  And the floor isn’t covered in a ring of food around the chair when you get up to leave.  Then to end the night you pick up the children again since, yes, you truly do love them, and you and the boys go to the pool.  Nicole is boring and sits on the side just taking fantastic photos the whole time.

On your final day, you all eat breakfast together before the boys go to daycare.  You and Nicole sneak in a quick trip to the hot tub before you have to go to your last class.  There you watch the videos some more, and suddenly it’s time to pick up the kids and pack up to leave.  The trip home is fast and before you know it you’re back.  Now to relax…until Nicole remembers that she has her Benvenuti class all the rest of the week!  And by the way, we mentioned she’s due in late February with your third baby, right?  And you get your car and all your household goods…right before you leave for work back in Germany for nearly three weeks.  Busy, busy!!  When you get home late on a Thursday, you have the option to stay home that weekend and relax, or go with friends to a cheese festival in Asiago.  Continue reading if you just want to chill and catch up with the family, or go to Third Adventure: Asiago Cheese Festival if you decide to explore the nearby mountain town and eat some delicious cheese.

You decide to chill and catch up just a bit…on Friday since you are given the day off of work.  Now go to Third Adventure: Asiago Cheese Festival to read about your Saturday plans!

2 Responses to “Second Adventure: Edelweiss”

  1. Alexis Macdonald July 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    wow, first Milan and now the Alps, what wonderful and incredible experiences you are enjoying. I’m glad for you. love, Gramma Lexy

  2. Sonja August 21, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    Thanks for sharing your adventures! Love the lederhosen.

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