Fiesta, Family and Fun

May 6, 2010 at 3:36 PM 4 comments

Recounting our trip home (April 21 – May 2) may take more than a post, so bear with me. I’ll do my best not to ramble!

On April 21st, we woke up unaware that we would end the day in Texas. I got ready for work and went to my office, where I began my morning routine of checking emails and working on expense reports. At 9:30, John called me and said our travel agent had booked us a flight  (on a different airline, so it wasn’t an even trade. C’est la vie.) at 1:10 THAT day. Holy moly. I wrapped up what I was doing, put up an out of office message and ran out the door. John took Beni to our neighbors’ place, I finished packing, watered our plants (and prayed they didn’t die…of our indoor plants, all but 3 tomato bushes died, ugh) and off we went. We were in the car a minute or so before 10. That’s right, it only took 30 minutes for us to go from at work to packed and in the car leaving for an international flight. It’s a good thing it didn’t take us any longer, because the airport is an hour from our house, and people are supposed to check in at least 3 hours in advance for an international flight. We left our apartment 3 hours and 10 minutes before our flight was scheduled to take off.

We hit two traffic jams on the Autobahn but still made it to a parking garage and were parked and running into the terminal at a minute or two before 11. We had a bit of a scare when we got into the parking garage, though. Each row has either a red or green light. When you get to a green light, you take your parking ticket and go through the gate to park. The aisle we chose only had one spot and the people on either side of it had taken their half out of the middle. There’s no way we were going to fit. We started to panic, because that meant we would have to drive all the way out of the garage and back in again. On our way out, we saw a spot on the end of an aisle and snagged it.

During our run into and through the terminal, I discovered that I really need to work out more. I was coughing so bad and had absolutely no moisture in my mouth. Yikes. That was definitely not my proudest moment. Anyway, the airport was a madhouse. Frankfurt had just started operating flights the previous night and I believe the airport was still only operating with one small portion of its gates. We managed to get checked in at one of those self-service check in kiosks, but then we had to stand in the paralyzed baggage check line. After about 20-25 minutes of not moving in line, I noticed a woman with a badge walking up to our area and I whispered to John to stare at her. She pulled 6 or so people out of line, including us, and directed us to follow her. She took us to another part of the terminal where we were able to drop our bags off within 2-3 minutes and head on to security. We got to the gate about 20 minutes prior to boarding. Imagine that! Still, considered how hectic the past couple hours had been, I don’t think I really calmed down and internalized that we were finally getting to go home for our visit until we landed in Dulles.

After a long flight from DC, we arrive in San Antonio and made our way to John’s dad’s house where we immediately headed to bed. The next day, we did our best to get around and say hi to everyone. We even got to go see my mom in her office at one of the two schools she works at. She’s retiring at the end of this year, so I’m glad we got to do that. (She changes schools every year to every couple of years and I hadn’t seen her place at this new school.) That evening, John and I headed down to A Night in Old San Antonio, or simply NIOSA. NIOSA is a part of Fiesta and celebrates different cultural backgrounds commonly found in Texas with different sections of food and entertainment. I used to think the German pavilion was just so so, but honestly, I think it was my favorite part this year! Oh, I almost forgot – when we got out of our car to head to NIOSA and took our first big breath of downtown San Antonio air, John said “downtown San Antonio smells like a giant fajita.” Best quote of the trip.

Friday was spent at the dentist (no cavities!…a difference of opinion from the military dentists who thought I had something like 6. BS! Ahem, pardon me.) and attending the Battle of Flowers Parade, which is such a big deal in San Antonio that kids have the day off from school, with John’s dad and family. It was hot that day, and by hot I mean hot. It was about 94 degrees at parade time, and we were sitting on the asphalt, which means it was more like 104-110 where we were sitting. We made it through about an hour and a half to two hours before John and I had to leave. While waiting for my dad to pick us up, a police officer approached us and said, “y’all aren’t from around here are ya?” Oh wow. We just have looked really pathetic. We explained to him that we’re from Texas but have been living in Germany the past few years and were just in San Antonio visiting. He hurried to his car and offered us some cold water bottles. They were heavenly, and I love the hospitality and warmth of Texans.

After the parade, we enjoyed delicious hamburgers at Chris Madrid’s with John’s family. That evening, we had a large family dinner (his side) at his dad’s house. Saturday was a full day with my family. My sister and Emma (my niece) had flown in to see us, and we wanted to take full advantage of the time we would have together. We arrived at my parents’ house early for breakfast with everyone. From there, we headed to the soccer fields to watch Will’s (my nephew) soccer game. It was so fun to watch the kids run around. They’re so cute! After the game, we hit up EZ’s for lunch and Red Mango for dessert. Oh.my.gosh. I love Red Mango, and I wish I could have taken it with us back to Germany. I miss it already! Apparently they have locations all over Asia, South Africa and the US…why not Europe? Please?

Saturday evening, we enjoyed dinner at Alamo Cafe before heading to the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, which is the nation’s largest night parade. Emma had never seen a big parade before, and I think she really liked it. She took turns sitting on Stephanie, Andrew and John’s shoulders and enjoyed pulling their hair while seated on their shoulders. It sounds painful, but it was actually incredibly cute. The parade definitely earns the title of the largest night parade. We watched until about 10 when we headed home, and I believe it continued another hour after that!

The next day, we got up early and were out the door on our way to Austin just before 7 am. John’s younger sister Sarah couldn’t join us for weekend family fun, because she had a formal and work, so we hung out with her in her few hours of spare time before work at noon on Sunday. We picked her up, breakfast tacos and coffee in hand and took her to our church (Austin Stone). It was so great to be back there, and I cannot wait until we can go weekly again. After church, we had lunch, dropped Sarah off, drove to see the site where our church is building a campus and nonprofit center, and then met up with Stephen and Chelsea for some coffee. We were both on our way out of town, and it was great to get to catch them for a few minutes and catch up. After saying our goodbyes, we headed back to San Antonio for the last half hour of John’s little brother’s soccer game and then were on to lunch part deux with his family. From there, we saw my family and then had dinner with John’s mom, Marcus, Luke and Emily.

Phew! That gets us caught up through the end of Sunday, April 25th. I’ll leave the rest for tomorrow. There’s no way I’ll be able to post any quick takes when I have so much to recount. I also have a great selection of fun photos from the trip to share. Bis spaeter!

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Entry filed under: Our Goings On, Travel. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cat  |  May 6, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    so bummed I missed y’all!!! Can’t wait until next year! 🙂

    Reply
    • 2. osarah  |  May 7, 2010 at 1:33 PM

      Likewise! I still need to tell you the news. I’ll call you soon!

      Reply
  • 3. Clare  |  May 6, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    I should have met you at Church! I usually go to the 7pm.

    I’m tired just reading this.

    Reply
    • 4. osarah  |  May 7, 2010 at 1:34 PM

      Ah, we were at the 9 AM that day, which isn’t our usual. The 5 has always been our service, but we’ll probably switch to the 9 or 11 once we move back.

      And yes, it was a tiring trip, but it wasn’t as exhausting as previous trips have been. I chalk it up to the fact that we only stayed with one set of parents this time instead of trying to move around to all 3 parents’ houses.

      Reply

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