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Vacation all I ever wanted, Vacation had to get away
2005-02-20 - 9:17 p.m.

Well everyone, Iím back. I feel like a whole new person, sort of. We spent a week in Garmisch, Germany at a wellness resort called Edelweiss. Itís pronounced like A-dull-vice. I gotta say the trip was awesome. Now I will go on to bore you with a little bit of what we did. Ready? Good.

The drive is about 6 hours long from Vienna and we left around 8. All was going well until about 3 hours into it when the truck decided to crap out on us. There was snow everywhere and we were in the middle of nowhere. It was either turn around and head home or press on and pray. We couldnít get the engine started again and when we finally did the damn thing wouldnít go any faster then 25 mph. I was quietly praying over and over again to please get us somewhere. Then the truck kicked in. Though it was spewing black exhaust and doing a lot of sputtering, I thought we might stand a better chance of getting it fixed at the base then just going home. Besides, the kids had been hoping for this trip for months. We ended up getting lost and it took an additional hour plus a trip up and over the mountains in the snow (whee). God was watching over us though because we made it to the hotel in one piece.

The hotel was really nice. When you first walk in itís like some sort of mountain cabin motif with a giant fireplace and big wooden rockers surrounding it. Itís huge but feels comfortable. We got our room then headed off to sign the kids up for ski school. This year it was all three of them. Emily was so excited to get to ski this year. We got them equipped with skis and lockers and all that good stuff then headed back to the hotel. We met a lot of new people from The Hague (in the Netherlands) and there were quite a few people we knew from Vienna. Funny how some of the people here donít want to be seen around me but talk to me like we were all best buds there. The sheer phoniness is sad really. But anyway, I didnít deal with that much so it wasnít a problem. It was ski week for a lot of people so you know there was an abundance of skiers. I for one did not. Big girl on wood sticks speeding down a hunk of ice? No thank you.

We had dinner at the buffet which wasnít bad and it was 2.95 per kid. I know my son can eat for three kids so that worked out peachy. We sat drinking German beer and watching the snow fall against a picturesque scenery of a tree covered mountain. Then we decided to scope the place out and found a casino downstairs. I love me some slot machines. They had a bunch of nickel slots and I quickly attached myself to the Texas Tea game. Glen played an alien game and we walked out 200 dollars richer. Go us.

The next day we bundled the kids up and took them on the bus to the ski lodge. When Glen and I returned we decided to go for a swim. Since practically the whole hotel was off skiing we had the pool to ourselves. It was so peaceful floating around with no kids and no noise. I closed my eyes and imagined I was a fetus in the womb just floating around. Sounds corny but I was trying to find a peaceful zone and that seemed to be it. There is an outdoor Jacuzzi the size of a pool that is half covered by a rock wall and at the other half you can see the view of the mountains. There was about a foot and a half of snow on the ground and it seemed to be floating from the sky endlessly. I sat out there in my bathing suit and let the large flakes fall on my head and breathed the steam up from around me. It was something I have never experienced before and I loved it. I had also used the steam room too. Talk about total relaxation.

On Valentines night we went for a horse and carriage ride through the back streets of Garmisch. It was fun and romantic for the first 30 minutes. It was snowing and my butt started to freeze up and then I sneezed and my nose alternated between stuffy and drippy. But we cuddled and laughed and said nice things like youíre supposed to do for Valentines Day. He bought me a large Beanie Baby elephant that I renamed Mr. Winkles. His parents were staying at the hotel too so they kept an eye on the kids. Kellyís friends were all there so she hung out with them quite a bit and Dylan met a pack of boys that he was forever swimming with. There was a game room that the kids played video games in too.

On Wed. while the kids were skiing, Glen and I went on a tour of some Ludwig guys weekend palace and a monastery. I canít remember the guys name, only that he was fascinated with the French kings and wanted to be a king himself. Since that wasnít possible in Germany he built a palace and castle and sort of lived in a fantasy world where he was king. The palace was really neat but kind of small for a palace. The original stuff was in it and although fancy and elaborate kind of gay for this day and age. No offense to gay men just you know, it was frufy for a guys house. There was a lot of gold and flowers and satin. It was still neat to see this stuff that was over hundred years old if not more. The castle the guy built is known as the Disney castle. If Iím not mistaken Walt modeled his castles in ďThe happiest place on earthĒ after this particular castle. We didnít go on that tour though. Anyway, the monastery was really cool too and was known for these two monks who created a recipe for schnapps and beer that has been a secret for years. After the tour we got to try the schnapps and beer and got pretty tipsy. On the bus we were all happily buzzed when the bus got stuck in the snow and the men folk had to get out and push. They were out there drunk. Slipping, and laughing they were saying witty things like ďAnd there I wasÖĒ When we got back to the hotel and had dinner with our new friends. The US Olympic ski team was there so we got some autographs too.

Thursday was the final day of ski school and the kids would be racing so we went up there to check it out. I watched Emi on the bunny slope. She held onto a rope that pulled her up to the top and would zigzag ski down and go under hoop things and finish with a mini jump. It was the cutest thing. At this age they donít use poles just basically learn to move on little skis. Then we went to see the older two. We got in a cable car that went up the mountain and yes I was scared poo-less. I had a death grip on the bar in front of me. When we got to the top of that I assumed that was the top where the kids skied down. But no that was the BOTTOM for them. They went on these ski lifts even higher up. I had no idea I had been sending my 13 and 10 year old to ski down from the top of a freakin mattahorn. I saw little specks zigzagging down this thing. I was too late to see my kidsí race but did get to see them in one piece. I had no idea just how high up they were and was amazed that theyíd been doing this all week. They never broke a bone or anything! There was a banquet that night and they gave out medals. They gave the entire group of 5-7 year olds one because they all ďmiraculously came in first placeĒ. Emily was so thrilled to get to go stand on stage and get a medal. I thought that was great so there were no tears from the little ones. It turned out Kelly came in 3rd place and also won a medal. My kids amaze me sometimes. They do things I used to only dream about.

Friday was a lazy hang around and swim and what-not day. By then we started losing our butts in the casino so we cut that out quick. Mid week we took the truck to a dealership and they replaced the part we needed and didnít charge us near what we thought. Friday and Saturday we shopped at the PX and the commissary getting things to bring back home. Oh and there was a Subway there. I was in heaven getting Subway sandwiches for three days in a row. There are Subways here but they are run by locals and they suck. This one was on base and my sandwiches were made the way I like. Mmmmm Subway. Small pleasures. There were a few more things but this has gotten long so itís time to end it.

We made it home safely and we were sure to thank God once again for that. You talk, HE listens. All in all, the trip was great and Iím glad we went. The kids had a blast and we got some much needed relaxation. We reconnected again as a couple and got to forget about all the board meetings and impending move for awhile. I didnít want to leave. I feel much better now than I have in a long time. I did a lot of walking while I was there too. Iím refreshed and hopefully, this feeling will last. If you made it this far then I will post a link for pictures tomorrow. I missed you all in Diaryland and hope that you had a good week too.

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