We’re home.

The past eight days in Germany on our family vacation were QUITE the whirlwind, and I can’t wait to write all about it for you. (okay, and for me.)

We saw some beautiful scenery, ate some fabulous food, toured some castles, and so much more.

What tied it all together though, was the Gemütlichkeit (hospitality) shown to us by our hosts, my lovely German “twin”, Kat, and her adorable hubby, Holger. The pair of them generously offered to put us up in their home so we could be more comfortable than we would’ve been in a hotel (needless to say, saving us lots of money at the same time). They just purchased their home late last year and have been working like crazy to get things renovated in time for our visit, which was unnecessary to us but wow, their house is AWESOME and we enjoyed it so much! (By the way, if you want to see it, she blogs about it here! Most of the blog is in German but the pictures are understandable no matter what language you speak! Check it out: you won’t believe their mad skillz in renovating.)

Kat and Holger picked us up at the airport, helped us pick up our rental car, set up our GPS, and made recommendations on restaurants, public transportation, and ideas for things to do that weren’t already on our list. Kat even set up a laptop for me, with my own account on it.


They told us that they wanted us to feel like we were family, that we should get what we wanted from the refrigerator without asking and go ahead and do a load of laundry when needed. Kat protested when we tried to help clean up dishes and such, but since we were family, it was only natural to help out.

We didn’t spend every day together: for example, they had a wedding out of town and were gone for three of the days…but they insisted that we still stay at their home, giving us a key and everything. When did get a chance to hang out at the end of each day (except during the wedding days, of course!), we joked around like people who have known each other forever instead of just having met in person for the first time last Thursday after three years of getting to know each other through blogging, e-mailing, tweeting, and Skyping.

We had FUN. We went to see “Inception” with them (in German!). We did a Pepsi Challenge with them (more on that later!). We raced them on the Autobahn. We had an American barbecue with them. We played video games with them.

(Okay, the video game thing was just between Holger and the two boys. Whatever.)

It really felt like we were visiting family, and we can’t thank them enough. They were the perfect hosts. (and now it’s time for me to start bugging them about their Chicago visit!)

I’ll have more–much more–over the coming days. I can’t wait to share it with you.