Going to Europe was exciting for obvious reasons, but more than anything I was simply craving quiet time with my sister and her family. Though we wanted to get out and enjoy Germany, I let Jennifer know ahead of our trip that it was 100% okay if we took a couple days to just relax in her home, let the cousins play, and just spend time together catching up in person.
We only had four full days in Germany, so we used the first two to run around (I shared last week about our first full day, which was blissful!) My brother-in-law Josh had to work on our second full day, so we used that day to trek 45 minutes over to Rothenburg.
A Day in Rothenburg, Germany
My sister knew we would enjoy it. She has taken all of her guests there, who have all given it glowing reviews!
If you want to visit a German town that looks right out of a postcard, Rothenburg is a great pick! It’s historic, beautiful, and full of restaurants, coffee shops, and stores of all kinds.
The weather was a bit overcast and cool, which made for a comfortable day to throw on a jacket and do a lot of walking.
Jamie and I visited Germany together seven years ago when he had surgery in the middle of his first Afghanistan deployment, so being back in Germany together and experiencing it with our girls was really special.
A cool day made some gluvine (hot mulled wine) every more delicious!
Jenn is a great little tour guide! We were having the best day.
Hadley walked everywhere we went and never complained. I must have told her 100 times last week how proud I was of her, which I could tell was really filling her love tank. She was enamored almost the entire trip by our sight-seeing and was constantly able to find things that fascinated her. In the picture below she’s enjoying a chocolate truffle as a mid-day treat for such good behavior.
Jenn said that this spot is where everyone traditionally takes a Rothenburg picture, so we took a stab at getting our own family picture here. Hadley cracks me up!
Girlfriend is living her best life!
We were introduced to Brot Haus, which supposedly is one of the most popular coffee shops in Germany. Jennifer suggested all of our sandwiches (a veggie bagel sandwich for me, which was fabulous!) and signature German pretzels for the girls.
Oh, that nephew of mine! What a doll face you are, Luke.
I remembered from our 2011 visit that the Germans take Christmas very seriously; there are Christmas shops everywhere!
This one shop in particular was breathtaking. I teared up a couple times in the store watching Hadley’s eyes light up. I would have missed her so much if we didn’t bring her along on this journey. Seeing her freak out so unexpectedly about the beautiful Christmas sites was so precious. I can’t even explain why, but her pure joy took my breath away. Jamie’s too!
Big, big fans of Rothenburg!
We did a combination of eating meals out (which was always an experience because of the language + culture barrier since they do not live somewhere considered touristy) and eating meals cooked at home. Our girls love their Tante (Aunt) Jenn so much, it’s ridiculous. They always have. I love to see them with her.
On Tuesday, Jamie and Josh took the train to Munich to attend Oktoberfest while Jennifer and I stayed back to have a day of lounging with the four kids.
Since they live on post, there are playgrounds everywhere! One of them is practically in their backyard, so we made many trips to it during our trip to let the kids run.
Hadley and my niece Carly have the sweetest little relationship. They always have.
Look at this playground on post! It’s called rocket park. Insane! Hadley still can’t stop talking about it.
It was fun getting glimpses here and there into their everyday life in Germany, like going to her local grocery store. She has a few she frequents, but the one we ran around in was called Kaufland. She said it’s like their version of Walmart. Like I said, there is nothing touristy about her area (Ansbach), so everything is VERY German. I felt super intimidated, so it’s crazy to see Jennifer so comfortable, like she’s lived there forever (it’s only been 18 months).
Wednesday was another chill day, full of laundry, playtime for the kiddos, and tying up loose ends for our upcoming long weekend in Switzerland.
We did manage to sneak out for a “sister date” to downtown Ansbach so that we could have a few hours of peace to hang sans kiddos. It was a national holiday (Unity Day), so sadly almost everything was closed. We did find a cozy, authentic German restaurant to have lunch in, which was slow and super enjoyable.
Overall we had the best time in Germany. THE BEST TIME. Jennifer and I have both said a bunch of times how grateful we are that the weather cooperated, the kids were healthy, and that the timing of everything worked out so well. Leaving them to head to Switzerland was hard because we wanted more time with them, but at the same time we were glad to give them their house back and let them get back to their routines and everyday lives.
Every goodbye that we’ve shared for the last two years has been for 6+ months, so we’ve sadly gotten used to the hard goodbyes. But this trip though, I left feeling gratefulness (IMMENSE gratefulness) that this trip happened at all. To get all four of us over there wasn’t an easy thing to make happen, but we made it work. And it was perfect. We love our family!
Have you ever been to Germany? What did you love about it?
Have you ever been stationed or lived overseas? What did/do you love about it?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo