We were planning on going to Oma and Opa’s place in Italy (took pic above during our last visit there) for a few weeks this summer. That didn’t work out due to overbooking (other family friends were planning to go during the same time and had already bought plane tickets). Also, we had been waiting for our new move in date for our new apartment and didn’t get that info until two weeks ago. We of course then had a hard time finding hotel availability and plane tickets to other vacation spots late notice (that weren’t insanely over-priced).
So we opted for a stay-cation in Köln. We figured it’s probably best, anyways, since we’re about to burn through thousands of euros on a new kitchen and furniture for our new place. We figured it would be a great chance to check out sights in and around Köln that we never usually get around to doing on the weekends because we’re recovering from our week.
Best laid plans… While we have gone on some fun excursions, it’s really hard to get motivated to do things when you’re in your own home and have nowhere that you have to be. Simon LOVES his sleep and is happy to stay in bed until noon or later. So if we’re not in a hotel where we have to keep to a schedule and/or be at breakfast by a certain time, it’s really hard to get everyone motivated.
When you’re at home there is so much to distract you (laundry, packing, reading that book you normally wouldn’t have time for). On top of this, Kiera got sick AGAIN, so that kept me home-bound with her for about 4 days. Not sure what’s up with her getting sick so often- maybe her immune system is still getting used to her new German surroundings? Or maybe it’s because we live in an 800 year old tower?
Another thing that has thrown our schedule off (especially the girls’) is the summer sunset time. Most of the summer it has been AFTER 10 pm!! Below is a picture from our living room that I took around 9pm…
The sun is still shining! So of course the girls don’t feel like they should be sleeping. They stall and stall- it takes them hours to wind down and fall asleep. The computer and printer are in the same room as them so they print out sweet notes for me (stalling), or say they need another glass of water (stalling), or their feet are cold and they need me to cover them up (stalling), or they need more cuddles (stalling), or they need me to walk with them downstairs to the bathroom because they’re scared to go alone (stalling). By the time they finally fall asleep I’m exhausted and ready for bed myself. There goes my “me” time for the day…
Printouts the girls make me most nights hoping to butter me up so they can stay up later…
It’s been pretty humid here this summer and our place doesn’t have air conditioning. Most places here don’t. It’s been an adjustment since we mostly had dry heat (and air conditioning!) in San Diego.
Also, there are no insect/ bug screens on windows here. You can buy them at the hardware store I guess, but no screens is the norm (our new apartment doesn’t have screens either). Which means the insects have a party feasting on you all night while you sleep.
See that window in the middle of the tower? That’s where the girls sleep. There are no screens so I keep the window closed all night. Not only because of the bugs. I have this (probably irrational) fear that one of the girls will start sleep walking or accidentally stumble on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night and fall out the window. You can’t really tell from the picture, but that is a long way down. There is no way I would be able to sleep knowing it was open. Which means the girls wake up complaining about being too hot (despite the fan aimed right at them).
Here’s another fun story- A few weeks ago I went outside to the basement to do laundry. What greeted me first thing on that beautiful summer morning? A huge pile of poop right in front of the garage door. And not dog poop. Human poop. There’s just a difference people- you can tell. A few days later this (picture below) was in front of our garage door…
A nice cardboard bed and an empty beer bottle. I have a feeling our new tenant may be the same one taking dumps there. I actually have no problem with them sleeping there. But taking a dump on someone’s property? COME ON!
Ah- Summer in the City! Ain’t it grand?
I promise my next blog post will be more upbeat and positive. But since life is not always butterflies and rainbows I figure it’s OK to share the not-so-great from time to time.
We have already booked our flights to Italy for October vacation 🙂