A Visit from the ‘Rents

Sure, I’ve gotten letters and cards during my time here in Germany, but this weekend I got the best care package anyone could ask for: a visit from my parents.

They arrived in Germany on Thursday, October 19. Thankfully, I had a break from classes at that time, so I was able to meet them in Bonn shortly after they landed. Although I really enjoy my friends in Germany, nothing could compare to finally being able to hug my parents and just spend time with them.

Shortly after they were settled in, we headed off to have dinner together. Although my dad doesn’t speak German, my mom and I were able to strut our stuff to ensure that the evening went as planned. We even got our waiter to take some pictures of us finally together again right before we got dessert (a luxury for me at this point!).

Over the next few days with them, we traveled around Germany together in our bold white Hemi-powered Jeep. To start the journey, I showed off my apartment and the campus in Vallendar. I even made my bed and cleaned the floor before theycame! Then, we drove to the Düsseldorf area to visit some family friends my mother made when she studied abroad, then went to Maastricht and Heidelberg to visit their children who are around my age. After a brief break to take an exam back in Vallendar, I rejoined my family in Borgsdorf and Berlin to close out the visit with some German relatives.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so my parents headed back to the States after a mere 10 days in Europe. However, our returns weren’t without drama. My parent’s flight was delayed roughly an hour in Berlin, creating a chain reaction that forced them to fly through Houston before heading to Chicago and Wausau (although I would’ve preferred that they skip the flights home and stay in Houston for Game 5 of the World Series, but maybe that’s just me).

Meanwhile, my trip back to Vallendar also proved to be much more of an adventure than I anticipated. I originally was scheduled for a train from Berlin at 7:49 a.m., but residual winds from a hurricane wound up causing major damages in northern Germany, cancelling many trains. Thankfully one long-distance train to Frankfurt finally left the station after an eight-hour wait, but a journey that should’ve taken me roughly six hours wound up lasting 15…needless to say, I passed out as soon as I got back to Vallendar.

I truly loved those 10 days with my family despite the debacle at the end. Seeing my parents again was just what the doctor ordered (no pun intended, Dr. Mom). People frequently take their parents for granted, but as the saying goes, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Hugging them goodbye was tough to do, but it only makes me more excited to see them again at Christmas.