Greetings from the Lowcountry!

3 Nov

Hey, y’all!  And it’s for real this time since all of Thomas, Party of 4 is now HOME safe and sound!  As much fun as we had overseas, words can’t even begin to express how fabulous being back in the Carolina Lowcountry feels…And believe me, we’ve been taking advantage of our new/old location ever since we landed this past weekend!  Shopping, eating, visiting, relaxing…yep, we’re doing it all!  Of course, that’s not say that getting back home was a piece of cake…

Well, our last week in Germany was actually really good- crazy busy with packing and tying up loose ends- but good.  I managed to sell my bike and weights (woohoo for recouping 75% of the original costs!), donate the rest of the stuff to the Bast Thrift Store (woohoo for tax deductions!), go to dinner at one of our favorite microbreweries with the whole gang from work AND use up just about everything in our fridge and pantry!  Two meals that really stood out?

I recreated a Swiss Rosti! It was DELICIOUS- every bit as good as the one in Switzerland AND healthy to boot! (John wanted extra cheese on his half 🙂 )

Yes, this slightly undercooked, perfectly doughy, ooey, gooey, fresh-outta-the-bundt-pan MONKEY BREAD (with cream cheese icing for dipping!) was our last homecooked meal in Germany. No main course first, no side salad...Just it, us on each side and 2 forks...And yes, the plate was totally empty when we got up. Don't judge. 🙂

As you may remember, the pups and I flew separately from John going over and the same was true coming back.  (Remember? The only direct flight for the pups was Charlotte to Munich and since the government pays for John’s travel, he has to fly Delta, the contract carrier, which meant that he flew Charleston to Stuttgart via Atlanta).  Well, since we all know what a nightmare German traffic can be, we decided to drive down to Munich the night before my flight to avoid any chance of missing it.  So we had a lovely, lowkey last night, complete with one last German meal of John’s favorite (and now mine- yes, I LOVE them!) white sausages with pretzel and pork knuckle!  (I know, it doesn’t sound- or look, in my opinion- too appetizing, but John had been wanting to try this authentic delicacy and it just happened to be the restaurant’s specialty!)

Pork knuckle with sauerkraut, bread dumpling and gravy...John loved it all, except the dumpling 🙂

This item on the menu just cracked us up! For less than 1 euro, you can actually purchase a glass of tap water, a piece of bread and a cigarette. Ha!

After reading about all the ‘Yemen dry run packages’ and the resulting ‘heightened security,’ we decided to get to the airport even earlier than normal…again, to eliminate any chance of missing the flight.  Yeah, well…There were several things that ended up working against us…1. Monday was a German holiday, which meant that everyone and their brother was traveling.  2. Everyone and their brother had the same ‘arriving early’ idea that we had.  3. Munich is the hub for Lufthansa (*think Atlanta and Delta), which meant utter craziness. And 4. We have a language barrier.  *Sigh*

To make a (nearly 4 hour check-in) long story short, the pups and I did make it onto our flight and 10 (forever-seeming) hours later, we arrived in Charlotte!  Of course, Customs took some doing and we had to go through inspection in case either Max or Dulcie was carrying a bomb (yes, the girl actually said that to me as they were rummaging through their crate!), but as soon as those doors opened and we saw my folks waiting at the end of that long, uphill (I especially remember this part because I was, once again, pushing a wheelie cart with the dog crate, backpack and hangup bag while pulling an oversized roller bag!) hallway, we were happy, HAPPY campers. 🙂

Thomas, Party of 3, arriving in the States...

Everything about John’s flight on Sunday went swimmingly- he got the keys to our apartment returned, the rental car turned in at the airport, and upgraded to 1st Class for the trip!  Yep, he dined on Ginger Pumpkin Soup, Scallops, port wine…Jeez!  Of course, he should’ve known it was too good to be true- afterall, not everything can go so perfectly…Not only was one of our HUGE duffel bags lost along the way, but we got a call late that night saying that the bag had been ripped in half and that its ‘innards’ had been blown all down the tarmac!  Needless to say, the next day, they delivered the bag (yes, in 2 parts) and several plastic bags full of our crap…Just a few items missing, several torn, and quite a few greasy and dirty.  *Sigh*  Laundry is currently underway…

The important thing is that Thomas, Party of 4, is HOME and loving it.  We even did a belated birthday celebration, ‘Traditional Thomas/Knox/Smith/Lambert Style’ last night, just because we could!  John’s pick: Southend Brewery and Kaminsky’s 🙂

The Gang, at Kaminsky's...

So…That, officially, concludes our European Adventure…this one at least!  I have a feeling that there will definitely be more adventures to come, but for the time being, we’re enjoying all the things we’ve missed- family, friends, the English language, complimentary water and garbage disposals- and REALLY looking forward to the holidays.  And because we’re always up to new and exciting things, I’m going to keep the blog alive.  No, there probably won’t be as many- or as glamorous- posts for a while and the pictures won’t look quite as Conde Nast as you’ve grown accustomed to seeing, but whenever something catches my fancy, I want to be able to share it with all of you, so stay tuned!

Thanks again, y’all, for coming along on our adventure of a lifetime! Tschuss!

2 Responses to “Greetings from the Lowcountry!”

  1. Sheena November 5, 2010 at 2:43 PM #

    I’m so glad everyone made it back safely! I’ve loved reading about the Thompson family’s adventures abroad. We’ll make a trip to Charleston to see you guys soon!

    • Sheena November 5, 2010 at 2:45 PM #

      I cannot believe I wrote Thompson family! Sorry about the typo Thomas fam.

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