Happenings since May, and beyond

| September 9, 2016 | Reply

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. That’s what happens when I go without a desktop from the end of May until mid-August. Here’s what’s been up, and what’s coming up. This isn’t a particularly wordy post, but there are a lot of pictures from Europe and the US…

WHAT’S COMING UP

#Repatproject travel – Repatriation Project-related travels will include Philly and other parts of PA, the DC area, South Carolina, Florida, the national parks, Route 66, and more! And Oktoberfest in Frederick, MD!

That’s right–a Route 66 road trip next summer. (Whaaaat?! Yup.)

We’re getting two puppies in October: miniature schnauzers. If you think Flash can’t even now, just wait… I’m thinking his facebook page will be seeing a lot more photos.

PUPPIES!

PUPPIES!

 

Waaaay more meals at our new favorite restaurant, Surf House, in Urbana, MD.

Pulled pork tacos WHAT?

Pulled pork tacos WHAT?

 

And DO YOU SEE THAT PILE OF CRISPY BACON?

And DO YOU SEE THAT PILE OF CRISPY BACON?

 

Shows at the Kennedy Center.  Coming soon: the symphony playing along to a viewing of E.T.  I cannot.wait.

And, of course, blogging about past European travels that haven’t yet made it onto the site. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot. The first few European posts will include Tivoli, a small amusement park in Copenhagen; Ecomusée d’Alsace, an Alsatian outdoor heritage museum near Colmar, France; Polish pottery shopping in Boleslawiec, Poland; and more!

 

WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON since May

Polish pottery shopping in Boleslawiec, Poland.

I want to buy everything.

I want to buy everything.

 

I might have bought a giant snail.

I might have bought a giant snail.

 

A trip to Prague with a return through Cheb (a worthwhile, uncrowded taste of the Czech Republic), and a stop to buy a garden gnome from a dude on the side of the road.

My husband has wanted to return to Prague since we visited in our first few months of expat life.

My husband has wanted to return to Prague since we visited in our first few months of expat life.

 

It's an adorable town!

Cheb is an adorable town!

 

A weekend in Oberammergau for our last taste of beautiful Bavaria, including a visit to Linderhof, Ettal, our last Rodelbahn, and every woodcarver we saw.

I'll miss the gorgeous paintings on the sides of houses and buildings in Bavaria.

I’ll miss the gorgeous paintings on the sides of homes and buildings in Bavaria.

 

Linderhof palace is close to Oberammergau, and is a good way to spend a couple hours while in the area.

Linderhof palace is close to Oberammergau, and is a good way to spend a couple hours while in the area.

 

Ettal was a nice stop for a beautiful monastery and a local brew.

Ettal was a nice stop for a beautiful monastery and a local brew.

 

I don't know why I do this to myself.

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

 

For another view of how high you are when you start your death ride.

For another view of how high you are when you start your Rodelbahn death ride.

 

A final pitstop at my absolute favorite rest stop in all of Europe.

It's like Roadside America!

It feels like Roadside America!

 

And farewell to one of my favorite sights: the yellow fields of spring (rapeseed)

And farewell to one of my favorite sights in Europe: the yellow fields of spring (rapeseed)

 

Stayed at an amazing African-themed lodge in Gross Umstadt, Germany.

south african cuisine, germany travel

When I say that the Farmerhaus Restaurant–which you can visit via the hotel’s safari jeep–and its South African cuisine was one of the best meals of my life, I am not exaggerating.

 

A final farewell to Dieburg and our favorite weekly Schnitzel restaurant, Stoawaejer Stubb.

We spent our Wednesday evenings at this awesome little restaurant, where the Schnitzel was top-notch.

We spent our Wednesday evenings at this awesome little restaurant, where the Schnitzel is top-notch.

 

Finally stayed at the “blimp hotel” as we were headed out of Germany: a Hilton within a Hindenburg-shaped glass building attached to FRAport.

 

During our first days in Germany, we said it'd be nice to stay in the blimp hotel on our last nights in Germany. The building houses two Hilton hotels, a mall, and access to trains and the airport.

During our first days in Germany, we said it’d be nice to stay in the blimp hotel on our last nights in Germany. The building houses two Hilton hotels, a mall, and access to trains and the airport. We did it!

 

Flew HOME to the US after four years of expat life in Germany.

This might have been our luggage...

This might have been most of our luggage…

 

Spent the morning of Memorial Day at DC’s memorials.

There's no better way to repatriate your child than to show her the name of her grandfather on the Wall.

There’s no better way to repatriate your child than to show her the name of her grandfather on the Wall.

 

Bought an old farmhouse in Maryland (yeah…some of the conveniences I couldn’t wait to return to in the US? They don’t exist in a farmhouse built from the mid-1800’s through the mid-1900’s.)

Still...it's awesome.

Still…it’s awesome.

 

The movers delivered our first load of furniture, which had been in storage the entire time we were in Germany (things we didn’t need for four years and forgot we had, but thank god one of them was a table to eat on).

Flew to Utah to visit family. Took a day trip to Antelope State Park.  We were fortunate to visit before a large fire swept through the island.

It's a beautiful park where antelope and buffalo and other wildlife roam.

It’s a beautiful park where antelope and buffalo and other wildlife roam.

 

Oh, so yeah, we rented a car from Advantage. NEVER DO THAT. We were GIVEN a car with THE BUMPER FALLING OFF. The next day, we drove to Hertz, rented a giant Suburban, and all was right in the world.

Oh, so yeah, we rented a car from Advantage. NEVER DO THAT. We were given a car with THE BUMPER FALLING OFF. The next day, we drove to Hertz, rented a giant Suburban, returned the POS to Advantage, and all was right with the world. Conclusion: Advantage rental car: DON’T DO IT!

 

Headed down to South Carolina to visit family. Lost my prescription sunglasses in the Atlantic. Because Me.

The last time these sunglasses were to be seen.

The last time these sunglasses were to be seen.

 

It's a beautiful beach, though!

Myrtle Beach is beautiful, though!

 

And we got out on the golf course!

And we got out on the golf course a few times in Cheraw!

 

Continued on down to Florida to visit family. Collected shells and sharks’ teeth.

Siesta Key

Siesta Key

And we sorta brought home more stuff...

And we sorta brought home more stuff…

 

Maryland German Festival. Spoiler alert: it ain’t Germany.

Still, who can turn down Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, and potatoes?

Still, who can turn down Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, and potatoes?

 

The movers brought our second load of furniture, which included items stored with my mother, and a baby grand piano.

Oh, to be a kid again, and not say "oof!" when you get up from the floor.

Oh, to be a kid again, and not say “oof!” when you get up from the floor.

 

Enjoyed our first Kennedy Center event since returning: Phantom of the Opera. My husband thought there was a bit too much singing. *sigh*

It's so good to be back with American theater...where they speak English...

It’s so good to be back with American theater…where they speak English…

 

 

The movers brought our third load of furniture, which took two days to unload from the truck. I had the pleasure of seeing the recycle truck dude’s face on the third pickup of so.many.boxes.

Day One

Day One

Send it back!

Send it back!

 

Returned to Utah to visit family. Took a day trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats, and a walk around Silver Lake.

The Salt Flats are just the coolest thing! They're blinding.

The Salt Flats are just the coolest thing! They’re blinding.

 

Silver Lake has a very nice trail around the lake, an easy walk for all ages.

Silver Lake has a very nice trail around the lake. An easy walk for all ages.

 

I just want to make an observation here: It is every bit as wonderful to fly over the US as it is to fly overseas.

I just want to make an observation here: It is every bit as breathtaking to fly over the US as it is to fly overseas.

 

Seriously beautiful.

Seriously beautiful.

 

My daughter got her free National Parks pass, as a part of the Every Kid in a Park program, and we (including Flash) took a nice little hike in Shenandoah National Park. It involved getting lost, but that’s no surprise, eh?

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

 

CURRENT WRITING PROJECTS

The novel June’s Hat (#juneshat), based on the adventures of #SomeGuysHat as well as the #3GenRT, is the fictional story of 4 generations of women. When one retires to follow the trail of a such a hat, the two younger generations reluctantly join her. While retracing history, they learn much more than they’d intended–about family, war, marriage, and one another. This manuscript is in progress.

Some Guy's Hat made it to the US unscathed.

Some Guy’s Hat made it to the US unscathed. Now, the writing really begins.

 

And, of course, the children’s book series #FlashCantEven. The Flash series, written by Kari Martindale (that’s me) and illustrated by Aaron Parrott, is based on a real Jack Russell who has had his fair share of adventures. In the first book, The Day Flash Couldn’t Even, we’re reminded that there is always tomorrow. In The Time Flash Had the Best Day Ever, children are introduced to the idea that their feelings are not the only feelings at play. In honor of Book 1, “The Day Flash Couldn’t Even”, we’ll be posting pictures of times when Flash just couldn’t even, on his facebook page.

 

My office is coming together, so I can comfortably write. It has a ways to go, but most of what I need around me is in place. What kinds of things do I need in my line of sight to be able to write effectively? A bulletin board covered in visuals related to writing projects, a map of the National Parks System, a canvas of photos from #3GenRT, some of my favorite drawings and notes from Sequoia, two antique telephones, and a photo of me holding a lens cap up in Cannon Beach, Oregon, as if it’s a Goonies doubloon.  Surrounded by crap is when I do my best work.

You know it's home when you've placed your gnome.

You know it’s home when you’ve placed your gnome.

 

P.S.

If you have a fourth grader, don’t forget the Every Kid in a Park program.  Fourth grade is young enough to really make an impression and instill a love for the parks, but old enough to understand what they’re learning at the visitor’s centers.

Get yours!

Get yours!

 

 

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Category: Author Blog, Europe, FAMILY, Germany, In Germany A Broad blog, SGH blog, the Czech Republic, The Flash Series, Travel, Uncategorized, US Travel

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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