We are still around.... for four more days! Besides traveling for the past month, we have also been working on packing out our house and clearing the community. We have been in a whirlwind trying to get everything done, while of course traveling just a little bit more!
Quick catch up with more details to come.... eventually....
After my last day of school, we headed to Slovenia for three days. It was a great trip just to unwind a bit. The number one travel activity that our travel book told us was people watching! That tells you how much excitement there was! And that's basically what we did. We spent one morning watching local dancers in their traditional outfits. It was neat to see!
We went to China (Shanghai, Xi'an, Beijing, Hong Kong) the last two weeks of June. We really enjoyed seeing all the sites, our favorites being the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors. We struggled with the food and mostly stuck with Western restaurants. We were with a great travel group which made the trip more enjoyable to have people to go around with. We had a hard time with the Chinese culture. They sure do things different than we are used to. Their standards are much lower than ours are.
Once we got back, Jay spent the first week of July packing out the house. He had the weekend to prepare after coming home from China. The movers came on Monday and Tuesday. Then the Army came to pick up their furniture on Wednesday. Lastly, he met with the landlord and inspector to turn in the keys on Thursday! During all that time, I took a trip up to England to visit a good friend of mine one last time (at least until she comes back to the states). I felt bad for leaving Jay with all the packing, but he told me to go (and I didn't question him)! We had about 70% of the house already packed up, so he didn't have too much left to do. During my time in England, we went to London for a day and saw the production of Chicago. It was great just to hang out and relax a bit with Elizabeth.
On Thursday, once Jay turned over the apartment, he spent the rest of the day clearing different agencies on post. Meanwhile, I flew back to Germany and got into the airport around 6:00pm. Jay met me at the airport around 9:00pm. We went to eat supper, came back to the airport, and boarded our plane at 1:00am heading to Izmir, Turkey! Jay had the next four days off, so we were taking one last trip! We flew all night and got to Izmir by 8:00 the next morning. We went to our hotel, sat around for an hour or so until they could get a room ready for us. After not sleeping all night, we ended up falling asleep for most of the day. We finally went out around 5:00 in the evening to go walk the town. It was extremely hot as we walked through the market. We walked in every air conditioned store we could find, just to walk around. Jay would find a bench, and I would go browse the clothes. The more time I wasted browsing, the longer we could stay in the AC.
On Saturday, we took an early train ride to Ephesus, a city that is down to ruins. This was a very important city back in its time, being a big port city. It had a lot of religious history to it also. It was neat to walk around the area, see the sites, and listen to our Rick Steves audioguide about each ruin. We also visited the last home of the Virgin Mary. This is the place that they thought was her place of retirement, along with John the Baptist. We walked through the tiny house. Not much left but walls. We then went to the church of St. John. It was also down to ruins. We saw where he was buried. By then, it was time to hop back on the train to head back to Izmir. After being outside in the 105 degree sun all day, we showered up, rested, and then grabbed a doner for supper.
We took it easy on Sunday and Monday before flying back to Germany. When we arrived back into Schweinfurt at 3:00am, we had to go check into a hotel on post since we don't have a home anymore! We both fell fast asleep until the alarm went off at 7:00.
Jay had Change of Command on Tuesday afternoon. He gave up his command of HHC USAG Schweinfurt. It was a great job for him for the past 18 months, but he's ready to move on to something new! Since then, we've cleaned out his office, sorted through more of our stuff, gave a lot of things away, and continued to clear.
For our last few days, we are going to take one more trip on Saturday to Bamberg, hang out on Sunday, and get ready to leave on Monday. We jump on a bus in the middle of the night on Monday (actually Tuesday morning) and ride to Ramstein, where we will get on a plane. We will be to Columbus, Georgia by Tuesday night! Then we start improcessing and finding a place to live!
Did you keep up with all of that! My mind was racing just trying to remember everything we have done! The past month has completely flown by! And the next month will be the same! The hardest part of all of this is saying goodbye to our dear friends. We had to said goodbye to Jay's boss and his family a couple nights ago. That was a tough one for both of us! This is the part of the Army life that just isn't fun! But what goes along with the Army life, is that chances are we'll see them again sometime down the road.
Once I get to Georgia, or maybe on Sunday if we aren't doing anything, I'll try to go back through our trips and update with pictures. That's the fun part to see!
Hopefully Jay will be done with his meeting soon so we can head to the next place. I don't like having only one vehicle because I'm stuck with him for the day! If the hotel wasn't so far away, I would walk there and start packing boxes! We have a lot of stuff to mail to Georgia that won't fit in our suitcases!
Pray for a safe and easy move for us! Pray for contentment through the next week as we say good bye to our first home together and hello to our next home