We had to get up before 5 AM so we could check-in (2-hours prior) for our scheduled flight to Germany at 08:30. Ugghh 🙁 My stepdad Jim and brother Steve drove us to the Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport. Thanks Jimmy and Steve!
We said our goodbyes’ to Mom and little ‘Coach’ in the early morning before we left. Coach didn’t look too worried that we were leaving… he probably thinks we’ll be right back as usual. He’ll be just fine hanging out at the dirt farm. Thanks for watching him Mom! Hopefully, she gives him back to us when we return 🙂
The check-in and subsequent flight out of Phoenix was relatively uneventful. Our two bags were right at the allowed weight of 50-lbs each thanks to some pre-weighing and re-packing at the dirt farm . Of course, the TSA agent patted me down after my artificial hip set off the metal detector alarm… that’s always fun 😐
Our connecting flight was in Atlanta, GA where we had a ~three hour layover.
Stilla survived the flight(s) just fine. We got into Munich around 8 AM on Friday. Turbulence was minimal and the take-off / landings were smooth. If I calculated correctly, I think it took us about 17 hours to get here from the time we left Casa Grande.
Wolfgang (one of Stilla’s four brothers) was waiting for us in Munich after we got through passport control and had collected our luggage. He picked us up in his RV (below) and drove us to the house.
And here we are in Sindersdorf, GE. The Dotzer family house! Stilla and I used to have the second-floor of the house when we lived here. Maybe I’ll post more about that later with regard to dates and times… Our son William lives here now. Of course – Stilla’s dad, ‘Opa’ (which means Grandpa in German) still lives here too, along with Wolfgang and his girlfriend Hildegard. Wolfgang has turned some of the rooms in the adjoining building (which used to be the barn) into a bed & breakfast. He keeps moving his wood-working shop to different parts of the house. We left here in 2005 when the Army sent me to Fort Carson, CO but we visited again for a few weeks back in 2013.
Wolfgang put up the American flag on the pole in front of the house in honor of our arrival 🙂
We fought off jet-lag and fatigue while we met with many of Stilla’s relatives and friends throughout the rest of the day until we finally got to bed. Here’s some pictures (below). Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of everyone that stopped by to greet us, but we’ll have plenty of time for that later.
As I mentioned before – we had many other friends and relatives greet us but I forgot to get pictures. Our social agenda is filling quickly with parties and dinners being scheduled around other already scheduled events. For instance, later today (Saturday) there’s a Christmas party with ‘Glühwein’ across the street here in our little town (dorf) that we’ll attend. (flyer below)
And here’s a picture of my favorite beer… or more-correctly; German ‘bier’ 🙂 Ahhh goood!
Stay tuned for more travel adventures without the Urban Escape Vehicle… which is safely tucked away at the ‘dirt farm’ in Casa Grande, AZ. Our return flight is scheduled for the 11th of January, which leaves us plenty of time to get to the Alpine Coach Rally in Quartzsite, AZ on or about the 19th.