We’ve obviously been living here a while because we are starting to repeat ourselves – at least when it comes to travel. We went to Willingen once before (but I forgot my camera) at the end of the summer. This time it was the end (hopefully!) of winter and we experienced a whole lot of snow.
The occasion for travel was the Community Retreat, an event sponsored by a few different Base agencies. Over 200 people attended. For the kids it was like an all-weekend playdate with their friends. Fantastic! For the adults it was a time of education, personal growth, and development of stronger relationships within the community (or something like that.) Jeremy and I each taught a couple of workshops. I played Bob Barker (minus the skinny microphone) in The Price is Right where I attempted to encourage comparison shopping between the commissary and local (German) stores. I also taught Faith and Finance. Jeremy stuck with the faith theme (not a stretch for a Chaplain) and taught Faith and Marriage and Faith and Family.
While the classes were happening the kids got to play in this enormous bounce castle! I’m pleased to report there were no injuries.
We had a choice for our afternoon activity – ice skating, skiing, or swimming. We headed for the pool. I didn’t take any photos inside but here is exterior of the waterpark as seen from our balcony. Those big tubes are waterslides. The boys had the most fun in the outdoor section of the pool, where they would occasionally get out and roll in the snow. I’m pleased to report there was no frostbite.
I really hoped to go up in the Gondola to the top of the mountain, although I had no plans to ski. I forced the boys for a walk with me but it was very cold and very crowded so we stopped at a restaurant for apple strudel and hot chocolate instead.
It was awfully nice of the boys to stop and smile for a moment because truthfully they were not enjoying themselves. They kept saying they were cold. I am pleased to report that there was no hypothermia.
We stayed at the Sauerland Stern Hotel. We had a great room. We had a big balcony which was (naturally) covered with snow. We sent the boys out there to play.
Here’s an odd thing though: this is a huge property with over 500 rooms – and they still use regular metal keys! Check out the key rack behind the front desk. That’s old school!
We left very early on Sunday morning because Jeremy had to preach at the Chapel. We expected that the weather and road conditions would gradually improve as we headed toward home. Nope! We were greeted by more than 6 inches of fresh snow at our house!
Because the roads were not plowed, Jeremy cancelled the service. The first thing we did was to shovel the driveway and sidewalks. Our neighbors are very diligent about snow removal so we’re trying to keep up. I saw one neighbor shovel snow into a wheelbarrow and dump it in his backyard so that the walk would be completely clear.
Once that was taken care of it was time for some fun. The snow was light but wet so conditions were perfect for building. I made this snowman.
Of course the boys made a fort.
It was quality snow-tecture. Check out this Roman arch!
When it was satisfactory our neighbors came over and a snowball fight ensued. Hopefully this is winter’s last hurrah! (At least here in Germany – as I write this my sister Sarah has a snow day and Anne is expecting a storm! Stay warm, girls!)