Sunday, November 9, 2014

Traveling back to the Homeland

In less than a week I'll be traveling back to Wisconsin to spend two weeks with family and friends. M is staying behind, and I don't like traveling without him. That's why I have mixed feelings about the travel part of this trip. I know I'll enjoy the time in Wisconsin with my people - they are my only answer to what I miss about my home country - but my world is out of whack when he and I are so far apart. We spent the first six years of our marriage living an ocean and six time zones apart seeing each other three times a year for 1-3 weeks, but neither of us would handle that well now that we have experienced more than two years of living together.

But I intended this post to be about traveling to Wisconsin, what I'm packing, and what I'm planning to bring back, so I'll get on with that.

Where I'm going:

Sheboygan River boardwalk in June

Sheboygan Marina, on Lake Michigan
Duck Lake, Northern Wisconsin, Nov., 2011
My family has a cottage (Ferienhaus) here

walking around Duck Lake in October

Duck Lake in October

What I'm packing:

  • enough clothes for 3-4 days. I'm a light packer anyway, and I stock up on affordable clothes when I am in the U.S. because everything from shoes to sweaters is cheaper there than in Germany.
  • coffee. I've been drinking Dallmayr coffee for years, as M always brought it over for me when he visited, and nothing else really does it for me.
  • Advent calendars for my family and friends
  • Swiss and German chocolate
  • several recipes because I want to cook for family and friends
  • Nutella (I don't like it, but my kids do)
  • scarves, gloves, hat, wool socks (it's already been snowing in Wisconsin)

In my carry-on (in order of importance):

  • passport, Aufenthaltstitel, Auslandskrankenschein, credit card, Euros and dollars
  • noise-cancelling headphones & mp3 player
  • German book: Gebrauchsanweisungen für Schwaben, by Anton Hunger
  • English book: Rick Steves' Guide to Rome
  • Nexus tablet
  • my small camera
  • a change of clothing because I only have 45 minutes in Frankfurt and even if I'm lucky enough to make that connection, my suitcase surely won't
  • my ziplock "Freedom Bag" containing my dangerous hand lotion

What I'm bringing back:

  • fuzzy slipper boots
  • several new sweaters and shirts
  • gifts for M that I ordered from Amazon and had delivered to my parents' house
  • Carnation chocolate malt powder
  • walking/running shoes
  • Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips (Germans go mad for Nestle Tollhouse cookies - I bake and bring them every time I visit someone or want to bring an American treat)
  • Aleve

What I'll be doing:

  • going Christmas shopping with my parents in Milwaukee
  • visiting both my kids at their respective colleges
  • visiting my former school and bringing penpal letters from my Englisch-AG students to the German students
  • attending a community orchestra concert (possibly)
  • spending several days with my bestie (beste Freundin) at my family's cottage retreat in northern Wisconsin
  • getting my hair cut
  • watching two Packer games (on TV)
  • cooking several meals
  • having Thanksgiving turkey dinner with my parents and kids, then after clean-up celebrating an early Christmas since we won't be together in December. My parents will have the dining room decorated for Thanksgiving and the living room and sun room decorated for Christmas!
  • flying back home with my daughter, who will be spending a month with us here in Germany during her college winter break

I may not write any blog posts while I'm away - we'll see. This is my first time back to Wisconsin in more than a year, so there will be plenty to keep me busy. I'll keep up on my reading, though!


  1. Have a wonderful time!

    1. Thanks! I've just been told it will be very cold in Wisconsin, which should be no surprise. But snow as well!? No thank you. Flippin' 'eck!

  2. Despite the separation from your husband, it looks like there's a lot to look forward to. Have fun!

    1. Thanks! I know I'll enjoy the time once I make it through the flights.