Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Adventures Come to Be

Great opportunities rarely come at opportune times.

Some people are skilled at making plans and casting off into safe waters. Our only talent seems to lie in holding hands and charging straight into the unknown. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but most of time, when I am with Kip at least, we seem to have the best adventures. It might be that we work well together, but I think it is more than that, I think that God has blessed us over and over again. He knows our hearts and He delights in giving us adventure, beauty and opportunity to see His hand at work in the world.

The weather in Germany changes rapidly. This vibrant rainbow spanned the skies over a rural road at the beginning of our road trip.

A German Adventure

I like to move. I love to run. I love to hike. I love a good road trip. There is just something incredibly special about looking at a map and finding yourself there, in real time, taking pictures to prove it.

But I was not really prepared for this trip to Germany. It came in late September, just after the kids had started a new school year. Micah had just started a new homeschooling high school program, and I hated to take a trip just as she was getting into the new routine. We had also just returned from a two-week vacation with my family that included a six-day road trip to Seattle and week-long cruise to Alaska. It didn’t seem like the best time to go to Europe, but Kip had a conference scheduled and enough sky miles for me to fly for free. My parents said they were available to host the kids in Oklahoma. So we decided to seize the opportunity.

To be honest, I half expected German food to be bland and the people to be somewhat cold. When we traveled through Norway we found people to be polite but distant, and I was expecting the same in Germany. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Almost as soon as we arrived we found Germans to be some of the warmest people we have ever met in our travels. And the food was great too. I had sauerkraut about a dozen times over the week we were there and it was always different. The German Brotkultur (bread culture) is inspiring too. There was no shortage of delicious and diverse breads at every meal and I found myself looking forward to trying my hand at baking again..

Bakery in Dinkelsbühl

Kip getting German with the bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer at an inn along the Romantische Straße.

We rode trains, stayed in unusual hotels, ate amazing local food, met great people, rented a car and drove on the autobahn as well as on cobblestone streets of medieval towns. We explored castles and vineyards and museums and Gothic churches. Towards the end of the week we decided to scrap our plans to go to Oktoberfest in Munich and headed south on an unlikely road trip to Venice. We made it to Venice around sunset and spent the evening walking Venice streets, eating pasta along a canal, watching the gondolas and feeling completely amazed that we were there. It was an adventure of the best kind and it is going to take several blog entries to tell half the stories.

The end of the road trip. Venice.

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