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Saturday, July 28th, 2007

The Most Expensive Happiest Place on Earth

After 50 weeks and 21000 miles on the road we returned to the in-laws last Saturday July 21st at 5 minutes before midnight. 2 weeks sooner than expected.


First however I need to talk about the leading up to our return. 

A couple of months ago Allison’s parents told us that they wanted to invite us to Disneyland. All we had to do was pick a day. We chose Julian’s birthday and used the time to get the kids excited abut it, since they didn’t know what Disneyland was.  It turns out that Dan (Allison’s dad) and I weren’t all that excited, because we were both very skeptical how much we would enjoy it. I was mainly worried about the culture shock for us, not being able to drink and drive, have to buckle up (even the kids), not being allowed to ride in the back of pickup trucks, but also a lot of stupid rules and regulations out of fear of lawsuits. For example, Julian wasn’t allowed to go one of the safest slides I have seen in the last 11 month, because he wasn’t able to swim from 1 end of the pool to the other. With a waiting parent and at least 3 lifeguards this slide wouldn’t propose any hazard, especially since he has been on slides 3 times the height and speed. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against rules. After all I am German and I think we are the inventers of rules and regulations, but there is also a thing called common sense and another thing called law suites. So yes, I was a little disturbed at first, mainly because I had to keep telling the boys: “Oh no, we are back in America, you can’t do that here!” I must say however that the people enforcing all of those rules did it in a very friendly way. 

Allison & Julian, Allison's Parents and William in the Teacups

[read on]

New Experience 117

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

It seems every time I am writing a blog I am whining about not wanting to drive more and not wanting to see many more things, because most likely we have seen it even better on our trip before. We visited over 100 places, had to pack in and out over 100 times as well and it is getting tiring and after the disappointment on the Baja we thought things would get a little easier in the States. Boy where we wrong.

It started at the border. We had to stand in line for about 1 hour at the Tijuana crossing and made it to the US without any problems. Even the US customs officers, who usually make so much drama, were all relaxed. The only problem was that there was no office where we could cancel our Mexican car permit and turn in our tourist cards. That’s a must, because otherwise we wouldn’t be allowed to return to Mexico in the future. So we had to drive back into Mexico, find the office to turn in our permits and stand in line for another hour to get back to the US. Again no drama.

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More Pictures and Slideshows

Monday, May 28th, 2007
One of Matthias' hobbies is creating slide shows on the computer set to music.  He has 2 slideshows that he loaded onto You Tube.  One is of our trip to the San Blas islands in Panama, and the other is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Champion 2007!

Sunday, May 20th, 2007
As probably all of our readers already know this weekend the greatest soccer team of all time (VfB Stuttgart) won the German Bundesliga for the first time in 15 years. It was totally ... [Continue reading this entry]

Congratulations Oma

Saturday, May 19th, 2007
Allison’s mom, Oma Joyce, who has been the subject of several blog entries retired last week.  We would like to congratulate her and say thank you for all her help and support she has given us, even despite ... [Continue reading this entry]

Long Time no Post

Monday, April 2nd, 2007
Sorry we have been so bad about posting updates lately. We are doing very well. We have been on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. We found a great camping spot right on the white sand beach. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Videos On YouTube

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
Matthias signed up for YouTube and he has put a couple of our videos up there.  I think the following link will work:  

Driving in Central America

Saturday, March 10th, 2007
We have driven 11,000 miles (17,000 km) on our trip so far and very few things still surprise us on the road.  Our guidebook says the traffic rules are pretty standard like everywhere else in the world and ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Tipping Dilemma

Saturday, March 10th, 2007
Can anyone please explain to me how much I am supposed to tip where? Restaurants are pretty straight forward. 15 – 20 % I hope. How about the taxi driver or the hair dresser? The same? And the ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Laundry Blog

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007
Laundry is pretty straight forward for us in the US.  Either you have your own washer and dryer, or you take it to a laundry mat.  Once we left from Seattle we did our laundry at friends’ ... [Continue reading this entry]