We're back. Flew from New York to Frankfurt, picked up our car, drove two hours to Fladungen, then went straight to Claudia's cousin's wedding.
Which was actually okay. We were pretty beat, but the boys could run around with other kids, and constant handling made the baby happy but very tired. So we were able to get everyone in bed by 11 (which is just 5 pm EST) and start the weary process of de-jet lagging four small children.
So where did we go?
New York City, where we visited with Carlos, and went to the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, the Empire State Building, the big Toys'R'Us on Times Square, and the comic book shop.
Danbury, CT, where we visited with family.
Rural New Jersey, to see some friends.
Lewes, Delaware, for a few days at the beach. We saw dolphins off the Cape May-Lewes ferry, and picked up horseshoe crabs off the shore. Jacob loved the beach very much, and did not want to leave.
Great Wolf Lodge, for the water park. Alan and David also loved the MagicQuest game there. (It would take a while to explain. Sort of an electronic live-action RPG.) Water slides and pools and a giant bucket that dumps water on your head; it's a place that handi-vacs the parents' wallets with ruthless efficiency, yet we'll probably go back again.
My sister's lake house, just below the Shenandoah Mountains in western Virginia. The boys went swimming with noodles and floaties. Cousins and lots of 'em.
Shenandoah National Park. The Skyline Drive is a bit long for little boys, but gypsy moths are interesting (someone should tell President Obama about them!) and we had a great hike down to a waterfall and back.
My sister's house, to visit with Grandmama and Auntie Sheila. More cousins!
Auntie Natalie and Uncle Larry's house! With lots of TV and computer time! And a Renaissance Faire! And slime! (We bought a slime-making kit.)
And the White House, and the Air and Space Museum. And back to New York for the Statue of Liberty and one last visit to the toy store.
And, well, it was a good trip. Friends, family, lots of memories. I was nervous about doing this -- 23 days, six states, eight different places to sleep in (two houses, six different hotels and motels), 1000+ miles of driving -- but it turned out much, much better than I feared.
And now back to autumn in Bavaria, and school.