InkandSand Posts

The temperature wasn’t very welcoming in Salt LakeCity, Utah at -8 degrees Celcius (about 17-18 degrees Fahrenheit), which was a big contrast to the 22 degrees Celcius in Florida. June, a mother of one of Inka’s former Kindergarten kids, picked us up and told us what we should check out in this winter wonderland, while she ran a few errands. One of the first places we dicovered after being dropped off was the Family History Research Center. After setting up a free account, Jessi quickly found some information about one of her grandfathers and a few other family members. Inka on the other hand wasn’t as fortunate, but maybe she’ll have more luck when doing some research in Germany. There was a temple nearby that we had a look at, at least from the outside. Because it was cold we didn’t spend too much time outside and decided to warm up in and have a look around a Mormon Church museum. We weren’t that impressed with it, but we learned a little bit about where the religion comes from.

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Read More The cold never bothered us anyway (well actually it did)

In Florida hatten wir mehr Stopps eingeplant als in den meisten anderen Staaten, wo wir oft nur eine Destination ansteuerten. Als Erstes sollte es ein Wiedersehen geben: Roger und Bonnie (Bruder und Schwägerin von Norma und Ivan aus New Hampshire) hatten uns an Thanksgiving spontan in ihren Wohnwagen-Park in Fort Myers eingeladen. Sie haben wohl nicht damit gerechnet, dass wir tatsächlich vorbeischauen (wie Roger ein paar Mal scherzhaft bemerkt hat!) Wir hoffen, dass Ihnen die zweieinhalb Tage mit uns trotzdem Spaß gemacht haben – wir fanden es jedenfalls toll, einen Teil der Chappell Familie wiederzusehen!

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Read More Florida

After a short flight we arrived in New Orleans where Jessi’s cousin Amberly was waiting to greet us. During the drive we kept thinking something is different here and then we realized that there was a lot of green all around us. The trees were covered in green leafs and there were many colorful flowers, which was nice since it was January. Luckily the weather was so nice for our entire stay that we could wear capris and T-shirts, at least during the day.

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Read More Taking it (the big) easy!

Der Abstecher nach Fort Smith, Arkansas, war für Inka wie eine Zeitreise zurück zu ihrem sechszehnjährigen Selbst, das dort für 6 Monate zur Highschool gegangen war. Gemeinsam mit Jessi und Inkas Gasteltern Chuck und Sharon, die uns netterweise beherbergten, schwelgten wir daher fleißig in Erinnerungen. Besonders der Besuch bei ihrer alten „Northside Highschool“ und ein Treffen mit der ganzen Familie brachten viele Erlebnisse von damals wieder in Gedächtnis.

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Read More A walk down memory lane

Jessi’s Dad, Mike, and sister, Mary, greeted us in the cold windy city. We got to see Mary’s apartment in the city and Jessi got a bite to eat at a taco restaurant, with unusual tacos, not too far from Mary’s apartment before heading to her dad’s house in New Lenox (a city about an hour away from Chicago). Because Sherry, Jessi’s stepmom, had to get up so early the next morning for work, she was already in bed and would meet her later. The Windy City lived up to its name and welcomed us to some freezing wind and snow on the ground (although Chicagoans told us that this has been a mild winter so far). Over the two days that we visited, Jessi’s family took the time to show us around the big city.

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Read More The freezing “Windy City”

Geheimerweise haben wir uns entgegen unserer Ankündigung bereits am 13. Dezember in Kentucky eingeschlichen, um Jessis Mum zum Geburtstag zu überraschen! Jenny, Jessis beste Freundin in Kentucky, war unsere Helferin, denn sie sammelte uns an der Greyhound Bushaltestelle ein. Gemeinsam mit ihr und ihrem süßen einjährigen Töchterlein Emma haben wir uns dann den Nachmittag mit Weihnachtsplätzchen backen (wir haben zum ersten Mal Lebkuchen gemacht und dafür war er echt relativ lecker!) und beim Zaubern einer Geburtstagstorte für Betty Lou vertrieben.

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Read More My old (and new) Kentucky home

The Jäkel’s were the second Kindergarten family that we visited. They recently moved to Knoxville, Tennessee (in the summer of 2015). We noticed that they hadn’t been in the US for too long because Liam and Noam still had a lot of good memories of UniKids and often called Inka Frau Strunk (like they used to in Kindergarten). It was interesting to see that English was the language which was spoken at home while living in Germany and now the “family language” changed to German. After the first evening of shyness the kids warmed up to us and always kept us busy playing board games, reading books and playing sports outside (of course we played soccer 🙂 ).

Fussball_combine_images Read More Walking in Memphis (and some other parts of Tennessee)

Für den Spitzenpreis von nur 30 Dollar pro Person hatten wir Megabus Tickets für die Übernachtfahrt von Philly nach Charlotte, North Carolina ergattert. Von da aus sollte es dann weiter ins zwei Stunden entfernte Asheville am Rande der Appalachian Mountain gehen. Kurz vor unserer Abreise erfuhren wir dann aber durch Zufall, dass eine ehemalige Kindergarten-Kollegin von uns beiden aus Düsseldorf, nicht mehr wie wir glaubten in der Nähe von New York, sondern nun rund eine halbe Stunde von Charlotte entfernt wohnte. Relativ spontan verabredeten wir daher einen Zwischenstopp bei Nina und ihrem Mann Matt.

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Read More Long time, no see