she's THERE!

fun, random splattering of comments + quips we've received from avery since her arrival in germany via email + skype chats:

we had a big breakfast! there was salami and rolls and cheese and things... none of the gelkes like peanut butter at all. i put some on my roll. . . they thought the peanut butter was gross, so they said i could just have it to myself --the gelkes are wonderful

... we looked at maps of brieselang and the surrounding towns, and read an email that nora* sent from 'white pigeon'. they call me 'avy' which is so cute!

today we went all around havalland, which is the area around the havel... channel?
it looks EXACTLY like missouri. if it wasn't for the spoken and written german, and some trees that are different, i'd say that the countryside IS missouri...
we also worked out something with the foreign agency... this took a long long time and was not fun at all for anyone. we needed to get passport photos, i didn't have any, so we did some sort of automatic machine (7 euro), then the people said that they weren't right, so we had to go to an actual PLACE (9.5 euro) and get them...
this is a lot of money :(

but my pictures actually look... good? have you EVER heard of passport photos being flattering?! i know!!

we also went to this WONDERFUL sort of garden-park thing... it was in Rathenow... the optikpark? it was all about colors and light and all outdoors. there were so many flowers! so many beautiful flowers! and a little push-boat ride on the havel... it was really fun

and you wouldn't believe all the old old old old buildings in nauen, many many old buildings--LIKE 800 YEARS

and we also had ice cream!

they say just eis

in response to hearing that my mom (mammie) worries "what if she's hungry? should we ship poptarts??" 
mammie is so cute! (poptarts: chocolate fudge with frosting and strawberry with frosting are my favorite)

gelkes are very great... and they like tobasco sauce!

and THIS in the outgoing mail chat... from dad to ave (on MY skype chat acct mind you):
ave, you should have seen how bad i killed mom at scrabble last night at the pool.

oh for the love of pete!

a few airport departure pictures . . . avery had crafted gifts for zoe + tycho

we like that little KC airport (MCI) -- no lines, nice people, arthur bryants sauce**. we packed "gladware" and ave fixed a sandwich to eat somewhere over the atlantic:and here's a VERY fun thing.
we popped into barnes + noble the night before she left for some reading for the plane (she had plenty of yarn, lots of snacks, an iPod . . . but you know) anyway she picked up THIS book (hello, i must be going) by award-winning author christie hodgen. WAIT - christie hodgen?? i thought, hey, I KNOW HER. WAIT, i took her picture once, right?? -- yes, with her precious lil' daughter gracie. 

then we turned the book over:

YEP! can you see the "fine print" here on the back cover? (click on the picture, note the word right above NYC). so that was exciting for me; but what's even MORE exciting - WOW this book was ON DISPLAY right out there with the "discover great new writers/writers you should know" recommended titles. 

christie, i'm SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!
(and you, too, ave!!! -- we LOVE YOU, AVERY, SO VERY MUCH!)

~ amy

* the gelke familie includes 2 teenage daughters. rike who's there with ave, and nora, who left just a few days before avery arrived for her own year abroad. nora's now in white pigeon, michigan while avery spends a year in her room. exchange programs are amazing and our experience with INTRAX (formerly AYUSA) has been so positive.

** in the book 1000 places to see before you die, there's only one entry under missouri: go eat at bryant's bbq in KC.
it was actually paul's litmus test for "if i find a woman i may want to spend my life with, FIRST . . ." but that's a whole different story ;D