There is a bit of a crazy story related to this particular trip, starting with the fact that I booked it back in July in order to get the best price. However, part of the deal with such a good price on tickets was that we'd have to spend the night in Frankfurt before continuing on with the journey. The ticketing had us arriving in the evening, spending the night, and heading on to Chicago early the next morning.
But a month later, I got an email from United saying that they'd changed our tickets (no explanation) and now we would arrive in the morning, which meant we'd have the whole day in Germany.
With a whole day in front of us, we made a plan.
And that plan happened today!
Some of you reading this know that Dave and I first met in Germany on an evangelism team who ministered to the US military. Much of our dating relationship took place there, we were married there, and all three of our children were born there! It's a special place to us.
So it made sense to return to Heidelberg, the big city we lived near back in those days, and enjoy revisiting some of our favorite places.
On one hand it hasn't changed at all, and on the other, it's completely different. The US military pulled out of Heidelberg in 2012 and no longer has a presence here. The community was turned into a refugee processing center, and we weren't able to go in, only stop at the gate. Wow, the memories of driving in here for youth group at the chapel!
From there we headed downtown to walk the familiar "Hauptstrasse", excited to see the "Weihnachtsmarkt" for the first time in 27 years. The last time I was here for it, Tyler was five months old!
Under typically gray, cloudy skies, we wandered the whole length of the main walking street, reminiscing about our lives back then, and what Heidelberg meant to us.
Down towards the end of the mile long walking street, we came to one of the main squares with the Christmas shops filling it. In the shape of a typical German Christmas windmill that is powered by candles, this beautiful replica serves as the main spot for food and drinks!
Of course we had to get something, opting for hot apple cider (though most everyone else is having hot mulled wine or beer!).
Dave asked for "to go" cups and we were surprised when the man handed us Christmas mugs!
With warm drinks in hand, we continued our stroll down memory land, coming to this spot where we got our first glimpse of the famous Heidelberg castle.
We attended concerts up there, took guests to tour it, and often just walked up there because it's so pretty!
Wanting a better view of it, and on a mission to get to one more memorable spot, we headed over the old Heidelberg bridge.
Even though it was cloudy, and nearing evening, the view was still as spectacular as ever!
But our true reason for coming over to this side of the bridge? To remember the turning point in our relationship!
This is the spot where Dave first kissed me, on his birthday in 1986!! I'd been around him enough to hear him say that he would never a kiss a girl that he wasn't willing to marry...and I was the first one he ever kissed.
PG moment...yes, we kissed there again!
Aw, so much good life together since then!
One last stop before heading back up to Frankfurt, was this delicious spot!
I used to see this cafe every time I'd come downtown. I only remember stopping in there a time or two to get something, but you'd better believe I did this time!
We both said to ourselves that this day would be our Christmas present to each other. And truly, it was THE BEST gift I could've received! Our lives together started here in this memorable place, and it was pure joy to come back and remember who we were then, and think about where God has led us today.
Oh and...Dave couldn't resist one Christmas gift for me while in our romantic Heidelberg!
A new coat and scarf, bought right on the Hauptstrasse! He's a romantic one that dear husband of mine!!
Oh what a day and what a place. Our dear Heidelberg, where we left our hearts forever!
AND!!! Best of all...I felt completely like myself, healthy and full of energy today. PRAISE THE LORD and thank you for your prayers for me!