Monday, May 08, 2017

Military Moments: When Families Come Visit

Way back in my first post, I explained some of the pros and cons of moving a lot in the military.  One of the cons was that we are so far from our families.  Sometimes, when we live overseas, we don't get to see our families at all unless we are able to make it back home.  The expense of flying and just the traveling in general is high, so it's easier in a lot of ways to just see them when we can go home to visit.  But there is something magical and wonderful about our families coming to us.

We can show them glimpses into what our daily lives are like in whatever country we live in,  We can show them places they've never been to before and experiences they didn't think they'd ever have.  I was happy last year because my mother came and stayed with us here in Spain for almost a month.  She went with us to Germany and Italy and we just had a great time.  However, a little over a year later, she came here and brought my dad with her.

I meticulously planned out their 20 days.  I wanted everything to be perfect and for them to get to experience the Spain that I love and to see things none of us have ever seen.  Thus began the most whirlwind tour of Europe that I've ever been a part of  (and also the reason I didn't have a post last week).

We went to Africa for a day, saw the Rock of Gibraltar and toured the island, spent 3 wonderful, relaxing days on Omaha beach in Normandy, had a crazy few hours driving through Paris traffic to see the Eiffel Tower, spent an entire day exploring Seville here in Spain, and countless hours just hanging out with people that I love.  I'm not going to bore you with hundreds of pictures, although I have them!  I'll just pick a few of my favorites from each place we visited, and tell you my favorite part.

Africa:  We had a tour guide to lead us around the city of Tangiers in Morocco, after a quick ferry ride from Tarifa, Spain.

Gibraltar:  Quick day trip to see the tip of Southern Spain.

Seville:  Day trip to see the Cathedral and take a carriage ride around the beautiful Spanish city.

France:  Normandy and Paris.  Just beautiful in different ways.  I loved the Eiffel Tower even though I wasn't sure I would.  I was afraid I'd be disappointed after building it up too much in my mind.

It was great to get to see my parents, and it was great to get to see new places.  It was great seeing my kids reconnect with their grandparents, and probably the first time I've ever seen my daddy on a swing!

The best part, however, was experiencing those new things with my parents.  Here is the post my dad wrote after we left Normandy.

"As I stood in the sand looking out across the channel toward England with the remains of the German fortifications behind me there are no words to express the respect and gratitude I felt for the men who poured onto this beach that June morning over 70 years ago. Not knowing if the next breath would be their last...
Their bravery and dedication to our country and those allied with us should still inspire us today. They, as well as those like my father who were fighting another enemy half way around the world, did what was called for to defeat the evil they faced. This was truly the greatest generation.
Now we have another generation of young men and women who are willing to make the same sacrifices and commitments as the brave men who fought and died here so long ago. God bless and protect them..... and God bless and protect America."

Have a great week!

--- Amanda

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