We’ve had a very special visitor at our house for the last three weeks. When Hannah, Finley and I returned to Luxembourg from the US, my mom came back with us! This was her second trip to Luxembourg – she was also here just before Finley was born and stayed with us for the first few weeks to help out.
I didn’t mention it on the blog, for security reasons, but now that she’s back home safe and sound I wanted to document a little bit of her stay here.
But first. Before you go thinking that my mom was here on vacation, that wasn’t the case. Flying 9+ hours from the US to Luxembourg with me, my 6 year old and 7 month old and then spending the next three weeks at our house doing everyday life things with us could hardly be called a vacation.
I don’t think she minded.
We spent most of the time she was here doing normal stuff – making dinner, going to dance class, packing lunches, ironing shirts, changing diapers, bathing kids, cleaning messes, and dropping off/picking up Hannah from school.
But we also did some shopping in Luxembourg and Trier and went to our favorite spot, The Chocolate House.
We also tried to make the guard at the Grand Ducal Palace crack a smile. (We failed.)
Luxembourg officially kicked off the holiday season with the opening of the Christmas Market, so we shopped, enjoyed the lights, sampled Swiss cuisine (and glühwein!) and took in the culture.
Christmastime in Europe is like a winter wonderland and I’ll miss it when we move back to the US.
(I’m also gonna miss this gapped tooth smile when her adult teeth grow in.)
One day while Hannah was at school, my mom asked if there were any nearby Holocaust memorials or museums that we could visit. I’d never been to one, so after a quick email to a good friend and a few text message exchanges we found ourselves on our way to a WWII concentration camp in Hinzert, Germany which is about 50 minutes from us. My multi-lingual friend made a few phone calls for me to find out what time tours are offered and if there’d be one in English. Besides some standard greetings and pleasantries, the only thing I know how to say in German is one dog (don’t ask) and that really wasn’t going to do us any good.
It’s so pretty here. It’s hard to believe that a concentration camp used to be right at this very spot.
From inside the museum, you can look out the window and see what the view was like in the early 1940’s.
My mom (and Finley) listened to survivors recall stories from their time at Hinzert.
At the end of the war, when Hinzert was liberated, bodies that had been buried in shallow, mass graves were exhumed. Those that were able to be identified were returned to their countries for proper burial. Those that couldn’t be identified were moved to a newly created cemetery, to be buried in a respectful manner.
Before she left, we took my mom to Bacchus, another of our favorite restaurants in Luxembourg City. We love it because it’s kid friendly, the owners treat us like we’re family and the food is delicious.
On Saturday morning we drove my mom to Brussels to catch her flight home. Of course, no one in our family travels without incident and this was no exception. As her plane was taxing out to the tarmac, the pilot slammed on the brakes because a vehicle pulled out in front of him. This resulted in a three hour delay only for the flight to be canceled altogether. The good news is that they put all the passengers up in the (very nice!) airport hotel and gave them vouchers for dinner and breakfast the next morning.
So, I guess my mom did get a little vacation out of this after all?
Anyway, she’s home and settling back in.
Thank you, Mom. For everything.
See you at Christmas!