Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Advent Calendar ~ Holiday Travel

Aunt Gitta, Uncle Adi, my mom, Uncle Helmut, myself, Oma Lieselotte, Great Oma Margarete and Opa Adalbert Haf

Our arrival at the Munich, Germany, airport 1965

My wonderful and unforgettable memory of traveling was when mom and I flew back to Augsburg, Germany - a more than 2000 year old city. I was born in Augsburg and came to the U.S. when I was three. Mom was born and raised there. This was the first trip we made back together and to boot, we did it at Christmas time, the most beautiful time of the year to me.

Munich Airport ~ our airplane ~ Lufthansa

Our flight was about an eighteen hour flight from LAX to Munich. We flew via Lufthansa. I will never forget that flight. Because we were going to be in Germany for a little over three weeks, mom had all of my class work and homework pre-arranged to take with me. I remember doing my school work on that plane! I remember we would get these really neat smelling (lemon scent) wet wipes after eating a meal. To this day, I am also reminded of that trip each time I encounter that familiar scent!

Once we landed in Munich, we would have about a one hour drive from Munich to Augsburg. Mom and I were quite tired but we didn't care, it was so exciting - I was in Germany! I remember how emotional it was to see my Opa (1907~1968), Oma (1913~2010) and great Oma (1888~1972) along with my two uncles (1940~1994) and (1940~2004) and aunt Gitta at the airport. I hadn't seem my Opa since I had left in 1957 and we were inseparable at one time. The photo above was taken upon that arrival.

The Autostrasse Sudtirol

I remember how beautiful the ride was to my Oma's home. Germany is gorgeous. It was snowing, cold and I was loving every minute of it! We went all over the place . . . to my great Oma, Margarete's, to my uncles homes and shopping at the Rathhaus Plaza.

I have the webcam of the Rathhaus Plaza on each and everyday right now, the famous and traditional Christmas market is in full swing. It's a great feeling to see a place that you were born in all the way across the ocean on a webcam and still feel as if you are there! It's like I get to travel there everyday. They are nine hours ahead so the best time to watch is around eight or nine a.m. from here in the states. Mom would watch it everyday too and she knew each trolley and where it was headed! My Oma lived just blocks from the plaza -she was ninety-six years old.

Opa, myself, Oma Lieselotte, and Mom, our trip to the Alps

Mom and I along with my Opa, Oma and my uncles traveled to the Alp's. The Alp's are breath taking. What an experience it was to visit such a beautiful and magical place. Most of all, I enjoyed Christmas with all of the family members and having a very traditional German Christmas. The family, the food, the joy of being together was unforgettable.

Mom would try to go back each year, my daughter went back with my mom when she was thirteen (just as I did) at Christmas time. She also experienced a memorable time that will last her a lifetime.

That really is the only "big" trip that my family has made during the holidays. We normally stay within our area. Mom lived about an hour and a half away. We would travel to her home and spend an evening with her to have our Christmas together. It may have been a week or so before Christmas but with the kids grown and having their own families, it was much easier that way. Christmas Eve is spent in our home and Christmas Day the kids spend the day with their own families and in-laws.

Please note: This post originally ran for the Advent Calendar of Memories in December 2009 ~  Mom use to watch the Rathhaus webcam everyday, she grew up just down the street from this wonderful little center now alive with the Christmas market. Even though mom and Oma are not here with us...I continue to watch it each day too . . . after all, it's where I was born! My visit back there as described in this story . . . I very much remember the Rathhaus. 

~ Happy Holidays! ~

blog divider

 This post originally created for Holiday Travel on the
             With the passing of my Mom (1933~2010) and Grandmother (1913~2010)  in 2010,
I have made changes to the original 2009 post . 


Wendy said...

What a wonderful trip! If I had been there, I'd have the webcam set up daily too.

Gini said...

It's alot of fun to watch . . . my cousin Marion currently lives nearby . . . I've joked with her about standing in the middle of the plaza and waving to me! She hasn't had a chance to do so yet as she has a busy schedule but it would be fun to see her!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

I love the photo at the airport! I love seeing images of people dressed up to travel. I checked out the webcam, too. Wish I could visit that Christmas Market!

Gini said...

Thank you, Heather . . . I was looking at that photo closer as I was doing this post, that's a pretty fancy hat my mom had going on! She was a clothes, shoe, hat and gloves horse! Mom always dressed beautifully . . . her career always involved in women's fashions, just before she retired, she was a buyer. I love that photo too . . . expresses so much to me. I love the webcam right now with the Christmas market and all the lights. Glad you stopped by.

Kathy Reed said...

The webcam brought tears to my eyes. I also traveled the Autostrasse Sudtirol, but it was at night so we didn't get the views. It is memories of family and travel that sustain me -- not one more present under the Christmas tree.

Gini said...

Kathy, thank you for visiting. There are some days that I can have the webcam up and watch it and I am fine checking it about every 15 to 30 minutes or so . . . other days . . . not so much. You are so correct, the memories of those times with family and our journeys together are what sustain me also . . . I am so very Blessed to have these memories to relive, hold onto and share with my grandkids, family and friends.

Gini said...

Kathy, your more than welcome to copy the photo of the Autostrasse Suditrol . . . isn't just breath taking!?!

Unknown said...

I stop by every now and then and you never let me down What a wonderful post! I wish I had gottent o meet my family in Norway! This is just wonderful memories for you! Sndy

Gini said...

Thank you, Sandy, so sorry you weren't able to meet your family in Norway . . . I was truly blessed to have the opportunity and the experience of a lifetime and wonderful German family roots.