Our whirlwind family week is over!  It is sadly quiet in my house without cousins here to keep the laughter going.  I admit to spending Monday in a funk with “only” my three youngest & Dave around. There’s a reason we had six kids.  I love a loud house.  There. The truth is out.

After Zoë and Heidi left (Zoë and Heidi visit Stuttgart), I had less than a day to wash beds, and run to the airport for my second batch of cousins. After my Oma’s death at 100 (Goodbye Oma), I had worried that this was it.  Our glue was gone, and the family would slowly fall apart and lose touch.  It turns out, surprise, I’m a worry-wart.  My Oma did a wonderful job gluing us all together. We are still family and my happiness runneth over.

On Friday Anne-Marie (my Tante Marjo’s daughter) and Ted (Tante Lia’s son, A Last Goodbye), as well as his three-year-old Thieme, all came to see us! From the moment we saw them through the glassed divider, the fun went through the roof. Both Anne-Marie & Ted speak English, but Thieme, at three, speaks only Dutch.  Dane is fluent in German and English… end result?  Most of the weekend was spent babbling in a hybrid of English-German-Dutch.  You know how twins make up their own language?  Turns out cousins can manage this too LOL!

Friday was spent eating taco soup (“Taco soup?” Ted was very surprised) and catching up. Saturday started bright & early with real American pancakes (thank you Aunt Jemima!) and a trip to post for a real, American carnival and circus.  This was completely Thieme’s speed and he and Dane happily ran from one jumpy thing to the next, barely having time to check out the circus or the free cotton candy and carmel corn (thank you USO!).

We raced home from the American carnival, stopping by our local abbey for a little history & beauty, to swap outfits for our authentic German dirndl’s & lederhosen. Dave’s work had a set of tables at The Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest (spring festival), in our favorite fest tent: zum Wasenwirt! Fest did not disappoint.

I had explained that our Fest has quickly become the largest in Germany.  How large was still a surprise to both my cousins.  Even Anne-Marie, an event planner from Amsterdam, had eyes as big as saucers.  There are rides, food booths, clothing booths, candy booths, and party tents.  I could barely drag them past all the rides & food to “our” tent.  We had a party to get to!

Nothing outside of the tent prepared them for the craziness that is fest. The tents are tents.  Large wooden structures, covered with canvas.  Floors loaded with tables and benches. Benches loaded with drunken Germans, Americans and foreigners from all over the world.  There is singing, dancing, drinking, laughter and falling.  The later the night gets, the louder the laughter, the music, the craziness.  It cannot be described by words. I know. I’ve tried.

We had a wonderful evening. A night out with family and friends.  Leaving the tent, the brisk air cooling my overheated body, a cousin on either side, the lights and sounds from the carnival rides brightening the night I felt enveloped by happiness. I still do.


American “Fest” for Thieme


Is it funny? Let’s double-check what the Big Cousin is doing.


Hirsau Kloster


Cousins: Ted, Anne-Marie en Dane


Anne-Marie en Dane


Going native: Ted, Anne-Marie, Toiny & Dave


In the party tent at fest!


See you soon Thieme!