Monday, March 22

Weekend in Luxembourg

Our spring fever had us anxious to get out and enjoy the weather so we packed up the kids and headed out of town. The past few times we've wanted to be weekend road warriors it has snowed and I think Ryan was itching for a good drive.

I must take a moment to boast my packing skills. We'd toyed with the idea of taking a quick trip on Wednesday and so I told Ryan to just give me a call and I'd try to get us packed up before picking him up from work. Thursday was already a full day with my crossfit class, run home to shower, grab McKay from kindergarten and drop him and Morgan off at the sitter so I could volunteer in Easton's class that afternoon making applesauce. I'll have you know I packed us all up in one hour! Granted, I wasn't packing much food and the laundry was miraculously already done. I don't know that it'll ever happen again, but that hour did actually happen and now that it's documented for posterity - I feel better. (My pat-on-the-back now over.)

We didn't have high aspirations for the weekend since we didn't plan it out, but we headed north to Ramstein Air Force Base to check out their "new" mall and then we wanted to get over to Luxembourg to see some WWII stuff.

We stopped at the National Museum for Military History in Diekirch which was quite an impressive collection. They created life-size dioramas from actual pictures. Mannequins all dressed in authentic WWII uniforms complete with gear from each army in all sorts of scenarios like a fox hole, basement communication center, or field hospital. The kids loved running wild through all the levels as Ryan and I wandered. People are still finding WWII items when digging or doing construction! I'm sure even older stuff is still there too, obviously.

Morgan with a 500 lb bomb. Yikes.

Psychological warfare by each side utilized dropping these fliers which I found interesting.

Part of downtown Luxembourg . . . it is amazing how many levels of inhabitation are found in these old cities. Luxembourg has an extensive collection of tunnels that were vital given its history of being invaded each century.

We also visited the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. My dad's father, my Papa, served south of this location during WWII. General Patton is buried here although he died in California. He wanted to be buried with his men. It is very sobering seeing the 5,000 American grave markers and the walls listing those missing in action. The Germans have their own cemetery with 5,000 as well nearby.

I love maps!

My Papa was down closer to Metz and pushing toward the Sigfried Line. Listening to Steven Ambrose's books D-Day and Citizen Soldier sure takes on new meaning as I saw the lay of the land here and better understood the terrain they crossed that winter of 1944-45! I'm glad we'd done the museum first.

They boys were intrigued by the Jewish grave stars and this soldier's Medal of Honor marker.

Good quick trip to wet my appetite for digging deeper into Papa's history.