In this photo – you see what we had planned for the day and I will tell you right now, this did not happen.
And that’s ok. You see, the 1st lesson in playing tour guide for 19 people: don’t try to to have exact timelines. T and I learned that our entire timeline was based on how fast WE move. There is a huge difference between two people and nineteen. Fortunately, we are very fluid and there is plenty to see on Lake Constance so we knew that even if we didn’t get to those particular places – my family was still going to see other places equally as lovely.
So what did we do?
Well, first I have to give a quick shout out to my mother-in-law, my Schwiegermutter. Out of the 19 people – 11 stayed in her house (T, her, and myself included). And the amazing thing is that it wasn’t all that crowded. We were on the edge but we made it work. My Schwiegermutter enjoys a full house and wanted so much to communicate with everyone. Unfortunately she doesn’t speak a word of English (or Spanish) and my family doesn’t speak German – so there was a lot of smiling and nodding going on.
When everyone had arrived – T and I were discussing our game plan for the next day. We thought it would be best if we just get up and go pick up breakfast and the nearest McDonald’s. But when we gave the news of our plans for my Schwiegermutter, she was actually disappointed. We didn’t realize how much she wanted us to have breakfast there.
So we immediately changed our plans. Since there wasn’t really an exact timeline for the day, there was no reason to allow the family to sit and enjoy a German breakfast. So I let the family at our house know to have breakfast downstairs the next morning, as well as messaged my sisters staying at the other places of the plan as well.
This resulted in the entire invasion descending upon the house to have breakfast the next day. And no, it wasn’t all at once. Those staying in the house got up earlier to have breakfast first and then the next group came after we were finished (and still finishing up getting ready). My Schwiegermutter was so happy to play hostess for everyone. And everyone was so grateful for her generosity.
So after our hearty (and much healthier than McDonald’s) breakfast, we were on the road. We had managed to go from having a four car caravan to three because both my parents and my sister, S, had rented 7 seater vans and with my five seater – we had exactly space for nineteen. T and I drove and had my sister’s van in the middle to keep the van from getting lost. We drove to Lake Constance only to be welcomed by a downpour that made it hard to even see the lake! Not going to lie, we were not off to a good start. We stopped at a nearby grocery store in Überlingen to regroup and figure out how we were going to tackle the day. At this point, it was almost noon and we had already nixed seeing the Rheinfall. We had also heard that some of our group was starting to get hungry again.
Well, the most important thing was to show the family where we lived – we were already in Überlingen so we decided to get some food.
We had lunch at Hotel Ochsen (where T and I celebrated our Civil Wedding last October). It was both close as well as large enough to cater a group this large. They took great care of us!
Once we were full to the brim with food – we decided to take a walk. The rain had finally stopped and we could see the lake again!
Everyone got to see our lovely Überlingen and even had ice cream at our favorite parlor!
Once we had made a lap around the Old City, we took everyone back to our apartment so that they could LITERALLY see where we live.
But of course, we had to keep moving. The day was starting to get late and Constance was still on the other side of the lake (and would take a while to get to). So we decided to just keep everyone on our side of the lake – there was still plenty to see!
We took everyone to Birnau because it’s gorgeous!
The Gods were definitely smiling upon us because the clouds had been continuing to clear this whole time and when we reached Birnau, we could see the Alps!
Everyone was so amazed and I was happy that they could see this bit of beauty I am lucky to see on a regular basis.
We managed to get a shot of the whole family with the Alps!
There was also a fruit market nearby where everyone was able to get their fill of local (and super delicious) fruit!
Oh but we weren’t done there!
We then took the family a few minutes more down the lake to Meersburg where we were able to hike up and see the two castles.
Ok so these are old photos from when Thorsten first took me to Meersburg for my birthday back in 2014. Honestly, I hardly took any photos while my family was here. Mostly because a) I really wanted to enjoy my time with them so I was too distracted to take photos, b) I knew certain members of my family would take more than I would ever take AND post them on Facebook so yay! and c) my phone got stolen a few days later (more on THAT later) so what few photos I did take are gone anyway.
My dad is not one for hiking so he and T stayed at the bottom and enjoyed a few beers.
By the end, everyone was pooped! We still managed to show the family a lot on their first real day in Germany, but some were still suffering from jetlag and we still had a three hour drive back up north.
So we eventually packed up in our cars and made our way back up for the night.
It may not have gone as planned – but I still think it was a great day!
What do you think?
Bis nächste Woche!