[Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.] ~ Mark Twain
|Ralf led us on our first geocaching adventure|
Despite the initial awkwardness of suddenly having a jet lagged, slightly older brother whose native language was not my own, Ralf and I found a comfortable friendship and enjoyed our time as "siblings." At the end of his stay I distinctly remember him declaring us his American family and promising that he'd be back to visit one day.
And true to his word, about five years later he did come back while on a trip with a friend exploring the Eastern seaboard.
|exploring a new area of our local park|
And then ten years later, Ian and I had the opportunity to spend a long weekend with Ralf and his wife while we lived in Europe for a short period.
|Natalie gets a little help across the creek from "uncle Ralf"|
|Caleb and Ralf discover a cache in a disconnected phone booth|
Laugh away high school Kristi and Ralf..because at the end of January, here he was. He was in CA for a week long conference and instead of exploring a little of the West coast on his free weekend, he hopped a flight to NC to visit with us, claiming that time with family was more important than walking the streets of a new city alone.
|my mom with her "German son"...he still called her Mom and even remembered our phone number even after 25 years|
|Ralf with five of his "American nieces and nephews"|
|my crew LOVED "uncle wreck-it-Ralf!"|
|my sister, our "German brother" and me|