Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An Adventure in the German Countryside...

During Madeline and Charlie's fall break, Rob took a day off work and we all drove to to the German countryside, just over the river-border from Luxembourg's Remich, to spend the morning with Charlie's kindergarten teacher, Kerry Hones, who owns two ponies, Hazel and Finn. We had no idea what a special outing it would be! We loaded up our bulk carrots and apples, and pulled into the small farm, greeted first by all the neighbor's geese and ducks.
Kerry literally didn't give us an address....just told us to cross the river and look for the stone water towers. It turns out she and her husband, Mr. Watson, have been restoring their home, which was once a WWII bunker with the bullet holes to prove it, in the hope that it may one day be a bed & breakfast. They, by the way, are the quintessential English couple -- with the names Mrs. Hones and Mr. Watson, they sound like they belong in a Sherlock Holmes novel. Not to mention, she kept offering us tea. They also might be the most altruistic people I have ever met.
In April, they rescued two feral Exmoor ponies, an endangered breed, which were used to graze public pastures in Holland until their herd grew too big and they were headed for slaughter. So while the ponies were gentle, they haven't been around people, and we were very careful not to spook them.
Kerry and her husband, Chris, patiently taught Madeline, Charlie and John how to feed the ponies fresh apples and carrots from buckets, deliver hay to the ponies' crates in wheelbarrows, and fill the water troughs. Afterwards, Kerry brought their two rescued guinea pigs, Poppy and Honey, out for the kids to hold. We heard about their five adopted cats, each of which has its own rescue story. Then, as if the morning couldn't get any more fun, a nearly-silent electric train slipped past us, only 25 feet from our seats and blew the boys' minds. We said our good byes, thanking them profusely, and telling them honestly that the outing was the highlight of our Fall Break.
Afterwards, just for kicks, we drove to France since it was only 10 minutes away, then back to Germany for a delicious wiener schnitzel lunch, and across the river again into Luxembourg. It was so picturesque, I was snapping shots of vineyards from a gas station parking lot. Plus it's kind of awesome to say you've been in three countries before lunch.

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